How do you know if a memory you had wasn’t a dream?

I… don’t.

I have memory problems – working-memory deficient dyslexia, resulting in my dependence of my long-term memory. But if something gets coded into my long-term memory, whether it’s a shopping list or a dream or an actual real event, it’s there forever – and it “feels” the same as a memory for a real event.

So I find that, for example, I have a strong memory returning an important form to my son’s school – of giving him the form, of posting it to the school, or handing it in personally at reception – when in fact what I have is only a memory of a reminder to myself that I need to do so, and the form is in fact sitting on the kitchen table, waiting to be signed.

I also have a really lovely memory of having a big grey horse called Whistler, of caring for him and riding him all over our farm as a child and teen. It really hits me in the feels, remembering good old Whistler, and his fondness for carrots, the smell of him, and how I held his big whiskery head when he died of old age.

All a dream, though. Whistler never existed. The last horse we owned was a bay called Ned, who died when I was a baby.

If I’m lucky, I can follow one of the pseudo-memories through my mind until zombies or space aliens turn up, and then I know it was all a dream. But sometimes even that isn’t enough, and I wind up sobbing all over a friend who I last saw being shot by the Chinese Army after they invaded the UK.

My sister is my aide memoire. She’s quite used to me ringing or texting, “Is Aunt So-and-so still alive? Do I need to send a Christmas card?” because I genuinely am not sure if I dreamt the funeral or not. She thinks it’s hilarious, the bitch.


Is it possible for a westerner who is 30 years old to be dyslexic and not diagnosed?

I was diagnosed at 44, so it’s definitely possible.

Dyslexia didn’t really exist when I was at school – people with difficulties were just regarded as stupid or lazy. Some time later, when I was at university, we began hearing about this strange disability where people couldn’t read, but it was thought to be due to absence from school at a critical time.

I don’t know where you are, but it is often easier to get a referral to an educational psychologist if you are studying. Any kind of post-16 college course should be fine – perhaps working towards a school qualification you missed out on?


Why do people care so much about typos?

I don’t care about typos, i.e., accidental mistakes made in typing.

do care about laziness and ignorance in communication. I am profoundly dyslexic. I have worked incredibly hard to overcome my difficulties, and my spelling, grammar and syntax are near-perfect in the 3 languages I speak, and at least adequate in the half-dozen or so other languages in which I can make myself understood.

When someone can’t be bothered to put even a fraction of that effort into their written (or, indeed, verbal) communication, I literally (in the true sense of the word) CANNOT understand them. It’s worse than txtspk. Worse than l33t. I might as well be trying to communicate with a daffodil.

I’m forced to go through the communication word by word, weighing up the probabilities of how they might be connected, developing tree-diagrams of meaning subject to alternatives of syntax and punctuation, which is time-consuming and annoying. Due to memory issues related to my dyslexia, I can’t just think this stuff, I have to write it down: lazy, poorly edited letters and emails to me end up covered in my corrections and edits.

Far too many people think that writing is simply a matter of scribbling something down on paper. It isn’t. It exists to COMMUNICATE MEANING. When people ignore, or refuse to comply, with the general rules for communicating meaning, they might as well just wipe their backsides on the paper instead. I could at least put it on my compost heap, where it would have some value.