These Are the Cards I Was Dealt

Depression, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, high anxiety and a huge lack of social skills. (That’s not everything, but I’ll stick to that.) I have definitely complained a lot about these problems throughout my life, and why shouldn’t I? These are big problems. If you’re lucky, you only have one or two of these. If you’re really lucky you don’t have any. And to make things worse, the depression wasn’t diagnosed until I was thirteen, the other Ds until last year, high anxiety I didn’t know until this past semester and the lack of social skills just is what it is.

So yeah, I complain. Wouldn’t you if you had all these problems and the people who are supposed to take care of you ignored it? Wouldn’t you complain if this is what you heard your whole life?

“You’re lazy.”

“You’re not putting in the effort.”

“You have the potential, but you’re not applying yourself.”

“You’re not even trying.”

How do you think I feel when I hear this? In grade eight I was hospitalized. What “they” say happened and what I say happened isn’t exactly the same thing. But that doesn’t matter. I was sick of having an unsupportive family. I was sick of teachers pushing me to the next grade when I clearly wasn’t ready. I was sick of the lack of friends I had. I was sick of not being able to make new friends. I was sick of people looking at me in disgust because I was different than them. I was sick of everybody’s bullshit. You would be too.

But I had dreams, and I wasn’t going to let anyone get in my way. The summer after I finally finished high school, I took a Japanese course and I loved it. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to pick up this language compared to others. I found an awesome program offered at George Brown College in Toronto called Redirection Through Education – For You. Click here to find out more. I stayed in that for a year. My time there was coming to an end and I had to make plans for the coming year. So I applied for something that I had been wanting to do for years, Katimavik. As I was waiting to hear whether or not I would be doing the program, I signed up for a couple of dance classes in night school. (Also at George Brown)

I found out that I would be doing Katimavik starting in January 2011, and I finished out the semester doing my dance classes and preparing to embark on this new adventure. Katimavik was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I met so many amazing people along the way, I got to see parts of Canada that I hadn’t even heard of before and I was really happy.

I was happy. That’s something that I only felt during the hour to three hours of dance that I would do at a time, or when I’m laying Pokémon. But in Katimavik, I was happy. Day in and day out. Sure it was frustrating at times; I was living with ten other people. That’s not an easy thing to do. I eventually started hearing some of the “you’re not even trying” stuff directed towards me. But I suppose if I don’t tell people about my past they’re not going to understand why I won’t participate in certain saunas or why I can’t even step into a church anymore. And it wasn’t fair for me to expect them to understand.

During Katimavik, I found out about MUN through my first project leader. As soon as I heard about MUN, I was all over it. A chance for me to go to university and be out of Ontario while attending it? Say no more. I applied and got in, and I was overjoyed that I wouldn’t be doing Office Admin. in college after all. Toronto makes me physically sick, I never feel safe and there is so much negativity. You people don’t even smile. I actually feel embarrassed when I tell people where I’m from. I’m not sad to be gone, although there are people who I miss dearly. I’m healthy here. Still got a lot of shit going on, but I’m not about to jump off a bridge. And now I’m applying for an exchange. I’m doing good, no?

Depression, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, high anxiety and a huge lack of social skills.

Look at all of that. Look at what I’m dealing with. Now look again at all the things I have done for myself. I put these things in motion myself. Do you still think I am lazy? Do you still think that I’m not applying myself?

I am taking a 100% course load in university. I am doing better in university than what I did in high school. I have a 3.1 GPA. I did that. I worked hard for it. This is not the achievements of a lazy person.

School just started and when I went to one of my classes yesterday, I realized that the readings would be too much to handle on top of my other classes. So I talked to the prof. and asked if I could audit the course after I drop it. She said yes. I then went to the head of the Arts dept. to see if we could find something else that would be more realistic for me, and if not, I have the option to audit that other course anyways. I was responsible and sensible about this, no? I’m not going to bite off more than I can chew. I didn’t have to read much at all in first year, so everything was fine. This year is a different story and I’m getting help so that I can continue to do well in school. I can’t just go from zero to a hundred in no time. I’m doing the smart thing here.

But as soon as I start to tell one of my sisters this, she stops at the part where I’m dropping the class. She didn’t bother to hear the rest of what’s going on. As soon as I started to tell her why I’m dropping this course; “You’re always making excuses.” Wait. What? I’m already struggling with what I have to read right now for my other courses. Every other world in some of my textbooks is in one of many Indian languages. Sometimes I can’t understand what I’m reading because I ‘cloud’ and ‘could’ look the exact same to me. (That’s just the most recent example.) And then there's the need I have to put words in a sentence into groups, count the letters in the groups, and switch some words so that the groups are even. No wonder I can't get through my reading! And put on top of that that all of the subject matter in the courses I’m taking are new to me. Hinduism, Buddhism, Etymology and Philosophy? O.o 

So I make a smart decision to drop the one class that has more reading than my other four classes combined, and I go look for a new course to replace it, but you think it’s ok to tell me that I’m making excuses? Excuses for what? I don’t want to fail. That’s money down the drain that I don’t have. How dare you be so rude?

Oh no, but wait! I’m the rude one. I said I was going to hang up and actually did it. So I’m rude. Would it be better if I just hung up without warning? Maybe that is better, no?

Whatever. Let’s get back to the point.

I wanted to be a donkey farmer when I was seven, so I could rescue abused donkeys and take care of them. But you all laughed. From then on, you all rolled your eyes, told me to stop talking and continued to laugh at the things I wanted to do in my life. That’s not cool. (I am being so polite with my words right now, you don’t even know.) I’ve been dealing with this stupidness my whole life, and I’m over it. I’m over people questioning me for no good reason. I’m over people talking down to me. I’m over people telling me that I can do something I know I can’t do and I’m over people telling me I can’t do what I know I can.

If you don’t want to support me, that’s fine. Let’s talk about the weather. If not, maybe we shouldn’t talk at all. I don’t need you judging me. Keep that shit to yourself, cause it really doesn’t help anyone. I have enough to deal with.

I guess what I’m saying here is if you’re like me and have a lot of problems, don’t let the people in your life be one of them. And if you’re the problem in someone’s life, stop it. You’re only hurting them. I don’t care if you’ve known someone for their whole life or just a few months. You probably don’t actually “know” them at all. You probably don’t know what they’re thinking. You probably don’t know how they really feel. You have no right to judge them or put them down. Because, “You just need to try harder”, is so much more damaging than you realize. You can’t push someone unless they ask. They need to push themselves. Otherwise, you might quite literally be pushing them over the ledge.

I love this bird cause he's living his life for himself. 
Something I have to remember to do.

So live your life everybody. Live it for you. But don’t hurt anyone along the way in the things that you do.

You better quote me on that one.

Thanks for reading.

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