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The Hurtful Words About Learning Disabilities I'm Still Struggling to Move Beyond

Back in 2013, my high school history teacher told me after class one day that I was going to be living off the government, on the streets and would never be able to do anything with my life because I was “stupid.” He said I should be ashamed about having a disability.

I told many different people including friends, teachers, the principal, and my parents about what he had said to me, and they all looked at me in disbelief, saying “He would never say something like that,” or “I don’t believe you,” and so on. He was the most liked teacher in our school. Teachers, students, and parents loved him, and he got away with saying those things.

I have a learning disability, in almost everything: math, reading, writing, social things, memorization/memory and much more. It also doesn’t help that I have clinical depression and anxiety. 2013 was my senior year of high school. I was just about to graduate in a few short months and I was pumped to see what the world was going to throw at me. School was very hard for me to get through, and some of my grades showed that, especially in his class. When he said those words to me, I felt like everything I was working for was going to be for nothing. I kept on thinking to myself, why should I try if there is nothing for me?

I’m just starting college at 21, and it has been very hard to get myself motivated to do anything. I kept on telling myself that I’m never going to do anything with my life because of my disability. I hated myself for not being able to figure a simple problem out for a college class. I hated how guilty I felt when I had to tell my professor that I had a disability. I hated the looks people gave me when I told them I needed something to be repeated or spelled out. I hated not having the motivation to get up and do anything. I hated not understanding the assignment, and the embarrassment of asking someone for help.

I hated being different.

It has been almost 5 years now, and I still have those words stuck in my head. I wish I could tell my past self that those words don’t matter because they aren’t true. Heck, I wish I could remind my present self that his words don’t matter, but it’s hard when part of you believes them to be true. I wish I had a motivational ending to my story, but the only advice I can give you is don’t give up. I know it’s a cheesy line, but if you give up you are giving in to those words. Prove them wrong!

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