Would you do anything differently in your life if you did not stutter?

Hi!

We are students in the University of South Carolina’s Master of Speech Pathology program, and we were told we could access this site to gain some information about stuttering first hand.

We would love to know, as people who stutter, would you do anything different in your life if you did not stutter? If so, what would it be? In what ways would your life be changed if you did not stutter? 

Thank you!

Emily Szabo and Morgan Vachio

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Comments

Would you do anything differently in your life if you did not stutter? — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Emily and Morgan,

    This is a very interesting question!

    My answer to this question some years ago would have been different. But today, I am certain I would not have been doing anything different if I did not stammer because I am doing the things I love to do now. I would rather say, there are things I could not do in the past when stammering held me back. For instance, I loved the media and really wanted to do campus radio when I was in the university but my stammer would not let me. But I do not have so much regrets about it as I can make that up by deciding to go into radio now.

    In summary, what I am trying to emphasize is that stammering is no more a dictator as to what to do or not in life. I have taken control of my speech and life in general.

    I hope this helps.

    Elias.

  2. Hi!
    I have to second what Elias is saying. Looking at my stutter today and what I think of it now, I would not do anything different. A couple of years ago it definitely held me back a lot, and I chose not to attend college and I avoided a lot of social situations that had a huge impact on my mental health. At that point, the fear of stuttering convinced me I could not amount to anything. Looking back I know everything that has happened had led me to where I am today and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I do wish I had gotten the support I needed when I was younger and there were a lot of things I believe I would’ve done if I didn’t *fear* stuttering (as opposed to not having a stutter at all).

    Thanks for your question,

    – Andrea

  3. Well I have often thought of what life would be like for me if I did not stutter. But before answering that we need to know what I am talking about when I say “stuttering”. Do you know? No you don’t because for everyone stuttering is very different in how it manifests and in how the person experiences it in their life. When I talk about stuttering I am talking about mostly living as a covert mild stutterer but then out of the blue morphing into a severe overt stutterer with secondary facial movements where the stuttering gets increasingly worse until I can get out of the situation and regroup. Because this morphing is somewhat unpredictable I call it “my Cinderella Syndrome”. Now because I am mostly fluent and have come to know myself as a fluent person I live my life avoiding situations where I believe I may morph into my severe blocking stuttering and all that that means to me. So knowing that .. how would I have lived my life differently if I didn’t have all this? Well I would like to think I would be more social and have done better in my career but having said that I believe that if I didn’t have a stutter with associated social anxiety I would have been sure to have had some other ailment so I am not sure how that would have manifested in my life. Would it have made it better or worse. During my life I have seen my stuttering as a curse but also as a blessing. It has been like a bull ring through my nose leading me on my search to solve this problem and as such it has lead me into many areas that I don’t believe I would have been lead if not for my stutter. It has lead me to a greater understanding as to what is the meaning of life and for that I am very grateful to my friend and nemesis, my stutter.

  4. Thanks Emily and Morgan for your interesting question. Which I cannot answer. 🙂 Stuttering shapes a person in different way. So yes, I might have taken other paths. I would probably have done better in school, but maybe chose a job that didn’t give me as much satisfaction as my teaching jobs. I am an extrovert person and my stutter made me introvert during my childhood, but being talkative I might have been obnoxious. 😉 I might have had a great youth, but might not have been as strong as I am today. See, we cannot tell what our lives would have been if…, just as you can’t tell what life would have been if you would have chosen another path, another partner, another study, had a serious illness or a disability. You simply deal with what life hands you, and make the best of it.

    Have a look at my paper for this year’s ISAD https://isad.isastutter.org/isad-2020/papers-presented-by/stories-and-experiences-with-stuttering-by-pws/there-are-no-failures-just-life-lessons-anita-blom/ that might add to your question.

    Stay safe and keep asking 🙂

    Anita

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