So, my label is dyslexia although they’ve said I have dyspraxic symptoms too. When I was a child I absolutely hated with a passion being dyslexic. I hated the fact there was something ‘wrong with me.’ I needed ‘extra care’ and was always told I very lazy and had no concentration span.
I’d make ‘mistakes’ all the time, I was the one who got 0/20 in my spelling tests, 0/20 in maths tests. That of course depended on me going school, I often had a stomach ache on those days because I couldn’t cope with the embarrassment of being the labelled the worst in the class.
I always got the worst mark guaranteed, and my mark being called out in front of everyone or even worse, swapping with a friend to mark and them being like, “seriously Charlotte, you’re so thick,” was simply my worst nightmare.
I didn’t know why I couldn’t spell things or add up, in my head I spelt things very logically, much more logically than the dictionary, because I spelt them as they sounded. Numbers as well, my absolute nemesis, I still don’t get numbers. Although, to be honest, no one has put me on the spot in my 34 years of life and asked me to do my 7 times tables or have I required algebra to get a job.
When I did badly at something, I was forced to do more of the work I hated, under more pressure, and, in an even less kind way than when it started in.
My teachers sheer frustration with me made me panic even more. So, I was destined to make more and more mistakes. I failed my GCSE's, and I wasn’t allowed to stay on in 6th form, I have no idea why.
I begged the teachers to let me stay at school, I went around each of them and promised I’d do better and behave, but to be fair, they were all glad to see the back of me. I was very disruptive and my behaviour was pretty shocking. I look back now and I know it was a way of me coping with being different, being naughty was a way I could detract from being dyslexic and blame my bad grades on being a naughty person and not from not knowing what they were ever on about.
I was scared of going into to the world where I would have to do some adulating, I was encouraged to go and get a job or do something arty. Thank goodness, they did, because I went and studied are and design. There, I found this new thing that other people did, it was called encouragement and seeing beyond my disability.
Encouragement made me feel fantastic, it made me feel that I was worthy!! I spent all day every day doing different kinds of art and design, it was my dream and I met people that were just like me. I finally found people that I could get along with easily. I finally began to find out who I was. Ok, so, the first year was a bit rocky and I passed with a pass, the second year I passed with merit and my third year I passed with distinction. I was finally good at something.
It’s absolutely unbelievable that I read things now, that children in 2018 are still receiving the same treatment as I did all those years ago. When is the education system going to wake up?
So, if you are dyslexic, this message is for you. You are enough, you always have been and you always will be. You are not stupid, it’s actually the other way around, your true abilities are way more than what people can manage.
Your ability to see outside the box is far beyond what anyone can teach in school. People will try and keep you where you are, and they will still want you to memorise things but you are a creator, you can see beyond what they can see and that scares them. They might not know that but you can have that knowledge from me.
Life isn’t about memorising things, it’s about offering what magnificent wonders you can offer and know that you are special and you are amazing. It’s not in anyway shape or form that you are not good enough, it’s that the people of society don’t know how to manage someone with such an amazing ability. You are a force to be reckoned with, you are perfection and you must follow your dreams and not be afraid of being you.
When people make you feel bad for not memorising some spellings or remembering how to add up, remember that you are the creator and your world isn’t just about memorising, it’s about being a leader, it’s about being a creator for you. Their way of memorising is their way of staying in control, people can become fearful when they lose control. People will pick up on your spelling and grammar throughout life, they still do it to me, but that’s their way of controlling their life and their feelings, it’s not a reflection upon you, it’s their own reflection.
Do your best in school, but don’t let it get you down. If you love maths and English just believe in yourself, know that you can do it because you can, you already have the answers, just relax and know that with time you’ll do it and you’ll do it great.
You may not find your power until you’ve left school, you may find it like me, years and years after I left school, but I found it and I found it at the right time for me. I just wish I had someone that told me that I had a power instead.
So, let me tell you this, your power is within you already, it's deep inside you, ready for you to find it, trust me it’s there. That’s why doing maths and English and concentrating on things can feel hard at times because really you already know it all, you’re far more conscious than memorising things. And, don't put pressure onyourself to find your power, it will come when it's ready and when you believe in yourself.
Shall I tell you what I’ve managed to do with my power? Ok, so, I ran a hotel and won Derbyshire and the Peak Districts Young Manager of the Year award in 2010. I then went on and trained to be a Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist and for years I have specialised in the recovery of chronic mental illness. I have saved hundreds of lives from writing and speaking words of encouragement. I have written 10 children’s audio books, most are about encouragement and some help with bereavement. I also own another company where we offer mental health courses online. And guess what, I make loads of spelling mistakes, some even spell check doesn't know what I'm trying to say.
You see, I found my power, my power was always within me, just like yours is.
If at times you feel no one else believes in you, believe in yourself because that is strength. It’s so important for you to love you and all that you are. So, when they say you’re dyslexic, or have any sort of learning disability, remind yourself this, they’re only jealous because they haven’t got your power and never will, because you are you and only you can have your power.
So, sometimes people can say hurtful things to us, but always remember that people can be fearful of others amazing ways of thinking, fearful of other’s possibilities and fearful of others success. You have the ability to be all of the above because it’s already within you, you just need to find it. So, people may say things that are hurtful, but it may only be because they’re fearful of how amazing you are.
Believe in yourself, you are enough, you always have been and you always will be.