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Things I couldn't do then, that I can do now.

Growing up had an impact on my life, and there were many things I couldn't do. I also have learning disabilities. My confidence has grown and here is what I can do now.

By Carol TownendPublished 3 years ago 7 min read
Things I couldn't do then, that I can do now.
Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

My childhood wasn't easy. I had a lot of issues both at home and at school that stopped me from achieving and created devastating obstacles on my journey to getting where I really wanted to be after school.

In today's world, I have issues with employers because I have dyscalculia, which means that I struggle severely with Maths. I didn't get much help with this at school or at home, because it was barely recognized. As a result, I was always in bottom maths classes, and I was bullied for being "slow."

As I reached adulthood my life was a thunderstorm for a while, constantly full of bad things that felt like they were only happening to me. After so many years of suffering low self-esteem, mental health problems, bullying, abuse, and many other issues, I went on a mission by doing courses, research and even taking my limits above those I couldn't manage in my past. I discovered there was more to me than people think, and I wrote this list to show others what patience and learning can do.

1. I Became Better at Writing and Reading

These were always my favourite lessons at school. I loved English because I got to read and write. I could get my head stuck into books and write for hours. They were the subjects I was best at, but never really thought I was 'good enough' at. I think, no matter how good we are, we all want to be better. The teachers enjoyed my work and I did get a lot of praise for it, but I took this over my limits and turned it into a 'better me.' I researched courses, read millions of books and wrote a lot of different things as I grew up. I gradually gained the confidence to take my work to the web, and now I'm writing on platforms like Vocal and occasionally Medium, and I'm writing a book. I am now very creative with writing and although I stuck within my safety net, I managed to get past that 'fear of the unknown' and if you read any of my articles on my page, you'll find I write in many more styles and on many more issues. I've even written raunchy stories on here, something I have never done before!

2. I am Better at Maths Despite still having Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is something I have to manage for the rest of my life, and many do not recognize it. As a person with this condition, I am often seen as 'incapable' by many employers. It is a condition that causes me to face discrimination in many aspects of my life. However, it doesn't make me 'thick' or 'stupid.' I am capable of many things like I can do basic addition and subtraction despite needing a calculator sometimes. I can't do multiplication, division, and complicated maths mentally, but I can do them with pen and paper. People perceive me as 'lazy' and they say 'you're not trying hard enough,' for having this condition. However, it doesn't mean that at all, it means it takes me a little longer to do these things and I need help and support. I have been studying Functional Skills Maths courses with Oplex Careers, and though it took me a while, I have nearly completed it. I can now deal with certain measures, time, geometry, money and many other things

3. I Passed my Child Neglect and Protection Awareness Course

I didn't get off to a great start with my own children because of heavy abuse factors in my life when they were very young. I studied Child Protection and Neglect Awareness, because the abuse started when I was young, and recycled itself into my adult life. I was made to feel bad about being a parent with mental health problems and I lacked many skills I should have had, but I still disagree with the fact I couldn't be supported with these. That was 10 years ago, and during that time, I have learned a lot in this area, and I have a level 3 higher distinction CPD in this subject.

4. I Learned Mental Health Techniques and Behavioural Therapy

Mental health is something I have had problems with all my life. It got to a point where I couldn't take care of myself, and my very last therapy session was stopped because of a medical problem. However, I went on to learn more about mindfulness, one-thing-in-the-moment, reinforcement, and many other techniques. There was a time when I couldn't relax or do anything mindfully, and I would become stressed out and distraught. Now, I take things day by day, enjoying everything I do, use nature and I am much more organized and happier for it.

5. I Now Enjoy Cleaning

Life was chaotic when we had children at home, to a point where cleaning used to stress me out immensely. I became so disorganized with it, that my house would look like a jumble sale top to bottom, and I would get mad with it. I would panic over everything, and not take time out for myself, because I felt everything had to be done in a day! Now, even on my worst days I can clean and organize my house. I am not a 'spotless' person, but I am a clean person. I believe in 'lived-in,' so I take everything as it comes while leaving a little mess for the next day. Many people stress out over cleaning because they try to do it all in a day. However, I work mostly by writing online and I am writing a book as well as being a carer, so I have to have a balance. Caring also taught me about this balance.

6. Decorating Is Now My Thing

In the early days, learning this skill, you would have laughed. Painting would look like children's work, and my wallpaper would go on the wrong way round! As a child, I got the chance to strip walls and tidy the mess up, but I never got the chance to cut or hang it. I taught myself through trial and error and by watching people do this. I used many videos and 'How to' books along the way, and I carefully had a go myself, over and over until I got it right. There were days when I would become frustrated and want to strip the entire thing and start again, but eventually, after years of perseverance, I picked up on it, and now I love it. Perseverance is a thing with decorating, as you don't pick up on it overnight!

7. I Love Cooking

This took some time, though I could cook pasta and other basics. Cooking is my favorite kitchen skill and I followed others like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, and Gino. I used a lot of cookbooks in the early days, which were useful for giving me an idea of what I needed. I used to hate cooking, but after having children I realized this was a skill I needed most. I now spend hours cooking cakes, bread, buns, pasta, meat, burgers, and many more dishes. It took me years to improve it, though I had some cooking skills from school. I was a bit slower to advance on those skills because of learning difficulties, but now I really love cooking!

8. Hidden Talents

I am one of many 'hidden talents,' such as writing, reading, listening to music, and many other talents. Sometimes these talents can not be seen under the disabilities I have and the anxiety I suffer from, which can be off-putting to some people. People tend to look down on people with problems such as mine, especially learning disabilities. If you read my writing, you can see that talent shine through, but if you read some, you'll also see bits of unconfidence too. This unconfidence in expression with writing comes from people shaming me and embarrassing me, sometimes because they misperceive me because I have problems. This can be painful for people with disabilities. Next time you are told about a person with disabilities, don't simply turn them away, look for the talent beneath them and they can surprise you.

self help

About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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