I left school without any mathematical skills. This was due to three main things, which worked against me. Dyscalculia, a maths teacher that insisted on doing maths in your head, and the inability to visualise. I rarely could focus enough to consciously process the information. So unfortunately I thought I just didn’t understand. That I couldn’t understand.
This had huge implications when it came to trying to figure out money, especially with banking. I would be given an overdraft, one I would go into slightly, because I couldn’t figure out budgeting. Then I’d be fined, often when no money was in my account. This meant the following month I’d be fined yet again for going over my overdraft.
When my daughter was in primary one she passed my mathematical skills. I knew I couldn’t help her, because I still don’t understand it. I had to work on my written skills to try to communicate. But my math skills never developed any further, because I only realised two years ago that my lack of education wasn’t my fault. That I could have learned if given the information in the right way and in the right environment for me. It was a combination of a specific way of educating, assumptions and a school environment that never felt safe. That was my downfall.
This meant I ended up in constant debt before I even had time to save for anything. Getting my own, anything really, just didn’t feel possible. Especially not a house or anything like that. Over time I learned that if I wanted anything, I had to sell the things I had.
When I ran out of funds and couldn’t pay rent I’d end up homeless. Most of the time finding that anything of value I had was gone when I got my belongings. Money doesn’t mean much to me now, because it almost felt unobtainable for as long as I remember.
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva