I before E, except after C

The thought of launching this site and broadcasting my struggle has me both hopeful and anxious. Hopeful that someone may relate to my experiences and anxious about it not being ‘perfect’.

I’ve had many breakthroughs in recovery. One of them being the source of my perfectionism when it comes to writing. As a child I struggled to read and write. And so, I was pulled out of class, and went to a resource teacher a few times a week for help. In addition, if you didn’t pass the weekly spelling test, you trod up the stairs to the Resource Room to rewrite every word you spelled wrong for what seems like eternity. I am sure I never passed a spelling test in all the years spelling tests were a thing. I can only imagine how many hours I logged in that room trying desperately to remember ‘I before E, except after C’ and all the other inconsistent rules of spelling the English language.

One year, I had a teacher who was especially cruel about my little problem. He made no qualms about reminding us ‘trouble spellers’ about the tests we failed. He would write our names on the board for all to see. Now for a 10 year old, this was an immense sense of shame. I stared at my name, in it’s permanent spot all year. For that I earned the nickname ‘Miss Muffet’. I vowed to never to sit on a tuffet or eat curds and whey for as long as I lived.

I didn’t know then how this experience would shape the rest of my life, but as I look back at my school years I see a history of homework not handed in, required reading never completed and the dread of long answer questions.

Throughout my life I have avoided writing in front of people, and if I do I try and hide what I’ve written casually with my arm. I own about a half a dozen empty journals. And if at all possible, I’ll use a computer instead of pen and paper. All I can say is TGFSC! (That’s ‘Thank Gosh for Spell Check’ if you were wondering)

With that said, growth happens outside your comfort zone and so here goes nothing!

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