My dad influenced how I felt about stuttering during my teen years. My teen years flourished with powerful stuttering blocks. At that time I didn’t know that the way I spoke was called stuttering. In my culture, the messages I received came from old myths. I spoke this way because somehow I was “cursed.” I spoke this way because I was “spoiled.” I spoke this way “on purpose.”
Hearing these messages while figuring out my identity, as a teenager, was overwhelming. Was I cursed? Was I spoiled? If these were truths, I can change my destiny. I can just “talk right.” As you can imagine, I quickly learned that this was not possible and somehow I had to live with this pain- the suffering of stuttering.
My dad and I wrestled with how the I-suffer-because-I-stutter phenomenon. We had many arguments and many soulful discussions. In my early 20’s, I was asked to speak at the Friends Convention about my stuttering journey and the audience was parents of kiddos who stuttered.
This opportunity was priceless. I approached my dad and asked him, “Dad, what should I share with these parents about their children who stutter?” He looked at me and bravely shared “Tell them it’s not their fault. And that they need to see past the stuttering into the beauty of their children.” There you have it!
What challenges did you overcome to reach a place of healing?
Image: Dad with my daughters, Julia and Maya.
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