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My Dyslexic Journey by Samantha Pope

My Dyslexic Journey by Samantha Pope I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was in year 1, aged 6. I was at the bottom set of reading during my whole school life and even now I still have to break down words to read them and use spell check on everything. When I was 8 years old in year 3, I remember so clearly, I was in the White and Yellow set of reading abilities, this meant I was reading books with big words and 1-line sentences. I didn’t learn what a comma was until I was in year 7. With this reading ability being so low from a young age the other classmates realized how much I needed help with my reading they started to pick on me, this is when the bullying started. I only ever had one friend that really looked out for me and helped me with my reading in year 4, in year 6 she moved to Australia. I was heartbroken. When I was offered the opportunity to do my level + in year 6, I was automatically put down by everyone, my teachers, my parents. They didn’t even put me in for it as they didn’t want to ‘do more damage’ to me. I however got accepted into a comprehensive school. This is when I found out little young Sam was in a big kettle of fish, and it felt like I was going to get eaten up! Year 7 to 9 I found my new friends and they were in the bottom set of everything like me! I was loving it. I could piss about, and others had dyslexia too! My teachers would say at my parent meetings, ‘Sam is a good learner, but she is always talking!’. Now I realize that I didn’t listen because they ever took into consideration of my dyslexia. I couldn’t keep up with the copying of the board writing it all down. I didn’t see the understanding why I needed to do this when they could print this out for me to read. But the teachers never done this, they did for others, but not me. Thinking about this my mum may have had a say in this? That I needed to do this to learn, to think they were are helping me, but it never did because it was a vicious circle. Anyways back on track, in year 9 we got to choose our options for our future, some of my friends choose A grade classes like French and Drama, but all I wanted to do was Hair Dressing! The closest thing to this was Social Care. So, 2 years of learning about old people and babies was fun but not what I wanted to do. Again, a lot of written work and I was always behind on deadlines for essays, the most I remember was writing s 2,00-word essay on discrimination and I had to take a baby home to feed and look after! I did enjoy these times, but I found It incredibly hard to talk and speak my truth during school as I was always picked on for my dyslexia, most of the time I just ignored the silly comments and sly words form them bitchy girls at school, but the boys were even worst. I miss read Dutch for douche and then I was called douchebag for a year in year 8! Another time in year 9, I was true to my word about an incident over text with a boy I fancied he asked me for a boob pic but I was like ‘Fuck No’ but he claimed I did and got a pic of a porn site and told the whole of our year and showed them calling me Shit-stirrer! This stuck till we left school in six-form. When I started by GCSEs, I was eligible for an extra 22mins due to my dyslexia, in my English exams I had 4 of them to give us an overall grade. Every exam I would write, and my mind would go blank. Nothing came out and I got a E grade for English. In math it was the same. To this day I still haven’t grasped all my times tables. I see it as, ‘that’s what a calculator is for!’ Not because I want to do 7 times 8 in my head because I genuinely can’t. going back a bit this reminded me I struggled with math too all my life. I found it so hard to retain information and maths was a massive part I never got the intuition and help when I was young to hold this info and my teachers back in primary did try to help me, but they also didn’t give me the intuition I needed. I did however enjoy knitting and cooking in after school clubs in year 6! Moving forward to when I started college 2009, I was absolutely love this time I was 17 getting the bus into the nearest big town over 30mins away I was able to express who I was with completely new people. I made new friends that was doing the things I loved to do too. I got into college with my low grades doing Level 1 Hair Dressing. It was the basics on hair but I was so ready to learn finally what I wanted to do all my life. I had wanted to be a Hair Dresser from the age of 7. I had locked this in for 7 years that I wanted to be a Hair Dresser, nothing else. I knew there was a calling in my life to make people look and feel good and I didn’t need ‘good grades’ to do this. Although when I passed my GCSEs, even classmates friends told me in front of my parents and close family friends said, ‘oh Sam is doing hair dressing because she didn’t get good grades’. To be honest I did get knocked back a little but in the same respect I didn’t because I was FINALLY doing what I longed to do! I took me 4 years of learning and 3 long years in the salon to build up my column, but I got there. So back when I was at college doing my level 1, my teachers were amazing. Nothing like my teacher at secondary school. They talked to us like adults and respected me and my dyslexia. I was given time to learn in my own time and I loved that most of my learning was practical, although I had to do models and write up, I was totally on the ball. When I was coming to the end of my Level 1, I had to find a salon to work in for my Apprenticeship. I was on the hunt for months and I felt like I was going backwards. It felt like no one wanted me again. But I did find a salon. A big salon with 7 stylists and 2 other apprentices. It was great I had found my hub and I thought I was going to work here for ever, I looked up to all the stylists and I was doing everything a Saturday girl would do. But when it came to my in-salon training, I was spoken down to and brushed aside. I was spoken to like shit in front of clients. It was embarrassing! Everything I learnt back in my GCSEs and discrimination and all stuff. I was living in. I made me who I am today. I was told off for being slow, a thing that dyslexic people suffers with. I was told I wasn’t good enough and I would never make it as a hairdresser basically squeezing me out of the big salon. I was pressured by my parents to stick with my apprenticeship as I have literally wanted to do this all my life (I had but still!)