Make Room For The Stuttering

Trying Not To Stutter

Posted on: May 31, 2010

My school’s annual awards night is this Wednesday. Which means that I get to be up on stage, facilitating part of the program as adviser for our school’s chapter of the National Technical Honor Society.

I will be conducting the induction ceremony for the kids elected in to this prestigious club. I will lead them in a candle lighting ceremony, and then call each students name as they come on stage and receive their certificates.

This will be my third time doing this. So I should be totally comfortable with it, right? Wrong!

If you recall, I wrote about this at around this same time last year. When I did it for the first time in 2008, I felt very  disrespected when my boss told me I had butchered the kids names when reading them at the ceremony. What he referred to as butchering was actually stuttering on the first letter or sound of the names.

I stuttered last year when I did it as well. But I had thrown in a quick humorous line about my stuttering to put me and the audience at ease.

So this year, it is two days away and I am feeling anxious. I would prefer not to stutter as I call the student’s names. So, I am practicing the names, to be sure I have the pronunciation correct and perhaps even a bit of timing or cadence so that it doesn’t “sound so much like stuttering”.

Ridiculous, isn’t it? I know in my head that it is ridiculous to worry about stuttering on the names, because I stutter, and it is what it is. But I do. I can’t seem to “turn off” the human propensity to worry about things that really aren’t that big of a deal. For I will probably be the only one thinking it is a big deal.

Everybody else (as they should be) will be reveling in the excitement of the night. And I will be obsessing if I sounded all right calling some names off that no one will probably remember in a day or two anyway.

So maybe, knowing that, I can just relax and get on with it and not make such a big deal out of it.

Whats the worse that can  happen? My boss may call me in for some feedback again. Maybe this time, if he insults me, maybe I will have the courage to tell him how that makes me feel.

In the meantime, I am going to try to enjoy the rest of my Memorial Day holiday. Thanks to all the heroes who make it possible to even have the freedom to express myself in this way.

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6 Responses to "Trying Not To Stutter"

Pam,
I’ve found through therapy that trying not to stutter makes the stuttering worse. If you plan to stutter you probably won’t do it as much as if you tried not to stutter.

Ah, yes, you are right! And getting wiser and wiser everyday, my friend!

I think you were correct to throw in some humor last year. You communicate well so if humor takes the edge off, do it. I will be thinking of you. Please keep us posted how it goes.

I have exactly the same issues: basically I am afraid that my bosses will think I am less capable beause of my stutter. That’s why I tend to remain covert. As your rightly point out, it may be that we totally blow up the consequences, but maybe that is also part of the secondary effects of the stutter.

I will be thinking of you Pam, go get ’em. Its hard not to think and obessess over things like this, as all stutterers do this I beleive.

I like Sarah B, comment a lot. This should help to put you at ease.

First off Pam, I think we tend to beat ourselves up more then what a non-stutter does. I do remember when you posted about your boss calling you into his office. Maybe ask him what he wants you to do? Then if he says something insulting remind him you stutter and was still hired with him knowing this. You have to do things to make it also easier for yourself.
I hope this makes sense and I know you will do well. Just don’t beat yourself up.

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