Category Archives: Disability

Transition

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  • I’m disappointed in a few of my poet friends. (Should I be surprised?) No. That’s how artist can be sometimes and Speech and debate performers for that matter, so I’m use to this disappointment. I must remind myself, that it’s their loss and they are artist who do not want their career to grow like mine. So fuck it!
  • There’s this perpetual feeling that swings back and forth in my chest. I am far too busy for a relationship, to give myself to a man. But then there is that sinking feeling. Watching others pair up and I just feel like that unicorn in my childhood Noah’s ark book, sitting alone on a rock, watching the water climb up. I know its morbid but what happens when all my family dies, when uncles and aunts are gone, when my parents leave this life? I’m starting to understand the true need to find someone and it’s kind of sad all around. That we cannot fathom being alone so we must pair up with another, settle for someone else to create our happiness instead of it being the other way around. I think about my professor and how he says how thankful he is for his wife and all the shows she goes to with him. And I don’t have that. Not right now anyways. But then it begs the question, do I want to settle? No.

And so continues the never-ending cycle and the thoughts of loneliness

  • I’m moving soon. Leaving the midwest (for now) and returning to California. Going to teach high school, coach some speech and work on my writing. I’m nervous to leave all my friends and a city that has been so good to me. But it’s time. Time to try a bigger stage for my poetry. I’m ready for this. (I hope)
  • I had a nice chat with my poetry professor yesterday. He spoke some wonderful words to me about my work and how I will make a wonderful teacher. (I needed that) As you’ll (who read) notice I’ve been a bit down on myself and my work. I need a boost, because I was really doubting my work recently. Today I’m feeling better. I’m working on a poem that means a lot to me and I’m hoping to have it done for workshop tomorrow.
  • When I return home to California I’ll be 25-years-old. I’m transiting into who I will be for the rest of my life. I’m really proud of myself. 9-year-old Sally would have never thought I would end up here. A writer, an English major and almost done with school. But thinking about grad school. These were once just silly dreams of mine, from a “special kid.” I don’t feel disable very often.

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The Universe is watching after me

I have this belief about the Universe, where when you’re having a bad week the universe finds a way to pick you back up. The Universe knew I needed a win this week and oh boy did the universe open my eyes to my future. So I will write here, who ever is in control of the Universe, who ever is watching after me, thank you.

Last night I went to an Open Mic night on Campus and it was wonderful. My best friends all came out to see me, some who I always torture with by sending them files on top of files of my work and some who have never heard my work until last night. I knew they would love it and support me but the audience, woah. Such wonderful feed back, such wonderful comments, such wonderful energy. Not only that but a local Poet approached me right after to get my number and has been pouring out invites for me to attend spoken word performances and wants me to work on a project over the summer.

Then this afternoon I got a call from my professor informing me I won The Academy of American Poets contest that my university puts on.

I know to some these things may be consider small achievements and for me I look at both of these as my stepping stone into a career I wasn’t even thinking about a year ago. I wasn’t even writing like how I am now a year ago. So today I’m sitting here crying, not because I won something but because I remember the nights I sat alone in my bedroom at the age of six praying to God to make me smart, to take away my learning disability. Now here I am, an English creative writing major sitting down writing in a language I could barley spell or read in first grade. So I will sit here and cry about how happy that the years of bedroom tears are finally being wiped away.

I am so thankful.

I would trade a hundred times falling in love with a man for the feelings I have when reading and writing my poetry. These are the moments I’m reminded I don’t need love from a man, I feel love in my writing and in the books I read.

Gosh, I’m just so blissful about all thats happening for me, I can feel it. This is only the beginning and I cannot wait for the rest of my life. I feel the momentum building inside of and nothing is going to stop me.

This is how I want to feel for the rest of my life.

Blissfully happy, crying over my hard work and falling in love with the Universe.

Working

Photo: My laptop and drinking coffee at my favorite little coffee shop.

