On Friday I have an interview with Laura Jackson the author of a book on dyscalculia who found me through my book, FIGURE IT OUT, HENRI WELDON. This book has opened up rather different opportunities than the usual ones, and I’m meeting a lot of new folks whom I don’t think would have otherwise picked up a book of middle grade fiction.
I do a lot of research writing every book – and read accounts of math disabilities from educational psychologists, teachers, parents, and the occasional student. Afraid to misrepresent anything, I felt compelled to keep researching, obsessed with digging, even though the most clear and obvious information repository I had was… myself.
It’s hard to shed the bone-deep reflex to hide what we feel doesn’t ‘match’ about ourselves. Shame, when it’s been practically foundational to the way I’ve seen myself, and my mathematical efforts, was the hardest thing to step away from, and convinced me that even my own experiences weren’t… good… enough to use for a book about what I struggle with.
How shame disempowers us, through keeping us silent. And yet, the opportunities and responses I’ve gained from stepping out of the shadows and saying, “Yes, it’s me,” continue to multiply.
So, thanks, for that. For the gifts won from stepping forward with our whole selves, regardless of how unsafe that sometimes feels.
all ye, all ye outs in
doesn’t stop disaster.
what if, outside the shadow’s grays