Dyslexia and Me: L is for Laughing
I was Tweeting yesterday with @MyDyslexicWorld (please give them a follow!) about dyslexia and learning to laugh at it. It made me think that this was a very important point that I wanted to bring up in my #blogging4charity series! So L is not for learning or language, it is for being able to laugh at your quirks and mistakes.
Dyslexia can be very frustrating at times. I have been prone to throwing strops because I don’t think I’m able to do something I feel I should be able to do, such as writing academic essays for university. My poor laptop is usually at the end of the abuse, it has been threatened with flying lessons from the top floor of three of the places I’ve lived over the last 4 years. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, it’s more than just reading and writing that becomes a frustration, with socialising also being quite a daunting experience at times. Organisational skills are also an area that can be a problem and short-term memory.
When I work, I am very conscious that my time keeping is pretty bad. I often overestimate how much time I have, so when I have a job or a bus to catch I try to get to I try to leave as early as possible. I just don’t like hanging around for ages. However, if you ask my friends about my time keeping… Well! It’s definitely been an ongoing joke for a long time! I met up with an old friend from school a few years ago and of course, I was late. She laughed and said, ‘yeah, you haven’t changed a bit! Late as ever!’ It’s usually due to a reason such as not remembering where the hell I put my keys!
I now have my keys on a lanyard with about 6 different keyrings, so if I can’t find them in a pile of clothes, I can kick the pile and hear them. When people see my keys they tend to laugh at how many keyrings I have on them. They are heavy and they do look pretty funny. They tell a bit of a story about me too, with loads of music related keyrings alongside Spongebob Squarepants and two Chinese style keyrings that my Chinese flatmates in Ireland gave me when we were living together. Finding strategies that work for you is key (pun intended). I could try to be tidier. In fact, I have tried to be tidier many times over the years, but it never lasts very long. As soon as I tidying things away, I can’t find the things I am looking for.
Saying or writing the wrong word can be embarrassing at times. When it’s among good friends though, it is something that you can laugh at. It’s happened to me a number of times. Also when I have misheard something someone has said, repeating back what I thought I heard has provided many comical moments. Many tears of laughter have been shed over my weird interpretations of what’s been said to me. Even reading posts on social media where I have misread or misunderstood something. I have an example of this from today. I misread a friend talking about a book called ‘Maze Runner’ which my brain had picked up as ‘Crystal Maze’ for some bizarre reason! I haven’t seen that program in a long time, though it was one of my favourites. It lead to a conversation about the Crystal Maze and how we would yell at the TV when the contestants weren’t doing the task fast enough or leaving the room in time! Funny memories from a complete misreading on my part!
I worked in a shop for a couple of years. It was the best job I have ever had! I never woke up in the morning thinking, ‘oh no! I have work today!’ This was before I was diagnosed with dyslexia, I only assumed from a quick assessment at college that I was. One of my work colleagues had dyslexia too! We were often asked to look up certain products on the computer system which was interesting if you couldn’t work out the spelling. He asked me a couple of times if I could spell something for him, forgetting I had the same problem as he had, and found I spelt it exactly the same way! We’d then laugh about it, ask the customer if they could spell it for us because both of us were dyslexic and we couldn’t work out between us how to spell it. Often the customer would laugh at our honesty and help out. There was the odd snooty customer who obviously thought that neither of us should be working there if we couldn’t spell!
The funniest instant was where a customer asked me for something that I interpreted as ‘warrior ducks’, in fact he had asked me for ‘Warrior Dubz’. The customer’s wife thought this was the funniest thing ever and it caused much hilarity! They became some of my favourite customers and I constantly wound him up about what he was looking up. ‘Army Giraffes today is it?’ Little did I know at this point that there was a link between dyslexia and audio processing!
5 years ago I was diagnosed with dyslexia. It came as a relief after so many years of thinking I was stupid or ‘slow’. I have had to work out my different quirks and whether it’s a personal trait or a dyslexic one. Often my funniest ‘quirks’ are actually linked to my dyslexia and so I have been learning to live and to laugh at it. Yes, it can be frustrating, it sometimes holds me back or slows me down, but it has caused some very funny moments over the years!
This post is part of a series trying to help me to raise money for Dyslexia Action. You can donate as little as £1! To find out more, head over to: https://www.justgiving.com/DyslexiaAndMe