This post is a little different to my normal book blogging ones. I’ve said in a couple of my other rambling posts that I like to use my blog for my thoughts too. Somewhere I can talk about my situations or happenings in life. This post is, however, more personal than any of the others and it focuses a bit on my identity. I’ve recently become a ‘labelled’ student and I just wanted to have time to take a break from work and zone myself out to talk about it.
When my sister first started uni, she went in for a test to see whether she was dyslexic. Turned out she was. The thought of that was crazy because she has top GCSE results and equally great Alevel results. It made me question if I was too. I never reached the grades my sister got, but there were certain things I did notice that made me think that it could be possible.
Jump forward to when I started uni, four years later (my sister now being in her final year), and I signed up for a screening. They asked me a series of questions about my learning and my concerns for why I thought I’d need a test. A few weeks later, I had a diagnostic test. It was at around two hours long, full of visual, literacy and short term memory tasks. At the end of the test, she told me something that really hurt. At the beginning, before we even started, she asked what I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to go into book publishing. At the end of the test, she explained a simple outline of what she discovered, although it was yet to be set solid, she said she’d need to go over a few things. She then told me I wouldn’t be able to do the writing side of publishing. If I can’t do the writing side, that means she’s saying I shouldn’t write.
A couple of days later, it was confirmed I am dyslexic.
I received my report and was told to book an appointment so that a specialist would go over the information with me. I booked it straight away. But I was left with a week to myself to read my results of my diagnostic report. I found it a very emotional experience as I went through primary school, secondary school and college without knowing I was dyslexic, it could of helped me with a lot of my subjects. I read it through the first time and took a note of what I did wrong and left it at that.
Jump to the next week where I had my appointment with a dyslexia specialist. He went through my report in further detail explaining to me what and why I had now become a ‘labelled’ student (he did use that term exactly). He also went into lengths in explaining that the idea of being ‘labelled’ wasn’t a bad thing because I can now get the help I need. He also said that being dyslexic does not make anyone less intelligent to others. He made sure to point out the things that I achieved over the average to show that. But upon this appointment, I found out that my literary skills were my weakest. My reading is poor. My phonetics are also bad. This is what gets me. I know that with this dyslexia label, I can now get the help that I need to better my learning and adjust better, but being told the thing you most enjoy is your weakness isn’t one of the happiest experiences. All in all, I am a little heartbroken.
And now that brings me to where I am now. Lost and more than confused on what I even want to be when I graduate. The thought of me even finishing this course sounds even more daunting especially since I don’t seem to be good at what I’m studying. I suddenly feel so much weaker because I need this extra help to get me to where an average person is. I suddenly feel intimidated by everyone…people in my course, people who write books, people who write blogs (!) because I’ve always noticed how much better their English is compared to mine and being labelled makes it that much worse. It’s scary because I’m now thrown into a situation where I notice all my errors and wrongs and where I’ve normally dealt with just accepting them as being me, I know it’s because I’m dyslexic. I hate being aware of it.
I knew beforehand that being an editor would be so difficult for me anyway because of my narrow reading, yet I still wanted to be able to interact with the text of the books. But I’m in a subject so heavy in writing, I feel like I’ve made the wrong choice. Maybe I should of picked something that was something visual (that was one of my good scores).
Having said all my concerns, I know that there are dyslexic authors out there who have written and published books and have have huge success over them. I know I am not the only one to have been diagnosed as an adult. Yes, it will get some time to get used to. I’m just hoping it’ll happen sooner because it’s making me feel a little low at the moment.