Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Frustrating!

I was at a friend's house yesterday, a very talented Animal Communicator/Psychic and this is a person I see on a regular basis each week. We are very good friends and share books, life stories, give each other advice, etc. Yet, yesterday at her house, I struggled horribly with being fluent. I also work with this lady and rarely do I stutter in my professional setting. Suddenly, however, for some mysterious reason, I couldn't say five words in a row without a major block...and my usual tricks to avoid stuttering all seemed to fail.

Maybe it was the unfamiliar setting? I have never been to visit her and her husband at their house before, so maybe that put me on edge a little. Who knows? She knows that I am a stutterer and reacts wonderfully to it, never trying to complete my sentences or even mentioning the stutter at all. Still, I felt like a huge idiot.

No matter how many times you tell yourself that stuttering doesn't determine your intelligence and shouldn't affect your value or how you feel about yourself, when days or incidents arise like this, I am virtually unable to convince myself that I don't appear to be a stuttering, stammering, dysfluent imbecile.

I hate days like that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sticks and Stones...Hurt Like Hell, Damn It!

As a young child, I wasn't the most brawny of kids. In fact, I was downright scrawny and wimpy. I was born 2 1/2 months early, weighed only a few small pounds and never really caught up. Because of my pint size, I was often the target of bullies. When I was in middle school, around 6-8th grade in the United States, I had the stature and build of a kid of no more than 9 or 10...even though I was 12-13 years of age. In the locker room after gym, all the kids stood at least a head or so above me.

Because of my small size, I wasn't too adept at physical confrontation. Redeeming myself and my good name through the use of "fisticuffs" wasn't my forte...never was and never will be. In my entire childhood, I was probably only engaged in two fights ever; one was with my brother and the other was with a kid in the 6th grade who wiped the school yard with my face.

While I wasn't adept at physical confrontation, I did learn early on that I could defend myself pretty well with my words. Despite my stutter, when I would become angry, I could give someone a hefty tongue lashing, so much so that I had a reputation for being fairly skilled at verbal put-downs and insults. It was my sole effective weapon, though not effective if the target of my verbal rampage decided to take things a step further. Then I would be at a decided disadvantage once again.

My verbal skill, while also somewhat of an advantage at choice times in my dealings with schoolyard peers, was also my biggest source of trouble at home. My mother was a strict disciplinarian and demanded respect and absolutely forbad "talking back" or "giving sass" to adults. But, I was unable to control my mouth, even with my parents, should we disagree over some thing or some issue. I would argue an issue, even if I was in the wrong, to the point of distraction and was a constant source of annoyance to my mom who, on more than one occasion, stated categorically that if given the chance, I would argue with Jesus Christ himself. But, that's just silly. Jesus is a Democrat. Why would I argue with Him?

I guess I am posting this because I find it somewhat ironic that I was gifted with a sharp tongue, but also with a bad stutter as a kid. As I said in an earlier entry, I also love sharp-witted comedy and would have loved to have been a stand-up comic...but for my annoying stutter. (And assuming I'm funny. My son says that I'm funny, but also says that looks aren't everything.)

Language is very important to me. I guess that's why I developed such a love for the written word. I can't speak it as eloquently as I write it...and the advantage of writing it is that it gives you time to carefully hone what you intend to say before you unleash it on the unwitting reader. I participate in online debate, have been frequenting the same debate forum for over a decade now. I am pretty damn good at it, but I think that's because I can think before I write and I always sound more eloquent than if I had to speak aloud what I want to say.

Is any of this your experience as well? As a stutterer, what dreams did you pass on because of the limitations of your speech, if any?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Money-Grubbing SCAM ARTIST

Meet "Orlene Robinson"...she was kind enough to leave a very encouraging comment on my "advertising my stutter" blog entry and then go about his merry way.

Wait, no she didn't!! She also left a link to "her" e-Book which promises, for the low, low price of just $39.99 ($17 if I ACT NOW!) to offer tips that will help you or your child find "tried and true" tips for overcoming his or her stammer! Check it out!

I love how these scammers offer a product that, by the picture, appears to be a huge, fancy looking textbook of some kind, but then turns out to be an internet e-book download. Why can't I have the book below that is pictured on the site?

I want this lovely, nice big green textbook! Why can't I have it? Hmm. Probably because it doesn't exist. If you click on the profile page of Orlene Robinson, you see she is a lovely woman who lives in Jamaica, loves reading the Bible, but, oddly, there isn't one piece of information, not one link to any blogs or websites that offer any information at all about stammering/stuttering. Why would that be? Look for yourself:

I have a theory. If you find information that purports to help you with anything...on a website that forces you to scroll down endlessly while you read paragraph after paragraph of testimonials and unfounded scientific or medical claims...all while giving you NO INFORMATION at all about who is peddling the product or who is behind's probably 100% garbage.

So, congratulations, are my newest SCAM ARTIST of the Day! How proud your parents must be.