Hey all! Hope you are all well! Thank you for your continued support and kind words! I really couldn’t have done it without all your support!
So I guess I will start with how my day started! I decided to have a home day as I had a few odd jobs around the house to do. To be honest my housemates and I had to clean the whole house as we are filthy pigs! 😛
Anyway! I was having a normal start by having brekky and watching some Jeremy Kyle and there was a knock at the door! Lo and behold it was some ladies to see a housemate of mine and I talked to them!
I didn’t even realised I talked until I sat back down! I felt so guilty. I couldn’t believe I didn’t realise… I thought staying at home would be easier but it was so much harder. I thought being at home would let me have more alone time but I actually used my device more. I just was in disbelief. I was unsure even if I should write about it!
I decided that it was best be fully honest! It always seems to be automatic speech that catches me out such as if someone says hi you naturally want to say hi back and I have to stop myself.
I have also noticed over the last couple of days I have been phonating and whistling more. I make a lot more supportive sounds along side my device such as sighing, huffing, saying ‘hmm’. At first I thought this was ‘cheating’. I think it is necessary as there are some things the device can’t do. Sometimes I need to huff and let off steam and typing ‘gahhhhhh’ wasn’t going to cut it! The frustration is so high so I feel that sometimes phonating is a small price to pay for not talking day and night. I don’t even sing in the shower- which I love doing. I am pretty sure my housemates are glad I have stopped for the week as I am a terrible singer. Also the whistling I usually use to get someones attention as I don’t want to click. Sometimes the device can’t get their attention.
I also decided that my last day would be tomorrow at 5pm as this is when our week of awareness ends! I will definitely post a video of my voice here or on twitter when I use it again for the 1st time!
Anywho! I also went to a friends house and was talking to them using my device. It was so strange how different it was. I could feel myself getting so tired and having to use loads of ways to get my message across. They all have been great communication partners for the week. I think everyone has but after discussing with my friend in the car on the way back it has been difficult for them.
It is hard to strike the balance of helping me or talking for me.
Sometimes I do ask them to repeat a point I have said or tell someone else a story but at times when I am trying to type people try and formulate their answer. My friend said that it hasn’t felt like a natural conversation if you read what the device is going to say. They already formulate an answer and it isn’t a surprise unlike a conversation using my voice. This is difficult as usually the other person answers really quick if read my reply and then it is hard for me to catch up. It is a difficult problem!
Usually just being patient and I think trying to resist the temptation is read the device is the best bet in my experience using a device. Of course asking the person what is best for them is the superior way.
Tomorrow I will be talking again which seems very odd to me as I have kinda got use to not talking.
As the week is drawing to a close I was asked how happy I would be if I could talk again. I am unsure in my answer.
I do admit it has been so hard but I feel it has been rewarding on what I learnt about myself and others. I find that others are crucial to help my communication as there is a tendency for my communication to break down a lot and the extra help is needed at times. However I won’t miss the stares and the awkward looks from others. A lot of people are just curious or shocked but for me it feels constant. It feels like everyone is staring all the time and I feel quite vulnerable. I feel also quite lonely and out of the loop this week. It is so hard to get involved in conversation as it goes so fast! However I wouldn’t change the week for the world- perhaps maybe me not talking today!
Anywho! That is it for now! My day using my AAC tomorrow! It has gone so quick!
Thank you for reading and your continued support!