Updated: Mar 30, 2022
I never imagined the word author would appear anywhere near my name. OK it's a guest blog post but still, reading "author" was rather special. You see, I have dyslexia and have really struggled with the written word from the day I first learnt to write at pre-school. And I'm turning 39 next month, this is a huge part of my life. It's actually extends to being able, or not able to say certain words. The frustration sometimes is painful. I can hear the word in my head but physically unable to say. Words on a page just look a bunch of letters. And I really have to focus when reading or writing anything. And don't try to get a response from me while i'm writing, as I will be in another place, having blocked out everything to be able to focus on what i'm doing.
I use to wish people could hear my inner voice as to verbally communicate I had to simplify my response. Its not a stammer (which I do get when public speaking) but its like my tongue can not fit around the words.
I would actively avoid reading and writing. I have such little understanding of grammar, I will sound out because, would, could and should (Should Old Uncle Learn Dancing!) As I've got older i'm less worried of how people respond to my written words. My through is, at least I give it ago and no longer hide due to fear. And fear isn't too strong a word for me to use, it would pause me to the spot, having to write in front of someone, having to read something out. Or knowing someone would read what I have written. Can you imagine having to ask customers how to spell their names or address? One customers had the look of absolute disgust, "what do you mean could you spell that for me?" like I was something on the bottom of her shoe. I will never forget her face or the tone of her voice. Its the first time I called a customer out, politely of course. I explained the difficultly of living with dyslexia and how I would hate to get any of the information wrong for fear of having to ask a customer to spell something. From that day on I would hand the work book to customers to complete their name, address, phone number etc while I got to work on quotes, wrapping etc "to save them time" aka save my embarrassment.
But as the fear and anxiety around writing and reading started to lift, the more confident I became in myself and the less I saw dyslexia as a problem (I really do not see if as a problem, its only a problem with regards to how our educational system works and it fails a lot of incredible people because of it) I realise that those that choose to ridicule me, or the grammar police who rudely point out my mistakes rather than kindly helping, need to look inwards to understand why they have such issue with someone bravely putting themselves out there. So that's what I now do, I bravely put myself out there, I go for it, keyboard first!
I hope that you enjoy and thank you for reading,