WARNING-This contains true elements from my life. While it maybe seen as me moaning it basically tells my side of my Dyspraxia. Some will have a worst story, but this is the only one I know in this great detail.
This blog is dedicated to:
– My Family,
– The close friends I keep telling how much they mean to me,
– The supportive adults throughout my life,
– The Dyspraxics, and all those with Learning Differences out there. (This is our battle and this is our time to shine!)
INTRODUCING MY DYSPRAXIC LIFE
Condensed, clipped, cropped and compacted. The story of my Dyspraxia (Popcorn not included.) (Well. I say Condensed, clipped, cropped and compacted. However it is still fairly long; but what can you expect?)
Living with Dyspraxia is an awkward thing. To someone on the ‘outside’ it’s an unbelievable ‘condition’-it’s this attitude which causes most of the frustration and lack of self esteem.
From day-to-day I would change; one day I could be a sharp, calm and smart individual. Another day I could be confused, intolerant and lost.
MY SOCIAL LIFE
Any chance of my social life was squandered from the start. I was different. I was awkward. I was me. Many decided to either ignore or bully me for my differences, I did manage to make a few friends but when tested most of them failed. I can safely account that during Primary School that Sarah Walsh was the greatest friend a person in my predicament could ever wanted. She kept me on the rails while my self esteem was hitting rock bottom…keeping me alive long enough to take actions to secure myself. Believe me, if it wasn’t for her, the lack of self esteem would of pushed me too far and silencing my life before it had a chance to get going.
I had a few friends in secondary school, but many of them liked the way I suffered and didn’t help at all. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make friends as easily as the others. Eventually I had a friend laugh at my suffering and this caused me to snap and became both my darkest and finest hour. My inner demons were released and I no longer cared about people who were against me. I cut myself off from most people and lived my life on my own, keeping one or two friends that I could trust.
There was even a club created for students like me, however even I didn’t fit in there. I was incredibly logical, switched on and creative that they didn’t like me as well as other. Still it meant I was away from the other students and I had my pride and joy. Computers!
I continued to isolate myself away from others and slowly built confidence up in who I was, concentrating on just myself and well being. Eventually progressed back into the social world and gaining a close friend. However they took advantage of my good nature and it turned bitter, then after a 9 year friendship I had enough of them bringing me down and my efforts failing I abandoned the friendship on the other hand by the time the friendship had crumbled I had gained other friends. One who has Dyspraxia too so understands me on quite the high level.
Before having new friends, in 2012, I needed different friends as I was having very bad emotional difficulties at that time through difficulties at work and having no one who truly understood me. I need more friends that know the problems I face, rather than on the outside looking in. So after years of avoiding it I decided that this was the best option. I joined a Dyspraxic Forum – well two – Dyspraxic Teens and Dyspraxic Adults (see Recommended Websites). I made a slight impact on the community, getting understood and also helping others like me. Finally I had found a social escape where I could be myself.
I’m still improving my social skills, with a little guidance along the way. However people can see that I am hurt in such a way that probably cannot be mended, it’s only mild but it’s there. Like a faded scar.
MY SCHOOL LIFE
The teachers throughout my school life was a very mixed bag, however most of them were inconsiderate, lazy ( Oh! the irony!) and stupid. I was a great test of their skills and many failed because they couldn’t be bothered to accept that I had specific learning difficulties, sometimes it was easy and other times it was near impossible…I can accept somethings they couldn’t help but the fact they didn’t even try only shows that they wouldn’t help me. I was a very switched on student throughout school with an incredible mind, amazing creativity and computer skills. Didn’t stop the teachers knocking my self-esteem by saying I never tried and I should apply myself more. I tried my hardest but got nowhere fast.
I was building an incredible mind that was both logical and creative. A deadly mix. However with my mind and self esteem being in utter pieces I couldn’t use it. With the lack of support, the constant bullying and the endless cycle I was beginning to break down. When I was 7 I was thinking of suicide because there was hardly any hope left…however Sarah Walsh’s loyalty kept me going for a year…enough time for a life line to be thrown and I was able to dig myself out.
When I was 14 my self esteem had hit critical low levels, so it was decided by my doctor that I should see a Psychologist before I did something. Piece by piece the Psychologist fitted together my situation and she drew the conclusion that my French lessons were the centre of it all. The teachers were unresponsive to my needs and the other students bullied me severely.
The school didn’t want to take me out of French (despite the fact they put me in isolation every lesson just because I fussed at things and comments being thrown at me). Eventually 10 weeks after the Psychologist’s proposal I snapped as she predicted. However I lashed out against the students from then on I was a ‘potential’ threat to anyone who dared cross my path. Many just called me a legend and I was instantly infamous for my actions. All the others left me alone, it had cost me almost everything but I finally won. Not with ‘sticks and stones’ nor with any teachers’ help-I did it the only way possible. I do not promote violence but sometimes the element is needed to show others you are not to be trifled with. It gained me what I needed for all those years. Respect.
Since that moment my self-esteem rocketed, I gained incredible intelligence and reasoning compared to my previous state, and people found I was a much stronger individual.
However in 6th Form I was given my first taste of ignorance directly at Dyspraxia. I had a teacher (quite high up teacher as well) tell me Dyspraxia didn’t exist. Which is the most evillest thing anyone has said to me throughout my whole childhood. It almost broke me, but I kept on going regardless-still it left a small seed inside my head.
