20+ years of off and on speech therapy with the same pathologist, I'm
starting fresh with the folks at UGA. And I'm a little scared.
reason I'm scared is that going back to speech therapy means that
stuttering has gotten bad enough that I can't fix it on my own. It means
that I have to commit time and money to focusing on the part of myself
that I hate--the part that I try to ignore.
I imagine it's
similar to a person with a drug or alcohol dependency admitting that
they have a problem and that they need help. Admitting that I need help
scares the shit out of me.
I've been asked why I talk so openly
about stuttering on social media, and I think I have an answer.
Stuttering is a very public problem. If I want to get things done, I
have to talk. Everyone I talk to sees that I stutter and forms their own
opinion and creates their own meaning. Some people, upon hearing me
stutter, assume that I am a victim of head trauma or that I am otherwise
disabled. Some people think that I am scatter-brained. Still others
think that I am shifty or untrustworthy. By talking about stuttering
often and without holding back, I hope to help people form opinions and
create meanings that are more in line with the truth about me, whatever
that is. If I choose not to talk about stuttering, I waive my right to
state my case in a debate that I have no choice but to be part of.
To everyone who supports me and "gets it", thank you for putting up
with all the stuttering talk in your FB/Twitter feed. To everyone else, I
hope that I can positively influence your view of stutterers.