When I get asked when I started writing, my answer is that since I learned my ABC’s and that’s true, I couldn’t read or spell for my life. My teachers thought I was a lost cause. They the worse thing they could do; they put a lot of shame on me. If I weren’t in love with words, I would have given up on learning in my early years.
My mum would tell me to copy words and sentences that I would learn by heart, which is how I learnt to read and write. However, I still felt shame about it, and I wrote in secret since my head was always packed with words to go on paper. I was well aware and even too aware that my words didn’t make sense, and I was the only one who could understand what was on that page.
In my teens, I dared to show a poem to an ex or a friend I couldn’t remember who. At that time, everyone was posing their writings on social media when Facebook was the most prominent platform and started a profile, so I gave it a go too. Some people liked it, and I kept going. When I gained some confidence, words began to fly less around, which is how I explain dyslexia to people. I also have dyscalculia (which means dyslexia with numbers) even if, as an adult, I learnt to cope with both pretty well.
Everything goes undone when I’m stressed. In situations like exams, I had to learn a lot of things by heart; This is why when I’m given a project, I start working on it right away because as soon as it gets closer to the deadline, my dyslexia goes to play due to stress.
Right now, I’m dealing with many housing issues because the landlord of the flat we live in sold it, and the new buyers are demolishing the building and rebuilding it. This means that in a few months we won’t have a place to stay in. I have been on the government housing authority for four or five years, the only place they offered me was inaccessible for my wheelchair.
My mum and I have been trying to find a place to rent, but they are inaccessible or too expensive. Saying that the situation is causing me a lot of stress is an understatement. I’m very dyslexic lately and is causing a ton of mistakes with clients names and numbers. Now, there is two way I can lose my job either I get fired due to my mistakes or I would have to quit if we don’t find a place to rent. The distance there is from Gozo to my work is physically impossible to do daily.