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Have you forgotten your name?

This poem is for all the people who have asked me that shameful question; ‘Have you forgotten your name?’  These people ask the nonsensical question that if it takes me a second longer to say my name, I must be slow or stupid and that I have forgotten my name, my identity and a part of myself. I decided to turn this question on its head and suggest that because I do know my name, regardless of if I stutter or not, it reminds me that I am loved. The name that my parents chose for me because they had to call me something memorable. That the people who see past my slow speech, my stumbles and breaks in my words, are the ones who I should be giving my time to. So, please, if you struggle to say your own name, you are still worthy of love and be to accepted into this world. That the people who look past your stutter, are the ones who accept you for all you are and those who don’t are not worthy of your time. Pay no head to those who suggest that you could have forgotten your name and even m
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Hi-ho Hi-ho its back to work I go

  I'm back at work (finally!) and I was obviously nervous to enter back into the working world…for a number of reasons. I haven't worked in just over a year, which is strange in itself. So of course I'd be feeling a bit anxious about going back to work, even to a job that I know so well, and to people I haven’t seen in a long time. I was nervous that I wouldn't remember how to do anything, and that I would be terrible at  training new staff. Basically, I had a lot of expectations of myself. And because of how much I respect and admire my manager, I wanted to put my best foot forward for myself as well as for her. A bag of nerves; I was nervous of how I would cope with my stutter in a new situation. I was nervous that because of the pandemic I would struggle with getting back into the swing of speaking with customers, introducing myself and working with people I've never met before. I think it's safe to say that for the majority of people who stutter the pand

'Ambivalent thoughts about my stutter' by Veronica

There are days when I am totally at ease with my stutter and other days where I carry a lot of embarrassment, fear, and shame about my stutter.  Some days  I can experience an entire range of emotions, both positive and negative, about my stammer.  And there are a lot of days where I am just ambivalent. I think  my feelings of ambivalence s tem from spending a sizeable portion of my life as a covert stutterer while now I am much more overt. But see, I am even ambivalent about that term, ‘ stutterer’ because it describes something I am, but I am so many other things besides a stutterer. Most of the time I identify as a PWS or a person who stammers because it describes stuttering as something I do. Yet, I am completely happy to put myself in the same amazing group as other stutterers. I am unsure of how to describe myself in the context of my stammer. This is me soothing my soul - I love my garden! Being covert vs overt; As a person who was largely covert for most of their life I valued

Another form of representation of stuttering in film

‘Stuttering is frequently used as visual shorthand to communicate humor, nervousness, weakness, or unheroic/villainous characters.’ -  The Visualization of the Twisted Tongue: Portrayalsof Stuttering in Film, Television, and Comic Books by Jeffrey K. Johnson The majority of mainstream media portrays stuttering as a sign of a weak character; someone whose inability to speak fluently is viewed as a flaw in their character. A person who stutters is rarely the hero in films; instead, they are frequently the friend, as in  A Fish Called Wanda , or the villain, as in Professor Quirrell in  Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. (See my article on stuttering in  To All the Boys I've ever loved   here ) One of the reasons for this is that many people already associate people who stutter with anxiety, insecurity, and timidity, therefore if the writers of a film produce a character with a stutter, they do not need to explain why this character is more vulnerable and less of a hero. It is

Do I like my stutter?

Do I like my stutter? If I were to answer this question in short, I would probably say no. And then I'd have to say retract my statement. Because, while I may not like my stutter, I am grateful for what it has given me, the people I have met, and the things I have accomplished as a result of it. My feelings about my stutter are ambivalent. Do I like it when someone asks me my name and as soon as I start to try and say my name, my tongue feels like it's in knots and my mouth does not work? Of course not! Can I appreciate my stutter for getting me to America and giving me the opportunity to perform on stage at 7 years old? Absolutely! As I’ve talked about previously, I sometimes see my stutter as Regina in Mean Girls or as the friendship between Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter . Please read  A Short Intro  for more.  Photo by  Prateek Katyal  from  Pexels Stuttering is like waking up early;   (Please bear with me, it will eventually make sense!) Waking up early i

'The Silence'

This poem describes how I feel when I block on a word.  Blocks and repetitions are the most difficult aspects of my stutter, but blocks are particularly difficult for me. Blocks are challenging because there is almost never any sound coming out, and I feel as if my throat is simply trapping my words inside my mouth. I chose the word silence to describe the silence that occurs when I am blocking but also how my stutter can sometimes cause me to remain silent. When I stutter feel that there is a separation between what I want to say and how my body will allow me to say it. I cannot stutter if I do not speak and sometimes it is easier not to speak when I know I will stutter. And that is okay. The silence can be a welcome relief from the struggle to get my words out. Sometimes it is okay if I choose silence, as long as I remind myself that my voice is still worthy of being heard when I do decide to speak again. The Silence My heart aches with all the words I could say, yet my throat stay

Those Bad Days

  Some days are just hard and that’s just it!  I’m talking about those days where you wake up feeling fine and then, ever so slowly, your mind starts to whir and your thinking becomes more negative as the day goes on and all you can feel is every kind of awful! Your inner critic starts to speak up and gets louder and louder until you feel like your head is going to explode! Your intrusive thoughts are dancing around your head while your heart and your gut are aching. Those days are hard! Me having one of those days! I’ve had a few days like that recently so, naturally, I want to write about them. But I'd also like to share some advice that helped me get out of my rut. So, if you're feeling under the weather or don't think you can handle a discussion about depressive moods and anxiety, please skip to the bottom, where you'll hopefully find some helpful tips and coping strategies.   Given that this is a blog discussing my stutter, I’ll talk about my recent struggle wit

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