It has been a long journey for me over the years
Posted on 23rd February 2019 at 17:52
Hello, my name is Peter Harrower. I was diagnosed with a Learning Disability and Dyslexia at age six. It has been a long journey for me over the years. My disability really kept me down and under for most of my life. Before I get too far, I want to tell you first how blessed I am. I have an unbelievable family and my parents did everything they could to help me over the years battling this weakness of mine. I'm very lucky and grateful for everything they did for me. I'll be an honest school was like a prison for me. I HATED school with a passion when I was going through it over the years. My one and only goal from second grade when I was officially diagnosed even though the process started halfway through first grade. I still remember those days, crying in the morning before I went to school. Doing homework with my parents and studying for tests.
I have a great relationship with my parents. But whenever we would fight or argue most of the time it had to do with school. I would always get upset because they would help me study for a test and I did ok remembering it that night. The next day it was gone, it was like I never did anything the night before. So, I learned from a young age what's the point of studying why bother? With having that bad attitude messed me up with the years to come. I didn't try any more in school I used my "disability" as an excuse and I was lazy. By the way, when I reference my Learning disability (LD) it's not a disability I just learned differently than most people. I used that as an excuse all the way to graduation. From second grade my eyes were only focused on graduating and being done from school and I can get into the real world and everything will be different. Well, graduation came and I was miserable. What was I thinking? I hated school and wasn't good at it, but it was so much easier compared to the real world now. At graduation I was not happy, I put on my mask and hid my true emotions from the real world like I have been doing for years. I screwed up, I wished my childhood away all for a stupid piece of paper from graduation and for what? Every time I look at my diploma I'm filled with anger and frustration. My parents paid for me to go to a private school to try and get more help and how do I repay them. By not trying that hard and being lazy and using my LD as an excuse and a free pass to get extra help in school and to make it easier to graduate. I think I just had a 2.0 GPA when I graduated if I was lucky it wasn't good. Parents if I could give you a couple of tips or suggestions with helping your kids. First, just be there for them and support them along the way. I didn't appreciate it at the time, and they probably won't either. But in a few years and after graduation looking back I realized how supportive and helpful my parents were over the years. Next parents, you will never understand the burden sometimes of having dyslexia and what it's really like. I tell people unless you have it you will never understand it. For me at 28, do you know how embarrassing it is asking how to spell a word or knowing a high schooler is probably smarter or more educated than me? When I was going through school I was always four or five grade levels behind my class. Your kids will struggle, it will be hard and you might be going through hard days now or soon. Just do everything you can to help your kid and support them in any way possible.
My early 20s were miserable for me. My friends were graduating from college and getting jobs or people around me were getting married and all I was doing was working and trying to figure out why I was born. I never had a girlfriend; what girl would want to date me or be with me? I'm not smart I'm stupid and I can't do anything. The only thing I can do is play sports and video games. I was struggling and I was hurting. It got so bad I was debating about hurting myself for years, parents I'm sure you know what I mean. I was in a dark, dark place for years. Why was I born? I can’t be successful? What can I offer the world? If I die tomorrow the only people that would care are my family and a couple of friends. I can't be successful with dyslexia, I'll always be a loser. I read a book at 21 and this was maybe the second or third cover to cover book I ever read that I wasn't forced to read. He talked about journaling so I decided to give it a try. I was always intimated because when it came to writing I thought of school and I was scared because I hated school. But I'm not in school so it doesn't matter I can write when I want and about what I want. After about a week or two of journaling, I decided to test my creativity. One of the biggest things I picked up from my dyslexia was thinking outside the box and being creative. I wanted to make up a story and create something from scratch and write a book. Wait I can't read fast, I suck at spelling and grammar and did horrible in school I can't write? In order to write you have to be smart and know what you're doing. Well I'm not that smart and I have no clue what I'm doing, but I do know I'm very stubborn and decide to try it haha. On August 6th, 2011 I started my first book and I have been obsessed with writing ever since. After writing in my journal and making this book after a couple days I figured it out. I'm going to be an author and make books and write. The first time I thought that I laughed out loud and said that was the dumbest thing ever. But then I thought a little more and it made sense. I'm creative, I have an imagination this is perfect. There are no rules with writing books. I can do and write about whatever I want, I just need to grab people's attention. I wanted a better life and to find purpose and meaning in life. I was so low and down and hated myself in the real world I was having trouble finding it, so I decided to create it in my book and escape from my every day. Now in the next couple of years, I was writing more and whenever I can. Writing and journaling became my