Confession: I am frustrated easily.
I don’t know how much of this has to do with my dyslexia and how much is due to human nature, but as far back as I can remember I have had trouble with my temper. (One of my “Reasons I wish I were a red-head”: I already have the temper, I may as well have gotten the hair, too.) It’s a huge deal to me to curb my frustration, especially because I am the greatest cause. I get irritated with myself far faster than with anyone else. My own slowness of mind and tongue just sets me off. I know it frustrates my poor husband, he’s always telling me to give myself a break. But I can’t seem to. I should have realized / thought / seen / noticed and I cannot seem to absolve myself of the guilt that inevitably follows of my “failures”.
I have gotten better about not automatically labeling a mistake a Failure with a capitol F. I don’t always get irrationally frustrated with myself when I realize a mistake. I still do, but it’s less frequent now (like 40-60% of the time, down from 90%). Like last night, for instance.
Husband and I took our Youth Group to an event at a nearby church. We all had fun and some great singing and got to visit with friends we don’t often see. During the pizza-eating-and-fellowship time at the end a nearby table called my name.
“Move your hair so we can read your shirt!”
Not an abnormal request, since I’m wearing my club “jersey”. I move my hair, laugh a bit with Husband and we go back to eating. A few minutes later our friends at that table come over.
“So, did you mean to misspell Biscuit on your shirt?”
What? That’s not misspelled. It can’t be, I’ve been wearing it for months! How can biscuit be misspelled?
My smile freezes in place while Husband (bless him) laughs and says, “Of course it is!” and covers for me while telling the story behind my jersey. An informal team he played on decided to put breakfast foods instead of last names on their shirts. Husband was “Biscuit”, his favorite breakfast food, and thus we put “Lady Biscuit” on the back of mine. Except that we didn’t. We put “Lady Biscut” on the back of mine. And by “we” I mean “I”.
I remember doing it, too. That’s the bad part. I was rushing to turn in my jersey form and asked the friend who was with me to spell “biscuit” for me. I don’t remember if she did or didn’t or if she did it right, I just remember KNOWING I’d spell it wrong without help. So I got some. And still spelled it wrong.
This probably wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t a $60 jersey that looks good on me. And when we were discussing getting a jersey for me, my husband told me how he never got a jersey for his club because they were so expensive, and then his club disbanded (so now he’ll never have one.) And AFTER telling me all this he tells me he’ll scrape together the money and we’ll “do this right” because I deserved a “normal college experience.”
All this ran through my mind as I tried to put myself together. Dear Husband Of Mine finishes by saying something about mine being misspelled to match HIS, which is also misspelled. (A lie, but a sweet one.) I go the rest of the night trying to keep my hair down and my back to the wall so no one will see the hideously misspelled shirt.
If I were a better blogger or person (or at least a more secure blogger or person) I’d say “I will wear this shirt proudly, to make a statement, raise awareness” etc. But I’m not, I’m insecure, wanna-be perfectionist me who fears going outside with my mistake on my back. I know I should probably turn this around and make it something positive or 10 ways to encourage your dyslexic kid, but the truth is… the Truth is that this is how dyslexics feel sometimes. We fail, we make mistakes and we get embarrassed because we feel we can’t do things as well as “everybody else”. We can easily feel inferior and discouraged. I’ll probably pull past feeling anything negative about this shirt before long and wear it again before long (I say this so you don’t judge me) but also so if your dyslexic student/teenager/spouse struggles with this, you can know they’re not the only one.
(EDIT: Bonus points to find the misspelled word in this post…)