Make Room For The Stuttering

Too Fluent Stuttering Diva?

Posted on: May 8, 2009

I had the chance to do some follow-up with Adam about our gentle disagreement that we had about whether I should consider myself a stutterer since I don’t stutter as “nasty” as him.  That’s one of the great things about stuttering – we all stutter so differently that it is really a unique situation for each of us. And, emotions – forget it, they run deep. Of course, that’s not news, but the intensity of the “credibility” issue was for me. It kind of caught me off guard.

Jamie had posted a comment on my Facebook page calling me a “Stuttering Diva” since I’ve been so open and posted some Youtube videos. Adam’s response was that I should be called “Fluent Diva” since, in his opinion, I don’t stutter. He said that he had watched one of my videos and thought I was really fluent. Based on that, he said that I shouldn’t consider myself to be a stutterer, especially since I can’t compare to his “nasty stuttering”. 

So I responded to Adam, gently reminding him that every body’s stuttering is unique and situational, and that we shouldn’t generalize the stuttering experience based just on our own. I felt defensive, but I think I was pretty positive and upbeat in my comment to Adam.

Lucky for us, Adam responded and we corresponded about this. I asked him if it would be OK to quote him on my blog, and he gave his permission. So, thanks again, Adam, for bringing this whole fascinating phenomena to light (to me, anyway – I am sure its been discussed zillions of times).

There shouldn’t be competition between covert and overt stuttering, or mild and severe stuttering. We all stutter, period. And differently. (Interestingly,  episode #111 of Stuttertalk’s podcast, featuring Jamie, talks about some of these very same issues here).

So anyway, here’s what Adam had to say.

“I hope I didn’t sound too harsh. Sometimes when I get angry and extremely frustrated with my own stuttering, which is a daily event, I get awfully mad at myself, and I have no one to take it out on. So I often take out my anger and frustration with my horrid stuttering on people who I wouldn’t normally say mean things to. It’s hard having no one to vent my anger and frustrations with.

I probably would feel so much better and happy if there was a NSA support group in my area, but alas there’s not.  I would never intentionally make others upset–I’m just reacting to my own stuttering.

And if people have good or bad days where they are more fluent than others, in all honesty, I don’t remember the last time I have had a day where I stuttered less than others. I wish I could say there have been days where the words flow better than others–but I really don’t remember the last time I have had a day like that.

But–whether your stuttering varies from day to day or not–I wish you all the best in stuttering! God, what I wouldn’t give to live with lots of stutterers!! In a world where we were not mocked, and had fun. Like a utopia- a perfect world! But darn it- there is not a  NSA chapter close to me. I’m desperate to get some companionship with others that stutter. Strength in numbers always wins!”

I let Adam know that there is a NSA self help group closer to his area than he thought, and he said it was still too far away. I suggested he consider starting one of his own. I offered to help him. I also offered to talk on the phone or skype with Adam whenever he wanted. Adam declined, saying that he has to expend way too much energy and still can’t say what he wants,  and no one would understand his “nasty” stuttering anyway. I gently encouraged him to re-think that, because we stutterers have patience and that we would both benefit. He said patience didn’t matter, he is a long way from being ready for a phone conversation.

This whole scenario really touched me. Adam’s concerns deeply resonated with me. I was reminded that there is so much more to do, and that we have to build our community, one person at a time, so that we all feel comfortable in our own skin and communicating our own way. I Do Me!

Adam – You Rock! Know that the world loves you just the way you are!

5 Responses to "Too Fluent Stuttering Diva?"

Tears came in my eyes as I read the quote from Adam. He is in a very bad place with this stuttering and Pam, you are really a a kind hearted person for reacting to him in such an understanding rational way.

As stutters, we really should not judge others. My husband stutters as well and while he is more fluent than me and does not have the reservation to speak like me, he does share some of the same symptoms which causes him social anxiety at times and never once did I tell him that he is really not a stutterer.

Keep being there for Adam, he needs your support.

Aweosme Anetta!! Poetry without rhyming– I think we share a common gift!

On moving each other!!

What a kind message.

Hey Pam and Adam!
May I suggest twitter as a way of communication? It’s a good way to start at least?? Get to know a bunch of really cool stutterpeeps as we say ;o)
Make an account and start talking Adam!

Hey Pam!

Great topic and thanks for the mention. Just a note about Adam. I have known Adam for a few years now and he was brave enough to have a few conversations with me over the phone; remember that Adam? We then met in person at last year’s conference in NJ and once again he showed great courage when he participated in Open Mic.

I can honestly say, that I have never been more moved when reading this big “blog” as one calls it.

I thank you all for reading my thoughts and Pam’s post is spot on.

There are only 2 things that move me: Music sung by Michael Crawford, and reading support stories like this, and finding others that share all our own struggles!!

And Anetta, I must get to you know you more!! Thank you for such thoughtfull words!!!

What would make a world of stutterers better, is if our favorite singers, or favorite actors or actresses knew and were aware of the problem of stuttering just as much as we were.

Children’s musician Hap Palmer has moved me so much, and I am 30 yrs. old!! He has facebook!! I feel I have contributed greatly to how he can make his recording of songs better, and I feel it’s because I can connect so much with so much of his songs!

His self written and sung song “Teacher Who Couldn’t Talk” realy moves me in a way Hap will never know.

The song can conjur thoughts of “How can a person teach when they can’t talk”

I have never told Hap that I stutter, and he doesn’t know that I do. But yet he doesn’t know that a song written by him means alot to me because it is so related to me.

I would love to upload this song to the blog, or send this song to anyone who wants to hear it. Besides Hap needs more exposure!! He sings children’s music, but only mature people who can see meaning behind his playfull lyrics will see a man wanting to help others!!!!

I have always wanted to write songs or be an actor-NOT SINGER!!!! all my life but the stuttering has just made that glorious thought out of the question.

Many of friends on F.B say I have an outrageous sense of humor, and that they say I am extremely nice.

I belive that extreme kindness is from years of stuttering. I think we seem to be more kind and “lovable” to those we like to be around due to facing lot’s of speaking hardships!

All these HOTTERS girls on FB love my way with words. I firmly believe that awesome way with words is from not being able to express those words verbaly. It sort of brings out the poet who doesn’t know it in me!!!

I never openly told these girls I stutter nastily, and I am deathly afraid to do so!

I have hid behind the writings and creativity of facebook because of the nasty unfun stuttering. I’m afraid if I formaly declare my creativity and nicenss stems from speaking problems resulting from nasty stuttering, they will be turned off, scared, or drawn away.

But it raises another question now my friends and supporters!!
Those who are turned off, shy away, or don’t like us because of stuttering are supposedly not our real friends because they cannot accept us faults and all.

Well before we disclosed the idea we stutter, they were are best special friends and loved us for who we are.

But why would these friends of ours suddenly not be our friends if they got turned away or turned off by stuttering???

It’s as though stuttering determins who wants to be our real friends and who doesn’t.

I find it mean if a special friend rejects us after they find out we stutter, when before the friend is our great friend while not knowing we stutter.

And girls and guys from high school knew me as a clown-somebody who hid the stuttering through a clown role.

They liked me for the clown role- I don’t think they never saw who I realy was. I was afrid to have no friends because of the fact I was so stutterable.

I love all the friends I have had past and present, but I would be devastated to think they were turned off or didn’t like me because they finaly found out I told them I stuttered.

True friends are true friends, and stuttering should not make those true friends suddenly not like us.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. 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 2022.
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