I emerged from School battered with a broken self esteem, I was stable though which was the main thing. These pieces would fit back together but the damage has already been done. I pressed on anyway – Numquam Deficere ~Never Give up
MY COLLEGE AND WORK LIFE
COLLEGE: Oh dear here we go. People (some from my previous school) decided to target me and attempt to bully me here and there. No point in telling the details..just the same old things. After nearly a year one of the culprits decided to invade my personal space..distracted from my work annoyed me as it was the final week to get things done, after being told several times to stop (and even a threat to call the police) I decided not to be walked over like that and hit the guy, who immediately reeled back into the corner..instantly silencing the bullying. I even gained a little popularity from it. For the second time being a threat was the only way to silence those who decide to target me.
My next college course was only 3 weeks, but I was an easy target and ganged upon…the fact that the tutor nor anyone had the fundamentals to understand for the first time since school my self esteem dropped, only to be brought up again from my loyal friends and shear determination. I left the college with high spirits from the fact I got away from the negativity. Again the lack of understanding was spreading countless questions in my head.
My first employment was with Lime Solutions-a business long gone. I was seen for my potential, however I showed up the other workers with my enthusiasm, hard working and creativity. Eventually I was actually replaced by someone slightly older and shoved into a back room doing stapling all day everyday. Ironic because I was suppose to be doing a Customer Service qualification at that time. Probably not related to my Dyspraxia, but it still had a knock on my self esteem; with my high skills I was treated nothing more than an ‘extra’ body. I was suppose to be an Administrator doing e-mails, designing posters, adverts etc. I left the company when my contract ended-no chance of a new one. If I thought Lime was awful then I didn’t know what was to come later.
I was supported well at Green Planet, my second apprenticeship, and my skills were appreciated as I was professional, creative and lived up to each challenge. Then they went into liquidation and I tried to help out where I could but ultimately it wasn’t in my power and they folded. So it was time for me to move on.
My next employment is without a shadow of a doubt the worst employment I could of ever think of. I was heavily discriminated and pushed around by the other work force; heck even the other apprentice joined in to the glee of the other workers. I was Admin and they were steel workers, so there was rivalry, this is how it works in the workplace. However there were 5 of them and 1 of me, so it was an uphill struggle to cope. The main problem also was I had nothing to show for my great work output as it was all paper based that would get filed away or shredded. What they did was hauled out of the shop in vans and trucks. They would treat me like I didn’t matter, an additional cog they could cope without. My self esteem was spiralling rapidly out of control .Then there was the boss and the accountant who made my life living heck and so I was stuck in a 3 way war. The workshop people didn’t like the office or the higher ups, the higher ups didn’t like the workforce and certainly had a thing against me. To make matters worst I was blamed for anything that went wrong because it was easier that way, even things dated back long before I was with them. Some things when I would of still been at school years earlier!
My Dyspraxia was explained countless times over, that my self esteem is always in constant danger, but they had too much fun. One asked if I was “R******d” in a sarcastic evil way while I was on the phone to a customer and couldn’t say anything. I left that company when my contract was up. From that I was glad to be unemployed. I even celebrated my release from the grips of that company.
At this moment I am well supported in a role with Pluss as their Admin Assistant. They understand the needs of those with a handicap, disability, illness or condition. So for once everything has worked out and my confidence is the highest it has ever been.
FURTHER DOWN THE LINE
March 6th 2015 marked my very first ever conference for Dyspraxia, invited along because of my Blog /Facebook set up! Being in backwater city of the UK contact with other Dyspraxics is scarce but now I have made contacts, new friends and a finally the void for 23 years has been filled. My confidence has vastly improved and my friends and peers have noticed the difference.
I cannot really say much about my Dyspraxia that hasn’t already been covered. It was picked up by a school nurse when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I then had it professionally diagnosed. But why had it taken all those years? I had problems before then and the school did nothing to enquire about it…it was painfully obvious that something was very different. Apparently it was laziness (the easy explanation). Dyspraxia has caused me problems and also helped me with solutions, I used to fight my Dyspraxia throughout school…never accepting it and this only caused me more problems. So I embraced it and accepted it as who I was…now I still have the negativity but it seems that my Dyspraxia has now let me use the positives as well. I see Dyspraxia as a real entity, it does exist and all it wanted was someone to accept them…Dyspraxia IS me! Now I have more confidence and has opened more doors…also shutting a few from people who just don’t want to understand.
Inside I am a battered and in pieces. My social skills have improved, but I still don’t fit in anywhere my creativity and logic are far too advanced for my own control. I see things with a greater depth and I cannot control it. The problem will remain is that this is who I am, and unless people will accept that they will not employ me or make me their friend. Honestly, I have friends and I can finally smile at life…but I still press on looking for the next big challenge.
I have mentioned people by name of ones I have got permission from to do so. If you were apart of my life in some form that helped me directly then this is dedicated to you as well.
To save the face of those who abandoned me or never gave me a chance I left you out of it. You’re behind me you have no place in my life, nor here, you had chances and now I use your bitterness and hatred as my fuel for the future.
Because of the pockets of people here and there doing their little bit it helped me get through the tough times; I survived because of them. They indeed know who they are.
I’m calling this blog an aggressive passive approach to the situation-as time passes there will be no excuse for not knowing what Dyspraxia is! With other blogs, plus the resource books and websites-I’m just bring it all together.
Thank you for reading!