There are so many things I wanna comment on in the topic, but I can't find the right words to comment on it all, so I'll just make it pretty short for now and come back later on. I wish I speak fluently english...
I agree on what have been said so far. Thomas: Very nice post in post 16. So nice examples regarding to communication.
Like many others, I've been there myself. I have lived most of my childhood outside the cities, more than 3 miles from the nearest small city, which not even had a buss station! I didn't had many friends in school, but I had a few which made my school time worth going through.
I won't just repeat what others has said, so here are my suggestions and story, most of them taken from my own experiences.
Regarding your hearingloss, which is not from my own experiences but from experiences from my job which I have got the passed 4 years:
It sounds like out from your descriptions that your hearingloss is pretty bad. Depending on how bad it is and depending on how difficult it is for you to communicate with others, I'll highly recommend you to check if there are any organisations for people who are both vission impaired and hearing impaired in your area. I'm sure there are organisations like that in your country. Why should you check that? It would be a good idea to get in touch with other people with simular difficulties to both share experiences and to get more experiences from them regarding to communication etc. there are a number of things people can do to improve the communication with people who are both blind and hearing impaired. there are also a lot of things you can tell people to make the communication more fluently. Feel free to send me a private mail to discuss that to get more information. Don't send me a private message, but a private mail.
You, and others are mentioning that it's very difficult to strike up a conversation with people. Yes, I agree, and I've been there myself until I was around 20 years old. It is not fun, not at all. I noticed the same, that people at my own age from I was around 13 and until now where I'm 25, starts to communicate more and more visually. Some people even communicate so visually, so you think they just sits there, doing nothing. Then, suddenly, people starts to laugh around you, and you start to wander what the heck is going on. People in the school did that, even some of my closest friends started to do that, and even my cossins and my own family started to do that, and some of them are still doing that. I was totally excluded from the conversation because there wasn't really a conversation at all, but just people doing randomness, and people sitting there with their phones watching funny pictures and movies, or other totally visually things which us blind people don't have a chance to follow.
So, I did something which at the beginning felt really weird, but helped me in many ways. I started to talk to older people. I walked away from people at my own age, and started to talk with their parents and even older people instead. Why? Because, they were willing to talk. they were willing to listen to what I was saying, and they didn't suddenly got distracted by others who were doing random gestures across the table to them. Those people understood me then I said the others just ran around doing random things which I found so difficult to keep up with, they always had a lot of interesting things to tell, most of them were very patient and was willing to for example describe the room we were in and describe other things which I found worth it to know descriptions of because I'm blind, and those people gennerally seemed to understand me better than all the people at my own age. So, people at my own age found me quite boring and weird, because I just was there, talking to the older people. But, I got so much out of it, which is quite difficult to find the right words to describe, but I'll do my best. I learned about life very quickly in other ways than the sighted people at my age did, I got so many stories, I learned to communicate very well and learned so much about communication, spoke to so many patient people who really took the time to explain visually things in words, which gave me a totally new understanding about things which mostly only older patient people are able to do.
Many years ago, I was at an awesome party, and there were people at all ages. I knew most of the people there. While eating, I sat with the table full of the other people at my own age. They were very helpful to help me to get the food I wanded etc. No problem there. But I just sat there for almost two hours, eating and listened to them doing randomness and laughing of a lot of things which I didn't had any idea about. Then, suddenly, most of the people were gone, without saying so. They were suddenly outside, running around, playing. I had joined those people a lot of times before since I've known them the whole of my life, so I didn't feel like joining them this time.
So, I walked over to an other table, and randomly joined the other older people. They were not running around like kids in the 18s. They sat there talking about lots of things. I joined the table with people I didn't know very well, because I would like to meet some new people. On my way around the table, I bumped into a random older guy by accident who were setting by the table. He turned around, grabbed my hand and asked me if I needed any help. I told him I was just wandering around, checking out what was going on. He polled out a chair for me and bet me to sit down. A few minutes later, we talked about almost everything. A few minutes later, the interesting thing happened regarding to the visually descriptions I mentioned above. because of the conversation with the guy, I didn't realized an other mann to the left raised up and was trying to get around my chair. There wasn't much space between the tables. He lay his hand on my shoulder, signaling who he was talking to, and kindly asked me to raise up so he could get out from the tables. Well, of course I did so, and he walked away. I heard he had some serious difficulty by walking, which puzzled me a lot because I was interested to know what was wrong. I didn't feel like asking the man about his difficulties, so I asked the other guy instead. The guy answered the man was using a special walking stick, and he couldn't walk without it, otherwise he would fall. I got quite afraid to walk around the area, because what would happen if I bumped into him while he was walking? So, for that reason I had to ask for more information, because I couldn't see how bad he was at walking, and if he would fall if someone suddenly bumped into him by accident. Then, the older man started to describe how the man with the walking difficulties was walking, how he hold the stick and how he needed to place the stick on the ground for each step. Those awesome descriptions gave me a really good visual image, and I could then imagine which I got confirmed by the man, that someone had to bump into him very hard to make him fall. When the man with the walking difficulties returned, I asked if I could feel his stick, which gave me an even better image.
People at my age this time would never have been that patient to describe all this to me. They can easily see there was a mann there with walking difficulties, how he walked, how he used the stick and they could easily walk around him. If I asked them for the same information, they would just have told me that he was using a stick, properly nothing more. Sometimes us blind folk need some good descriptions to fully imagine things which others can see and don't even give one single thought. Why should the sighted care about it? They could just walk around him without giving him one single thought. I was forced to care about the mann because I was worried that he would fall if I bumped into him. Why was I worried? Because I couldn't imagine how he was walking because I couldn't see it. Therefore, I needed those descriptions which I'm really glad I got. Later on, I learned to ask people instead ask others like I did there.
Well, my point is the following: Try to talk to older people. they are more patient, and they can learn you a lot of things which younger people don't even think about. I have learned many things, also a number of more useful things by talking to older people. I have learned to communicate pretty well, and most importantly: I have found interesting people who just accepted me, and find me interesting to talk too as well.
[wow], I said just a short reply, and now all this... There are other things I wanna say as well, but I can't find the right words to describe it all at the moment. I hope you at leased find some of it useful.
Best regards SLJ.
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Happy gaming... :D