Mum and Dad never noticed I was failing, but I don't blame them. They had five children and a busy household, and I hid it well. I muddled through primary school, but within months of starting secondary education I'd been moved into a class for "slow" kids. As far as I was concerned, that was where I belonged, but I still felt ashamed.
I ignored my new classmates and told old friends I'd been moved up to a higher class. Groups of them would walk past the window, arms linked, and I'd duck my head. Keeping my head down became a habit.