2nd Grade & 2nd Grade

From a young child and growing into a young adult, I was insecure with a very low self-esteem that eventually led me to tragic events and an eventual long road to a better life. I think it is difficult for people to understand how a young child can be insecure about himself. My growing up years should be full of good times with friends and family; playing sports, enjoying school and just having fun. But there I am around 7 years old and already having feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. Events in my short life are very visible to me and are affecting my self-image.

I have a twin sister and upon ending the 2nd grade, she went on to 3rd grade and I went back to 2nd grade. For a child this young, I was devastated as I felt stupid and inferior to my twin sister. I remember about the same time going to a special hospital to have tests run. I think my parents wanted to find out if I had a learning disability. I remember having a hearing test, a physical and some aptitude tests. The one memory that stands out the most is that all around me were other children, many of them severely retarded. Me as a young child seeing other children my age at the same hospital that are severely retarded, how am I supposed to feel? I realized then at that very young and tender age I was different and something was wrong with me. So now at this point in my life I feel different, I feel stupid and retarded.

Upon deciding to write this post about my 2nd grade, I had forgotten about the trip to the ‘special’ hospital and taking the tests and seeing the severely retarded children. The other day when looking for my ‘Book of Writing’, I wrote in 4th grade, I stumbled upon other documentation of writings I wrote about 12 years ago. In these papers were writings about my hospital trip – I had forgotten about this event! Upon reading my writings about this I became sad as the memories of this time came flooding back into my mind; in a way, I regret finding and remembering this again.

I hate the word retarded, when I was young and growing up, kids would use it as a form of verbal abuse today known as bullying. But I was curious about the word and Googled it and found some good information on the website ‘The Free Dictionary’ and it opened my eyes to a new understanding of mental retardation. Viewing another website Dictionary.com states retarded as an adjective: characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc. and the slang: stupid of foolish.

Per ‘The Free Dictionary’ website I am not retarded, per the ‘Dictionary.com’ website I am retarded. I never considered myself retarded, only stupid.

I did receive some other interesting results from my Google search of the word ‘retarded’. I found ‘Intellectual disability’ a below average intelligence and set of life skills present before age 18. The information presented to me is the following:

About –

Intellectual function can be measured with an IQ test to detect below-average intelligence.

The main symptom is difficulty thinking and understanding. Life skills that can be impacted include certain conceptual, social, and practical skills.

Special education and behavioral therapy can help a person live to his or her fullest.

Symptoms –

The main symptom is difficulty thinking and understanding. Life skills that can be impacted include certain conceptual, social, and practical skills.

People may experience –

Behavioral: impulsivity or hyperactivity

Also common: difficulty thinking and understanding or restlessness

As a young child I thought maybe I was retarded or maybe my parents thought I was. Growing up into my adult years I thought I was stupid, as an middle aged adult I thought I had ADD and OCD, but now I know I have an intellectual disability.

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