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Archive for May 26th, 2022

How To Read

Ever since I learned to read, I have wanted to write. I picked up the ABCs quickly and moved on to books. I had an aunt who read poetry to me, and I loved it. My first dream regarding writing was to write poetry all day, every day. I was fortunate that writing came so easily.

It did not come easily in my immediate family. Two out of three of my brothers are dyslexic. One never learned to read. However, one did learn to read as an adult through sheer stubbornness and perseverance. I’ve always felt guilty because reading is so easy for me. And I could never help them. To this day, I cannot fathom why the powers that be gave me a mother who read constantly and one brother who was unable to learn to read.

I suffered greatly because of this fact. Even today, at age 66, I still ask what the hell went wrong in my own family? Of course, poverty causes many problems, and it creates a great deal of stress. But how is learning to read part of it?

I was poor, just like the rest of my family. So why did I take to reading like a duck takes to water? At the same time, two of my brothers could not seem to learn the alphabet. Was child abuse the culprit? I was there too. But it didn’t affect me the same way it did my brothers. I just wanted to be out and away from it all. So I was very motivated to leave home as quickly as possible.

In retrospect, I wonder what happened to my family to this very day. I can account for all of them. I am in close contact with all five of my brothers and sisters, although I never had my own children. Out of my fifteen nieces and nephews, only two have a mild form of dyslexia. They can both read, although with a bit of difficulty. They both belong to one of my sisters.

The brother, who cannot read, had six daughters, ranging from very intelligent to absolutely normal. So I thank God dyslexia does not seem to run in our family. But I will always wonder why I have two brothers who see things very differently from me.

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