Nothing happens overnight. Inner and outer life changes are really a sum total of activating trigger points that disguise themselves as people, places, situations and occurrences. I keep reminding myself. We can only speak and communicate from own experiences and then share them. Of course, there are many life and coming of age experiences (both good and bad) that we all share collectively as human beings, but either way, at the end of the day it is with in our own psyche and inner being that we will reflect, process, digest and comprehend these things. There are levels to this in and of itself. Responsibility must be taken with acute awareness and a very conscious contact with the feelings and emotions that come along with the process. Of course, this is easier said than done as one must first have the awareness that a change must be made. In that process one will question what the causes may have been that brought it on.
What I am taking responsibility for at this moment is living the last 40 years presenting myself to almost all other human beings as if I were not deaf and hard of hearing. I had put all of my emphasis on “making that not known and visible.” I expounded a lot of energy, and thankfully I have a lot of that, which is also most likely another bi-product of overcompensation. I rejected and avoided learning ASL and meeting other deaf and hard of hearing people. Even as I grew older in my 20’s and 30’s I continued to perpetuate and manipulate myself and others. I believe that this created a double life and identity that has held me back in more ways than I will ever know. This is all now the past however. I can’t alter those things but there is a very bright side to all of this. This seemingly wrong previous path that I chose has made me who I am today. It brought me to a tipping point and a series of interventions that I can’t describe with-out using the word “spiritual.” It helped me also develop a myriad of non-auditory sensory skills that I will share as I write more of my story. I have learned that it is never ever too late to begin again. It is not too late to change, forgive yourself, re-write the script and reboot. This is where I am at. This is my re-entry point. I do fear how others may receive this information. Both the hearing people in my life and past, as well as the deaf and hard of hearing people I am just meeting now. Will they be compassionate and understanding? Will they say, a-ha! This makes sense now, or will they feel deceived and or had by someone they thought they knew? This crosses my mind, and my inner voices says, yes, to all of the above..
I have made a lot of inner discoveries in the process of taking ownership of my past. I have a ton of questions that I want answers to. The more inner work that I do, the more questions come into being. You may ask, what do I mean by “inner work”? I mean taking the time to sit down each day and quietly reflect on what has occurred. How that makes me feel, and how I can turn that into something positive. These reflective inner interventions allow me to put an emphasis on this one issue. I relive some of these sentiments and feelings, write them down, and accept them. I take responsibility for them, forgive myself and then start a conversation with myself on how to turn them into something good. Writing this all out is something good. Making supporting art work around this process is good. I can’t not make it. Illustrating my experience is another means of expression and story-telling while also being an example. It is my intention to exhibit the works both online and off while giving supportive talks in both spoken word and ASL. Perhaps it becomes a workshop as the process can certainly expand and help those working on other or related life changes.
Where am I on all of this internally? The last few weeks have been dedicated to asking myself questions. I write them down, I don’t judge them, or myself. I allow them to express themselves and be exercised out of my head and onto paper. I say thank you to myself as I do this. I find that when I do this I no longer find that question popping into my head randomly during my days. Does that make sense? The energy of the question has been transferred out of the mental and emotional body and into the physical world. Give this a try. It takes a little practice but diminishes the expectation of solution from the same space where it was created. One of the first questions I released was: “how do I begin to understand the psychology of an unconsciously self-created issue/identity created over 40 years ago?” Especially when the issue was created as a reaction to fear and the fear of being unaccepted? In my case, it was from the perspective of a 6-year-old child obviously not able to comprehend how this kind of a decision will affect the future? Nor can one 40 plus years later begin to recall the actual events as they were at the time. I find a metaphor in all of this. My past is a construct of my mind. It can only exist if I continue to give it power and fuel it with emotion. This I learned, was a choice. I chose to release this from my “now” and I forgive myself for being unkind to me.
2018, Digital Illustrations, Digital Art, Animated GIFs & Video. A continued series of manipulated images and re-compositions. The variations of each piece show the process of how the works displayed are visual representations for the missing of sounds, words and overall communication. They are intended to be both subtle, confusing and difficult to follow. A representation of the daily life I experience between the world of the hearing and the non.