Category Archives: Rant

1986 Brutal Truth: Sad

Not every day at school was dark, but the saddest were those when I was evaluated.

In 1986, I was tested again and never told of my learning disability; dyslexia.

Every time they pulled me out of class I wanted to cry.

As if trapped in a spotlight without warning, the heat instantly burned my cheeks. Sweat broke within my hairline and my skin grew hot before my teacher could speak my name. The urge to grit my teeth and glare defiantly at my at the chalkboard was strong. Refusal to leave was evident in my unwillingness to move or even look toward the stranger at the door. But, that would have only created an even greater spectacle.

So instead, I render myself invisible by disappearing as quickly and quietly as I could.

My sadness was like a stack of books weighing me down.

Not one destroyed day, in particular, stands out. No actual dates mark my dark calendar of baggage. I only remember being yanked from so many classes at least twice a year.  The slow walk down the empty halls to a yet another tiny office unknown to students was unforgettable. As was, of course, the relentless testing. These memories are impossible to tear from the childhood scrapbook in my mind.

Merely recounting these sessions makes me sad.

Dyslexic Writer; Brutal Truth 1986
Sad

No one ever asked me if I wanted to go. And no one ever told me why I was being tested. In fact, my parent’s weren’t even aware of these back alley assessments. Make no mention of my results.
I knew why I was being tested. I was stupid and THEY (the faceless they that no one ever calls by name or identifies) wanted to know how stupid I really was. They wanted to determine if I was worthy of my current grade or attending an institution.

Staring unfocused at something just over their left ear while allowing spittle to collect at the corner of my lip was tempting. If only to give them something more to report than…

…my inability to read.

But I was terrified of where that may land me.

A kid in my class once said that I was being interviewed for special ed or the community living classes as we called it back then.
The truth was I wasn’t sure what the outcome of my results would produce and fought the strains of tears that threatened.

It was not until university that I discovered that I had a learning disability called dyslexia.

Did they really think that they could pluck me from class for an hour and have me return without notice?

As if, elementary kids are known for their empathy and sensitivity. That the discretion of my classmates not to make mention or ask questions was understood.  Some would say that I was lucky to have a change of atmosphere and would assume that what I went go to do was fun. Until another would not so subtly announce that…

dumb kids don’t get perks.  

It was so unfair and disruptive.  It took hours before something else would steal away their attention.

And, all for what?

It wasn’t as if anything changed. Once my brief absents was forgotten by my fellow students, life returned to normal. I would continue struggling along through school doing my best to blend in and avoid outing my stupidity, until the next surprise evaluation.

This was my reality throughout elementary school. It didn’t occur to me to miss my secret testing sessions until a teacher in grade 12 nearly ruined my high school career. But that’s another story.

I am dyslexic and this is my brutal truth.

 

1984 – Fever

1989 – Panic

1990 – Fear

1992 – Anger

1995 – Fraud

Overwhelmed in Spring

It ‘May’ Not be you!

Is spring overwhelming?

Last year this time, I felt completely overwhelmed.  There was something every day. And by ‘something,’ I mean that one thing that has the potential to flick an entire day into a  tailspin.  It is imperative that I be hyper organized. I am a working mom who volunteers and my kids are enrolled in multiple extracurricular programs.  My husband is the key to daily success. He is almost as essential as the over-crowded, colour coded, calendar.

One thing can derail everything!

A missed appointment, a car in need of repair, or a last minute meeting at the school can throw the entire schedule off kilter. 

When that ‘something’ happens, it is like grasping at ink in water.

 I juggle three and a half lives; mine, my 2 kids and 1/2 of hubby’s  (this is a settled upon agreement). When a wrench is tossed into the mix, all the balls come tumbling down and pummel me into a migraine.

Last May, the dentist had left a friendly voicemail reminding me of an appointment for my son. Unfortunately, I was listening to the message at the exact time that we were expected in the office.  I had been defeated and promptly fell apart.  How could I have missed this? I am organized and put appointments in my phone and on the calendar!  What made me ever believe that I was capable of managing 3.5 lives?  Fail!

Determined not to have this happen again, I programmed a reminder of this dreadful month into my cell. It went off.

Brace yourself!!! It’s May! Mark everything on the Calendar!

I read this and laughed because I was on the ball. All scheduling was in order and under control.

it May not be you
May

A few days later, it happened.

May tends to inspire spontaneous activities.  The nicer weather encourages teachers to hastily squeeze in last minute field trips, fund raiser, and short lived sport events. Everything gets crammed into the last two weeks of May with very little notice to parents.

‘Short notice,’ ‘last minute,’ and ‘spontaneous’ are the sworn enemies of ‘A’ personalities and most highly functional moms (and dads)!

The long weekend in May is a common target date to launch meetings, first practices and exhibition games for summer sports and activities. It’s like a race to schedule before we all lose that Monday. All the while, spring programs are only counting down the number of weekly meets until the end of year celebration. This does not mention the everyday icons on your calendar; vet, dentist, doctors, birthday parties, oil changes, cleat shopping and on and on.

Double bookings are my favourite! You must divide and concur or you will never survive!

 

It is as if May just smiled with a head tilt and said….

“Happy Mother’s Day!”  

 

Now, every appointment, activity, and obligation you have ever known will come crashing down upon you in the form of a voicemail, permission form, or phone notification.

What I am trying to say is, that it May not be you!  You May be highly functional and uber organized; May is not. In fact, it was sent here to test our sanity and remind us that sometimes, some things just cannot be done.

You are not alone. May you remain calm and stress-free.  June is on its way! Give yourself a break!