What was my worst moment stuttering? One that jumps to mind is the time the entire class, including the teacher, laughed at my attempt to answer a question aloud.
What was the best? Probably the look on a kid’s face when he saw it and suddenly realized that I had experienced that same troubles that had brought him to therapy.
When did it scare me the most? That had to be the first day of seventh grade, entering the school as the new kid.
When did I know I had accepted stuttering? The day I realized I hadn’t thought about it in a while, that it no longer dominated my life.
Stuttering has put me through a lot of tests. Each time, the teacher—everyday life—graded me immediately. Eventually there were some rewards, but I feel that I paid in full for each one.
Progressing from the shame, embarrassment, and frustration that can accompany stuttering to a feeling of acceptance is a passage marked by life’s events. Yes, it is one of changing attitudes, emotions, and behaviors as well, but these are manifested in the everyday episodes of being human.
The new workbook Stuttering: Power over it:A liberating and inspiring self-help program is a journey through stuttering landmarks via the power of memory (with an assist from science fiction). The story touches on how this condition influences school, friends, dating, jobs, and just about every other aspect of life. But this time around, the feedback isn’t immediate. This time you get to stop the clock and consider what each situation means, what you might have done differently, and what you can learn from the experiences.
The endpoint is acceptance. Then reacceptance.