If I can read you can too

by Lynne

I am 63 years old, and I can recall as a young girl at school I always had problems understanding reading and writing and if I read something I could not comprehend it.

memory problems story
I always had trouble following the lines and the letters, and I would read letters back the front or miss out some letters altogether. The teachers told me I was not trying or listening or just stupid, which I believed.

I could never write an essay at school. I would sit and look blank at the paper it was so frustrating because I really wanted to do it but I had no imagination.

So as you can imagine I have struggled and bluffed my way though life pretending I could read. I have had some terrible embarrassing situations where I could not fill out a form or understand instructions properly, but I managed to hide my problem with lots of excuses.

I have never read a book in my life because it gets me in knots. I get a sick feeling in the stomach because I have to go back over it again and again to make sure I read it right and comprehend it.

About 8 years ago I was listening to the radio talk-back show about scrabble and they were looking for people to play even if they had never played before which I hadn't. Even though I found reading hard I had a thing about words and the dictionary.

I used to read it and try to remember them and the meanings not with a lot of success, so I thought I would like to play scrabble and it might help me with my problem.

I was a bit hesitant but they said anyone could learn to play so I went to a scrabble club feeling very nervous but they made me welcome. I mentioned how I was not good at spelling but they assured me I would get better.

I never let them know that I had a reading problem. If I made a mistake I would cringe inside but just make a joke of it
and move on. After 6 months or more someone asked me if I would like to play in competition scrabble, I just laughed.

They said you play fairly good, little did they know I would sit up for hours writing and reading words trying to get them in my head, anyway I thought I would give it a try and guess what?

I started winning trophies for best words, highest game, it was all so good to think I could be good at something especially something that was so hard for me to learn.

Just recently I was on the internet and I saw something about having reading problems or Dyslexia so I began to read it and realised this has been my problem all my life so I actually have a name for my problem and I am not so stupid after all.

I hope that other people can find a solution to their reading problems earlier than I did because reading really rules your whole life and for me it has been a hard road. I would like to mention that I have never even wrote a letter or something like this before so I think my confidence is getting better every day.

I hope this story will inspire other people with reading problems. You can do it, I have.

Doug's Reply: Lynne, thank you so much for sharing your story. Reading about your experiences and your courage brought tears to my eyes.

On one hand it is a sad story of frustration about something beyond your control. But the wonder and joy in it is how you managed after many years to confront your problem and start to find solutions. And now, later in life, you can begin to put a name on what has troubled you all these years.

You truly are an inspiration. And for the record, I think you are very smart indeed.

Best regards,
This is information only. It is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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