The Pain Of Stuttering
Posted November 26, 2014on:
Someone wrote this on one of the stuttering email groups I participate in. It really resonated with me.
“The pain of stuttering is not in speech interruptions as that just takes an extra moment… And the speaker sometimes doesn’t even know it’s happening. What’s painful is feeling different and feeling that the difference is unacceptable to you and to the world….”
How many of us can relate to this? How many of us have had a stuttering moment happen and we felt so embarrassed that we felt different? That stuttering was unacceptable?
I first experienced the pain of stuttering as a young child. I don’t remember what stuttering was really like for me at 5 years old, but I do remember the pain I felt when it seemed that my father was ashamed of me. He would yell at me when I stuttered and make me feel as though I was doing something bad.
As an adult, I stutter pretty openly and confidently but sometimes I still experience the pain and shame of stuttering. And I believe some of that rises up from those early painful memories.
I feel the pain of stuttering when I get stuck and someone laughs at me. Or looks at me quizzically, asking if I’ve forgotten my name or where I work. I am sure everyone who stutters has experienced that and probably more than once.
I feel the pain of stuttering when I feel I’m being judged by someone in authority. That makes me feel inadequate, thankfully only momentarily, but inadequate nonetheless.
I feel the pain of stuttering when I explain myself to put a listener at ease. Sometimes it’s painful because there’s times I just don’t feel like explaining.
I feel the pain of stuttering when I want to chime in with a joke and I stutter on the punchline and people give me “the look.”
There has been more and more awareness of stuttering in the media, especially over the last year. But I’m not convinced that the world is ready for stuttering yet. It’s still not acceptable.
What do you think?