Friday, June 29, 2012

Dyslexia compounds everything.

Famous People with Dyslexia, Autism and ADHD

We all have good days where everything seems to go well. We also have bad days, that sometimes seem to turn into weeks, months, or even years. I think it has been for the most part one of those bad years for me. There has been more downs then ups; though I still try my hardest to keep a positive out look on life. At work I show a happy face, and for the most part it is real, but deep down I am hurting inside by a pain that most will never understand.
I just came out of one of those dark times that lasted several weeks that left me feeling like I was standing in a dark cloud of mist. I was there in body, but not in mind. I was just going through the motions but I was not there. At its darkest was last Wednesday night. That day I had gotten something in the mail, which was expected, but not welcome. It signified the death of a part of my life. This was not the trigger of the dark spell, but was the frosting on the cake, and yes I would have rather been lost in a vat of frosting then been where I was. So the accumulation of everything that happened over the past couple of weeks and the unwanted mail drove me the closest to the edge I have been since my youth. I found myself driving slowly down the dark gravel roads that crisscross the farm land by Taber. It was close to midnight, and as tears of sorrow rolled down my cheeks, I pleated in my heart to my heavenly father to take me home. I could not do it myself.
The days are looking brighter now.
What is dyslexia, and what does it do to me? The“National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke”define dyslexia as.
Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person's ability to read. These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding.
Dyslexia is more than that; it is more of a visual based learning system. I learn by seeing and them doing. It also affects more then just reading. It affects social skills. The same problems that make it hard to learn how to read (more in a minuet) make it hard to learn proper social skills as well. The problems occur when disorientation sets in. Disorientation is all the funny visual thing that you hear a dyslexics describe.
Now how dyslexia makes it hard to learn to read. Because dyslexics are a visual learners, we need visual clues. Thus descriptive words are good. “Black Cat” we see a black cat. But them we come across what are called trigger words; the, a, and, is, and so forth. There are many others, and basically they are words that a dyslexic can not visualise. So what happened when we start reading? When we hit a trigger word our visual mind or minds eye tries to figure out what this word is. The mind eye will pick up the word and flip it around reverse the letters rotate the letter and many other variations in an attempt to create a visual representation of the word. How do we create a visual representation of the word “the?” When you take a simple three letter word like “the;” in the end, in a two dimensional view, the dyslexic is left with 49 different variations of “the” and no clue as to the meaning of the word. In a three dimensional view of the word (as in my case) the 49 different variations are much greater; infinite. This all happens in a fraction of a second and the mind moves on to the next word. Every time we hit a trigger word everything we had read up to that point is lost and disorientation starts to set in.

This video is a good example of what happens during disorientation.

Dyslexia affects how I interact with others. How I say stuff without thinking things through properly to find the best meaning. I will say something with the best of interests and the utmost kindness, but come out wrong and I offend people unknowingly. It isn’t until I sit and think it through that I realise what I had said may have hurt someone. When this gets mixed with the dysphoria of being transgender, it complicates matters more. So, growing up I wanting to interact as a girl. I played Barbie’s with my sister until it was no longer cool for her to play Barbie’s with her little brother. As time went on I realised that it was not socially acceptable for me to interact as a girl. So I was forced to try to learn how to interact as a boy. I had not clue how to do that, so I pretended and put on a front. I made myself like boy things and played with the boy toys that I had been given.
So I apologise to anyone that I have offended by the things I have said or done; for not being around much and commenting, and the fact that I may not be around often either. Until I can get this dysphoria under control; please bear with me as I struggle through all of my challenges as I am doing me best.
Since I have given up pretending to be more male, I have started voicing my feminine opinion more often, and I have started acting less male. It has made it increasingly more difficult to manage the dysphoria. And I find myself slipping back into those dark places more often.


  1. C,

    Wow, that video and your description of what dyslexia is like really opened my eyes! I had no idea.

    I'm sorry you've been having such a rough go of it lately! :( Sometimes it seems like bad experiences all gather together and pile on at the same time, and it makes each of them worse than they would be on their own.

    On the other hand, good experiences can pile up, too. Here's hoping Father sends some in your direction soon!

    1. Thank you Arcee,
      Knowing that I have good friends is a good experience and I better for having you all in my life.

  2. Wow C, I love this post for how much it reveals about you. My daughter who is on her mission has dyslexia and has had to work so much harder for the things she has received. Amazingly she was the first of our children to graduate college and now to nearly complete a full time mission. She just completed a mission goal to read the Book of Mormon all the way through in Spanish. Pardon my boasting, but I love seeing how she has learned to overcome her challenges.
    I am sure you have developed similar abilities. Your post is beautifully descriptive. I truly appreciate it.
    I find it intriguing that when you express more femininity that the dysphoria is harder. I believe you, but it is strangely the opposite for me. Funny I guess how we are all different. I hope for you to find the peace you deserve.
    With love and admiration, your friend, Laurie.

    1. Do not get me wrong about dyslexia, it is not all that bad. There is many positive things about it that have strengthened and enriched my life.
      I had linked to that website from the picture that lists all those people that have dyslexia. I know this is a bold statement but; it isn’t in spite of their dyslexia that they have achieved their greatness, yet because of it they achieved their greatness. That is going to have to be another post.

  3. Interesting, I have dyslexia too. The interesting thing that I found is that the more I stopped hiding my femininity the less evident my symptoms became and the more I notice when I get things mixed up.

    For a long time the less I hid my femininity the harder it became in a sense for me to deal with it and the more detached I felt from my physical experience. I'm not sure exactly how to explain what changed, but there came a time in my life just recently where I was able to let go of much of that pain. I hope and pray that that time comes for you too and soon : )

    1. For me finding it harder to cope with the dysphoria as I have stopped trying to hide my femininity; is that I have tried to hide her all my life and appear more masculine. I guess hiding my feminine side to protect myself is what I have used to define me, and I have put on this whole charade of being more male. So as I try to embrace my feminine side, the male side steps in and says no, people will find out about you. So I try to suppress it again and the dysphoria comes out. I battle inside of me trying to embrace my femininity, but deep down fear what others will think.

    2. And what's special is your next post so beautifully answers the concern about how to think in the face of "what others will think"
      Love the one who's skin you're in! Laurie. ;-)

    3. I am (we all are) a work in progress.

    4. I think for me the biggest concern about "what would others think of me" comes from the fact that there's SO MUCH misunderstanding about trans issues in our culture. If I come out to all my neighbors / ward members / extended family, will they still think of me as ME, or as some weird fetish freak that wants to go out and prowl gay bars and trick men into my bed? Ugh, that's the part that kills me, is that even if I actually came out, people STILL wouldn't know the real me, they'd just change the stereotype they associate with me in their minds!

      I think this is one of the things that has surprised my wife the most since I came out to her... even though at first it seemed like this huge, earth-shattering secret that was going to change everything she knew about me, as time went on, it became clear to her that I was still the same person she married -- I just had this one aspect of my personality she hadn't known about that explained a lot of my attitudes and behaviors. I'll have a lot more to say about that soon.

    5. I think as time goes on and you don't change people will realise as your wife did that you are the same person.

    6. Actually, that's what I hoped for when I disclosed to my wife, that she would still see the same me she has always known. It turned out way more complicated than that because of her phobias and insecurities. The good thing is she is letting me love her through it. She gave me the chance to show her who I am to her.
      By the way Arcee we are all on the edge of our seats waiting for your oft promised post of all posts!!
      Anxiously, Laurie.