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Filed under Disability, good energy, Life, my writing, poetry, Thankful, universe

Passion

I haven’t spoken to anyone about this stuff yet, I’ve been digging deep and thinking the past few days. Finally thought I would share.

On Tuesday, the last day of classes, my creative writing teacher looks up at us. Tells us he has enjoyed teaching this class and how much he really enjoyed the class as a whole. Then as each of us turns in the last of are work to him up at the front of the classroom  he  stops each of and asks, “do you have a passion?”Clearly everyone after the first three people are now trying to think of what to say, I’m clearly nervous too.As I approach the table and place my papers neatly down on his desk table  he looks at me and instead of asking me the same question he’s asked everyone he turns to me and says, “I already know you have a passion, so whats stopping you?”

After being frozen in place for about 10 seconds I opened my mouth and said, “Myself.”

Then he smiled, laughed a bit and said, then maybe you should write about that. Because Sally you have such a passion for life, it shows in your stories, but I feel like something is holding you back. And your right, its you. Which is silly because I don’t think your doing a very good job at holding yourself back.

Later that day I went to pick up some papers from my other English professor. He smiles, hand me the papers and I walk away. Half way home I see the note on the back of my paper.

Sally,

You have such a beautiful spirit, beautiful heart and it shines through in you’re writing, in you’re words and when you speak in class. Its time you let go of whatever is holding you back, I know that the thing holding you back may be small, nothing to big of a problem, but that little pebble in your shoe is slowing you down. Don’t let anything slow you down.

I was really speechless after hearing and reading all of this.I have been so speechless, this is the first time I’ve spoken about it and I still haven’t told any one of my friends about this.

Why was I speechless?

I guess I never thought I was ever meant to amount to anything.

From the looks of it I need to get out of my own my.

Time to write some more poetry.

Time to tell my story.

Perfect. ❤

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Broken

I use to think I was born broken. I think thats why I really connected to the play “Heart of a Dog” by Terry Galloway. The play is about a woman who becomes deaf due to her mother taking medication and almost dying when she was with child (the main character). The character, who is speaking to her dog the whole time questions life and we dive deep into the characters soul and pain, pain of being alone.

When I was born, I was sick. I don’t remember exactly what I had, its been awhile since my moms talked about or I’ve bothered to ask, (I rather not know any ways, it’s not a fun story to hear) but it was something along the lines of hay fever or scarlet fever.  I’ve been told this may be the cause to my learning disability. But their will never be a clear answer. APD hasn’t been studied very much and theres very little research on it, then of course I have a whole series of other problems that could be classified under numerous other learning disability, from mild problems and then to more severe ones, or as one special education teacher thought, that maybe I had a mild form of autism. That was the hard one to hear, because my parents firmly believe I was just as smart as anyone else, but for some reason, teachers and students wanted to prove my parents wrong, tried to prove me wrong and sometimes I believed them.

I felt broken.

I don’t know if this feeling started out within myself or someone else made me feel this way…I think grown ups made me feel this way, and kids too.

You know its funny because I saw a picture today about a boy who wore pink shoes to school and the kids at school said nothing negative and actually complimented him on the shoes, but his mother wrote that she got about twenty negative  comments from parents. But I wish I could say the same about kids with finding out I was in special education. I was made fun of a lot by kids at an early age.

At an early age I learned it was better not to tell my classmates I was in special education and when a kid would tease me I would tell myself, “they are young and they don’t know any better.” I still can’t believe that in third grade I was already understanding concepts like this.

I remember one time when I was little, I was sitting on my mothers lap, crying about someone making fun of me for being pulled out of regular classes and she said to me, “Sally Annie, think about it like this, you’re going to be so much more grown up then all your classmates.

