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Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

Co-Worker Made Fun of my Deaf Partner

I've mentioned before that my Darling is Deaf and that we communicate in asl (american sign language), but I'm not sure if I mentioned the mean and hurtful comments people have said to me for him being Deaf. While I got most of them when we first started dating and have all but disappeared after three years together, alhamdulillah. 

No one bothers us when we sit together and talk in the breakroom or in the McDonald's at work, although sometimes with new associates, there can be some staring or questions. But beyond that, nothing offensive or hurtful is said towards my Darling, that is until last week. 

It was a pretty nice day at work. I was well chuffed, because I got my break at the same time as my Darling had his lunch and we got to sit together and talk ;3 Afterwards, I was in a really good mood and went on with my day until an hour or two later. I went to the bathroom and ran into one of my friends from a different department (obviously not anymore). My friend, Martha*, saw me and turned to tell me she'd been on break at the same time as me and had waved and felt snubbed. Obviously, I apologised and started to explain that I hadn't seen her and that sometimes when I'm talking to him since I have to be looking at him to "hear" what he's saying.

At first I thought this would be end of it, especially since she hadn't said anything so it was an honest mistake on my part. Unfortunately, she cut me off and said, 'Oh. I KNOW.' and then began doing the most offensive and hurtful thing I've experienced in a long time:

She opened her eyes wide until they looked like they were about to pop out and began moving and shaking and waving her hands and arms around in all directions while also wiggling her finger around. At the same time, she was grimacing and making the ugliest faces imagineable while opening and closing her mouth repeatedly in an exaggerated way. Her eyes were just going all over the place and all together, it made me feel absolutely stunned and rooted in place. I stood there, a sick feeling growing in the pit of my stomach and expected her to stop. She didn't. Instead, she continued this for what felt like hours (although I'm sure it was only a few minutes), the whole while my face burned and I felt like I couldn't breathe. 

I'd like to say I said something or told her to stop, but I was just too shocked and flabbergasted to do anything but stare at her. After it became clear she wasn't going to stop, I turned quickly and ran out of the bathroom, fighting back tears. It wasn't the first time someone had mentioned my Darling "making faces" when he signed, but it was so hurtful and upsetting, I couldn't comprehend it at first. I went back to my department and it was only then, that it really started to upset me. Maybe the shock had worn off? I'm not sure. But as I tried to go back to work, I remember thinking to myself, What the hell just happened?! What year is it? Is it the 1600s? How could someone I considered a friend do that? 

All at once, it seemed like a million questions were sworming through my mind at once and as it was a slow day, I was left to myself to dwell on the matter and found myself getting more and more upset. She never came over to me and apologised, instead she just avoided me for the rest of her shift, which only made things worse. It was like she knew what she'd done was hurtful, but instead of taking responsibility and apologising, she'd decided to just avoid me and pretend nothing had happened. 

When I went to lunch, I ran into my Darling and when he smiled and waved at me, I immediately burst into tears. He rushed over and asked what was wrong? What happened? I told him about what my co-worker had done (she was no longer someone I considered a friend) and showed him and he got angry and started shaking his head in disgust. All at once, it was like someone had turned on a faucet and the tears started pouring out. I told him through tears that it didn't matter if she thought it was a joke or she 'didn't mean it', it wasn't alright. At the end of the day, he's still a human with feelings and emotions and he's just a normal man that can't hear, that's it. He hugged me and told me not to cry, it pissed him off and he thought it was bullshit, but it didn't hurt him and he didn't want it to hurt me.

It's been almost a week since it happened and while I've seen Martha* since, it's obvious from the way she acts and talks to me that she knows she messed up. While before, she'd hug me or be very lively and talkative, now she mostly avoids me and looks like she's physically in pain when she talks to me. The one time she hugged me, she left a few inches between us and seemed afraid to touch me. It's sad since I thought we were good friends and this has completely destroyed our friendship. But the fact that she refuses to apologise for what she did and instead decided to just avoid me really speaks volumes. 

*name changed

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