My Short Stories

If I Only Had A Brain

I was eight years old in second grade when I began to notice the kids in my class always had the answers when called on and I never did. I remember the year was 1947 and the reason I remember that date is because I can still see it written on yellow lined paper with a black led pencil. The teacher wanted us to put the  date up in the right hand corner of  our paper and I never could remember the date. I stayed back in second grade and that was the beginning of the rest of my life.  I won’t drag you through all of the agonizing experience I had,  just the ones that are still with me. Forth or fifth grade, walking home from school I threw one of my books in the bushes because I didn’t understand my homework and would skip school the day test were given. In the summer my two brothers went outside to play after they finished the chores and I  sat at the kitchen table with my mom trying to teach me math, how to tell time and spell simple words. She painted pictures on the back of big sheets of wallpaper, balloons, apples, balls, and a big clock with moving hands. I also heard often,  ” Why can’t you get this stuff right like your brothers do.” The sad thing is I also looked bad, very skinny, straight brown hair, a big space in the middle of my teeth, my eyebrows grew right across my forehead meeting each other. Also I was left handed, no one but me in my class was left handed and I had one front tooth that was BLACK! It seems I fell on my face one day on the sidewalk  hitting my teeth, nice. I quit school a few days after I turned sixteen, who would of guessed.

So now we’ll go to my adulthood. I never thought about it catching up on me like it did. The first time was with my kid sister. She’s still in her teens and I’m married with one child. I remember the very day, we were in the post office and I said something to her, don’t remember what it was but after she answered I felt  much younger then her and way less knowledgeable. She was passing me. The second time was even worse because this time it was my teenage daughter. We were in the yard at our home in Texas and after I got done telling her something she kindly corrected me, very scary.  And then the worst of the worst, I wrote a nice letter to my granddaughter who’s about ten or twelve and a week later I see my letter on her dresser in her bedroom with corrections made on my spelling. Still I did pretty good bluffing my way through life. I had many good jobs, wrapping meat in the supermarkets, working in the insurance company, worked at a double wide factory hanging the curtains in all the rooms, cleaning, staining, trimming, and final inspection. At forty I got my GED, ya ! I got a job at a workshop as a therapeutic technician working with adults that had retardation issues, or as the correct way of saying today is  ( special needs ).  I remember one day saying to a co-worker and good friend, they don’t know things like I don’t know things, the difference is, they don’t know that they don’t know things, I know that I don’t know things, that I’m stupid!

I’m a Jehovah’s Witness and when I received one of our Awake magazine, on the cover was written, Does Your Child Have Learning Problems?  I still have that magazine, May, 1983. I read it and then I went to our library and got several books on learning disability’s. As I read them I cried, it was me, everything I was reading was about me. My mom was telling me on the phone one day that my dad shuts down when he gets nervous or if someone is giving him directions to some place, so I guess that tells you who I got it from. I can’t read road maps, can’t drive far from home, can’t follow directions when to many are given, and get lost in big buildings.  We  with poor learning skills tend to shut down, became great con artist in that we have ways of squeezing out of tough situations if we’re called upon. We do much better with visual information then reading stuff.  Now that I’ve read all this important information in these books I got,  it’s answered so many things I had wondered about. I was an intelligent person, much more then many other people that I know so how can this be. Why did I have so much trouble learning something when so many others didn’t? Well now I know and I’m not afraid to admit it, no more shame. The bright side of all of this is people like myself are very creative and artistic and that I am! I paint, (watercolors), build things, water gardens, arbers, landscaping went to interior decorator classes, and write poems.

P.S. My writings I can spell check but I have not found a site that will help me know where to put commas so go easy on me please.


18 thoughts on “If I Only Had A Brain

      1. You are so very welcome. You wrote about something near and dear to me — folks with learning disabilities and special needs, generally. I remember the days when the word “retarded” was used to describe my sweet sister. Much love to you, Eileen, for giving me warm feelings this morning. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes – there was no allowance made for such things as ADHD, dyslexia, vision problems (other than just needing glasses) years ago. We have learned so much – even on a classroom level we teachers can adjust to a kid’s learning style – by reading, by hearing how to do it, by seeing the steps in fact – and even sometimes (like the times tables) by good old memorization.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. It must have been really hard to talk about. When I was little I struggled at school. It was only because I had an eye test at about seven that they found out I was very short sighted and because of that I got glasses. Have you ever been tested for dyslexia? I only ask because one of my sisters has it. X

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