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What Dyslexia Really is!
What Dyslexia Really is!
By Martin Camp
In this article I would like to make it as true as possible to my personal experience with Dyslexia. I have left the article the way it looks to me as a Dyslexic the spelling the grammar all where to me looks and feels correct. The only assistance being that of the corrections word offers me. If it is a struggle for you to read then you can understand how I felt writing it.
According to the British Dyslexia Association Dyslexia is about information processing: dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear. This can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills. Dyslexia is one of a family of Specific Learning Difficulties. It often co-occurs with related conditions, such as dyspraxia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder. On the plus side, dyslexic people often have strong visual, creative and problem solving skills and are prominent among entrepreneurs, inventors, architects, engineers and in the arts and entertainment world. Many famous and successful people are dyslexic.
Dyslexia to most people means you can’t spell you doesn’t know how to use grammar and you don’t read very well. To some people it is a frustration; it is a desperate need to correct us. But what is it really? Let me tell you: Dyslexia is the biggest pain in the arse, it is hard work and it is one of the biggest life effecting problems I have. How does it affect me? I cant sit and read a book because I will read the first line then I will read the first line again and then I will read the first line again and then I will be in the middle of the page somewhere wondering what the hell just happened. The words I read in a book they don’t sink in they don’t go anywhere and there for have no use to me witch is hard. The next problem is spelling, I have no understanding of some words I cant see or hear the difference between to and too or their and there and witch and which, I post on social media and rather than a response to what I am discussing you get the “Grammar Nazi’s” correcting my spelling. I will sit trying to work out how to spell a word and no matter how I do it I cant make it look rite, I go on Google to find the correct spelling but even that thinks my spelling is so bad it cant even identify the word I am looking for.
So that was spelling and reading. The 2 bits you expect o hear about when people discuss dyslexia or hear about dyslexia, But now lets get on to the next part.
Dyslexia makes understanding hard if you tell me something there is a high chance I will not remember it, if I am asked to do something I will not remember to do it. Even my mind is hard to understand. If you question me about something I have a huge amount of knowledge about but expect me to be able to tell you any of that when you ask me then you are out of luck. Translating my thoughts to vocal language is next to impossible. This doesn’t seem to bad but try being in a situation where you need to talk about yourself you need to think of a discussion to keep things going smooth you need to justify yourself to someone who is doubting something you have done or said, you need to stand up for your beliefs in a debate, how do I do this? My response or the words that come out of my mouth are uh eh um hhmmm with a couple of big words I heard on TV to make it sound a bit better.
How has this lead to affect me? This is the area that fellow dyslexics I hope can relate to in some ay shape or form, and this is the area you none dyslexic people will learn what it is really like to have dyslexia.
I put up with years and years of bullying, my school life set in the “special” class for stupid people! School was the worst experience in my life. I hear so many people say how they wish they could go back and do it again. I just think I wish I could go back and make it never happen. I had “friends” at school but even they played a part in what I would experience. Suffering from the symptoms I have mentioned previously it lead to me being treated like I was a idiot who never said the rite things never said anything funny. Never being able to justify myself meant I got beaten up on many occasions for stuff I had no involvement in. Being asked if I did something and me trying to explain how I didn’t do something makes me appear the same way someone does when they are lying the stuttering, the thinking and the sounds between words. Being incapable of these things have a chain of events all these chain of events start at the beginning of education where you are tested on the dyslexic symptoms. You start reading writing spelling understanding grammar and you begin to feel inadequate.
My story starts with the above, I struggled my way through school years. I have a copy of every school report from every year at school and it upsets me when I look back at it. I had always had extra support things didn’t seem to bad but come year 9 of school when you begin getting tests ready for the last 2 exam years. Having a set amount of time even though I was given extra time to read the questions and come up with a good answer is so hard because you spend most of the time reading the same question over and over again trying to make it sink in and make sense to you. Then you need a answer. How does someone come up with a answer when they struggle to translate their thoughts how do you read a question and remember it when even the slightest sniff will distract you. Every time I had to do something at school I felt inadequate I felt useless I felt stupid. When other pupils catch on to this they begin treating you like you are stupid. I knew other people who had dyslexia and they could stand there own they would get bullied for being “stupid” but they would defend themselves. They would still get bullied after but they had some defence. How does a pacifist like myself do this? So being “stupid” lead to bullying, bullying lead to more bullying because I became a easy target. I would and don’t defend myself and I most definitely have never and will never fight back I became a punch bag for damaged people used to relieve there frustration. At the end of my time at school a group used this power over me and it lead to me having a group of 20 people taking it in turns punching me running away was not a option after my first attempt. How does it feel having someone hold round your neck whilst he punches you in the stomach whilst another threatens to put a cigarette out in your eye then having the rest of the group take turns hitting you until the last guy asks you to kiss his shoe with the intention of kicking you in the face, Witch no one around to help no one to stop it not one to make it go away. I walked away from that event laughing to myself the only emotion I could express was laughter. Covered in blood and bruises thinking about how being “stupid” being unable to express myself properly has lead to me living like this. I used to go home wishing I was dead. I used to go of for the day instead of going to school until my parents thought the best way to teach me that lesson was to take me to the police station and have a officer scare me. But even then after what I had experienced after friends and strangers both bullying me in some way shape or form it came to me that I had been alone for some years I had aquantenses friends didn’t exist in my life because even the “friends” I had treated me life dirt.
