Make Room For The Stuttering

Vulnerability Of Stuttering

Posted on: September 19, 2013

Katherine Preston hits it out of the park again with a wonderful essay about how talking about her book brings her face to face with the very vulnerability most of us stutterers avoid.

Read her essay “An Unlikely Speaker: On Stuttering and the Memoir.” She talks about how audiences expect her to stutter because she’s talking about her life experience as a stutterer, and the stark vulnerability that brings.

It is a great reminder how very personal, how intimate it is to share our stuttering with someone else, known to us or a stranger. We expose ourselves and leave our self open to reactions that we cannot control. We hope that listener reactions will be patient and compassionate. They are not always.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with others reminds us how messy life is, and that we all have struggles. Bravo to Katherine for putting it so eloquently.

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3 Responses to "Vulnerability Of Stuttering"

I know this is a random post to comment on, but it really enrages me that your dad screamed at you when you stuttered as a child (I read your stuttering is cool interview). Yes people might be ignorant of the stutterer’s experience, but their ignorance has real consequences on the stutterers. People really need to be enlightened and see this.

Hi Pam,
I’ve read your blog for a while and commented once before. I love your approach to things :o)
I was wondering if you could write a post about assertiveness? I’ve always had quite a severe stutter and for years and years I’ve hardly spoken at all. In the last year or so I have become much more confident (still a long way to go) and I’m talking way way more than ever before. The only problem is that I’m having issues with people reacting to my stutter and I don’t want them to knock me back down to where I was before. I really, really hate people finishing my sentences or guessing what I’m trying to say – I feel like they think I don’t deserve a voice. I know that’s an over reaction but it’s really getting me down. I’m trying to speak more and more but every single day people are finishing my sentences. Can you give me any tips as to what to say to them? The thing is, I’m still pretty shy and I’m terrible at being assertive.
Thank you xxx

Hi – thanks for commenting and asking me to write something about assertiveness. It’s tricky to be assertive and to feel comfortable doing it, especially if we’re shy by nature.
I’ve written something – would love your feedback on it.

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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.