It always amazing hearing people talk about their childhood experiences with so much joy, excitement and that spark in their eyes.
If only they could see how hard I work to suppress, or even delete, mine from my memory.
Now someone may ask the question why I should have those thoughts.
If you were like me and your childhood is filled with pains, disappointment, rejection, frustration, humiliation, betrayals and relegation, then you won’t ask wonder. I do not ask you to be like me, but understand me.
I remember I was the laughing stock in school because I could not write what I know I know. It was as though our teachers was enjoying the humiliation I faced. Why would they keep asking me the questions when they I have no answers for them? Heaven knows I tried, I really did… but I couldn’t.
Everyone always looked forward to the end of a class test so the would ridicule me in front of the whole class. My scripts of misspelled words was shown to the entire class. They told me it was a prove that I am a moron, an olodo and a confirmed ode.
I remember how no one allowed me to join their group in the playground because I had nothing to offer them.
I remember standing up to answer quizzes and failing. I can bet my ten fingers and ten toes that I knew the answer to the question, but didn’t know how to express it. Those tears no one noticed, all that echoed the room was laughter. Those tears were always reminders that I should never have tried.
I can still hear the voices of my different class teachers telling me how they are compelled to push me to the next class because of my family. Some were just tired and wanted to pass the trouble to the next teacher.
I know you may be wondering at this stage if I have a family,
Yes, I did. A lovely one at that if you were a neighbor. Home was indeed a nightmare, for me at least. A safe place you would expect that they be the first to notice something was wrong.
“All your brothers and sisters are ‘A’ class students”My father never failed to remind me.
“If four out of my five children make it through school, its a pass mark”, He almost never forgets to add.
Father also forgets to get me a gift when he got one for every other person, because according to him, I do not deserve it.
I remember him playing down an introduction of me as a member of the family. He sometimes restricted me from playing with others because I need to always read my books, so I can “know small book”
Dear father, have you forgotten that no matter how much I read I always bring home the worst results.
What about your siblings?
It is only the grace of God that made me not to poison them. They caused more pains and humiliation than joy. My younger sister, Shalewa, always raising her voice at me when I tried to contribute to a discussion because my opinion was nonsense.
I remember praying each day that someone will hear those wars going on in head and help me out.
It always hurt me that my mother never stood up for me, she never told them that I was her best kitchen companion and the most domesticated member of the family. That I am the reason the whole house was always sparkling. No one remembered that in minutes I can replicate anything on a piece of paper that even Da Vinci would have appreciated me. The only show of intelligence was one’s ability to speak and write English and those other subject that were irrelevant to me.
I wish they knew how I fight the demons in my head that stops me from pronouncing those words.
I wish they knew how hard I try to write down those beautiful thoughts in my head.
I wish they knew how painful it was when I knew the answer to a question but cannot raise up my hand to answer because I have lost confidence in myself, my abilities and have learnt to believe nothing good can come out from me.
I wish my parents knew how I pray; read and look forward to make them proud and possibly get a kind word from them.
I wish they could share in those nightmares that am afraid to share.
I wish my family knew that the only reason I spend a lot of time in the toilet was because that was my only safe heaven.
I wished my siblings were more loving and understanding and treated me with a little kindness.
I wish they knew that it was in the process of coping with their humiliation that I got the strength and insight that made me a stronger person today.
I wished my teacher understood the meaning of a teacher and possibly differentiated it from words like judge, prosecutor, and hangman.
I wish I can remember one single memory of being loved. Whenever I think about my childhood all I can remember are those painful moments.
Now tell me dear reader, are those memories worth keeping, am I not doing the right thing by trying to delete them even from my subconscious mind.
This is the story of the cry of many children struggling through different forms of cognitive, learning, social and developmental disabilities.
Physical challenges are easier to cope with because everyone can see that they exist, but can we say same for psychological ones?
In my coming posts we will be going through these disabilities to enlighten you on the psychological damages it does to our children, inclusive dyslexia.