Holy shit. I think I'm dyslexic...

My mom, as far back as I can remember, has ALWAYS mixed up my name with my brothers. ALL THE TIME. "Michael. I mean, Mark! I mean, Melvin!" Seriously, ALL THE TIME. I kinda just got used to it and got desensitized to it.

Yesterday, my mom did the same thing...but this time, I jokingly thought to myself, "What if she has dyslexia or something?"

I didn't really know much about dyslexia to being with. As far as I knew, it was a thing that caused people to mispell words frequently. But as I read through a fat list of symptoms, it just hit me.

"Holy. shit. This is totally me..."

Here are some of the symptoms that are all too familiar:

  • Thrives in careers where visual-spatial/kinesthetic talents can be realized: For example - Entrepreneurs, Engineers, Trades (carpentry, plumbing, electrical), Artisans, Interior Decorating, Actors, Musicians, Police/Investigation, Athletes, and Business Executives (usually with staff/assistants).

  • May pass up promotions or advancement opportunities that would require more administrative work.

  • Has difficulty focusing and staying on task - may feel more comfortable managing many different tasks simultaneously.

  • Difficulty with tests - passing standardized tests can be a barrier to career advancement.

  • Out-of-the-box thinker or operates with very strict rules for themselves.

  • Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.

  • May be able to sense emotions and energy of others.

  • Remembers struggling in school.

  • Misspeaks, misuses, or mispronounces words without realizing it.

  • May have excellent recall of events that were experienced or not remember at all.

  • May confuse past conversations or be accused of "not listening."

  • Difficulty remembering names of people without tricks, but remembers faces.

  • Difficulty remembering verbal instructions or directions.

  • Poor recall of conversations or sequence of events.

  • Avoids reading out loud. May dislike public speaking.

  • Will commonly perceive that they "read better silently."

  • Has adopted compensatory tricks to remember spelling and homonyms (their, there, they're), or misuses homonyms and has poor or inconsistent/phonetic spelling.

  • Reading fluency and comprehension fluctuates depending upon subject matter.

  • Frequently has to re-read sentences in order to comprehend.

  • Fatigues or becomes bored quickly while reading.

  • Reliance on others (assistants, spouses, significant others) for written correspondence.

  • Uncertainty with words, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Reliance on spell-check and grammar-check.

  • Poor handwriting.

  • Relies on calculators or finger counting. May have difficulty with making change.

  • Difficulty with left/right and/or North, South, East, West.

  • Gets lost easily or never forgets a place they've been.

  • Difficulty reading maps.

  • May have anxiety or stress when driving in unfamiliar places. Relies on others to drive when possible.

  • May lose track of time and is frequently late - or is highly aware of it and is very rarely late.

  • Finds it difficult to estimate how long a task will take to complete.

  • Self-conscious when speaking in a group. May have difficulty getting thoughts out - pause frequently, speak in halting phrases, or leave sentences incomplete. This may worsen with stress or distraction.

  • Sticks to what they know - fear of new tasks or any situation where they are out of comfort zone.

  • Confusion, stress, physical health issues, time pressure, and fatigue will significantly increase symptoms.

UPDATE: Found a few more symptoms from Quora:

I make mistakes when copying down numbers, especially addresses and account numbers. When I write down an important number I have to check very carefully two or three times to see that I copied it correctly. Often, I have switched a few numbers without realizing it. Several times, I have knocked on a stranger's door because I copied an address down wrong.

I struggle with paying restaurant bills and figuring out tip, and how much change I should get. If my bill is 24 dollars, and I want to add a tip, and I am paying with a 50, I can't for the life of me figure out how much money to get back. It feels like there's a wall between myself and the answer. Mental math is almost impossible.

I get confused by pronouns when speaking. If I'm telling a story that involves a lot of "he said to her that she told him that she wanted..." I will get very confused. It feels like the story is getting away from me. Sometimes I struggle to express myself verbally.

OMG...it all makes so much sense now. All of my deepest insecurities stem from these very things...

It totally explains why I have NEVER been able to comprehend fictional books. Why I've always HATED reading aloud. Why even with a GPS, I'll still get lost in LA.

Why I'm so shy around big groups of people. Why I avoid confrontation like the plague. Why I remember names, dates, and outfits so well but I can't remember names for the life of me. Why I repeat the same questions or tell the same stories over and over.

Why I can never come up with the right words to say when I'm put on the spot. Why I rely on texting/chatting/emailing over talking on the phone or in person. Why I frequently ask people to repeat themselves. Why I suck at expressing myself verbally and compensate by being a perfectionist writer. Why I always get called out for saying "nutterbutt squash" or "California Pizza Chicken."

Why I frequently mess up my own signature. Why I have never been able to keep track of the score when watching or playing basketball. Why I can never remember if I've closed the garage door or not and had to drive back home to make sure.

All those times when people have given me shit for doing any of the above...all those countless times I've unintentionally hurt people because I was a poor listener...all those times I've wondered why I am so damn introverted...

This is why.

(I need to get tested and find out for sure.)