obsession in life, it's all I wanted to do. Now I still struggle with reading and writing to this day. But I read now because it’s good for me and I can learn from all of the successful people ahead of me. At 25 still struggling in life and searching for meaning, I decided to draw a line in the sand and start over. I made goals for me that I wanted to accomplish by the time I turn 30. I want to read 100 books, published three books, and have one of my books or fiction series I created turned into movies. Those are just a couple of goals I created at 25. I never thought I would get married as I said before. I always thought I was stupid and what girl would want to be with me. So, I focused on reading and writing and that was it. I didn't care about girls and finding her. I wanted to be selfish for the first time in my life and focus on what Peter needed. I needed to accomplish something by myself, for myself and without any help. That's why I made these goals, I had no idea how to achieve them but I wanted to do them. From a young age, I always believed I was meant for something special in the world. I just never knew what that was until now. Now at 28 my purpose and goal in life are to help YOU. When I was younger I wanted to sell my books to make money because I thought that would make me happy, news flash it won't and it didn't even when I had some money. Before my goal was always to sell at least a million books and get on the New York Times Bestsellers list. My dad came into my room one day and saw my goal on my board. Hey, Pete, long story short. As a Christian maybe you shouldn't focus on the money from your books and focus on the purpose and what you're trying to do by helping people? When he left I was thinking about it? He's right. Money is not why I wanted to write. The reason why I wanted to write is to create something from scratch and turn it into something and help people. Now instead of seeing a $ on every book, that I sell. I look at it as the opportunity to help someone and make a difference in their lives. If the money comes then that's an added bonus. My new goal is to help kids and young adults struggling in life.
When it came to school and learning and finding a carrier I was no expert. But when it came to the real world and searching for something bigger than myself I slowly started to figure it out. If I wanted to better myself I had to work hard. If I want to read faster and better I have to read more. If I want to become a better writer, then I have to write more and learn from others that did it ahead of me. With that new mindset, I have now read over 55 books in a little over five years. That alone is a huge accomplishment for me. In the last seven years, I wrote four books and just published my first book at the end of December 2018. I'm not telling you those things to brag and look for your praise. I’m telling you this because if I can do it so can you. I never thought I would be successful and do something special in my life. I never thought I would get married. February 11th, 2018, I went on a date with a girl. June 9th, I purposed to that girl and October 6th, I married that girl. December 21st I published my first book called The World Through My Dyslexic eyes: Battling Learning Disabilities Depression and Finding Purpose. In a matter of a couple of months, I accomplished my top two goals in my life. Getting married and publishing my book. I'm happily married and found a girl who doesn’t care about my weaknesses and what I struggle with. Because she looks at what matters, the kind of man I am and the hart I have and looks at everything else that matters. She ignores what I think of myself. Yes, she has a career she has been in for most of her adult life. She loves what she is doing, and I'm happy she does. Me on the other hand, I’m still searching and creating what I want to do. But if your lucky kids, and keep working hard you just might find your other half one day. Who knows maybe she will be older and making more money then you also haha:))) just kidding, don’t tell my wife, please. In the end, I know sometimes it will be easier said than done. This dyslexia is a gift you were blessed with and never forget that. Yes, you might have some bad side effects or things you struggle with every day. But that’s ok everybody has things they don’t like about themselves or things they wish they can change.
I now know that, and it took me a long time to figure that out. I love who Peter is now and wouldn’t change anything. The issues and everything I struggled with in school gave me the drive and motivation now to achieve my goals and accomplish and be a part of something bigger than Peter Alexander Harrower. Now I want to help you achieve your goals and show and tell you that it is possible. I hope my unique story helps and makes you feel better about your dyslexia and the struggles you might have along with your journey. I want to help you and if I can help you I would be honored. I have a website PeterHarrower.com. Where I blog weekly about the side effects of an LD kid and everyday struggles. My goal is to help kids and bring more light to LD and dyslexia. The school system needs help and we need to fix it. When I was young my school didn’t have anything to help me that’s why I had to change schools. Now I want to help you. I might not be able to help find your purpose and what your good at but I'll certainly try my best. But if I can help in any way, I will. I pray that my crazy and unique story can help you. It’s time to embrace your story and recognize that you were created for a purpose and you were meant for something bigger. You weren’t a mistake like I always thought I was. Enjoy the journey you’re on because you only get one. Have fun along the way and embrace the suck and the struggles you come across. Because of those struggles you battle and fight every day will help shape you into the person you were meant to become in life.
Embrace your unique story and share it with the world.
Peter A Harrower
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