Growing, by Michaela Hearst

By February 13, 2019NVLD Bloggers

This blog has a bit of a different focus than my previous ones. Normally, I love offering advice, especially given the fact that I’m in social work. But I struggle, too. Disclosure of my NVLD is a topic that I’ve faced in my life recently: what to disclose, how to disclose, when to disclose. With a more unheard of LD like NVLD, it’s doubly difficult.

I wrote a poem last year for one of my classes about what it’s like to have a learning disability, and read it in my NVLD Project speech. My own written words literally echo in my head every single day. It occurred to me that my poem is a true reflection of the challenges I face. The poem is an extension of itself; it’s constantly writing about what it means to have an LD and continuously reflecting. I wanted to publish this with the hope it would help someone else.

Growing
It’s not wanting to disclose your LD, because you’re not sure if you’ll need to.
It’s later having to disclose, despite the lack of sensitivity you know you’ll face.
It’s being asked why you didn’t disclose in the first place.
It’s not knowing what to say and how to say it.
It’s not knowing what you’ll need, despite your self-advocacy skills you’ve worked so hard to
develop.
It’s feeling lost and defeated as a result.
It’s being forced to operationalize what “extra support” will look like in an environment where
you’re already stigmatized for needing it.
It’s admitting that others’ false perceptions of you hurt, and it’s big brown mascara eyes tearing
up, because what if they’re right?
It’s feeling like success is across the water, but you have to cross an unsteady, dilapidated
bridge to get there.
It’s self-blame, spiraling into self-doubt, despite the support you do have.
It’s being told that everything will make you stronger, despite how hard it is to believe.
It’s finding the right fit.
It’s having to find yourself all over again.
It’s poems and writings that pour out because you feel and reflect so deeply.
It’s using your experiences to help others, even when it’s through admitting you struggle, too.
It’s remembering the growth you’ve undergone and every ounce of strength that runs through you.
It’s knowing you can cross that bridge.

Michaela Hearst

I’m a lover of nature, poetry, and iced coffee (in my humble opinion, the only coffee truly worth drinking). I’m naturally extroverted, and I think of myself as a people person! I’m studying to become a social worker because I want to be able to help individuals with learning disabilities just like me! I am a Project Social Ambassador for The NVLD Project.

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