I hated school because I struggled, both socially and academically. Okay, let me rephrase that, I liked school, but school didn’t like me. I found it difficult and isolating. I had no understanding of why I struggled, I just knew I did.
Why I struggled to learn would only become apparent to me years later, I struggled because of neurological difficulties and rewiring from cerebral palsy. I never stood out, I merely existed; or perhaps I did stand out, because it was obvious I was different. I was slow to learn and struggled academically and with my handwriting. As I said earlier, I still have my handwriting to deal with. It’s not like a broken leg where everyone can see the problem and can sympathise.
Handwriting is something we learn at an early age. I’m embarrassed that it is something I struggle with, but to keep it a secret would make me feel worse. I hope that writing this book will show others that we all have something we struggle with, therefore we shouldn’t feel embarrassed, or bad. Others need to understand what we deal with.
When it came to school, falling behind was a daily occurrence and being told to speed up on my handwriting was another. When the rest of the class had already got their notes down from the board, I was lagging behind.
I find it irritating that in my school years, my teachers never ever asked why I was struggling. In school I was slow to understand even the basics of what I was being taught. For me to take stress and anxiety away, I emotionally withdrew. My school reports highlighted issues, all of which were ignored. There was also no follow-through between home, school, and parents’ evenings, or the grades on my reports.
Although my parents could see I struggled, and mum had her concerns, my father always said I would catch up. In the meantime, I was continually being picked on in school, for a lack of substance in my homework and schoolwork. I didn’t know my lack of ability had anything to do with my neurological impairments and cerebral palsy, because I didn’t know about either, but I did begin to sense as much.
There was no joined-up thinking. I was well-behaved in school, but mentally I had already given up. Growing up, I was considered lazy. If anyone thought I was stupid, they didn’t say it to my face. The irony is that this wasn’t a lazy issue, I was struggling mentally and academically through a disability I didn’t know I had, and with no support, I continued to struggle even more. Years later, my successful studies and website show a different story.
With the right support and guidance from home and school I know I could have achieved a little more. Although it would take me many years to work out how to learn and be successful, I have now found a different way to learn that works for me.