Don’t Beat Yourself Up , by Barbara

By March 12, 2024 NVLD Bloggers

I am a 62-year-old woman with undiagnosed NVLD.  My  28-year-old daughter has it, more severe than me, but I see bits and pieces in myself.  As difficult as it has been to watch my daughter struggle with this learning disability, there has been a silver learning.  I always felt inferior, comparing myself to others.  Like I wasn’t good at anything.  Now I see that there was a reason for my struggles.  Those people I envied were fortunate to not have NVLD, they were not better than me.  It is clear why I  have had self-confidence issues.  Watching people around you do things with ease that you struggle with isn’t easy.

Here is what leads me to believe I have these bits and pieces:

I walked late at 19 months.  My mother tells me I would never hold a bottle.  When I was a baby I ignored the mobile over my crib, while my 3 weeks younger cousin, who was in the crib with me, swatted at it.  My parents were concerned and took me to some sort of specialist who measured my head and told them that there was nothing wrong with me.  But of course, comparing me to my 13-day younger cousin, who met typical milestones, they were concerned.

I struggled in gym class.  (now they call it P.E.).  I remember having to stay after school for “extra gym” because of my coordination issues.  I cannot keep up learning dance steps. Zumba?  Forget it!  I was always standing in the opposite direction as the rest of the class.  I always feel sorry for myself at bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings because I can’t follow the popular dance steps and participate.

I learned to read quickly and easily.  But math was a nightmare.

I tried to learn to play two musical instruments but was not successful at either.

Tasks that focus on fine motor skills are difficult for me.  I am forever grateful to whoever invented the gift bag because wrapping paper and I are not a good match.  I remember taking home EC in junior high and could not thread the sewing machine to save my life.  I still cannot get a key on that circular thing on a keyring.  Arts and crafts?  They were always difficult for me, especially where folding was involved.  That “you are here map” in the mall?  Forget it!  It may as well be in another language!    I just ask someone where Macy’s is! I struggled to get my driver’s license, and had to as there was no public transportation to speak of where I lived.  (This was pre-uber).

In conclusion, I just want to say to those with NVLD, I get it.  It’s not your fault.  Do not beat yourself up and feel poorly about yourself.  It is a waste of time and energy.


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