Few days ago, I read a wonderful blog post titled “Overcoming Stuttering” by my friend, Pam Mertz (@stutterrockstar). It’s a good analysis on how kids and teens could be programmed by the “I-overcame-my-stuttering” hogwash of the “media-made” famous people. And, I couldn’t disagree. It’s not only about kids & adolescence, even many adult stutterers fall prey for these kinda stuffs.
See, I don’t have any vendetta against the famous people whether they are stutterers or not. I admire them for their triumphs and victories. They motivate and inspire us to achieve against insurmountable odds; which is brilliant. But when it comes to “fluent speech”, is it possible? How many of the stutterers know that “fluent speech” is really a wrong goal and there is no scientific evidence to make it possible. It’s like climbing the ladder when it is actually leaning on the wrong wall. On the other hand, when fluent speech is the norm, the minds of stutterers undergo lots of pain and agony in regards with their speech. They automatically start to buy in to these kinds of false-hopes of fluent speech. And, it’s understandable.
How much ever I criticize the “fluent speech” notion, there is a part in me which yearns for the same. I enjoyed a great childhood and teenage, good education, great parents and siblings, wonderful family etc. Now, when all my carefree years are over and I hit the job market, it’s pretty daunting and I feel the pain. Apart from my qualifications, skills and experiences I understand that my stutter plays a pivotal role in the interview process. And at this time, I feel the pain about my speech impediment and think “Could this be the reason for my rejections?”
In spite all the negativity and put-downs, my stuttering actually made me an optimistic and a happy dude. I equate stuttering to the idea of “fate”. We all do that. When we achieve something, we say “I did it”. And, when we screw up, we say “Sometimes, Life Sucks!!!” and move on. Similarly, when we start to accept ourselves how we are and move forward. We get a life of abundance were we barely notice we stutter. (Unless, some dimwit points us! )
Finally, I too share my friend Pam’s concerns on getting out celebrities to talk about their successes with their stutters and not by giving an illusion that they succeeded by overcoming stuttering. I promise, I will never do that.
PS: I really didn’t know what title to be given for this blog post. I used this title because I think it summarizes the mental agony & hysteria that surrounds fluent speech among the stuttering clan; which in reality, pretty difficult to be established. I hope I have done justice in relating the blog post with the title.