FLASH BACK: All out Lysdexia, Take One
Dyslexia permeates every aspect of my life. I’m old enough that dyslexia and most other learning disabilities were not identified when I was in grade school. Hell, I’m not even sure if the word existed in the late 60s, early 70s. But, I know enough from my degrees in education, and from knowing myself to know that I am mildly dyslexic. I transpose letters when typing (thank Buddha for spell check and automatic word correct!). I transpose words when reading, and the worst is that I transpose numbers all the time. For instance, if I were talking to you and you were giving me your telephone number you could be saying 897/524-6310, and I would likely write down, as you are speaking the words, 897/254-6130. It’s frustrating when I dial the number and reach some unknown person or get the beep of a fax machine. Or I punch in the wrong number on the phone key pad. So then I re-enter the numbers slowing, speaking them out loud as I read from my note and punch them in. If it’s still the wrong number or a new wrong number, I have to try and figure out which numbers I transposed when writing them down.
In retrospect, it explains some of the things I had trouble with growing up. For instance playing piano, I like the piano. I really suck at playing piano. I’m not being modest, it’s true. I don’t/won’t play for an audience. Playing the piano is a stress release for me. (Except for the times when I’m really hitting the wrong notes, then it’s a stress inducer). (I over use parentheses, I know. So call the grammar police.) I think and write in stream of consciousness and non sequiturs or toss in a comment that is tangential to help explain/expound on the previous sentence or comment. Back to the piano. In full disclosure, when I took lessons as a child, I did NOT spend my obligator half hour practicing every day. I was/am easily distracted. I would most likely be diagnosed with ADD today. When I played (and still play) I see the notes on the page. But going from my eyes to my brain to my fingers takes milli-seconds (or seconds) longer than it should. Especially once the notes stretch beyond the staffs. So, I’m stuck with easy piano books, or if I want to really learn something, like Pacabell’s Cannon in D, I have to sit down take it by treble clef/right hand, bass clef/left hand measure by measure, then put them together. For the most part, classical music in a part of my repertoire. The exception being Cannon in D, which is one of my favorite pieces of music. I so envy those who can sit down and sight read anything put in front of them.
Geography-I am so directionally impaired it’s not funny. Well, yes it is funny to an observer. I have absolutely no sense of direction. I attribute this to the dyslexia.
So, where the hell is this all going, you ask? In a former life I was a florist. I was a damned good florist if I can be immodest for a moment. I had my own florist business. It was in my hometown, a small rural farming community. It wasn’t until I closed the business, and went to grad school that I finally came out of the closet—to myself. The whole while I was a florist, I was ‘straight’ or trying to be anyway, in an industry that is well known for a high percentage of gay men amongst its ranks. I had a large number of gay friends and acquaintances, but continuously deluded myself, but probably not most of them. (I even got fired from one job for NOT being gay—but that story is for another post.) I got the whole being gay/being a florist backwards. I came out of the closet AFTER I quit being a florist. This is how dyslexia has permeated another aspect of my life. I am so frequently bass-ackwards. © rle/wtf