Make Room For The Stuttering


Posted on: October 19, 2012

I consider myself to be a fairly well adjusted, confident stutterer, after many years of hiding my stuttering, and denial that hiding it bothered me.

These days, I stutter openly and talk about my stuttering often. I understand the complexity and variability of stuttering. Many of my friends remark often how cool it is to see me so comfortable in my skin.

So why then do I still have moments when I get so frustrated? Yesterday, I was talking with a colleague, someone with whom I am now sharing an office. He knows I stutter – its not an issue.

When chatting with him, I was repeating more words than usual, and experienced more blocking. To the point that in one really good block, I broke eye contact, said “geez,” looked away and struggled mightily to get the word out.

Why does this still happen to a well adjusted, desensitized stutterer? Thoughts?

My friend Evan shared his thoughts without me even asking. We both shared almost identical stories today on our blogs. See Evans post on his blog “I Stutter, So What!”

8 Responses to "Geeez"

Because you’re human! I’m pretty confident these days (not fluent, confident) but I still get frustrated from time to time, although I tend to use a different word than “geeez”. 😉

Ha ha . . . . . me too, but in the office, “Geeez” seemed right!

Funny, I just blogged about something very similar. Maybe there is something in the air!

This is fun! Seeing the same topic on two blogs on the same day 🙂

As I had mentioned in the comments section on Evan’s blog, confidence is something we develop from sadness and suffering. It’s a great feeling to conquer a fear and grow from it.

The only problem is, we’re living in a society that seems to demand absolute perfection in everything even though it’s humanly impossible. So on top of having low self-esteem, we unnecessarily feel foolish for it.

Nothing wrong with retreating a bit then making your triumphant return. Adapt and overcome 🙂

I also consider myself to be a confident stutter, but I totally have those moments where I wonder what happened to that person I used to know! I completely agree with Heather that we are all human and that we need to recognize this in our day to day life. For myself, I think that areas in life that are not necessarily connected to speech still influence my speech, such as whether I am under pressure, feel accepted and cheered for by those around me, if i am well rested, or confident in my abilities.

I have found that my speech has taken a major plunge here in Jordan and I think it has to do with the combination of being in a very different culture where no one knows about or understand stuttering. Plus, I am attempting to learn and speak Arabic, which also adds a lot of pressure as I am constantly watched and evaluated by everyone around me. I think that overall, those low times have a redeeming factor because they force me to rethink what I believe about my stutter and the way I deal with it – confidence is a choice more than a feeling or circumstance.

Thanks for the insightful response Kelsey. Can you talk with anyone in Jordan about your stuttering? The teachers evaluating you?
I have great admiration for what you are doing – so courageous and fun!

Thanks, Pam! I am open about it, but there is usually a large language barrier. I do talk about it in Arabic class so everyone knows about, but no one has really taken an interest in it. Though my teacher is patient, I don’t think that she realizes that it is an actual condition . . . It seems like she sees it more as me having difficulty with the new sounds.

By people evaluating me, I am more referring to just being that people that people notice and watch. People in my village/city are not accustomed to foreigners learning Arabic, so everyone stops and eavesdrops every time I talk, which I am always very aware of. It is quite fascinating being a stutterer learning a language and living in a different culture!

Very nice article. I absolutely love this site.

Keep writing!

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