I was born “broken” I think differently, I look at things differently, I hear sound no one else can hear, and some sounds i can’t hear. This disability has always made me feel a little “broken” So ever since I was a little kid I feel like I’ve been battling to just be “normal.” Now I’ve learned there is no “normal.” After years of struggling, fighting, overcoming I’ve finally learned there is no normal.

I just don’t see grammar, I don’t see mistakes in language, I wasn’t taught that way, I was born that way, I don’t hear it, I don’t see it. I use to think this was a weakness, this made me broken, but I’ve learned this is a gift too, because I look past the walls of languages. I write so much more freely because I don’t seen the walls that everyone else can see.

But sometimes I wish more saw the language the way I do. I guess thats why I connect with writers with their books more then I can connect with others around me, they feel the same way I do, they see the same.

I’m glad I’m not “normal.” Although this is still a struggle I deal with everyday, from my friends and classmates; trying to get them to understand what I deal with on a daily basis is tricky, even my ex stopped understanding. I think its hard to because I am an intelligent person and I have social skills, but I wish people understood I still struggle. For example I was telling my friend Tina tonight about how sometimes no matter how many times I try and edit my poetry, look over it for spelling errors I’ll hand it over to my classmates and they will notice and tell me I misspelled “know” and I’ll be like shit I didn’t see that at all. I guess the best way to explain what I see on a piece of paper is, well its like a black spot over the words. I just see what I see in my mind, what I hear in my mind, and when someone else spots something for me, its like that shadow moved out of my way and I see it. Yeah, it’s a weird feeling.

This is what I go through on a daily bases, I constantly feel like I have to conform to society even outside of the classroom, like Facebook, tumblr,text messages, where “Standard American English shouldn’t matter, but people are very quick to point my mistakes out to me in well, not the most understanding of ways, more like a grammar nazi. I don’t think anyone realizes the amount of time it takes me to write anything. When I’m on Facebook chat and I want to say someone and I don’t know how to spell it and spell check doesn’t know what i’m trying to say, I have to type the word on google and go to a dictionary that will say the word back to me, so I can make sure it’s the word I’m looking for. Actually I’ll be doing exactly when i’m done working on this post. Then I’ll post this and every time I go through it I’ll find a new word misspelled, a new incorrect form of grammar usage. I take these steps everyday. It can be kind of a pain sometimes, especially with words like well shit “especially,” I can never remember how to spell that word or “definitely.”

Also lets get one thing straight, the whole point to my learning disability is I can’t sound out words, so if I know how to spell a word, its because I’ve seen it so many times I’ve memorized it. I have memorized every word I know, I can’t spell something through spelling it out.

I use to wish, pray that I would be normal, that I wasn’t broken.

I don’t wish for that anymore.

But sometimes I do wish people understood what I go through everyday, what I’ve been going through since I was born.

Take this advice from me, because I get this a lot from people. Don’t ever wish/think something is wrong with you. I think people sometimes want to be classified/labeled with a disability. And if I’m going to be completely honest I get very frustrated with people who come up to me and tell me they feel my pain because they are kind of dyslectic, or are ADD or AHD. Umm first of all extremely dyslexia is rough, I watched a whole documentary on it, damn those kids struggle. And second ADD and AHD, you can take something to help you and from the people I know that do, its a big old joke and they use it more to stay up to write papers, it turns into a drug they sell. I’m sorry but thats some bullshit. So stop thinking, stop acting like something is wrong with you. So what you get distracted, your antsy. I had to sit in speech therapy, with a popsicle stick on my tongue showing me where to put my tongue to form words. So don’t wish for that life. If I could I would rather have not gone through that; that was a terrible, embarrassing part of my life, where I cried a lot and prayed to God a lot. I’m older now and I understand that without those struggles I wouldn’t be the person I am today, but don’t wish that life on yourself.

Don’t go down that road unless your 100% sure you need to.

Sometimes I do feel stuck, I get frustrated that I can’t spell a simple word, and sometimes it does hurt my feelings when someone makes fun of my for my spelling.

