About a month after I started this blog, Brother called me to congratulate me. The conversation went something like this:
BROTHER: Love your blog. But you’ve got to f**king check your grammar!
I was touched by his praise. I mean, with a warm and fuzzy statement like that, who wouldn’t be? And - after I stopped my blubbering and pulled myself out from under the covers of my bed - I made a bit more of an effort to pay attention to what I was writing. I got up a bit earlier to write and I would second-guess and third-guess my posts. But, despite my best efforts, I still made mistakes. Lots of them.
I always have. Because here’s the thing, I can’t actually spell. I’m dyslexic and I can’t spell and my understanding of grammar is horrible. I was hideous at English. I found the rules confusing and that when I was trying to follow the rules, it clogged my thought process. A brilliant story I’d be writing would screech to a halt as I tried to figure out where the comma should go, if there even should be a comma. And what the hell the ‘i’ was supposed to be doing before the ‘e’ – it just was not comfortable.
After required school projects were no longer part of my life, I stopped writing. I let the stories spin in my brain. I let the memories pile up in the darks spaces, filling them with importance and making my ability to move past them even harder. I became paralyzed by my past and unable to see my future. I was dying. Slowly.
It took me years to start writing again. To stop worrying about where the punctuation should go in the stupid sentence. It took me years to write poetry and not worry about the structure of form or if I am following the rules of phrases. It took me years to write a story and not spend time agonizing over my run-on babble of sentences and fragments. It took me years not to hear those voices in my head making comments with their little red pens. Who am I kidding? I still hear the voices and stick my fingers in my ears and sing la la la.
Years of a stagnate and an unhappy self. And then I started this blog. And it’s been good for me. It has been better than any medication, any therapy I’ve tried before. When you’ve been reduced to rolling tears because someone once held a hand held over your mouth and told you not to tell a soul or the killing would start, an outlet like this is good. It is sure healthier than holding those dark moments to yourself and letting them spin around the tight spaces of your brain. So what if all I’m writing about is my kitchen or the Owls I’m stalking in my yard, it’s still emptying out the space inside. It’s letting me take the murky odd moments out for a bit of sunshine and fresh air. I can breathe.
Yesterday an English teacher friend of mine - we'll call him Henry - virtually yelled at me. He was far more eloquent that Brother but the sentiment was the same. I’ve got to f**king check my grammar.
But here’s the thing, Henry, it’s more important for me to write right now than worry about my spelling. It’s more important for me to breathe right now than wonder where my comma should go. So, I am sorry to those who I offend with the massive errors in my virtual diary. This day-to-day thing is hard enough to manage. I am doing what I need to do to get through it.
The timing could not have been better.
To all my Henrys out there, you may fornicate under consent of the King.