I was labelled “dumb”

During my early school years I was labelled dumb by my teacher.

“You’ll never amount to anything”

“I just don’t understand how you don’t get it”

“You just don’t focus”

I was expelled from two different schools, because I ended up so bored I took on the roles of “the class clown” and ”the naughty kid”.

I was ‘that’ kid. The kid that was spoken about in the staff-rooms.

I ended up believing I was dumb, I believed I was dumb at schoolwork, however I did have this innate feeling that I was not dumb at how the world worked.

I was interested in people and how they worked. I knew that some day I would do good with my life.

However I’m not sure if this would have been the case if I didn’t have supportive parents. If I wasn’t blessed with being born into a good home. I’m really unsure as to where I would have ended up.

My parents believed in me, and believed that I would make it in the world somehow.

About a year or so ago I found out that I had an Auditory processing disorder- I will leave that story for another time.

This post is not a post about those Teachers or about the Auditory Processing Disorder. This post is about how the combination of those circumstances and experiences have made my life what it is today.

It has made me look at the world differently and has made me understand there is more to someone that meets the eye .

It’s taught me that you need to take life with both hands and believe in yourself don’t let anyone, or anything stand in your way.

This morning I was thinking about my life, and I was thinking about where I am now. It’s funny when I look at my photo next to all of these amazing women whom are also shortlisted for the Most Clickable Woman in Australia and I think ‘WOW’.

My life has been interesting and I have experienced many ups and downs (like us all) however this morning I thought to myself. Now is a time to celebrate. Now is the time to enjoy the moment and live and breath the excitement of where you are RIGHT NOW.

I promised myself from the outset of creating The Imperfect Mum that there will be times hard-times there will be times I feel like giving up. But there will also be times for you to celebrate and this is one.

A deep part of me would love to win those awards just so I would be a living and breathing example of what happens when you believe in yourself even when the ‘experts‘ say otherwise.


About the Author

Kristy Vallely is the founder and Creator of the Imperfect Mum.

Kristy believed there needed to be a place that women could go to. Where they could talk and relate. A place they could feel safe. A place they trusted. So The Imperfect Mum was born in June 2011. There was obviously such a need that when the gates 'opened' a huge flurry of women followed. Kristy has always been very passionate about women and the issues they face.

Her passion and determination has helped her carve out a career helping others and creating 'a go to place' for women from all around the world.

Posted in:  Life Lessons

7 Replies

Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel

Hi Kristy, congratulations on your nomination! I am a new follower of your blog but I love your candour, your attitude and your energy. I've become an instant fan. I was always the really quiet kid at school - too scared to speak in case everyone found out I wasn't worth listening to. Now I'm a successful freelance writer and have just started blogging as well - it's heaps of fun to be doing what I love and I find it hard to reconcile who I am now with who I was then. Like you said, I always assume there is more to people than meets the eye. I'm constantly pleasantly surprised by the layers that come away from people when I get to know them.

The Imperfect Mum

Wow Carolyn, what a beautiful piece of writing. I felt like you were sitting across the table form me. Would love to connect and follow you back, please comment with your details.

I have this huge suspicion you will do very well. Kristy xx

Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel

Hi Kristy, sorry, I am a complete techno-doofus and only just found your reply! What a beautiful and kind response - thank you. I am loving this online community I am discovering. My blog is at http://champagnecartel.com/ - we are a bunch of six working mums sharing learnings, ponderings, tips and tricks (and a few gripes here and there).
Looking forward to getting to know you a bit better.
Carolyn xx


I am also diagnosed with auditory processing disorder but did not have a mother that cared (well acted like it anyways)

It's only recently that I have come to realise that I am far from "stupid" I just learn in other ways I also seem to just know certain ways people act and answers to questions that iv never heard, just don't asking me about the times tables haha

I guess with a good support network and knowing that people believe that you can achieve will you then can achieve

Kate Gough

I already had years’ worth of respect for
you and what you do (and I have already voted).
But, when I read this post, it was like a blow to my chest (in a proud
way) to see that you have APD.

Both of my children are presented with
similar challenges (ASD/SPD etc.) and it's so reassuring to read how you feel
that your parents were a support of you - I hope that, by the influence of your
of a site, I can support my children as your parents supported you.

The biggest thing I took from your post is
that success is not related to academic prowess or perfect 100% test scores...
it is firmly enmeshed with a person's heart (their soul/ essence),
determination and the support they receive from their caregivers/ friends.

Richard Branson has dyslexia and had poor
academic performance as a student, but later discovered his ability to connect
with others... You and Sir Branson have many similarities but the biggest in my
opinion is heart and soul.

It is a gift for you to share your family’s
time with the Imperfect Mum community; it is a miracle that you conceived the
idea at all!

In addition to this – the core values that
you set for the community are what set the IM apart from every other site out
there. You provide that judgement free
forum, that soft place to fall for ever mum (and dad) in your group – this is

It has been an absolute pleasure to witness
your blossoming into a leading figure for today’s Imperfect Mums! I wish you the very best of luck!!


Thank you for this article. I was too told that I was to slow to accomplish my dream of becoming an animal attentant. I was very smart at age 3, i knew all my abc's and could count. Then as I got older I developed ear infections and glue ear. And unfortunately fell behind in school. I had an operation to get grommets that cured the ear infections but unfortunately I believe im to some degree deaf. It takes me a lot longer then a normal person to learn something new. Im 25 and only got my P's in december after being on my L's for 3 years. That was an accomplished goal.

Thank you... Every time I read about someone else struggles that can over come them it makes me believe and makes me want to push myself further. I absolutely love your page and will be voting for you.

Alyson Hudson

Wow! My daughter has an Auditory Processing Disorder. I see it more as a preferred learning style. I constantly strive for her not to be labelled dumb. I believe in my daughters ability to achieve great things as your parents believed in you. You have my vote!