Make Room For The Stuttering

You’re Just Like Me

Posted on: January 2, 2010

My friend Yara and I got together a few nights ago. We experimented with her new Wii system, and shared a lot of laughs. Mostly because I am very uncoordinated and had a hard time figuring out how to use the Wii remote and generally getting anywhere with it. But it was fun and it’s always nice to make time for fun with a good friend.

We also spent a lot of time talking about our stuttering. We both have shared the covert experience, and at certain times, we still choose to be covert. Yara decided to share something with me that she felt she couldn’t with anyone else. Once again, she felt safe and comfortable enough to share her inner thoughts, and for that, I felt deeply honored and touched.

Yara said that she doesn’t like to be around other people who stutter. At first, I was a little bewildered. We attend a support group together and have gone out socially with other people who stutter. Just last week, we went to lunch with two friends who stutter. Yara admitted that she was extremely uncomfortable with them. That being around other people who stutter is just too difficult – it reminds her too much of herself.

Wow, I thought. So where did that leave me, because I stutter and we hang out together. I felt a bit uncomfortable, but asked anyway. I asked her if I was included in that group of stutterers who make her uncomfortable. Yara said, “well, no, because I don’t see you as a person who stutters. I don’t hear you stutter. You don’t stutter. You’re just like me.”

This kind of threw me for a loop. I didn’t say anything for a minute, couldn’t, didn’t know what to say. Yara just looked at me and smiled and said, “doesn’t make much sense, huh? I always hated being around other people who stutter because I thought if I worked on my speech, I would sound like them. Then you come along and you stutter like me and what I get from that is it is OK. You are the first person who has sounded OK to me. So I don’t hear you stutter. I just hear you.”

This so moved me, of course, I got choked up and got teary. We both know what it is like to stutter and try to hide it and think that we have when we really haven’t. Sometimes the only person we have hidden our stuttering from is ourselves. And now we both know that it is OK to talk like this, on this deeper level, about how we FEEL about stuttering.

It felt so good to be able to talk about this and know that we understand each other. Thanks Yara!

What do you think? If you are a person who stutters, have you ever felt uncomfortable being around other people who stutter? Do you worry, “is that how I sound?” If you don’t stutter, honestly, does it bother you to be around those who do?

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5 Responses to "You’re Just Like Me"

wow a really strong post …i have always avioded other pws ,my poor brothers best mate used to think i really hated him ,even in later life cos i left he room when he was around ..and will never watch films or shows if a character does …because this would remind me of what i was tring not to be …different …but thanks to you Pam ,i’m learning it is ok …
lisa xxxxx

Thank you! It helps me to know that what I write makes sense and that people who stutter get this. Especially the coverts. We feel so exposed every time we dare to be ourselves, but that’s what it is really about . . . daring to be.

For the most part I feel very comfortable around other folks whom stutter and I attend a support group every month and feel right at home. Its comforting to be around others whom can relate to your struggles. I sometime get nervous around others whom don’t stutter, because I am constantly reminding myself of my speech techniques and trying to make sure I am as fluent as I can be.

Awesome start of 2010 Pam!

Fanfreakingtastic!!! Talk about intense. As a over stutterer, I love being around others who stutter but I also wonder if other stutterers are uneasy being around me.

Great topic Pam!

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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.