I know bullying isn’t a symptom of dyslexia but it’s a example of how dyslexia can effect your life. After school I hid away I went to college far from home so I didn’t need to spend time in the area but even at college dyslexia had the upper hand it made it hard for me to progress so I dropped out since then I have made 3 more attempts at education and all end with me dropping out. The pressure of learning is too much for me to handle it agitates me. I spent a few years wasting my time and wasting my life I would steal money from my parents I would steal from acquaintances I would steal from work I became someone I hated. I hated eating I used cannabis to calm me and make me feel separated from the problems in my life. I became a mess of a person absent to the world, UN sociable and unable to function like a normal human being. In the end a visit from the police being arrested and interviewed about some theft I had been up to was a bit of a eye opener for me. 2009 I took a trip to a rehab in South Africa. I worked on my problems around food but mostly what I got out of it what I wanted to change was I hated myself and I needed to learn how not to be a dick. I learned to accept my problems and I learnt how to handle life when it is hard.
For any years I blamed how I was and who I was on the people that bullied me but I learnt that it wasn’t them they did it because they have there own problems like any other human does. What caused me to be a target what caused me to be the person they came to was my dyslexia. Dyslexia made me feel useless, lonely, inadequate, stupid and worthless. So the next time you think its just poor spelling think again because it is a hell of a lot more than that. It is shit!!! It is a lifetime of hell!! It is something that can grab you and never let you go unless you learn ways to deal with it.
What do it do now? How do I manage my dyslexia? I do what I can to avoid conflict with my dyslexia sometimes that is unavoidable. Even writing this it is near impossible and a hard job. I have my daughter screaming and I have my partner talking I have lights flashing and every time something happens I loose where I am and I am then faced with dyslexia making me read what I have written over and over again until I remember or work out what the hell I was talking about.
I am a creative person a trait that is common in dyslexics I play guitar, drums, sing, piano, any instrument really give it to me and I will have the basics down in a day or 2, I like to produce music, I like photography, drawing, animating, writing music, filming, designing, and Skateboarding. As a dyslexic if I struggle I start the feeling useless and feeling rubbish stuff again so I am lucky enough to have a love for so many things that if I am writing a song and think this sounds great we are all good but then it starts to sound rubbish in the past I would get angry take it out on myself or any objects around me but now I can go away from it and just do something else. If I have idea it must be done there and then. I have got out of bed at 2 in the morning and been up writing a song all night because I had to get the idea out of my brain. This article I thought about writing it and I have to do it now or it will never happen. If I need to write anything and I get stuck with a word at the point I would generally get angry I re word it all in a way I can get close to spelling. A high majority of my dyslexia I manage to avoid. My memory I manage until it becomes a problem in the household then I don’t know how to explain myself. The almighty “grammar Nazi’s” are unavoidable and they continue to upset me. The smallest correction can send me on a downer for the day. I don’t like getting help because the thought of being corrected pains me. But most of all, the thing that helps me the most is acceptance. Dyslexia isn’t curable people think they can help you with it but it will always be there. By accepting I can’t spell accepting I cant read accepting I can’t translate my thoughts accepting I cant read a book that everyone is raving about. I handle this if the book is worth reading then they will most probably bring out a movie, if you don’t like my spelling then that is not my problem you can get the gist of what I am saying and you understand what I am saying. I don’t need to justify myself I can avoid conflict with people by not arguing my beliefs. They are my beliefs no one else has a requirement to agree with them or know them. Dyslexia is a constant struggle even today and recovering from it is not an option but learning how to avoid it effecting you is possible. I struggle to work I cant hold down a job because dyslexia holds me back somewhere down the line and either ends with me getting fired for some rubbish reason to justify not being good enough to fill the roll. The current issue with that is I have a family to think about, a soon to be wife, a daughter and a stepson all in witch I have a duty to supply for. Dyslexia has help me back from progressing in a career I have skills but they are all in a area that is very hard to earn a living from. I feel destined to be stuck in low paid work destined to work in retail. I do not want this as it will not help me become the man I dream of being. Dyslexia makes my dream hard. A lot of very well known people have the same issues as me some are capable of putting full focus in to success other in the rite place at the rite time some mild some extreme. I like to see my dyslexia as quite a extreme case and I hate it I hate having it I hate being help back because I know I could be something great I could be a icon a hero to my family but I know it is incredibly hard to get out of the place I am currently.
Writing this article has forced me to face everything I hate about dyslexia and I have tested my temper a few times in the process. But in the end has it been worth it? Some will relate some will judge some may go through and correct every error in my writings, but as long as 1 person gets something from it then it has served its purpose. I want people to know what dyslexia involves what we need to struggle through and even when things are great it still causes problems for us. There is a lot of negativity in this but the focus for me is relating what it causes. I would have liked it to be like most things the person writing it has fixed the problem and writing about the up rise of how good things are now but I would be lying dyslexia was shit it is shit and it will always be shit and it will always be there to get me. Dyslexia is like its own form of depression but with dyslexia it will never go.
For my next Article titled Dear Teacher, Love From Dyslexia please CLICK HERE