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by Marie
Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #2257433
The experiences I have lived with most of my life because of a learning disability.
I was eight years old in second grade when I began to notice the kids in my class always had the answers when called on and I never did. I remember the year was 1947 and the reason I remember that date is because I can still see it written on yellow lined paper with a black led pencil. The teacher wanted us to put the date up in the right hand corner of our paper and I never could remember the date. I stayed back in second grade and that was the beginning of the rest of my life. I won't drag you through all of the agonizing experience I had, just the ones that are still with me. Forth or fifth grade, walking home from school I threw one of my books in the bushes because I didn't understand my homework and would skip school the day test were given.

In the summer my two brothers went outside to play after they finished the chores and I sat at the kitchen table with my mom trying to teach me math, how to tell time and spell simple words. She painted pictures on the back of big sheets of wallpaper, balloons, apples, balls, and a big clock with moving hands. I also heard often, " Why can't you get this stuff right like your brothers do."

The sad thing is I also looked bad, very skinny, straight brown hair, a big space in the middle of my teeth, my eyebrows grew right across my forehead meeting each other. Also I was left handed, no one but me in my class was left handed and I had one front tooth that was black! It seems I fell on my face one day on the sidewalk hitting my teeth, nice. I quit school a few days after I turned sixteen, who would of guessed.

So now we'll go to my adulthood. I never thought about it catching up on me like it did. The first time was with my kid sister. She's still in her teens and I'm married with one child. I remember the very day, we were in the post office and I said something to her, I don't remember what it was but after she answered I felt much younger then her and way less knowledgeable, she was going past me in the brain department. The second time was even worse because this time it was my teenage daughter. We were in the yard at our home in Texas and after I got done telling her something she kindly corrected me, very scary. And then came the worst, I wrote a nice letter to my granddaughter who's about ten or twelve and a week later I see my letter on her dresser in her bedroom with corrections made on my spelling.

Still I did pretty good bluffing my way through life. I had many good jobs, wrapping meat in the supermarkets, working in the insurance company, worked at a double wide factory hanging the curtains in all the rooms, cleaning, staining, trimming, and final inspection. At forty I got my GED, ya ! I got a job at a workshop as a therapeutic technician working with adults that had retardation issues, or as the correct way of saying today is ( special needs ). I remember one day saying to a co-worker and good friend, they don't know things like I don't know things, the difference is, they don't know that they don't know things, I know that I don't know things, that I'm stupid!

One day I received an Awake magazine, on the cover was written, Does Your Child Have Learning Problems? I still have that magazine, May, 1983. I read it and then I went to our library and got several books on learning disabilities. As I read them I cried, it was me, everything I was reading was about me. My mom was telling me on the phone one day that my dad shuts down when he gets nervous or if someone is giving him directions to some place, so I guess that tells you who I got it from. I can't read road maps, can't drive far from home, can't follow directions when to many are given, then I shut down! Oh, and I can get lost in very large buildings. We with poor learning skills tend to shut down, became great con artist in that we have ways of squeezing out of tough situations if we're called upon. We do much better with visual information then reading things.

Now that I've read all this important information in these books I got, it's answered so many things I had wondered about. I was an intelligent person, much more then many other people so how can this be. Why did I have so much trouble learning something when so many others didn't? Well now I know and I'm not afraid to admit it, no more shame. The bright side of all of this is people like myself are very creative and artistic and that I am!

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