How Bad Do You Stutter?

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Re: Good reminders

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 13 Oct 2007
Time: 15:12:21 -0500
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Hi Amanda, BINGO! You got it, kiddo! That's one of the clearest explanations I've heard in quite some time. I particularly liked your statement, "...if you’re uncomfortable with yourself and you show it, others will pick up on that and be uncomfortable too." Exactly. I call that the "Smell of Fear" syndrome. Animals can "smell" fear and will attack weaker animals because they know they have easy pickings. People can "smell" fear too and they react to it negatively, sometimes with laughter, sometimes with anxiety, or sometimes with just unpleasant discomfort. And if we, as people who stutter, can learn to break that cycle by smiles, good eye contact, firm handshakes, and a wonderful sense of humor, then the fear "smell" goes away and everyone interacts in a very positive way. And that's exactly what we want. (I put "smell" in quotes because some current research - don't ask me for references - indicates that it may not be true smell at all, but something far more complex.) ..... In answer to your question, I have a tendency to simply not remember some unpleasant details in my past. (My father has this too. He remembers World War II as a rather fun and exciting adventure. From what I've seen and read, I just can't believe that. I know he's simply forgotten - maybe voluntarily - a lot of the horror of that time.) So my answer to your question is fairly imprecise. Surely there must have been some unpleasant parts, but I can't put my finger on any of them. I do remember having an AWFUL time introducing my girlfriend (now my wife) to my fraternity brothers. Most of the time she just had to step in and do it herself, much to my embarrassment. .... Was that the reason I wanted a cure? No doubt that was one reason. Another part of the reason was just unbelievable frustration. I KNEW what I wanted to say, but the words just would NOT come out! Another part was my fear (reinforced by my parents) of not being able to find a job because I stuttered. It turned out that that wasn't nearly as hard as we all had imagined it. It did force me to get a Master's degree (an MBA) just to level the playing field in job competition. And I'm glad I did that, not for my stuttering, but just for life in general. ..... Amanda, I can tell you're got an amazing grasp of stuttering just from your observations and questions. Where do you go to school? You're going to be a wonderful SLP one day! I wish I had you when I was growing up! ..... My very best to you in school and in your life. ..... Russ

Last changed: 10/22/07