Make Room For The Stuttering

Crashing The Party

Posted on: May 11, 2009

I remember watching the movie “Crash”. I could identify with all the different things that unwittingly came together at the same time. Good movies have a way of sucking you in like that. Several things happen innocently in the background, but are poised to crash and get your attention. Life is like that. Things can happen and feel like a 10 car pile-up.

I have had times like that in my life. Who hasn’t? It’s what you do after the crash that counts. I recently experienced a crash and was put to a test.  My car died at a very inconvenient time. (Is it ever convenient?) I was on my way to an important appointment. I was going to find out the cause behind a nagging medical issue I have been grappling with and admittedly putting off, hoping it would just go away.

Why do we do that? They usually don’t just go away on their own.  To top this off, my partner was having issues too. He had another surgery coming up, dialysis was causing numbness in his arm and hand, and he was taking his frustration and anger out on me.

I called the Road Service plan. Stuttering crashed the party! When the operator came on to take my service call and ID number, I blocked and could not get my name out. That almost never happens. It may have been the stress exasperating my stuttering. It was at that very moment I felt the crash. The operator lost patience and hung up on me. How humiliating!

Before I was able to take a deep breath and call back, the dam burst and I lost it.  I hate to lose control. I started to cry, right there in the parking lot with my car grinning up at me. I crashed emotionally, in slow motion. My heart started pounding, I felt dizzy and I was not just weeping, but doing the whole “full blown, choking, gulping, gasping” kind of crying. I could not catch my breath, and felt pitifully vulnerable. I leaned against the car and just let go. It was going to have to run its course. I just hoped no one would see me like this.

Not meant to be. The maintenance guy came out of nowhere and stopped to see if I needed help. I pulled myself together enough (sort of) to tell him what happened. He said the Auto teacher was in the garage helping a student.  He called him to look at my car. He told me if I bought the parts and a tire, they would be able to fix it.  It would be a lot cheaper, and I wouldn’t need a tow service.  Suddenly, I was calmer and my breathing was back to normal. While I talked to these guys, I was stuttering, but they didn’t seem to care. Funny thing, neither did I.

I pulled my phone out, called my doctor’s office, and told them I was running late. They said they would wait.  A friend came and got me, and I made it to the appointment. Nothing life threatening – annoying, but fully treatable!

Parties are crashed. Cars crash. Sometimes people do, too. The key is moving on. I passed the test. I survived.

Today is my nephew Nicholas’ 10th Birthday. Happy Birthday Nicky!

4 Responses to "Crashing The Party"

Wow, this day was more full on than I realized. My bike comment seems very inappropriate all of a sudden… (me trying to be funny seldom works out) Very cool that you got help from these nice guys!
Happy birthday Nicholas!! :o)

Hey Pam, I think that your posts are really awesome and real. I hope one day to be as open as you are about stuttering:)

Pam after a storm their usually is a calm. Glad you were able to pull yourself together, you are such a strong person.

I find I am a little bit at a time allowing myself to stutter and just live in the moment and dont care. Something I did not think I could do.


Way to go. I find that after deciding to stop being covert about my stuttering a couple of years ago, that I actually stutter more, and I don’t mind it as much when I was stuttering more mildly.

Its a little weird, but this is as it should be, I think. This is the real me.

Nice words about the calm after the storm – I just have to remember it. Not always easy in the moment.

You keep going with embracing all that you are !

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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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