Posted by Gayle Johnson on April 20, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Part 1: How I learned to love myself.
It took me some time to realize after all of the self abuse, neglect, low self-esteem and denial issues that I did not love me. In my youth I was teased because I was skinny. I also suffered from a learning disability I'd received quite a bit of ridicule from my peers and overlooked by some of my teachers. I was so disappointed when I had to take home C's and D's on my school work. I was very curious and often asked a lot of questions in class because of my dyslexia. It had gotten to the point that I didn't even bother to raise my hand with a question because I was ignored and shamed into silence. Because I had difficulty retaining information that I began to act out in class becoming the class clown. I spent many days in the principal's office being reprimanded more than I wished to remember. Take in consideration that I was in the second grade in elementary school. I had a wake up call when I had to spend my long hot summers in school and my off days were spent in the house. My punishment was servere because mom didn't appreciate me not doing my best and she was determined to change my C's and D's to A's and B's. Often I would miss a few meals because I would fall asleep at the kitchen table doing my home work. Anytime after my bed time which was (8pm) I would automatically fall asleep like clockwork. Mom was so agitated that she would often warn me that each problem better be correct. while I mumbled under my breath that if she would have helped me then I would have been finished a long time ago, but I couldn't understand when she was trying to show me how the problem should have been solved. When I finally got up the courage to give my paper to mom she reminded me of a school teacher how she carefully scrutinized my home work. When she yelled "Go to bed" that meant my home work was accepted. I was relieved and felt proud of myself. I would give a quick kiss to my mom and tell her that I loved her before I scurried off to bed. Mom never showed outward affections or would say she loved me but I felt she did. I was elated and relieved when I proudly passed to the third grade. That following year is when I was sent to a Catholic School. I took my work serious and only played when we had recess. I still raised my hand a lot but the teacher's there were more receptive than the other teachers I had before. I made sure I got all my work done in a timely manner with all corrections made. I really enjoyed being in Catholic School and I successfully passed to the 4th grade. I missed Ms. Bennett who was my third grade teacher, even though she wasn't a Nun she was able to understand my learning disability. I brought a diary and kept track of all of my activities. I would write about everything that happened in my life at home and in school. Everyday I made it my duty to stop by Ms. Bennett's class after school and clean her chalk board because I missed being around her. From the 4th to the 6th grade I had Nuns as my teacher's. Ms. Bennett was transferred to another school. Sister Marie Charlene and me got along very well. Some of my happier memories were when I sang in the talent show and acted in a couple of the school plays. I was having a ball in Catholic School for the time being. I had friends who attended Douglass Junior High School and I begged my mom to let me attend and to my surprise she did. My favorite class was English. I loved writing essays and doing reading assignments. However my punctuations and dictation skills diminished over the years, but I never let it hold me back. I still write and read everything I can get my hands on that hold my interest.
Part 2 coming soon.