Stuttering & Stammering

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A personal experience of Stammering

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As I have a stammer, this is something I can write about with ease. Although it may be a subject not directly to do with health and wellbeing, it is written through personal experience and I hope touches on some of the fears which we have.

The first recollection of having a stammer was when I started at Secondary School at the age of eleven.
In a few of the classes, the new Teacher would ask us all to introduce ourself and I remember the fear I had whilst waiting my turn. Slowly the other boys would say their names and it was getting closer and closer to me.
When it finally got to me, I couldn't get the words out.
After a few repeats of this and the other boys having a giggle, I realised it was pretty permanant and I noticed it at home and at play.

What started it could be a few things. My father had a stammer, so this would obviously be noticed by me and I could have 'naturally inherited' it.
Some say that a stutter can be started by making a naturally born left handed person right handed.
Certainly I've noticed, especially since doing a lot of painting, that I am equal in both hands. I can't write with my left hand, but I can write backwards!!
Also, I am left footed.

There could be something in the latter theory. More people proportionately seem to be left handed nowadays, so did our parents, even we ourselves, always give baby the spoon in the right hand etc. It's worth considering, but not proven.

Another thing about my stammer which intriques a lot of people is that it tends to be worst when I'm talking one to one.
I have acted in drama groups, given talks, trained staff and made PA announcements both on the railway and at Cricket, with no problem whatsoever.
It could be that I'm someone else when doing these things, outside of the real me and no fears.

Only recently I attended a Fire Training Course and sure as sure is, the Trainer asked us all to introduce ourselves. The same fears and the same result took over again, exactly the same as it did some 48 years ago.

It was only suggested to me that I took lessons when I was about 19. I saw my Doctor and rather than sending me to Speech Elocution, he sent me to a Psychologist!
Needless to say, nothing came out of that and I decided it was part of me and my personality ,so it's stayed with me.

Sometimes it's a nuisance, especially when I have to make a phonecall, even to family and even more so if it's someone I don't know.

I've learnt to take the very occasional mickey taking and the odd smile or laughter from others doesn't go un-noticed, but to be honest I don't care.
A woman Member of Parliament once said to Churchill "Sir Winston, you're drunk". He replied "Yes Madam, but you are ugly. Tomorrow morning I will be sober".
Nothing against females by the way, but an example of how I feel about those who find it amusing.
They have a fault somewhere and I'm sure that positives and negatives even themselves out between most folk.

I've also learnt to make fun of myself. "I can do a 45 minute slot if you like. Anyone else would take 20, but it'll fill up the time better" etc.
That's it, most of us have something to carry through their lives, the stammer is mine, my very own, personal to me and it certainly makes people remember you!

Of course I'd rather not have one, wished it were sorted at an early age, but having one has had it's advantages which I go into more on other pages.

I won't pretend it was always easy at School. All the more reason to get help for young people before they get the complex's.

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