Deaf man keeps daughter a secret from his disrespectful family

Aabha Gopan

Should one value a family that doesn’t care for them?

The life of a deaf person can be difficult as they navigate through life differently. But they can face and overcome any hardship with a loving family. Parents of a deaf child can guide them through daily activities, which require them to put in more effort.

But some parents are scorned by their families and, consequently, feel ashamed of the deaf child.

This topic was highlighted in a recent Reddit post about a deaf man who didn’t tell his family that he had a daughter. The online post went viral with 13.3K upvotes and 1.4K comments and was published in Newsweek by Taylor McCloud.

Is it right to undermine a deaf person’s achievements?

The author starts the post by saying that he (36 years old) and his wife (35 years old) are deaf and only meet his family for weddings, funerals, and other family events.

He explains that he has never been close to his family, which included grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncle, a brother, and father because they couldn’t look past his deafness. They only took minimum interest and responsibility in bringing him up. They fed and clothed me but never tried to know him. Although he could talk and read lips, he was often left out of their conversations. He specifies that they didn’t even learn sign language for him.

Not the least, his family didn’t make any effort to get to know his wife either. His family thinks they’re both stupid and incapable of anything because they can’t hear. The author says that his family treats them like children, even in their mid-30s.

In reality, he and his wife are well-settled with healthy bank account balances, go on vacations, and are about to buy a new house. However, his family thinks that his wife’s family helps them out financially and walks them through daily activities like grocery shopping. They don’t acknowledge that he and his wife are intelligent and perfectly capable individuals who do well for themselves.

On the other hand, the author’s brother, who isn’t deaf, is very close to his family. But he doesn’t have a stable, good job or relationship and regularly mooches off others. Despite this, his family deems him capable and smart. The author adds that his brother treated him poorly and his family let him do that.

Due to these reasons, the author kept his family away from his wife and their 2-year-old daughter. He and his wife mutually decided that his family need not be involved in their daughter’s life.

They felt it wouldn’t be healthy if she were exposed to people who didn’t treat her parents with dignity. Also, they were concerned she wouldn’t be treated well if she were deaf (but she isn’t).

All humans should be treated with respect.

Although the United Nations exclaims, “All human beings have the right to be treated with dignity and respect,” disabled people have been denied these. And it's necessary that one cuts out such toxic people from their life.

As for the author, his brother found out about his daughter a few weeks ago, and they’re upset that he didn’t tell them about her. They blame his wife, thinking she asked him not to. They also accused the author of keeping her from his family, who could have raised her differently.

Now, the author feels he should have introduced his daughter to his family because it includes many kids her age.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comment box.

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Writes about popular Reddit threads to give insight into the different types of people in society.

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