From the looks of my education, one would never suspect, I am severely dyslexic.
My dyslexia was a major struggle in the 80’s, when teacher’s did not grasp or understand what dyslexia meant. I was told at a young age, I was stupid and would never make it to college.
My goal was to prove them wrong. I finished college in three years, got my post graduate degree and my MBA. Some day I plan to go back and get my PHD in Shakespeare and a master’s in Landscape Design.
The early years in school were difficult. I was teased…A LOT. You can assume, that the teasing I got back then would be considered bulling in today’s society.
It was hard. I survived. In part due to my close friends and family.
The teasing of childhood will linger like a ghost, haunting me for the rest of my life.
I now see the silver lining. I spent a lot of time, looking from the outside in. I learned to read peoples lips, watch their gestures, and gain insight into who they were and what they were feeling based on their body language. These abilities helped me know when I was welcomed into a group or not. I take it as my sixth sense.
I still struggle with the feeling of being accepted into a group. I still wonder what people say about me. I know because of these insecurities, I have lost some friends. I then realize, if they were true friends, they would not have been lost. Meeting new people, finding my new tribe of friends, is the greatest struggle. Not because I am dyslexic, but because of how my classmates treated me because of my differences as a child. You always wonder– did i come on to strong, was I cool enough, smart enough, did I wear the right thing. It seems strange, to say, much less read this as an adult but the truth is, I will never feel 100% comfortable of who I am because of how I was treated by my classmates as a child.
It is my belief that my childhood defined me in ways I am still learning about.
With my own son, I thought I was going to be a strict parent. HA, I shower him with love ever chance I get. My fear that he might be dyslexic is strong. Since he was in the womb, I have been singing to him the ABC’s. His personal library had over a 100 books by the time he was 1. Lost count since then. I make an effort to show praise when it is deserved. I make an effort to redirect him to figure out the correct way of doing something instead of getting upset.
We do not use the word stupid or dumb in my house.
My outlook on life is different. I try to understand the situation before passing judgement. I find asking questions, getting the full picture helps me figure out how to be apart of the solution.
Life is a puzzle. Most people, I think like to focus only on their section of a puzzle. Not concerned what the bigger picture is. For me, I see all the pieces, as individual pieces, maybe jumbled up; at the same time, I see all those pieces as one. I understand the relationship of how the pieces work together, even if only half the pieces are front side up.
I think I explained it right.
I was trained as child how to survive school, finish homework and make it to the next level. I taught myself, how to survive uneducated bully’s, negative words, and being an outcast, in some respects. As an adult, I still struggle but it’s a different struggle. It is one where I push myself to the next level, focus on channeling my strengths to improve the outcome.
I can’t change my past but I can improve the future.