HELENA OF SWEDEN
LIFE AS A CODA
As I watched @codamovie Saturday night tears were falling down my cheeks as much as I was laughing out loud. What most of you probably don’t know, is that I am a CODA myself (Child of Deaf Adult). Born & raised by two deaf parents, my siblings & I grew up in a slightly different world than most kids. The movie beautifully captured this life; the separation, clash & collaboration between the deaf & hearing worlds. As a CODA we are the binders, translators, and when you are a child; still JUST A KID! It becomes natural to be the ears for your parents and sometimes also the mouth. It’s a team effort to help the family. Even our dog contributed by notifying our mom when the doorbell or phone rang. She would go up to my mom every time the doorbell or phone rang. Our dog would make sure mom saw her and then give off a bark and changing her body language to read something along the line of "come here" or "follow me" and she would lead my mom to either the phone or the door.
Communication made different
My siblings & I always had a love for dance, acting, music, the arts. We weren’t able to share this with our parents in the same way as other kids. My passion for dancing was shown in motion only and not in a partnership with the music. My sisters passion for acting was shown in facial expression and body language and never in words. My brothers passion for music was shown in settle movements of fingers and hands playing the instruments as well as watching the audience react but never about the music and lyrics. Despite the differences in experience, they still showed support & love. Day after day for years they encouraged & drove us to EVERY practice & watched every performance. I would never have reached the heights that I have in dance without my family’s support and sacrifice.
My parent couldn’t help with homework requiring pronunciations, reading, learning a different language; we had to figure it out on our own. At home we spoke fluently with each other but with other people we always had to adjust one thing or another. Us kids functioned in the deaf world and in the hearing world. We understand both in a way, yet we have a unique set of views being an "outsider" in all situations. Yet, we always felt more included because we had to be. The differences in the way the two worlds communicate brought us closer.
A glimpse into life as a CODA:
Imagine having to blink lights or stomp on the floor really hard to get someone’s attention…
Imagine sitting on the toilet & there is no more toilet paper… You kick open the door, throw everything you can reach out hoping it would catch someone’s peripheral vision, screaming with different tones hoping something would hit the right vibration to trigger their hearing aids…
Imagine growing up in a household with love. My Life & family I wouldn’t trade it for the world! A deaf parent may not be able to hear but the most important thing we can communicate to each other needs no words, Love 🤟🏼
Thank you MOM!
Thanks for producing this movie @sianheder.director
Congratulations to the Oscars @troykotsur
Amazing work @danielndurant @themarleematlin @emiliajonesy @ederbez
If you haven't seen the move do so now! Played on AppleTV
By Helena of Sweden Helena Berggren
THE HELSA METHOD