The first 35 years of my life weren’t mine at all. I was a prisoner in my own mind and that sentence was self-imposed. To be free, to me, was to speak without hindrance. To be paroled I had to be rehabilitated. I had the keys; I was my own judge and jury and found myself guilty of being imperfect. The charges pressed against me by others were easily overthrown. I was not weak, timid or incompetent and it could be proven easily by my resume and accomplishments. The charge I pressed against myself was not as easily disproven. I was clearly inadequate to achieve excellence in any arena and therefore locked in the dungeon of mediocrity. To be excellent and break the glass ceiling in the realm of the fluent I had to be fluent, if I could not be fluent then I had to be an indentured servant to them. The life, career or woman of my dreams was unobtainable to me in the caste society I had created.
What I had to understand to be rehabilitated and free to live on my own terms was that my imperfections were not a repulsion. They were an attractive force in a world desperately seeking polarity. It is not possible to genuinely value something that you have always had. To a fluent person, fluent words are worthless, and our lack of fluent words is irrelevant. To us, as stutterers, vulnerability is a constant state. To others however it is the lifeblood of intimacy. People hide their imperfections to be accepted by others hiding imperfections in a masquerade of deceit. True friendships, unbridled romance and unquestionable loyalty cannot exist in a show of smoke and mirrors. Once the flustered emotions of a possible connection subside, like a murky pond with time the water becomes clear again.
We experience this in twinkling instances of time and pull back into our façade to escape the fear we feel when exposed. We forsake these beautiful moments because we forsake ourselves. The twinkle of genuine connection is a spark. It can be nurtured by us and allowed to become a flame or suffocated by our inability to be honest. The rapport of best friends is created by openness. The success of a team is dependent on camaraderie and the passion of lovers is the dancing of inner shadows. Nothing we deem valuable can be obtained if the only currency we have is our pretentious veneer of purity.
Everyone is insufficient in some way. Every person on this planet is self-conscious of their imperfections. We see others as superior to us because we do not see them how they see themselves. My stutter is my social currency. Vulnerability is plentiful for me and I share it generously. In return I receive the kindness of strangers, honest friendships and uninhibited romance.
As I began to except this mindset, my stutter became less severe. I am free to speak and to live on my own terms without my stutter being a hinderance. I wrote Tough love, A Stutterers Survival Kit to assist other adult stutterers in their journey to fluency and self-acceptance. I did not create this idea or mindset. It is the same mindset that anyone who has overcame a stutter has used to conquer it.
I wrote Tough love, A Stutterers Survival Kit to assist other adult stutterers in their journey to fluency and self-acceptance. I did not create this idea or mindset. It is the same mindset that anyone who has overcame a stutter has used to conquer it. Instead of redundant statistics of studies I used my own experiences to demonstrate the steps taken to take your life back and live with purpose. If you stutter or love someone who stutters this book will give you insights and the tools necessary to live your own life on your own terms. It is available in paperback and as an e-book. Join me on this journey and together we can change how not only the stuttering community see us but the world!