That Weird Deaf Girl Over There

I’m writing a short book with the above title. I’m passionate about it as some of it draws from my own personal experiences as a deaf person growing up. It also tackles issues on racism and mental health. 

I won’t spoil it, of course, but I feel there’s a need for this book as I wished I had something like this that I could relate to. Especially when I felt like I was the only deaf person in the world.

I was the only deaf person in my family and I didn’t have any D/deaf friends growing up. I have only recently obtained my deaf identity in the last five years or so. I’m in my twenties. That’s a LONG time to feel isolated in the world…

I better dash and write some more while I can! Other commitments have to take priority, which is why it will take a while to complete the book. But it’s coming, don’t you worry!

Lianne Herbert

‘You Drive Me Crazy’ Monologue

They say I’m crazy.

But I’m not crazy.

Maybe if I’m crazy. 

Then it comes to you.

You drive me crazy. You drive me so f•cking crazy. How many times do I need to repeat myself before it gets into that thick head of yours? I’ve had enough of trying to explain to you who I am. Look what you made me do! I had to resort to drastic measures in order for you to listen. You never listen to me. All you ever say is ‘You can’t say that! You can’t say that!’ Well guess what Mum? I’ve said it because it’s true. That’s how I think and that’s how I feel…

Oh I’m sorry Mother, you want to speak? Such a shame I’ve – All that mouth is good for is for giving head. I bet you don’t listen to the shit that comes out your mouth. If you did you’d f•cking well rip your own tongue out! Bravo Mother, bravo (!) I’m sure Dad would be more than happy. He just didn’t have the balls to do it himself. Oh I’m sorry Mother is this place not to your standards? You want me to clean up? Well NO. N.O. You can’t boss me around anymore….

Now you know how it feels to be made painfully aware that you’re different. Just like you did to me. It’s like I’m the disease and they’re the antibodies fighting to get rid of my kind. I’m not a disease. I’m me. I’m me but I feel I can’t truly be me. Why? Because they won’t let me. They won’t let me be in my true element, as they don’t understand me. It’s like I’m speaking a foreign language to them, which is funny as the last time I checked we all spoke the same language. But in more than one-way it doesn’t feel like we do. God. I feel like a foreigner in my own home.

I’ve found a language that both humans and animals can communicate in which is love. Too late for you now… I know Nelson Mandela said ‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion.’ I know Mandela said ‘People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ I know all this. I look at Mandela everyday thanks to you. How was it that after 27 years of being incarcerated he still had compassion for his fellow human beings? He was made to feel different as he strongly voiced his opinions about apartheid in South Africa. He was punished severely. They tried to break his spirit but he retained his dignity. I know I’ve lost mine though… Yes Mum I know Mandela had to break stones in the scorching heat but still he loved. He loved. That’s the main thing. I know things would be easier if I was behaving like Mandela and not setting fire to my brother’s hair or, or, kicking the next door neighbours dog in the teeth. You’ve made me read and watch everything about Mandela…

As I dare to be different I am punished on a regular basis. Maybe not as much as the greatest men of mankind but still I suffer. I suffer so much I cry on a daily basis. You didn’t know that Mum. Did you? Oh! When will the pain end Lord? When will it end?

So Mum that’s what I’ve been dying to tell you for so long… I’ve tried to forgive, I’ve tried to love but I couldn’t, as I’m not Nelson Mandela. Here. Here’s your tongue back. You can f•ck off now.

They say I’m crazy.

But I’m not crazy.

Maybe if I’m crazy.

Then it comes to you.