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Woman Says She Refuses To Use Sign Language With Deaf Cousin Because She's Rude — Even Though She Knows How

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Women using sign language

A woman is using a somewhat ableist form of revenge against her "bully" cousin — she refuses to use American Sign Language (ASL) around her despite knowing perfectly well how to.

She made the controversial confession in Reddit's "TrueOffMyChest" subreddit, a place where users share their deepest secrets in a judgment-free zone.

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She learned sign language recently but refuses to let her deaf cousin know.

The Reddit post began with the woman describing her cousin as a “nightmare” and a “bully” growing up.

"She didn’t change as an adult," her disgruntled cousin adds.

"She’s the type of person where nothing is ever good enough. She always comes before everyone else, no matter what. She did nothing wrong, and even if she did, you deserved it. If you disagree, then you're harming her and need to apologize immediately."

The entire family avoids this cousin like she is the plague. There are only a few times when she is obligated to see her, and that is at Christmas or Thanksgiving. 

Her grandparents of the family “hate” the way the cousin acts, but they are “peacekeepers” so nothing gets done about it. 

For the last few years, the woman had been learning ASL since her girlfriend’s brother was deaf. She wanted to show her girlfriend that the people important to her are important to the woman as well. 

“I’m not fluent yet, but I can hold and understand a conversation,” she wrote.

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At her family's Thanksgiving, she caught her cousin signing rude things about the family.

She says that now that she too understands ASL, she decided to keep her skill to herself until she could see her cousin's true colors.

"My cousin acted like her usual self once we sat down. Since she can’t read lips well, she relies on her parents to tell her what’s going on," the woman writes, explaining that her cousin communicates with her parents using sign language which, ordinarily, no one else at the table would understand,

"I finally felt confident enough to translate, so I snuck glances at her throughout the night."

The first thing she saw her cousin sign was about her brother’s newborn baby, which she deemed as ugly.

The second thing was "how awful" a cook her grandma and aunts were.

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"She really topped herself when she said my 14-year-old cousin looked like a wh-re," the Reddit user adds.

"As the dinner went on, she started getting visibly upset and kept complaining about being left out."

The Reddit poster's cousin grew increasingly frustrated as the night progressed and eventually had a "full-on meltdown."

Her cousin got upset and "yelled" at the family for being too lazy to learn ASL.

"When her parents calmed her down, they gave us a gentle lecture about how much it would mean to her if we learned," the post reads.

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However, the woman insists on keeping her ASL knowledge a secret.

"I will never tell my cousin that I know. She may get away with everything, but I will make damn sure she gets nothing good from me," she writes.

“I would prefer that my relatives never found out about the awful things she has said about them.”

One user had interesting insights on the matter: "I'm not saying her behavior is at all acceptable, but I imagine not being able to communicate with your entire extended family your whole life can feel pretty isolating."

"It's not acceptable, but it's honestly understandable that she feels so bitter about your family."

Another user wrote "I dunno man, maybe if my entire life the only family members who ever made an effort to speak to me were my parents I'd be angry and bitter as well."

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Taylor Haynes is a writer based in Chicago. She writes for Entertainment & News at YourTango. You can find her on Instagram here.

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