This Boy Is Me
The boy stands next to his primary school teacher, holding her hand as he watches the other boys and girls throw a ball through a hula-hoop for sports day.
The boy sits at his desk trying to read the squiggles he has written on a piece of paper, but blames himself as he cannot make out the letters.
The boy gets pushed over by the other students in the corridor. They take his bag, shoes and laugh as his pencil case and books drop out.
The boy falls off his bike, scraping his knee on the pavement. He cries and runs into the house and says he will never ride again.
The boy screams. He shoves books off the shelf and smashes glasses onto the floor. He stops. In the mirror he sees a boy trembling.
This boy is me.
I paused many times whilst writing the sentences above, because those memories are all real and they all hurt.
‘Dyspraxia Awareness Week’ comes around once a year, and each time I make sure to spend five minutes of every day reflecting upon my experiences of living with Dyspraxia.
I reflect that it is okay for our brains to process information differently, that it may take us longer but we do get there in the end and actually go beyond expectation. After all, we are all unique and have a story to tell.
It is also fine to be scared, frustrated or angry sometimes. We should not shy away from who we are because a few judgemental people try to insult us. They only do this because they are jealous and have not realised who they are as individuals. Remember our voices can inspire others to share theirs.
I am reminded there are incredible people out there, many of whom I would not be here today without. I am thankful for my family, friends, the staff at school and university, and the Dyspraxia community who prove we can be fantastic in spite of having Dyspraxia.
Finally, I should never forget how far I have come and where I am going next. So, in the future if I ever feel anxious, angry or hopeless I should tell myself the following:
The boy runs with the ball and kicks it in the top corner of the goal. He swims across the water and does ten laps of the pool. He goes outside again, grabs the bike by the handles and rides off into the distance.
The boy holds up the piece of paper and reads the sentence, ‘Always believe in yourself.’ He then starts to produce stories and poems that will last forever.
The boy shakes hands with the governor who presents the boy with the certificate stating he has graduated with First-class honours in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Hertfordshire.
The boy high-fives his friends and hugs members of his family; and joins in games of poker and bowling, goes to the cinema, travels to snow-capped mountains and deep oceans.
The boy places the knocked over books back onto the shelf and mends the broken glasses. In the mirror he sees himself, smiling.
This boy is me.