I'm mad and I'm sorry

Dear Asshole in my History class that just said that “Dyslexia” was a synonym for “retard”,
 
        I'm dyslexic.
No that doesn't make me less smart.
No that doesn't make me illiterate.
No that doesn't mean that you can treat me like shit.
No, that doesn't mean that you can call me a fucking slur.
You shouldn't even be using that fucking word. 
 
            You shouldn't use a word that isolates an entire group of people.
You shouldn't tell me that “it's just a word!!!”
When you know damn well that it fucking isn't.
If it wasn't “just a word”
you wouldn't feel bad when I say that I'm Dyslexic,
or that the person your talking to has a sister with Downs Syndrome.
 
Because you know that it means more than that.
You know that is mean that you think that I am lesser than you.
Because you think that just because a person doesn't process thoughts the same way as you do
or can't speak as well as you do
or can't walk like you do,
that they are lesser that you.
That they are beneath you.
That they deserve to be defined by a word when they shouldn't be defined by their intelligence anyway. 
 
       I am not defined by my dyslexia.
It is a part of me.
I cannot process languages.
When I put pen to paper and try to write in my native tongue,
it feels like I'm writing in different characters.
I cannot help that.
I cannot help what I was born with.
It's not a fucking disease that I caught.
I cannot blame it on fucking vaccines.
I cannot blame it one my upbringing. 
 
    But when I am put into a box that says that's all I am.
Whenever I bring up that piece of me in passing.
I get looks of shock.
I get “I’m so sorries” and “you're a blessing.”
I was a damn blessing to begin with.
Do not feel sorry for me.
Do not try to define me by my intellectual roadblocks. 
     
I'm tired of being in the car and seeing a bumper sticker that says
“being smart is sexy!”
No being smart shouldn't be a standard.
I don't want to be in a hypocrisy where we go on retreats to visit disabled people on farms,
but days later I hear other people call someone retarded.
I do not want disabled people to feed into a savior complex where you go to a camp for a week,
talk to a few of them,
and come back and say how you're ‘changed’.
That they were so nice to you.
Of course they were nice to you.
Everyone is nice to people they just meet.
You understand that they are fucking people don't you?
 
I'm tired of the idea that if I put on my resume that I have a learning disorder
that my employer is legally aloud to pay me under minimum wage.
That's right.
Google that shit.
Because I forgot that we live in the 21st century not the twenties
where people like me were sterilized against their will  
because doctors thought that learning disorders were hereditary.
Oh wait, that's happening in prisons.
Google that shit too. 
 
    Do not tell me that I am taking this too fucking far.
Because when I tell people I'm dyslexic
everyone falls silent.
Because people think that it's a bad thing.
Something that shouldn't be talked about in public.
Well I'm fucking talking about it.
I wrote this shit down and it took me three fucking hours for two pages.
When I say it out loud I will stumble and lose my place.
It shouldn't make my point any less valid. 
 
Do not tell me that that word isn't bad.
You are actively shaming an entire group of people.
For something that they cannot help.
That I cannot help.
 
Do not try to understand what it's like for someone like me.
Do not try to understand that when I was in the second grade and we were testing for reading by the state
and I scored the lowest in my class
I thought that there was something wrong with me.
But two weeks later I took the same test orally
and I was put in the highest level reading class they could
besides moving me up a grade.
 
Do not say a word that is used to put people like me down.
Do not use a word that makes seven year olds think that they aren't good enough
because of what a fucking test said.
Do not say that something was retarded.
Erase that word from your vocabulary.
You do not need it.
 
 Love, Emily
 
Poetry Slam: 

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741