I’m sure you’re reading this wondering, why is stuttering “cruel“?
This intriguing phrase popped into my mind after I experienced some fluency issues while on vacation with my family.
All had gone well until I ran into a speech block while doing a typical, everyday thing we all take for granted — placing a simple lunch order.
This stuttering relapse reset any confidence I had built up in my fluency, and anyone who knows me is aware that I’ve put in a lot of time and effort working on it. Needless to say, I was absolutely demoralized and deflated.
I kept mostly to myself for the rest of the day until we decided to visit the beach, an obsession my daughter and I both share. We were all enjoying a quiet moment together in the water when I suddenly turned to my wife and uttered the phrase that perfectly summed up all of my struggles with speech: STUTTERING IS CRUEL.
Like many of you reading this, she was intrigued by what I had said, so we started talking about what I meant by it. The conversation eventually shifted to how I could help others who experience the same mental anguish I had faced all my life as a stutterer.
After our conversation, I realized that if I wanted to truly make a difference in the lives of People Who Stutter, I would have to do something that has always proved challenging: opening up about my stutter and the impact it’s had on my life, as well as my loved ones’ lives.
On the surface, stuttering might not appear to present significant challenges, but the hidden emotional havoc it wreaks runs the gamut. Bullying, depression, isolation and thoughts of suicide are not uncommon among People Who Stutter.
Their lives become a tangled web of obstacles stemming from seemingly typical, everyday situations. Imagine the hopelessness and immense frustration of being unable to have a casual conversation with a loved one, make a phone call, or place a food order.
The psychological and emotional toll on People Who Stutter and those in their lives cannot be overstated. Thus, I have a great desire to aid others facing seemingly hopeless situations.
I envision our organization helping to fund major neurological studies that we hope will finally uncover the causes of stuttering; creating educational materials for schools and workplaces that specifically address issues faced by People Who Stutter; and developing educational digital media resources like articles, videos, and podcasts.
Lastly, I invite you to subscribe to our blog. Soon we’ll be diving deep into some very interesting (and sometimes uncomfortable) subjects, so I hope you’ll join us on this difficult but rewarding journey.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our cause. Your support is greatly appreciated!