“My Secret Life”

By Gloria Clark
Watch Gloria

Watch Gloria recite her poem at the Atlanta screening of The Big Picture

Have you ever been in a world where you see everything upside down?
Where everything you think you see is not really how it seems?

Well, in my secret life, this is how I see it every day…like when you’re in school…What do you do when you need help?
Well you,
You probably call for help on the outside
Like raising your hand
But me

Hiding my secret from every one
But yet teachers still come and help me
It’s like they can see it in my eyes that I have dyslexia
Me trying to be independent is hard
Know that if I see a 6 that 6 could be a 9
And with the numbers moving upside down
And the letters moving all around
There’s nothing I can do but just watch the letters and numbers play with my mind
I feel like I’m on a merry go ‘round and they have me spinning to the point where I want to get off
But sadly, there is no ending to this ride
I was embarrassed, ashamed-
Trying to keep my hide in the game
Asking god…why did you choose me, why me?

But then the time came around that I had to spell a word
“Gloria, spell the word “PREDISPOSITION”
Uh no,
I can barely pronounce the word
How am I even gong to try to spell it?
Everybody is looking at me like I’m some kind of freak
Ok block them out
“P”, right??
Here I go
Wait… why is the teacher looking at me like that?
Uh no did I say ‘B’
Ugh, I mean “D” wait no, “P”
Ugh, this is so hard for me

I cried and cried
I wanted to hide

Only if they could see what I see
Now I’m screaming help… from someone, anyone.
And like a Super Hero my teacher saved me!!!
My teachers have helped me…A LOT!

I did have to learn my ABC’s and 123’s all over again
Because they were wrong in my head.
I practiced everyday–writing them in my head and on paper
Tracing the words of hope in my mind
My teacher helped me believe in hope
My teachers have been there through thick and thin
They catch me when I fall
They’ve been through it all
My teachers have had a BIG impact on my life
Education has helped me take new flight!
Even if it has been hard for me
I still did it
Didn’t I?
I mean look at me now
I’m writing
Ya’… I still have trouble but because of my teachers it has been easier
And I won’t let dyslexia spin me around and take me down
I’m getting off this ride!
But now when a teacher says
“Gloria can you spell this word…’
I sit down
Breathe, Close my eyes and
Think about my Secret life

As my eyes are closed for the one second
Flashes of me run through my mind
Me getting my diploma
Me heading off to collage
My first interview for a job
It’s all so far away in my mind
But close in real life
And this puzzle might be big
And I might not have all the pieces yet
But it is getting there.
And I know I’m getting there.
But I didn’t do it by myself, remember?
I had help from those wonderful teachers
They helped me through my secret life
And they are still helping me now!
Oh, and I forgot it’s not a secret anymore~
It’s my life and I’m proud!

Click here to read more about Gloria.

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