This Is Our Day – Willemijn

WillemijnAbout the Author:

My name is Willemijn, I am 22 and I am from the Netherlands. I am a person who stutters and I have been very active in the stuttering community since 2018. Being around people who stutter from all over the world has helped me to grow as a person and become more open and confident. It also inspired me to make art and share about my life as a person who stutters, to support others and spread awareness.

Dear media,

I don’t want to hear how I should become fluent on Stuttering Awareness Day.
I hear plenty of that on all the other days of the year.
This is our day.

I don’t want to hear about a special speech technique or new way to fix my speech.
I can speak fluently when I’m on my own, I don’t need speech techniques to know how to speak.
A big reason why I stutter when I am speaking is because I feel pressured to speak fluently.
And having to hear how I should become fluent on Stuttering Awareness Day, fuels exactly that.

Of course, I would prefer to be more fluent as well. It sucks sometimes. But hearing that I should be more fluent on Stuttering Awareness Day, that my speech is a problem that needs to be fixed, and that I will not achieve my dreams if I don’t fix my stutter, is definitely not helping.

It’s called International Stuttering Awareness Day. I want to hear the beautiful sounds of our differences.
I want to hear us.

Sincerely,

a person who stutters.


Note: this is about the ‘magic cure’ therapies that use Stuttering Awareness Day to shame us into going to their therapy. It is not directed at the kind, passionate speech therapists or speech therapy in general. I appreciate you!

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Comments

This Is Our Day – Willemijn — 21 Comments

  1. This is radical acceptance and I love it! Completely agree the idea that there are solutions to get rid of stuttering makes it harder for some people to accept it.

    How have you been able to adopt this mindset of radical acceptance?

    • Thank you for leaving a comment! I learned over the years how to be kind to myself and realised that all this ‘fixing’ that people told me to do didn’t fit with being kind to myself!

  2. Most people I come in contact with who have a stutter typically aim to fix that stutter. I never once considered the perspective that maybe that stutter doesn’t need to be fixed after all. It’s great to see that you’re strongly defending the viewpoint that it’s ok to be different, because in reality, it is.

  3. Willemijn,

    Your letter is so relevant and concise. I agree, ISAD should be about hearing the “beautiful sounds of our differences”. Thanks for sharing.

    -Randy

  4. Hi Willemijn!
    I love your letter and the way you embrace your stutter as something that is beautifully different and not something that needs to be “fixed.” Very empowering and inspirational. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I loved reading about your perspective, specifically on International Stuttering Awareness Day. Your thoughts and feelings are heard and valid. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Willemijn,
    I loved your letter and how you want to embrace your stutter. I agree that Stuttering Awareness Day should be the day where every person who stutter’s should showcase themselves and be proud of who they are.
    – Maddie

  7. Willemijn,

    I love the message you wrote to the world. I often have seen many try to “fix” a person who stutters because they believe something is wrong with their speech. It is people like you we need more of in this world. I hope many fall upon your message and are impacted. Thank you!
    -Juliette

  8. Willemijn,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It is an important reminder that you should be proud of who you are at all times, and how it important it is to recognize your uniqueness. No one should tell you who you should be, they should just accept you and love you for who you are. You will succeed no matter what you do, whether you are fluent or not!
    -Meghan

  9. Hi Willemijn,

    I really liked your letter. It announces that stuttering does not have to be cured or fixed, but rather embraced. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Zaydell

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