I came across this website which supposedly shows you what it's like to read with dyslexia. I'll give you a moment to try to read that. Did you go? Were you able to read what was said? The funny thing is that's almost exactly what happens to me, except to a much lesser degree.
Often time when I'm looking at words I'll see the absolute wrong things written. Sometimes it'll be something so obviously wrong that I have to reread the words. Once at work, I thought that there was a very obvious sexual phrase in a credit card brochure. That there's no way the brochure would suggest customers ingest penises, I had to reread the sentence only to realize it was an extremely innocuous sentence.
For my entire life, I've been having to deal with dyslexia. It's not reading backward, it's more like having everything jumbled up into a confused mishmash, but thankfully it's not so extreme as it used to be. More than once in my life, I've read books or articles and come away confused. Landmark school did a lot to teach me coping methods, and you have no idea how much it relieved me to actually know what it was that was causing me to have so much trouble in school.
Worse, trying to read aloud is nearly impossible. Reading, then speaking, even my own work, seems to be just too much. There are constant starts and stops and I back up because I read a word wrong. It's beyond frustrating and makes me feel stupid. The imagery I am trying to convey with my words sounds dull and the stumbling of my words, to my ears at least, completely destroys whatever good I accomplish with my writing.
My whole life people have remarked on my intelligence. I tend to downplay it. Perhaps it is because of the speaking. Perhaps it is because I tend to have so much trouble translating the knowledge I have at hand to actual practical effect. I can not tell you what specifically makes me feel like I am a bumbling idiot. Whatever it is, it's plagued me almost my whole life.
Learning disabilities can drive you mad. You see your friends doing things that you struggle with. The thing is I've come to learn that when one thing is taken from you, you're often given something in return. Often there are connections I can make, and my memory for the things people say is truly remarkable. I'm often able to understand difficult concepts, even if I am not able to relate the same concepts to others. Dyslexia isn't all bad. True it can frustrate the hell out of me at times, but I know no other way of thinking, and I have to think I'm this way for a reason.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
After Becky broke off the engagement, someone told me that I need time to mourn the loss. At the time that comment seemed odd to me. She's not dead. Her life will go on, only without me. I went back to my grief and depression. It is only now that I really think about it that that friend was right. Mourning the loss of a relationship really is like mourning a death of a loved one, but if anything in some ways its worse.
I miss the way she used to smile at me. Often times my goofy nature would make her laugh, and she would give me a smile that showed she genuinely took joy in my presence. Once, sadly two weeks before it ended, she and I were absolutely punch drink with exhaustion, and the two of us sat there giggling then uproariously laughing at something. Her parents, brother, and sister all looked at us like we were crazy. That just made us laugh harder.
I miss the way she gave me hope for the future. She could be blunt, and direct, sometimes brutally so, but when we talked about the future the worst of my past just disappeared. I miss the dreams we'd share. The plans we'd make. The sense we can do anything if we're together.
I miss taking care of her. When she got migraines, or was horribly ill, I miss sitting by her bedside, getting her meds, water, ice packs. I truly miss the ability to make her misery just a little bit better. If she was unstable on her feet, I'd support her. If she was puking I would sit by, and hold out a glass of water so she could wash the taste out of her mouth. I miss the weak but grateful look she'd give me. I genuinely miss worrying about her health, and trying to track all her various medications.
I miss the way she knew me. I there were so many things I confided in her that I haven't told anyone else. Many more things I didn't have to tell her. She had instinctual knowledge. She had just as many sleepless nights as I did. I wonder now, if I'll ever trust a woman enough to tell her some of those darker things, and if such a woman might be rare, rarer still is the woman that's been where I've been, and seen what I've seen.
I miss the quiet moments. This stolen moments when we could just be together. Her presence was a balm on even the worst anxieties. In calm moments I felt such peace as I have not felt in well. . . most of my life. We didn't have to talk about anything. Sometimes just sitting in silence holding hands was all we needed.
Far more than that, for me, I have a really overactive imagination. I could live in the worlds I imagine. Often times I've gotten lost for hours and days even exploring worlds that don't exist. Even with more terrestrial matters, I can imagine possibilities, and see them almost as clearly as if they were happening, or recent memories.
For a very long time, I willfully prevented myself from delving in such thoughts. But with Becky I began to dream those dreams. I could see the moment I proposed to her. True in reality it didn't remotely match reality, the fact that I saw it in my head at all. . . that let me know this was it for me. I saw myself lifting her veil at our wedding. I could see the tears of joy she almost but not quite held back. I could see her after our first child was born. The exhaustion clear on her face along with a look of sheer joy and wonder at the small life she held in her arms. I saw a curly haired precocious child that was an absolute terror, running around full of laughter.
I saw so much more. A whole life. When she said "the way things are I can't marry you." it was like watching all those visions be painfully ripped away and watch them circle past an event horizon into a singularity. I don't doubt the pain of her death would have been in that moment just as bad. But unlike a death this pain lingered.
While my psyche fractured and I tried to find refuge in my rationality, one question kept screaming its way through my head. . . why? Why? WHY? What had I done wrong? Was there hope? Is there anything I can do? Can't we find a way to fix things? What if. . . ? What if. . . ? Finally a piteous plea. Please.
Each time I tried to talk to her I felt the love she'd once had for me die a little more. Finally. . . we might as well have been strangers. I asked her what we were after she said she couldn't marry me, she said "very good friends." I wish we were. If you didn't check my Facebook timeline you'd never have known we were oh so close to marriage.
I will probably never know why. I suspect if I was given a rationally satisfying answer it would hurt my emotional side horribly. If I were given an emotionally satisfying answer it would offend my rational side. Despite the fact that even now there's a part of me that would do anything she would say if it meant we might be together again, I suspect there's another part of me that would never be able to trust her again. I'd always be on the lookout for the next flashpoint that would end things.
I've never told any woman I've dated, but the litmus test for me as to whether I would wish to marry a woman came from the nightmare that was the WTB. I saw relationships and marriages end because of the wounds of war. I also saw just how battered a human body can get. I would ask myself, "If I ended up back there, and was really hurt, would she stay?" I don't think I could go through that kind of hell alone again. With Becky right up until the moment she broke things off, The answer was an unqualified yes. I think the fact that I thought the answer was one thing when it was really another adds another level of hurt. It also makes me terrified to realize even if I think the answer is yes, I might get paralyzed in a car crash tomorrow and whatever woman I might try to be with might not wait for me to wake up before hitting the road.
I have come away from this knowing I'll never meet another woman like Becky. I'm not sure I want to. As amazing, and wonderful and beautiful as she was, I don't ever want to fall so deeply in love again. I'll mourn the death of the love we had, and in time, I'll hope she finds the right man for her and has the life she hoped for. I fear that she'll get in her own way, and I tend to think very few men will be so persistent as to ever break through that high wall she erects around herself. Whatever the case for myself the path ahead looks a little darker. The desire to drive toward a goal is a little dimmer.