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Living and coping with DD (directional dyslexia)

March 10, 2019

Hey faves, how’s the weekend going or your week, just about whenever you stumble upon this post. I told my mum before morning devotion yesterday that I have directional dyslexia and she was like “Say God forbid, but what does it mean”, explained to her and she was like, “Its the first time I’m hearing of it, is it hereditary because no one in my family or your father’s have it”. I was also the topic for prayer as she told God to stop her daughter from discovering new sicknesses every other week (I’m that kid that falls sick all the time and makes a big deal over the tiniest cut). So here’s what directional dyslexia is : extreme difficulty distinguishing right from left and following a sequence of directions or retracing a path, also comes with short term memory. Now here’s my story…

I always have the left-right confusion, like almost all my life it’s been hard to tell my left from my right and the other way round which leaves me thinking, how come my teachers from nursery school up until now didn’t notice this? I had to browse up what was wrong with me because I was starting to feel abnormal. I can’t tell my “right” without hurriedly drawing the letter “a” (figured that’s my coping mechanism, most people form the letter L because only the index and thumb on the left hand can form the letter perfectly). Growing up, I was always that kid that mix-matches her shoes, like the left leg to the right and the right to the left but then it was a growing up thing right? Like we all had that same issue, so no stress. In secondary school, I wanted to be in the marching band but you should have seen me during the two tryouts I went for. “Left right, left right, forward march! Two steps forward, turn right, turn left, forward march!” Hol’up bruv, I’m here trying to do the left right while looking at the person in front of me and you’re making us do extracurricular stuff. I was done disgracing myself so I joined the cheer squad (don’t get excited, we weren’t forming pyramids or anything, just a bunch of girls dressed up and screaming at everything with pom-poms made from garri sac). Marching wasn’t for me and NYSC would have to figure the marching aspect of itself out when the time comes. I one time had a bad experience with my dad, like he was driving and man was like “Nne, check that side of the car, the left tire”, from my end, his left was my right (I wasn’t inside the car yet) and so I told him to keep turning and boom! man’s hit the gutter he was avoiding and then I got scolded and I kept on crying saying “but that was my left nau”. I don’t still know how that stuff works. If you’re facing me and you say your right hand side, on God I’m either doing a mental calculation or turning to the exact position you’re in just to figure it out. Please! don’t give me directions like “when you’re coming, tell the cab to take you to the left side opposite the bank, the west side of the road. Take two blocks down the road and then turn left again and then after one bank, turn right” 

Sorry dear but the next voice you’d be hearing would be that of the cab man, I find it hard to locate my house most times and you’re confusing me like that. PS: this is why I hate to go to new places, worse, alone! Are there bread crumbs to retrace my steps with? If no, then thank you talk to the cab man. How can you be asking me which side of the road I’m on, then later you show up saying, I told you the left side, not this side Ejo! when did road start having left and right, it’s difficult to even show you my right hand in 5 seconds. Or you tell me to check if any car is coming on the right side, sorry sir but we might just have to die on this journey because lorry might be coming from that right side and I’m looking at the left side.

Then the worst part of it is the short memory, it gets worse as you get older. I jokingly tell my friends that I just might have amnesia when I’m old and dying and it would be sad. I could have something in mind and can swear on my old grey balls (I say the weirdest things) that I know what I just said and fast forward to 5 minutes later, it’s a battle in my head. Most times if it’s that important, I just write or type it down somewhere (another coping skill). The scariest thing about directional dyslexia is the fear of getting lost. I’ve been to Owerri many times, lived there for like a year plus and still finished secondary school there (in dorm though) but then if I travel to Owerri and the driver doesn’t drop me at the park or the only junction I know IMSU junction I just might get missing if there is no cab ready to overcharge me all in the name of drop. One time I traveled with my friend Jessica when she had this modelling gig, new place and none of us have ever been there, I’ve been to the state once but then does it even count? Jessica was depending on me to lead the way and all. So I call our friend we were going to stay with and he gave me directions and where to stop. I was like las las the driver will stop at the park and I get cab that will take me directly no matter how much. I’d pay any amount just not to get missing. We got to the state pretty late and it was raining, boom! driver says he’s not getting to the park and he’s stopping at one weird place. Jess looked at me and I smiled but deep down I knew it was that day we will get lost, she was like “you remember the direction ba” I nodded, yes girl, yes. 

That’s how we crossed road and I made us trek to where I don’t know but you know how God loves his people. This God 😭😭😭. People were jumping cabs and calling streets and junctions I’ve never heard of. We saw a cab, I told him where we were going and he called big money, I was like Jess we better risk it all and jump into this cab. When we got to our destination, I dried my tears and acted like everything was okay. Deep down I just had a DD panic attack and it wasn’t funny. It’s something I’ve grown to know how to control. My friends always expect me to be in charge of directions when we are travelling if only they know that it’s been God. 

If people with higher level of dyslexia can do it, then why can’t I, that’s what keeps me going. Well, there’s no cure for it and it’s just mostly coping skills and all. Doesn’t mean I’m dumb or something, I mean do you even know this girl? 😏 my IQ level can’t fit into this post. Explains why I zone out too much the time. So yeah, there goes one of my greatest human struggles.

Do you have the left-right confusion? Have you had cases similar to mine? Fret not! It means we are unique and all that, I could create a support group sometime in the future. But for now, we ignore the panic attacks and keep moving ❤❤.

xoxo, WNG 🖤

Lynda

Hi, faves! I’m Ndubuaku Lynda, a blogger, content creator and storyteller. I’m also a freelance writer. I also inspire millennials through my blog show. There are different categories on the blog. Get comfortable! Need to reach me? Send an email to ndubuakulynda@gmail.com or a dm to @whitenigeriangirl on IG

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3 Discussion to this post

  1. Frank Emmanuel says:

    My fave writer

  2. Ebele says:

    “Say God forbid, but what does it mean”, this got me, typical Nigerian mum.
    Nice read, I can relate totally with all of that and more.
    Nobody understands why I detest going out alone so much. It doesn’t even get easier with age or experience, you just learn to adapt with your coping skills.
    You are not alone babe.

    • WhiteNigerianGirl says:

      It’s good to know someone else gets it. We definitely would survive, thank you so much for reading.

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