Make Room For The Stuttering

Chinese Lion Dance

Posted on: October 6, 2009

The innovative Tech Valley High School in my area held their Open House recently to celebrate their opening in their own new space. For the past two years, the school has been operating in shared space. The creators of this school always visualized the school having a place of its own. It is now housed in a building on the Albany State University campus, and also has as neighbors many of the emerging, high tech businesses that one day hope to employ these kids.

The Open House was celebrated by school leaders, parents, the community and business. It was a huge celebration that concluded with a dramatic Chinese Lion Dance. In the Chinese tradition, the lion dance signifies new beginnings, happiness and good luck. Indeed this school is celebrating its new beginnings in a home of their own. They are also celebrating being on the cusp of exciting new technologies that will attract more business and jobs to the upstate New York area.

I too am celebrating new beginnings. I want to dance the Chinese Lion Dance  myself. This video will have to do! Please watch for a minute and see how exciting the dance is.

I have entered a new part of my life. Just as I did three years ago, when I stopped denying my stuttering and started welcoming it into my life. It was hard and scary and emotional to do that. Change is like that. Sometimes we would rather stay stuck and miserable, because it’s what we know and we fear the change and the uncertainty.

It was the same in my relationship. I stayed stuck in a relationship that had ceased to fulfill me a long time ago. I was afraid to leave. Guilt and obligation held me hostage for a long time. Slowly, I felt my very spirit being sucked right of me and I knew I had to make a change, as scary and overwhelming as it would be. I had long felt that I wasn’t good enough and would never find the right person to share my heart with. I felt I didn’t deserve happiness. Part of that came from a difficult, loveless childhood. Part came from my own feelings of self-contempt because of my stuttering. And part came from a deep fear of being alone.

But this person was smothering and hurting me and I felt it more and more everyday. My feelings for him had long ago been extinguished. I was numb, just as I had been for years as a child. I stayed in this bad relationship out of fear and financial dependence. Wrong reasons to stay with anyone! I knew it for a long time and just needed a bolt of courage to finally “walk the walk” and do what is right for me, for my soul. I found the courage to embrace my stuttering and slowly that ignited my inner reserves of strength regarding other things. I deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be happy. And I do not need another person for that. Sure, its nice to share your heart and soul with another person, but it has to be the right person,and for the right reasons. There has to be a connection. A real one, not one that I thought there should be.

I made a decision about my life. I am responsible for me. I am now living alone. I control my destiny and my life. I am responsible for me. Sure, its scary. I worry about finances and having to cut back, like everyone else. But it is liberating and empowering to know that I did it!  I ACTUALLY DID IT! I found the courage and power to take control of my life, and who I am. I am going to watch the Chinese Lion Dance over and over again, and remind myself that I am who I am, and that I am OK.

Have you ever faced a momentous change in your life, and felt the fear grip you tight? Did you do it anyway? How did it feel? Special, I am sure. It is special.

8 Responses to "Chinese Lion Dance"

Wow! There is a lot to learn from you, Pam!!!

All the very best in all your endeavors. 🙂

You have an amazing way of …reducing me to tears ….. with most of your writing.
But as always a fantastic blog ,with your true feelings being shared and helping others to find there happiness as well .


OH Pam you just bought back so many memories. Living with someone who belittle ya, who I left when my kids were small but went back to. Because I thought I could not do it on my own. (I stutter) I should of known he would not change when he told me I could not seek speech therapy because I would be better then him. Just a whole lot of mix feelings. But hey, I have been alone for years now, Loving it, finished raising the kids well one was 17 when I left the guy. So not much left to raise on that one. She went and did her own thing. But anyway Pam All I can say is “WOMEN POWER STUTTER AND ALL”

Thanks for the kind replies. This one was a post that I wasn’t actually sure I would hit the “publish” button.
I do think my partner thought he better than me, and that I needed him to be complete and “survive.” I think I believed that too for a while. Until something snapped and I realized that who I am, a strong , intense, passionate woman who also happens to stutter, can indeed stand on my own.
Its hard right now, becasue I feel like I am on a roller-coaster. But this is me, all of me, and being honest about all of me, is the best course right now. I can’t talk about being authentic without being honest about the deepest stuff that also makes me tick.
Gloria – I can so relate, and Lisa – trust me, tears were falling as I wrote too. And Ridwan – yes, I am a a person of many layers.

Hey Pam-
I love your honestly. I never told you but my first husband stuttered. He was critical and the day that marriage ended was the beginning of a new life. Glad you can move on.

Hi Pam,

Wow…I am deeply touched by your post. I got here from following a link on a tweet for Lion Dancing…I’m now following you! 😉

As I read, I can’t help but to think about all the great blessings you have in forms of challenges and how you had choosen to accept the challenges and turned them into blessings/strength….I also like your tie in with the Chinese Lion Dance, I thought it was a very nice touch as I am a Lion Dancer and a trainer…I love this blog entry. 🙂

Anyways, if I may, I would like to recommend you check out these guys who may better help you with your personal strength and perhaps your relationship also:

All the best.

A new friend.

Thanks for the read and nice comments. I checked out the site you shared briefly, and will keep that in mind. How coincidental that a Lion Dancer would catch this blog entry. I very much appreciate your perspective on life’s challenges becoming strengths and blessings.
That seems to be the best way to approach life.


All the best in your lion dancing.

Best regards.

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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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