The people who should have been my strongest advocates and best allies had cast themselves as my antagonists and particularly unsympathetic ones at that.
At college I sought out the university's learning center which gave me a full workup and, after a lengthy consult with a neurophycologist, determined the extent and cause of my difficulties. The load off my chest -- knowing that my struggle with language wasn't because of some character flaw of mine or indicative of some greater intellectual failing, but rather an artifact of my cancer treatment, was enormous.
But it also led me to understand that my parents could have done so much more to help me; that the signs had been there for anyone with the will to see, and that in their stubbornness, blindness, or pride they had sacrificed their relationship with me and nearly cost me my chance at higher education rather than admit that I might have learning issues.
I'm a lot older now; married, professionally successful, and with three wonderful kids to boot. I have tried so very hard to forgive them; to let bygones be bygones and realize that they surely didn't know the consequences of their refusal to consider testing me for learning issues. At the same time I look at all that I have, all that I have built, the wonderful family and amazing grandkids I gave them and wonder how they can have thought any of that would have been worth risking for a higher grade in Latin.
Pick your battles with your kids and decide how far you'll push them before you jump in. Some fights aren't worth winning.
2. Apparently it wasn't for "no reason".
When I was too young to talk my sister pushed me down the steps and I had broken both of my collar bones (unbeknownst to my parents).
For a few days afterward they were getting such a huge kick out of the fact that whenever they raised my hands above my shoulders I would just start crying for no reason.
3. A lie if I ever heard one.
Told me not to be an engineer because, and I quote ( I AM QUOTING MY MOTHER HERE), "Engineers don't get jobs".
Imagine my rage when I am looking for jobs with a math degree.
4. Password, please?
They never gave me a key to the house. Like explicitly made a point to never give me a key and I had to be out of the house if they were gone. So there I am, parents gone, and I can't stay in my own house.
5. Some things just don't come naturally.
My parents forced me to take ADD meds for 2 years. They were awful and I lost like 15 pounds when I was supposed to be growing. They just couldn't accept the fact that I was just bad at math. There was no way that was true!
6. Couldn't get quite comfortable with the opposite sex.
Whenever I had a female friend come over, or talk over the phone they would make fun of me. Even though it was light-hearted, it made me avoid having close female friends. I have still never been a relationship (I am 22), and I only recently had my first kiss.
7. Everything in moderation.
Insisted that I be afraid of the world and instilled me with the idea that everything could and would hurt me. They are great, loving parents, but their over-caution has been an ongoing issue in my life.
8. If you're going to do something, do it.
Took my brother and I out of school to "home school" us. I was in 6th grade, my brother in 5th.
Aaaand then never actually schooled us. I'm now 21 with a 6th grade education and it bothers me immensely. People constantly tell me I should
"just go get my GED". They don't understand how much I need to catch up on. I'm pretty much hopeless when it comes to math.
Whenever the subject is brought up to my mom she gets really defensive and blames my brother and I for "not showing enough interest in her lessons".
Oh, you mean those two times you actually tried to have a study session? Ugh. Don't get me started.