Stuttering Is Not Fair – Episode 46
Posted February 18, 2011on:
Episode 46 features Kay, who hails from West Africa. Kay is a lawyer currently working as counsel for a litigation firm. Kay spent many of her childhood years in France. French is her mother tongue.
We spoke with each other via Skype in early February, when Kay was in the US at the University of Minnesota. As of the posting of this episode, she is now back in West Africa.
We first met on the Covert-s email support group, where Kay was posting a lot and asking questions. I took a chance and emailed her off list. We got to know each other a bit and Kay quickly agreed to share her story to help others.
Kay shares some very personal glimpses into her life, including the effects of some early abuse. She also shares how she chose to become a lawyer, and how very hard it was for her due to her stuttering. She had grave doubts about her abilities to appear competent as a lawyer and worried how her father, an esteemed public figure and lawyer in West Africa, would perceive her.
Kay is gut-wrenchingly honest about disappointing her father and buckling under the pressure of the legal profession and communicating in courts and trials.
We discuss not only covert stuttering, but also the notion of the need to be covert for professional reasons, for self-preservation and protection. We also discuss how Kay never talked about stuttering with anyone until 6 months ago when she entered into some therapy here in the US.
She was always concerned with making her parents, friends and colleagues comfortable around her, and she tried hard to not have to subject them to listening to her stutter. She never let on how anxious and fearful she was, always putting other people’s comfort ahead of her own needs.
This was a powerful conversation. There is some background noise I was unable to remove, but the content of Kay story far outweighs any editing issues. Feel free to leave comments for Kay or just simply let her know how much you appreciated hearing her story. Credit for the podcast safe music used in this episode goes to DanoSongs.