Hello my name is Peter, and I have a unique story. Going back over 23 years ago. I was diagnosed with a Learning Disability and Dyslexia at age six. From ages 6-25 was a tuff time frame for myself. I never thought I would be where I am today. Turning a weakness and something I struggled with and hated about myself into a new strength and used that struggle to became a self-published author.
As the years went on a couple of things happened to me. I was getting older and growing up, school was getting harder and I was moving up in grades, but my actual grade level was trailing behind.
Here’s an example by the time I graduated high school, 12th grade my reading level, spelling and well everything else that has to do with school was equal to a middle school kid probably, if I was lucky. Naturally from a young age school and me didn’t get along very well. You will find out if you keep reading with what I struggle with even to this day. I’m not good at spelling, grammar and punctuation. Even though I struggle with those things to this day. School, reading and writing were my biggest enemy’s growing up. I found a way to overcome those difficulties and become a self-published author. Something I never thought was possible and something I always thought would just be a dream.
In my early life I had a lot of personal issues and struggles I was battling every day and trying to overcome. School was like a prison for me. Imagine at a young age being forced to go to something you don’t like, you’re not good at and were miserable the whole time, five days a week for most of your life. I felt trapped and I couldn’t do anything to escape.
From a young age starting at six years old, I knew there was something wrong with me. I remember the days of studying for a test with my parents and after ten minutes we stopped because I was crying and so upset I got every question wrong or couldn’t remember anything. I would get so upset and I fought with my parents thousands of times over homework and studying over the years.
I would tell my parents multiple times, I’m stupid what’s the point of even studying? I know I will fail why bother, I might remember it now but I’ll forget it in the morning and it was true. At night it went through one ear and as I was sleeping it went out of the other ear overnight. If I was lucky and could actually remember my spelling words or information for a test If it wasn’t gone by the morning it was definitely gone by test time.
I graduated with no direction and I had no idea what was next. I just knew college was not for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I didn’t want to waste the money. I got a job and started working. Around 21 things started to change for me. Up to this point I may be read a total of five books cover to cover only because I was forced to. In all reality, I probably lied about reading them all the way through.
I read a biography and they were talking about journaling and I was curious about that so I thought I would give it a try. I titled it Family, and just wrote about my family easy enough. I was done and I wrote almost a page worth, thinking to myself that wasn’t that bad. I did that the next week and a half. I picked random topics and would journal about them. After about two maybe three weeks I thought to myself. You know I hated school but one plus about being dyslexic is I always had an imagination and could think outside of the box. So, I decided to write a book, I had no idea how to do it, or where to begin. My first sentence was Once upon a time, and I took off from there.
Fast forward to now. I’ll be honest I’m just happy to be alive. The life I have right now, always seemed impossible and a fairytale to me. I have been married for over six months now. I never really dated much in my life because I hated myself for most of my life and always thought I was stupid and I would never be good enough for a woman. What girl would want to marry me, I’m stupid, no college degree, I can’t provide a good life for her? Well I guess I was wrong because I’m a very lucky man and happily married now.
In the last eight years I have written five books and I just published my first book a couple of months ago. In the last six years I have read over 60 books. Yes, people you read that correct haha. How could a dyslexic kid write that much when I still struggle with spelling and grammar and everything else? How could a kid with a learning disability read that many books? I’ll be honest, I still struggle with reading. I still read very slow and it’s still work and most of the time I don’t want to do it. But I love writing now, I love expressing myself and using my imagination to create whatever I want to create.
The reason why I didn’t like reading and writing in school is because they forced that on you and made you do it. Now that nobody was forcing me to do it, it started to become fun and I enjoyed it. I started to get good with it. When I first started writing I wanted a way to escape the pain and darkness I was going through.
From 21-25 I was in a dark tunnel with no light and direction for me, I was going through it blind. Around 25 some things started to change. I decide I can try and do something positive with my struggles or keep crying and complain about them. Nobody is going to pity me or care so I choose to do something.
I didn’t know how to escape the pain and the darkness I was going through so I decide to create Another Life and used my books as my escape route and used them to make me feel free and happy.
Now I’m a published author and I want to write books and help kids and young adults like myself. Life is hard, when you get your diploma the real world strikes and fast there’s no mercy. I learned that the hard way and I don’t want kids to be miserable, sad or hurt themselves like I almost did.
I want my books, or my blog posts to give them hope and use them as their light to get them to the end of their tunnel and darkens they might be going through. I’m not saying I will have all the answers for what they should do in the world. But what I can do is be a friend or uncle to them.
I love kids I have 17 nephews and nieces on my side and my wife’s side. Kids have always had a special place in my heart because that’s when all of my struggles started, when I was kid. Some people might say I know or understand what you’re going through trying to be supportive or helping a dyslexic or hurt kid. No, I’m different than most. Yes, I’ll be supportive and do what I can to help. But I also lived it first hand and know exactly what they are going through and struggling with. The shame and embarrassment of not being able to read or write. I know what those struggles and battles were like, I’m still battling them.
When I get to the end of my journey and life I might not be the best husband, father hopefully one day, brother, son, or uncle to my family or friends around me. But all I can do is try my best and that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to become the person I was meant to become and make the most of my life.
Life is short people, life is a gift that we are all blessed to have. Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee for us. Look at life like chess, for most of my life I was a pawn and didn’t do anything with my life. I went with the flow and that was it. I didn’t know what to do and being a pawn was safe so I was ok with that. After a few years I started to get a feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t living my best life. I needed more and wanted to do more.
That’s what I’m doing now. I wished my childhood away for my diploma and I’ll never get my childhood back. Now at 29 I accomplished my two biggest goals in my life. Get married and publish a book. If I can tell you a little secret, I’m having more fun now at 29 then I think I ever have.
I always wanted my own business and I have never felt more alive and more passionate in my life. That hunger of working my tail off to give my wife the life she deserves and create something that’s bigger then Peter A Harrower.
By the time I die a goal of mind was to make an impact on people and leave it a better place than it was when I came into it. Well that’s going to be hard, because there’s a lot of crap going on. But that doesn’t scare me, because I’m determined and hungry to make up for the time I have lost. This is The World Through My Dyslexic Eyes, and I know what my world looks like. The question you need to ask yourself is not what is Peter doing right now. The question you should be asking yourself is what are YOU doing for yourself and this world.