Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘meeting people who stutter

Episode 235 features Lesley Brownlow, who hails from Liverpool, England, UK. Lesley works in a council-run Adult Education service, which she describes as very busy, stressful and productive. She says in a way, her career “chose her.” She wanted to take on a communication heavy job to help “bust the stigma” of stuttering.

Lesley says she always wanted to be a writer, and that she knew this that at the tender age of 5, when she began writing stories. Going forward, she realized you had to make money in order to actually make a career out of writing.

Lesley’s mantra is never saying no to a challenge. Early in her adult education career, she did worry that stuttering could be perceived by learners that she didn’t know what she was talking about. She quickly let that go.

Listen in as we discuss authenticity, disclosure, the “fluent voice in our head,” and how stuttering can create an intimacy in communication that helps spark real relationships. We also discussed the benefits of meeting others who stutter and how liberating that can be.

This was a wonderful, inspiring conversation that could have go on for hours, but we were mindful of listener attention spans these days!

Thank you Lesley.

Episode 234 features Alexis Connolly, who hails from Baginton, England. Her village has a tiny population of about 700. She has worked for the NHS – National Health Service – full time for 25 years. She progressively advanced in her career, in positions she was interested in. She presently works part-time as a radiology assistant.

Listen in as we discuss fears and thoughts about stuttering. Alexis shares that her stammer “made me feel ugly.” I think many of us can relate to that. She eventually reached the point where she no longer cared or feared other’s perceptions. She proudly claimed “I am who I am.”

Alexis found support from online women’s stuttering groups and found others who had similar worries and fears. She shared in the group that she was anxious about saying her wedding vows, afraid that she would stammer. She soon realized that her husband loved her with or without stammering.

Alexis shares throughout our conversation how she has become close friends with other women who stammer, thanks to taking a risk in the online groups.

With all the social media platforms and other choices for electronic communication, there is no shortage of ways to find and communicate with people over the internet.

There are so many stuttering support groups, frankly they are hard to keep up with. But there is one on Facebook where large numbers of people who stutter gravitate.

The group is diverse – all ages, both genders, culturally and geographically dispersed. Yet, so many questions are asked – some casual, some deeply personal.

It seems that people who stutter from all walks of life are looking for connection, and I contend that connection cannot always be found with clicks behind a computer screen.

I think this 21st century group of young people who stutter who flock to these groups do so because there is no physical group to turn to.

Humans are human, and we need social interaction with each other – preferably face-to-face, at least on the telephone (or these days Skype.) We need to see and hear each other, read facial expressions and body language and feel that connection that comes from true interaction between two people.

I don’t think the future of interaction lies solely with social media and internet texting. I think we have to challenge ourselves to go and talk with a fellow person who stutters, or pick up the phone. Relationships start and then grow into friendships when we see and talk with each other in real-time.

We mustn’t lose sight of that.


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2021. 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 2021.
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