Make Room For The Stuttering

I Really Do Stutter – Episode 58

Posted on: June 10, 2011

Episode 58 features Sarah Bell from Garland, Texas, outside of Dallas. Sarah is a full-time mom to 20-month-old Ethan. She is studying a medical transcription class on-line, which she will complete in December. Sarah hopes to continue working from home, to be right there with Ethan!

Sarah and I first met at the NSA Conference in New Jersey in 2008. I recall being so impressed with Sarah sharing her story at the “Covert, Exposed” panel workshop. We were guests together in September 2008 on the Stuttertalk episode Pam and Sarah: Covert Stuttering (Episode 63).

Sarah shares her experience of being extremely covert, and wanting to be more open, but continually struggling with it. She talks about her childhood and why she tried to hide her stuttering.

She ponders the question of “fit” in the stuttering community. People who do not stutter or stutter overtly probably never consider this!

Sarah shares her self-help experiences, and recalls her first meeting of the Dallas NSA Chapter where she met Russ Hicks, who stutters differently than she does. We discuss the gamut of feelings one can have when meeting someone else who stutters for the first time. That “aha” moment of, “wow, I’m not the only one!”

Listen in as we discuss covert stuttering, denial, self-esteem and fear. We also discuss how important it is to not beat ourselves up when we go backwards and the need to be kind to ourselves. And worrying about whether Ethan might stutter as he begins talking.

The music clip “Gently” is credited to DanoSongs. Feel free to leave comments for Sarah and let her know what a great job she did! Feedback is a gift!

7 Responses to "I Really Do Stutter – Episode 58"

An amazing episode Pam,
Thanks Sarah, I feel my life has been so similar to yours , with your thoughts and covert behaviors, especially the part where you said , if your covert once to a new person, you feel then its so much harder to be heard stammering when you meet them next, I’m like this with people who have only known me as fluent or apparently fluent, including my best friend and my close family. Its hard to keep explaining , well I do stammer but I hide it where possible, even though I’m trying so hard to be open its really tricky between both worlds as such..
Thanks again for sharing Sarah
Lisa x

Hey Lisa,
Yeah, I thought it was pretty amazing too. The thing is, Sarah is young, 26, twenty years younger than me, yet it totally resonated with me too.
It doesn’t matter – young, not so young, married, single, American, Brit, Scot, Afraican – we all have the same stories running through our hearts and heads and when we put voice to them, its like, “wow, that was amazing.”
I feel like that every time I hear a woman’s story – sometimes I get chills, becasue its like it her voice, but my words, you know! 🙂

Hi, Sarah, thanks for sharing your story. If you’ll be at the conference, hope Pam will introduce us. Your journey to your true self is very inspiring. And just as Pam and Lisa said, there are so many similarities. Even though my stuttering was very severe and impossible to hide, I always hoped that I will be able to do so – every time I was introduced to new people, I tried not to use words on which I blocked, tried not to speak etc. But the cat was alwasy out of the bag very soon and I then was beating myself over the head because of this. And yes, fear of the phone – this is so very familiar. It doesn’t matter how mild or severe the stuttering, it affects our life. But it is great that you see a positive side in it too – that it made you a better person. I also agree with this. Hope to talk to you in person in Forth Worth.


GREAT job! As more or less my “adopted daughter,” I knew 99% of what you said on this podcast. The 1% I didn’t know was that your dad was pretty uncomfortable with this whole subject. He’s such a fantastic speaker himself!

You didn’t tell Pam that you taught me AIM and all the hours we spent chatting on the internet! Ha, ha, ha!

Pam’s right too when she said you’re gonna touch a lot of lives. That’s absolutely right. I can’t wait to see you both in Ft. Worth.

Go Mavs! (and Rangers too, I guess…)


Great, Pam. Loved this.

This is the first episode I listened to and I really liked it. I’ve stuttered since I was 3 years old and never had therapy. I can relate to a lot of things Sarah said. Especially stuttering openly but still having a certain fear that you can barely explain. For the past few months I’ve been working on accepting the fact that it will never go away. I couldn’t even say the words “I stutter” without feeling very uncomfortable, till a few weeks ago.

Hi Kimberly,
So glad you checked in and listened to an episode and could relate. Working on acceptance is tough. I know – I have been there. I have stuttered since age 5, and had no therapy until in my forties, and then realized that I didn’t want/need to be “fixed”, just comfortable with myself as I am. Stuttering is tough, because our difference is not readily apparent. We react a lot to our listeners reactions.
I hope you visit often and check out both the podcast episodes and the blog posts I write, which is basically my own journey of acceptance. And it is a journey.
Sometimes, it helps just hearing other women who sound like us and to know, really know, that we are not alone.
Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment!

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