Make Room For The Stuttering

One Person At A Time

Posted on: April 5, 2009

Dear Readers: if you have been following any of my entries, then you know that I have strong opinions about being honest and maintaining personal integrity. You can’t have an engaging relationship with the world any other way. As hard as I have tried, it just doesn’t work. It’s fake.

I took some real stuttering risks this weekend. I participated in an intensive weekend workshop for people who stutter and clutter. It was sponsored by a local college that has a Communications Sciences and Disorders department, and individual and group therapy is provided by graduate SLP students. I was not fully engaged (admittedly) with the therapy process, but I was actively involved in furthering my relationship with stuttering.

I had been asked to facilitate a group for parents of kids who stutter. This was scary for me. I really didn’t know what I could offer that they wouldn’t already know, from other programs or the professionals in the field. I decided to go with my gut and be gut honest about my childhood experience with stuttering, my story that I had never told or put in writing. It had always been too painful.

So what made me decide to take this kind of risk, that would also put me out there and make me feel quite vulnerable? It was a comment that was made last week by a fellow person who stutters, that I wrote about in an earlier post. That there is no socially redeeming value in stuttering. I took exception with that and decided to put my money where my mouth is, and tell my story to people who I believed wanted to hear it. And to affirm my belief that there is indeed value to my stuttering.

So I took my story and put it in the third person and told a “Once upon a time there was a little girl who” story and never acknowledged it was me until the end. Then I got emotional and as I looked around the room, I saw other displays of emotion and some tears, connection and understanding.

It was the right thing to do. I told my story and parents of kids who stutter appreciated it, felt it, got it, and thanked me. My stuttering experience has value, and helps me to engage fully with the world and move me continuously forward on my quest to lead an authentic life.

Its about touching lives, one person at a time.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.