But everyday I wake up with new images moving through my mind, books I’m excited to read, I’m thankful for reading “which is usually for most people” and I fall in love with my words, and I know my voice comes to life onto the page and you can feel my soul.

And remember this William Shakespeare came up with words and we still  over thousands of those words in are language.

And maybe thinks about this too:

It is hrad to bveeile that I cloud raed and utadnrensd the wrods in fornt of me. It just pveors how ainzmag and idcebilnre the haumn bairn is. In a sudty ceetlpmod by Cmarbigde Uinevrtisy, lteetrs in wdros can apaper in any oedrr with the eticexpon of the fsirt and lsat ltteer (they msut aaeppr in teihr cerocrt pitsonois), and senomoe can siltl raed what is wetitrn. They elipaxn that the hmaun mind deos not look at each lteetr iladdunliivy, but ineatsd lokos at the word as a ctmoplee uint. Pterty dran azimang, huh? I wluod htae to tinhk that I mhigt have to caghne my psitooin on the mttear of wthheer crercot slenpilg is itrpmnaot or not.

So next time ask yourself, is spelling, is grammar really that important? Who told you that? Why is it that important? Why, when at the end of the day you can still understand what I was trying to say?

Because I may have terrible spelling and horrible grammar most of the time but I do know my words are more beautiful and mean more, because I’m more worried about how words make me feel not the structure, not where they should stand in line.

After years of testing, finally a break through senior year, finding out I have an above average reading level, and reading comprehension. Along with other series of above average skills, I finally learned why I was different, I had a special gift, I could hear words, I have authority processing disorder and that means, “word deafness” but I hear words, I just hear them differently.

I’m no broken, I’m a different kind of puzzle piece, a piece that belongs to a picture thats still forming, still developing, I’m the next generation of language.

 

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Memories (Written Weeks ago)

Song of the Day: Where did our love go by The Supremes

Quotation of the day: “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” 
― Marilyn Monroe

Poem of the Day: Stay by Andrea Gibson

Today is an absolutely beautiful day. I stepped outside into this amazing sunshine and gentle breeze on my face. I closed my eyes and it felt like home, back home in California.

I miss my home so much right now. I miss the kids I work with. I miss their energy.

Today is a moving my soul/spirit kind of day, I can feel it.  Late last night I was walking up to my front door and I just stopped suddenly and felt an urge to look up into the sky and stare at the stars. That’s one of the beautiful things about the Midwest, how the stars seem to shine so brightly in the sky.  I could just stare at them for hours and they always reminds me of when I  go motorcycle riding out in the desert in California and at night you can see everything out there.

I’ve been thinking a lot about learning disabilities this week. I was with my special services advisor and I told her that my biggest fear/struggle that I’m facing with right now is for students I’m working with to understand what I deal with. (Now mind you my students back home have never judged me, but I’m not sure if that will be the case with students  out here) And my special service advisor says to me, “You shouldn’t worry about that, you have great social skills, your brilliant, you have so much going for you.

I have so much going for me….

I found out today I got the highest score possible on my reading comprehension and writing on the ACT. I’m not sure how to react to this. I not use to this feeling. I’ve felt it, but just not use to it.

Dealing with a learning disability has created a life full of memories that will forever be imprinted into my mind.

Memory: Being in a hospital, laying down in a cold, darkened room, they put, what can only be described as a swimmers cap with lots of holes on my head and with a paste like stuff and then put metal sticks through the holes, twisting my hair. I remember crying, I remember my hair hurt. I remember thinking to myself, “What is wrong with me.” I remember hearing my mom say to someone in angry, “They think something could be wrong with her brain.”

Memory: Speech therapy. Learning vowels, learning how to sound words out.

Memory: Flash cards with my tutor after school, learning to spell look, there, their, where,. I will remember the word “LOOK” especially Because it was on a little card, white, and there was just the word and in between the O’s were two eyes,. That’s how I remember to spell look and still see that picture when I see the word.

