Thursday, August 11, 2011

Captcha: One More Way to Feel Self-Conscious

I would like to focus your attention on a couple of things in this picture.  First, the captcha letters (or so-called letters), used to verify I am not a spambot, and secondly, the text in the pink box.  Would you like to know how many times that box snickered at me while telling me that the text I entered did not match the security check?  I think eventually it added, "idiot" after please try again.

Dyslexia and captcha security checks are not friends!  I could maybe identify the letters, in the correct order, after a moment of scrutinaization IF the letters weren't also wavy and blurry.  I still seriously cannot tell if the last word has 5 letters in it or 6. . .or 7?!  The other difficult aspect for me is when I do finally identify the letters or numbers, I often type them incorrectly, usually in the wrong order but when I compare what I've typed to the letters it looks correct, even though it's not!  Gah.  So, then I get a new captcha to decipher and the viscious cycle continues.

Granted, I've always had issues with numbers.  My whole life, printed numbers would scurry all over the page at school, making math difficult for me.  Even if I understood the concept or process of solving the equation, I would almost always mess up the numbers along the way.  Math up through middle school was a breeze becasue it was pretty basic, but once I hit algebra and geometry where numbers met up with letters and symbols, it was all over for me!  I had to work my booty off to pass those classes with a D-, and up until that point I was an A and B student. 

I even process numbers, given to me verbally, incorrectly.  Once, my co-worker was reading off numbers for me to write down.  87 12 71 14 30.  This is what I wrote:  87 12 71 42 30.  When I read it back to her, I read it off correctly, even though it was written down incorrectly.  I heard 14, wrote 42, and read back 14.  Crazy weird.  It took us 20 minutes to figure out why there was a discrepancy in our numbers.  She had to come over and look at what I had written.

I have a love for english and writing.  I legitimately love spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure.  I love editing.  I loved spelling bees as a kid.  I love words!  So who cares if I have to work harder with numbers?  Double and triple check everything?  I have letters! 

I wasn't always dyslexic.  This is still a relatively "new" issue for me.  Up until I was 19, I never had an issue with letters; never had to doublecheck my spelling, etc.  That was until I had a small stroke, now called a TIA. Back then it was called, "Ummm.....we don't know what happened?  We're going to call it a migrainous stroke.  Here are some drugs that will likely make you feel worse or kill you.  Good luck." 

That episode changed my life, forever, in a number of ways. One of the many long term effects?  Dyslexia.  Eight years later it still makes me self-conscious; even though I am considered mildly dyslexic and should recognize that I'm blessed not to be severely dyslexic, I'm still self-conscious about it and get mildly annoyed when I can't figure out a freakin' captcha check! 

The great thing is that there are work arounds for both dyscalculia and dyslexia; most people don't even know I struggle with either.  Now I guess everyone knows, but that's okay.  I'm successful in my job, I do what I love.  Some things just take me a little longer than most people.  One of the greatest positive aspects is how awesome my boss is about triple checking my numbers at work (I handle payroll and have NEVER made an error) without making me feel like a moron.  :)

That being said, Captcha is still my arch nemesis!  Hmmm.....I might have a new idea for a Post-it Art blog post.  Yes, it involves spandex and capes!


  1. Oh my goodness Jess! When I was 19 (and pregnant) I began having mini-strokes (TIA's) and became dyslexic for several months. This occurred each time I became pregnant. Guess what? There is a positive correlation between very high need for folic acid and TIA's AND dyslexia. Now, I take waaaay extra folic acid and it definitely helps. It is possible to develop a higher than "normal" need for certain nutrients throughout your life. You might wanna check it out. I was just amazed that we had basically the same experience - wow!

  2. That's interesting.

    I also can't feel the bottom of my left foot. It's weird and has contributed to injuries (falling down stairs) and dislocating my hip and knee. Most of my side effects have been permanent, minus the face droopage and I regained my short term memory. Meh.

  3. he website was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Many thanks

  4. You are very welcome, Anonymous! :)