From the age of 7 I knew I was different. I had difficulties with my bladder control, I couldn’t catch a ball, I found reading, maths and writing difficult and I couldn’t identify with other children. I found it difficult to concentrate and to break tasks down and this ended up with me panicking so much I never managed to complete the task set unless someone sat with me to help me. At the age of 22 I was finally diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and dyspraxia.
At school I was always the focus of the name calling, I’ve been called “thick” “spaz” and “retard” and was never chosen for anything. I battled thanks to my mum to get through secondary school and came out with decent GCSEs. The problem is the bullying didn’t end when I left school, there hasn’t been a day since where I’ve felt confident that I could achieve anything and I’ve ended up suffering with depression for most of my adult life as a result.
For a long time I didn’t think I was good at anything, I believed that I was a waste of space and worst of all I didn’t understand why I was different. I didn’t get why people kept saying I was bright but there was something getting in the way of me producing the work to prove it and that made it in many ways harder to deal with. I simply couldn’t believe I’d ever be good at anything.
Last year I had a breakdown and ended up in counselling and with that and support from friends and my husband I realised that whilst I’m never going to play sports in the Olympics or solve complex maths puzzles, there is plenty I’m good at. Thing is I’d become so obsessed with being brilliant at things I couldn’t see that I was actually not that bad at things after all 🙂
This is why I’m really happy to support Nicky Clark’s “People not Punchlines” campaign. Being called a spaz or retard is no joke and neither is the depression caused by these attitudes. I was recently appalled at the fundraising comedy gala for Great Ormond Street Hospital where the blind were mocked and depression reduced to a joke.
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