Reading for myself

I love reading.
Even before I could read I was enamored with the idea of reading.
Books in general held a sort of mystique, and I admired how my mother made sense of the shifting symbols on the page, wondering how she was seeing the sounds, as she read me story after story.
I’ve never lost my childhood wonder at language, and this adoration is probably what drives me to want to learn other tongues as well.

Because I’m dyslexic, reading, even now, takes a bit of work for me. (In a different age I sadly probably would probably have remained illiterate, maybe even merely because I took so long learning.)
Sometimes I have to reread a word, or a sentence, or a paragraph a few times until I’m sure I’ve not misread it. Sometimes I mispronounce or misread things, (especially when I’m reading aloud) because often I’m reading phonetically and the word doesn’t follow standards phonics.
The last one is a remnant of one of my mothers many different methodological attempts to teach me how to read  in the first place/better. (It helped, though it didn’t address my primary issue, which wasn’t reading individual words, but reading words sequentially and reading things as a sentence.)

Perhaps it’s a little silly to get puffed up about, given how many people are capable of it, but I’m still really pleased with myself for not giving up on reading and managing to figure out how read mostly on my own.
I didn’t have people helping me with my dyslexia specifically, and I really wish I had, years later I looked at some of the methodology and it would have helped so much sooner.
No one for instance thought to tell me that all sentences were read left to right like individual words are. Left to right itself was also sometimes a little difficult, so teaching me to use off the page cues to remember would have been very helpful.
Sometimes I’d get confused and start reading backwards in the middle of a sentence.
Also teachers and my parents alike presumed that I knew there were only 26 letters in the english alphabet, it was a bit tricky for me, because I would effectively see more letters than that (because sometimes I see letters reversed. E’s are especially prone to flipping), and so I’d wonder if those letters were said differently.
This lead to a lot internal confusion, and questions that teachers didn’t understand, or where they thought I was being ‘silly’, when I was quite serious, and was frustrated they didn’t take me seriously.

On top of the dyslexia I had a second issue with actually looking at letters and seeing them for what they are not just in a directional way. Imagine seeing words, letters and even full sentences, not stay still on the page as you looked at it.
I don’t think that is just dyslexia (though maybe I’m wrong? But I think it’s similar to when I get overwhelmed in a store. Especially since I don’t have any anxiety about ability to read anymore.)
If you can imagine that this isn’t strange, and you don’t think your drunk, just picture how hard it would be to try and focus on recognizing letters if everything kept swimming about.
I’m so glad that this is not the case anymore. Things still jump a bit sometimes, but it’s not at all the same, I remember that letters seemed to swirl when I looked at them. Becoming incomprehensible.
Now the only time the page swirls is when I’m having a particularly bad anxiety moment, and it’s because everything is swirling.

Knowing all this you can imagine how much I value my ability to read, and that my love of reading is also this great appreciation because I remember clearly when I could not read.
(Dark times – good thing the internet wasn’t popular yet, or I’d have felt really left out. Hahaha)

– Happy reading to you all. 😀


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