Stamily: Resilience as a Community – Stamily

About the Authors:

Stamily is a diverse and independent community, consisting of people from all over the world. We are highly diverse, with many different passions, life stories, and goals, but have one thing in common: we stutter. Behind the non-fluent speech that you hear on the outside, there are also many ‘hidden’ feelings and experiences that most of us, people who stutter, share.

With Stamily we try to create a worldwide network for people who stutter and people who feel connected with us, where everybody can share their struggles, feelings, and achievements in Stamily’s safe space. This gives a feeling of recognition, comfort, and a positive attitude towards stuttering. You are not alone with your stutter. Stuttering creates a bond. Many friendships already started via Stamily-related exchange projects!

Visit us at stamily.org

In the summer of 2018, an idea grew out of a youth meeting for people who stutter. These meetings have been around in Europe for some time and have been inspiring many participants to become more resilient. From these meetings, there came a desire to have a world-wide network for people who stutter to share their (positive and negative) experiences, achievements and life stories, as well as to make friends from all over the world.

This developed into what we started to call ‘Stamily’ (as a merge of the words ‘family’ and ‘stammering’). The community around Stamily is built upon personal experiences, sharing ups and downs, and bouncing back, within a judgement-free environment. We, the Stamily members, would like to share our experience with resilience. Not only to inspire, but also to motivate others to invest time to create similar networks, or platforms, or to organize something (such as youth exchanges) within their own network to see what comes out of it.

Within Stamily we all have our own experiences with resilience. We know that nobody walks their life path without struggling. We think that by acknowledging this, being able to open up in a safe space, and by having a supportive network around you, you become stronger and better at bouncing back. Of course, this is not solely the case for people who stutter. But this one trait that we share creates a bond through shared experiences in which friendships are fostered that enrich our daily lives.

When we asked our members what resilience means to them, we got the following reply:

“Resilience is acknowledging that things don’t always go as you’d like them to go, realizing that that is okay, and doing what you love regardless of what other people think”.

Or as somebody else said:

“Resilience is the ability to go through difficult/awkward stuttering situations and saying the things you wanted to say even if it took time.”

We say in our philosophy:

“For us, it is about how to live with stuttering, and how to keep our mind-set straight, without letting your stutter have a negative impact on your life.”

Sharing these ideas and experiences in a safe environment also defines the power of Stamily.

The stories on our website, written by people from all over the world, show how resilience works in practice. We all have our own stories on how stuttering has affected our lives, our school years, our jobs, our social lives. But we also have stories on how we dealt with that. How we try to cope with stuttering, and situations that occur due to our stuttering, and how we try to find ways to become more resilient and bounce back. By sharing our stories online, we hope that people who visit our website also become more resilient offline, when they are in their daily lives and have to deal with their own (not always good) experiences. 

The journey of Stamily is more than a collection of individual stories. It is also a story of a community where people feel less alone and where people grow through sharing and experiencing, such that we become more resilient. To not only support the people within the network but also the people who follow Stamily. This is what Stamily represents: a group of people who all live in different parts of the world but unbound by the ability to share, such that they can radiate both their individual and collective story throughout the world to make a change and become more resilient.

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Comments

Stamily: Resilience as a Community – Stamily — 10 Comments

  1. This is the key to it all: “For us, it is about how to live with stuttering, and how to keep our mind-set straight, without letting your stutter have a negative impact on your life.”

    The mindset more than anything is what I have found was the biggest impediment for me and when I was able to change that, how much more enjoyable my life began and how much progress I was able to make in my confidence and career.

    What one or two things has Stamily done to help people adopt that different mindset? Appreciate the great work you guys do!

    • I totally agree! For me, changing my mindset and taking the approach that I wanted to be confident and enjoy myself, rather than focusing on being fluent, was what made me so much happier and comfortable in myself.

      For me, Stamily has helped me to solidify this mindset by introducing me to lots of different people who have come on different journeys to reach this conclusion. By hearing their stories, I’ve been able to learn and grow. Also, working with Stamily has allowed me to express how I feel about my stutter and my mindset without any fear of being judged for not pursuing fluency. Everyone has their own choices that they make and none of us are are wrong or right for making the decision that is best for them.

  2. Hi,

    I just love this short piece that packs a lot in fewer words than some of the other papers. You young people is what is driving the stuttering community to be just that – a community that we all need, even if one still does not realize that’s what is needed.

    It wonderful that you have come together as “Stamily” giving a word to your collective efforts. I live in the USA and I often see PWS refer to the community as “Stamily” but they lack what you do in an organized fashion to actually bring stamily members together toward a collective good.

    I so wish I had found community at the age of some of you lovely young people. I would have saved myself from a lot of self limiting beliefs and the efforts I employed to keep my stuttering hidden at all costs.

    It’s wonderful and refreshing to know of your work.

    How do you encourage members to join? What type of outreach do you have?

    Pam

    • Hi Pamela, thank you for your reply.
      We are spreading our message throughout social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) and by sharing links from our website. We also have been using the classic media, such as newspapers. So, also there we try to score some attention to people we usual don’t reach. Besides that, we meet ourselves pws in real life or we find them online. If we speak about Stamily, we often get the request if they can join us in our cause. In this way we slowly spread Stamily’s message throughout the stuttering world.

  3. Hi!
    We are two graduate students at the University of South Carolina going for our master’s in Speech Language Pathology. We thought this article was super interesting and we enjoyed learning about your “stamily”.

    We loved how PWS from all over the world can come together to reflect on their personal experiences in a judgement-free environment. This network is so important and now that we have discovered this we can use it as a tool for some of our future clients. We especially appreciated the discussion about resilience. The quotes that were listed about resilience were very powerful and very applicable to the experiences that a PWS may encounter.

    “Resilience is the ability to go through difficult/awkward stuttering situations and saying the things you wanted to say even if it took time.”

    In your own experiences, how have you built your resilience? What are some situations where you have shown this type of resilience as shown in the quote?

    Thank you!

    Sam and Sarah

    • Hi Sam and Sarah,
      Thank you for your message and we are happy to see that you enjoyed reading our article and appreciate what we do.
      I think how all of us have been dealing in difficult situation has been different. This quote was by one of our members. But I can try to speak in general that most of us have been able to face challenges and see the bigger picture, where your stutter is not the center, but just one small part of yourself. Acknowledging that in hard situation brings you one step ahead in those difficult situations and stronger every time you realize it.

  4. Hi!
    I am a graduate student pursing my masters in speech-langauge pathology and this article was a great read. I really think that “stamily” is a great idea and I’m so excited there is a safe place for those who stutter. I really like how everyone can pitch in and take away techniques that could work for them. I know some people who would love to participate in this community. How can someone become a member?

  5. Hi!
    I am a future speech-language pathologist and it was so enlightening to learn about the existence of Stamily. As I have been learning about the negative feelings that people who stutter may experience I have continuously found myself wishing there was a community that I could possible direct patients to whom would better understand their personal struggles and provide encouraging words.

  6. I’m so happy and proud to watch Stamily be born and grow strong, with its amazing, positive attitude and young, fresh spirit. May the organisation help others to find their voice and stuttering pride. And may you take over the world. 😉

    Stay safe and keep talking

    Anita