Make Room For The Stuttering

Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

Posted on: July 3, 2010

Last week, I shared with a colleague that I would be attending the NSA conference this week, for the fifth year. I was talking excitedly about it and told her a little about the workshop I planned to do.

She wanted to know why it was so important to me, and why do I keep going. She said, “you know, it’s not a big deal to us (people at work). You stutter, yeah, we all know that, but it’s not a big deal. You just stutter. Why is it such a big deal to you?”

For a quick second, I felt myself get defensive, almost like it seemed she was “trying to take something away” from me in a weird way.

Then I quickly said, “Well, it hasn’t always been ‘that I just stutter’. It has been a source of shame and embarrassment for so long, and now it’s not”.

Then she said, “Oh, I guess its like how I felt about my self-esteem for a long time. That’s why I talk about that a lot.”

I didn’t feel it was quite the same thing, but it was indeed a good thing that we were even having a conversation about stuttering. For most of my adult life, I wouldn’t have been caught dead openly discussing stuttering with anyone, let alone a colleague at work.

Life needs purpose. I truly believe part of my purpose is to share what I have learned about living with stuttering with others who have not yet made room for it in their lives.

I went from feeling guilty, ashamed and depressed about stuttering to being able to talk about it openly in many different ways to many different audiences. It helps me to help others.

That is why it is such a big deal to me!

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2 Responses to "Why Is It Such A Big Deal?"

Sounds like you work with some pretty awesome people! It’s so great to have people like that in your life.

Of course her self-esteem isn’t identical to what your journey is, BUT there is no scale of comparison to judge a person’s journey. How great that you could allow her to open for a moment about a personal place of her own that she felt she could relate with you.

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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.