Welcome to the BBForums.
what model do you have, certainly not the 8888?
After the 5th wrong PW, it will ask you type blackberry and THEN the next five tries will spell out the PW for you. What you thought was your password might become clear that it was not, so make sure you origanlly were not using numerals where you thought it was letters, or capitalilzed letters, with the shift key down.
After the 10th wrong attempt, your BB will be wiped of all personal data.