! I was something like 6months left of it and at the end because I was in stress over drive with the deadlines of my apprenticeship and being basically a lacky at work I was major spiralling. My teachers helped me with everything they could to get me passed and completed with my course and I was so grateful to them. At the end of my training in level 2 I was offered part time work in the salon on minimum wage for a 19year old. So, this was so tough. I left and worked as a cleaner in a care home for about 9 months, hated it. I had been put off my desires, the thing I had been born to do had been crushed left, right and centre because know one understood me and my dyslexia. When I realised enough was enough, I realised I could travel go wherever I wanted with my trade I needed to get back in the salon and do what I loved to do. I worked in another salon, and I was again bullied by all the bitchy stylists in the salon ran by a French man. He was the worst and encouraged all this nastiness in the salon. I met Dan my fiancé <3 back in 2013 when I was working in this salon. Yes, he probably met me when I was at my lowest in my life. They say things like this happen we are guided to have these people within our life’s when we need them the most. So, while I was at this bitchy salon my boss (the French man) he didn’t realise I have a stigmatism and there was this time when I was cleaning the end of the day jobs and he was sweeping the hair up while I was cleaning the chairs he said ‘Sam catch’ in the split second he launched the broom at me and it hit me in the face, in my blind spot. I remember it hurting so much that I think he broke my nose and knocked my glasses off my face. A month later I handed my notice in and I left. I became so ill with his toxic energy and the bitchy girls in the salon. So, I ended up working in a golf club bar this is where I learnt how to count money and fees for the golfers. I didn’t let my dyslexia get in the way of this job. And I didn’t want it too either. I was happy and my work colleagues were so lovely to me after my bad experiences. A few months passes and I was given the job to cash up and lock up. This golf course building was so big and ancient, I found it a huge responsibility to lock up and cash up. There were many doors to lock and the keys took time to remember what door and what key to be locked! This took me a while to grasp, and the cashing up took me a while to count too. Before long I was called up from my manager wondering why it took me so long to cash up and lock up. I was taking around hour to do this, so I was questioned because they thought I was trying to get another hour on my wages when actually I took ages to count all the money clean and lock around 20 doors! Before long I wasn’t given shifts and I was squeezed out of there too. This is when fate landed for me, and my grandma saw an advert in a window for a salon in a town I always dreamed of working in. Back in 2014 I joined this salon. I was put back to a training stylist and I was given the opportunity to do my Level 3 hairdressing. I studied for a further 3 years doing my level 3, giving me the confidence and the proper training, I needed. The teacher was very understanding and so was my bosses. I wasn’t earning the best of money, but I was happy, and I felt my bosses saw me for my true authentic self. After long I found my feet and my boss took on 2 more apprentices and gave me the roll to teach them. I still was in my absolute pleasing self where I wanted to have all the appraisals and gold stars. When the first apprentice left when he qualified it was left to me bring the salons clients in and I left the pressure of the other apprentice leaving too I was left to deal with the salon on my own and mine and her clients. I didn’t mind this because I was able to do my job, but after long she then put a camera up in the salon to watch me and my clients, I felt trapped in this hole that I couldn’t get out of. For 4 years I wanted to leave. I wasn’t happy but I didn’t know any different. I was so scared of losing everything I worked hard for. I realised I was doing it for my boss and her salon and not for me and my wishes. I worked in this salon for 8years, I don’t regret a single moment of working there as I learnt a great amount from my boss, and she greatly respected me, as I did her. When the Pandemic hit back in 2020, I realised I could use my Dyslexia as a tool to help guide people into their light. I was / can use my Channelled language to help provide care and compassion for those that were lonely and sensitive to these great changes in the world. Today, I use my speech and text as a essential tool daily to provide the most unique Dyslexic Mediumship I have ever known. Thought-out my life I have been conditioned to think my Dyslexia has failed me. When actually, it’s the very thing that makes me, ME!

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