“how do you beat your fears? Because I am scared to travel,” someone once asked me.
For many Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, it can be quite scary for some of them to travel. It is scary because we were not only naturally need to watch out for a couple of things (such as fire alarm in the hostel), but it is because many are conditioned to be scared of many things by the society, especially by their own family. They have taught them what they can do, and what they cannot do. The society taught that they need held hands with others and don’t let go the hands of Hearing people (referring to those who are not Deaf or Hard of Hearing). I literally met a mother who hovers over her 18 years old Deaf son and has a very poor independent and advocacy skills. He told me that he was scared of traveling because he’s Deaf.
Because of this, many Deaf and Hard of hearing adopted a fear of traveling. I’ve been asked how could I overcome my fear of traveling despite being Deaf. There’s no right answer because everyone has their own journey.
I once feared how the hell am I going do if I ever needed to approach the police who may not know English if I needed to report sexual assault or other possibilities that could happen. It is scary, no doubt; I’m not going to lie about that.
I reminded myself that I am so much more than just my hearing. I am so much more than how the society perceives me. I have my instincts, and I’ve learned to trust them. I have eyes, and I have the capability of reading facial expressions and body languages, even better than Hearing people. I could tell what doesn’t feel right with particular people. My instinct would scream, and I listened. I could get by through gestures or find effective communication through Google Translation (although it sucks at times), writing on notes, etc. I can do anything. anything.
For Deaf & Hard of Hearing people: Have you ever had fear of traveling? Or anxiety? How do you overcome this?
Hearing people: Have you ever thought of how the society instill fears in many Deaf people? Did you ever once think that Deaf people cannot travel unless they have a Hearing companion or tools (like hearing aids).