Firstly before starting this blog I want to say a huge thank you (again) to the lovely team at the Dyspraxia Foundation for giving me the Mary Colley award for my awareness work I do. I was very emotional on Saturday and had a very emotional mum too.
After my speech I had quite a few lovely parents come up to me and say that my story was very relatable to their children's and that they would ask their daughters to have a look at my blog (hello if you're reading this.) One of the common themes which was coming from the feedback from the parents was the realatability on my battle with my self esteem and confidence and self esteem especially in social situations.
In my speech I discussed how even though I was a friendly, polite, very kind child I would come home to my mum in tears because I was always the one who was never included or invited to parties because I was the different one in my class at the time I used to blame myself and think I must be a bad person for all of this happening.
I know from talking to many young people and their parents how many of them experience bullying because others don't understand their differences or how their brain is wired and how dyspraxia/dyslexia or any other difference effects them. It can have such a marked impact on self esteem and confidence often with life long effects. It's taken me a very long time to stop blaming myself for what happened to me and for the emotional wounds to heal and for me to feel comfortable in my own skin. If you ask my boyfriend what has been the biggest battle for me he would answer getting me to believe in myself.
I got asked in the questions after how as an adult now I feel confident in social situations and my answer was that even though sometimes I still find it hard, being with and finding the right people really helps, after coming home from Dypraxia Foundation Conferences or meet ups with other people who have experiences with dyspraxia/dyslexia I always find myself feeling really good about myself because I am with people who understand the battles I've faught, "get it" and see the positives and strengths. I also have the most amazing boyfriend who himself isn't the most confident of people but we boost each other, and tell each other we can do it. Positive words can make such a huge difference and have a huge impact. If you know someone who may be struggling even if you can't fully understand their battle a bit of empathy can go a long way.
To those who may be finding this blog relatable there is a little bit of hope out there and there are people out there who are understanding towards difference and see the amazing strengths and positives too, keep holding on. I always end my speech by saying each and every one of you is amazing don't let anyone tell you any different in life. Newly announced Dyspraxia Foundation patron Jamie from Callabro followed me on twitter after seeing I had won the award yesterday I squealed a little of happiness. Since then social media has been buzzing with dyspraxia awareness, I hope this is the start of good things and more understanding times ahead. Please have a read of Jamie's mum blog which she wrote about their journey with Jamie's dyspraxia (so relatable) https://yorkie007.wordpress.com/ Never Give Up :)