Memory: My parents and tutor fighting the school to keep me in Special Education, the school didn’t think I needed it. Basically I was costing them money.

Memory: 1st grade, picking out books for reading time, always reading the same books, over and over, because those were the only ones I could read by myself.

Memory : falling in love with reading. It was after reading Dracula in 7th grade. Then The Hobbit.

Memory: Falling in love with Shakespeare, junior year of high school, we read Julius Caesar

Memory: 5th grade, wrote my first long story, ended up being about 20 pages. Even got to read part of it to my classmates. That was the moment I fell in love with writing and I didn’t even know it yet, Shit I don’t think I realized that was the moment until this year.

Memory: Meeting a writing mentor that would shape how I write and do my job for the rest of my life. Wrote a story and performed it. If you’re reading this, I want to say thank you for everything you have given to me in regard to writing and my job. You set down a beautiful foundation and stunning examples for me. Thank you. You are one of my favorites writers of all time.

Memory:  My senior year English teacher. I not only fell in love with the Beatles even more but I fell in love with poetry. Wrote some of my first of poems in that class.

Memory: Senior year of high school, last IEP meeting of the public school system. I will never forget these words, “You have found a way around your disability.” I have found a way around? I was then told that my reading comprehension was that of a college grad. Students.  This was a moment in my life where I understood that the universe was looking out for me and that great things to happen for me. This was the moment I realized how strong of an individual I am.

Memory: my third year and my junior college, realizing I wanted to become a teacher. And believed I could become a teacher. Someone like me could become a teacher.

Memory: Amy cohen, her words changed my life. She connected to a pain at the time I thought I couldn’t handle. She has done so much for me without ever meeting me. She has helped open up the flood gates of my heart.

Memory: Terry Galloway, I healed from my disability because of her stories. Performing her work, each moment, each time she was there with me, when I cried I felt her pain, she felt mine. We have never met, but she is an author that has changed my spirit. Thank you for the gifts you have given the world. You are a gifted writer. I am healed because of you.

Memory: This summer, July, Realized I knew who I was, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and  how much I’m in love with my job.

Memory: My coach, my boss telling my how amazing my performance was and how real it felt. And telling me not to let others bring me down and get in the way of the success I’m going to have.

Memory: Another wonderful coach telling my how beautiful my performance was.

Memory: My University has let me take sign language as my foreign language, understand the struggle I have faced trying to learn a new language and that sign language would be something to benefit me as a person.

Memory: Receiving the highest you can on the reading comprehension and writing on the ACT.

Memory: I read and write everyday, I still sit here and struggle everyday, but I’m doing what I thought was the impossible, I write and people can understand me.

These are memories that I carry throughout my day, some may be sad, still hurt, and may be a scar thats healed, but regardless of what I feel from each memory, they have all shaped me and have helped me become who I am today.

These memories define me.

When you ask me why I’m so happy. It’s simply because I have lived. I have felt the darkest, saddest, moments  in my life. I understand others pain better because of my own, I will always have more compassion then needed and I will never take reading for grated and I will never take writing for granted, because there was once a time where I was lucky to spell look right.

-I know exactly why I’m a compassionate person, I know exactly why I love so much and so freely. And yes I know sometimes I forget it myself on a bad day but on a day like this, sitting here I remember the reasons why. I remember the great aspects of all these memories, and that they are the reasons why I want to write, why I want to become a teacher, why I sit and struggle and fight through the tough days

Here, in these posts, all through my blog you can see my Learning Disability shine through, from misspelling, word placement out of whacked and terrible, terrible grammar. My learning disability shows my character, shows who I am and what really matters to me. A misspelled word isn’t the definition of a poor writer, a poor writer is someone who isn’t willing to take a risk, who won’t themselves out into the world.

auditory processing disorder

I am not my disability

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