I was always told how much of a genius I was. I was always assured I could do anything I wanted and could do things other people couldn’t. They put me in all the best elementary school programs and gave me all the attention a budding genius could ask for. They even told me my IQ score and let everyone know how brilliant I really was. The bullshit flowed and smoke was absolutely being blown up my naive ass.
Then it all fell apart. Somewhere around middle school the support ended and these stewards of mine withdrew their support. The middle school I went to was ranked as some of the worst in the nation and gangs ruled the school (yes, even in middle school). Bullies were more prevalent than teachers and support staff. I became hardened and spent a lot of time on the absentee list. I became disinterested and stopped studying. My life morphed into a latch key existence – a swirl of domestic violence and self preservation – where I strived to just get by and survive as opposed to thrive.
Little did I know how far behind the eight ball I was falling. I didn’t then understand the learning disabilities growing in me nor realized that alcoholic, latch key parents having to work ridiculous hours would have massively broken results in my adulthood. No one celebrates the cessation of your normal childhood development. Nobody touts that you can’t socialize or make friends or that you wouldn’t know how to date if your life depended on it. How could they when they didn’t even realize you weren’t actually going to school save the days the school gave their cookie cutter tests. I was a broken human being at this point and how I squeaked into college was a comedy of systemic errors.
And luckily, college was where, after three years of scraping by, I would be diagnosed as being functionally illiterate.