I have wasted many years being afraid. Afraid to speaking in front of a group of people, afraid of trying new things, even of dressing in clothes that would show any part of my arms or legs.
I am sure it did not help being teased as a kid for being too thin causing me to hid my body in thick winter coats even in summer. Or having my 4th grade teacher break a yard stick on my desk calling me stupid because I could not answer a math question(Sadly this is not an exaggeration and I can still remember his name). And along with finding out I had a learning disability and being sent to a place called “cripple children’s society” having to repeat the 4th grade. This left me with no self esteem and afraid of so many thing especially male teachers.
My fears of course followed me into High school. It was were I had my first male teacher several years after the incident. I made sure to sit in the very back so there was no way for him to see me. Even when he took attendance and just called my name I would freeze up. I also was extremely afraid to be called on in class for fear of people thinking I was stupid for getting the questions wrong. I didn’t want people to find out about my learning disability. P.E. was hard because it meant wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Eventually, I made a couple of friends that I was able talk to about personal issues. Towards the end of my freshman year I was no longer terrified of my male teacher. And I was literally forced to try out for the dance team. A challenge made by friends to help me over come some fears. To my surprise I made the team, performed in several competitions and received many first and second place ribbons.
High School and the friends I made helped me a lot. I got rid of my heavy winter jacket. And I learned that it was ok to get answers to questions wrong.
Several years later I had 3 wonderful kids all of course by the same dad who ended leaving me to raise them alone. It was hard but I decided to put myself in the Junior College hoping that my learning disability wouldn’t get in the way with getting some kind to help me get a good job to better support my kids. It was hard but again i overcame my learning disability by getting an A.S degree and graduating from the Dental Assisting Program. Passing the state board becoming Registered.
Fast forward to many years after….Got married and had 5 more kids. This time I did have to stay home giving up a job working for a very good dentist. Daycare was going to cost more then my paychecks. But we moved to Washington and due to being very expensive here I had to work. No one in the Dental field would hire me because of being out of the field for so long. I felt my confidence level drop to the point that I was crying and about to give up. After about 40 dental job applications that didn’t work I had to go outside of my filed. I eventually got hired in an optometrist office getting paid a lot less then what dental jobs were paying. But a job is a job after all. At first it all went smoothly, I know about HIPPA, how to check insurances, schedule patients and answer phones. But what I did not know was contacts, glasses, or even the eye terminology. For some reason no matter how hard I tried to comprehend this field I felt like my learning disability was blocking me. Did not understand how considering I graduated from a Junior college and passing that big complicated test to become registered. I started to feel my fears coming back to haunt me. I was so afraid of making a mistake that I would retreat to the back room and just deal with checking insurance. It also didn’t help matters any when I worked with someone was very demeaning making me feel stupid and like I was in elementary school. I was there about 9 months and then COVID-19 happened. I got the flu during this time and while recovering it was announced that there would be stay at home orders.
Stand by layoff- then temporary layoff and finally the ” Sorry we had to make the decision to terminate your position” Yes I was upset and cried but then relieved.
I decided I need a break. A break to regroup and figure out what it is that I would like to do. I want to do something that I didn’t have to physically be around people.
I have written plenty of papers while I attended Junior college. I never thought I was good at writing not to mention the thought of a person reading what I wrote terrified me. Thankfully it was just the teacher that read my essays. I somehow got A’s and B’s on all my papers. Literally a big surprise. I have always liked writing so, I thought maybe I would try to again. But despite me posting several things I am still finding my self afraid. Afraid of what people will think. Will they like it? Will they hate it? Will my disability show? This will be hard and I know things take time but at least I am not able to see people reactions and hopefully wont have to read any mean comments. I will say constructive criticism is always welcome.
I need to learn even at the age of 50 to overcome challenges.
To anyone that ever told you you’re no good … They’re no better.
— Hayley Williams