I don't know by looking which word in the title is spelled right. Welcome to my life.
I was the reader in church on Sunday, and suddenly the words turned into a bunch of deconstructed letters. I didn't know my place, and I am suddenly back in my elementary school self. My teacher is asking what the next word is. I don't know. My class is laughing at me. I fold my shoulders in. Tears roll down my face.
A page of text can become a puzzle to me in a second. The words will reappear if I wait. Sometimes it takes up to a minute for me to see the separate words again, instead of a page of jumbled letters. But this was something that I didn't know how to communicate with my teacher. She never did try to figure out what was wrong with me. She thought I was a subpar student who refused to try. I was sent to remedial reading to fix the unfixable. It's a battle not to think of myself as a failure even to this day.
After church people came up to me. "We all make mistakes." I'm thinking, I didn't make a mistake. "Were you having a mental breakdown?" You seemed to be laughing and crying at the same time. I said that's what I meant. Long ago, I learned that this is me. I don't apologize for it, even if I am a train wreck.
I love the written word. Stories are my jam. My first stories were picture books because there had fewer words on the page. I remember being laughed at in the fifth-grade for trying to check out a stack of picture books at the school library. The librarian suggested I put them back for the younger kids. I put some back, but I'm still pissed about it.
I read every day, and I'm a writer. Dang, my love for stories is a problem. I just send out the emails and manuscripts and know, yeah, there may be a word or two or three or five or more missing. I blow up the text on novels to picture book size and read away. (Thank God for technology). I'm going to be told that I don't care sometimes, and I don't try sometimes, and that I need to clean up my manuscripts all the time. I won't apologize.
My dyslexia rips into everything I do. There is no way to avoid it, but, as a human being, I want to do something. So I tell my stories. Some days I can't write. The words are a mess and I can't sort them. I call these stagnant water days. Other days I have a few problems. The words flow like mountain streams, clear and fast. So my problem is variable. Tricky.
I am slower than everyone, but I do understand things. I love to learn, but I hate school. Those many Fs for things that I could not help really sucked and have left me with more than a little PTSD. We move forward shattered if we must. Only a few people have really been on the inside of my struggle enough to know what I'm facing daily. I am so grateful when the chose to love me and not fuss when I am continually struggling.
I consider dyslexia a dent-and-scratch disability. I am serviceable. I can get a job done. Don't expect type-A fervor from me. I'm type keep-my-head-above-water.
I hope that reading this makes you understand yourself better or see that quirky person in your life in a new light. Perhaps you can see the beauty of how they are dealing with the winds of this world.
Seize the day!
I close with a doodle for your soul. My interpretation of petroglyphs from Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico.
Here is a quote for your pocket.
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