About the presenter: Anita Scharis Blom, born and raised in the Netherlands, is living in Sweden. She works as an operation manager for the Workers' Educational Association. She is chairperson of the local stuttering chapter, international contact and former chairperson of the Swedish stuttering association, vice chair of the European League of Stuttering Associations, and member of the advisory board for the International Stuttering Association. She is a national and international speaker on stuttering and has her own stuttering consultant company, and is a leader of national and international children and youth camps. She has stuttered since she was 9 and had a troublesome youth, now inspiring people who stutter of all ages, they can make a difference." Her device is "S-s-sure I s-s-stutter. What are you good at?"

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2011.

When life doesn't rhyme -- words do

by Anita Blom
from Sweden

Having stuttered for more than 40 years, I have swallowed, spit out, exchanged, skipped, stumbled on, chocked on, used and misused so many words. Luckily I had other outlets -- my soft toys collection, always there for me, listening, accepting me, giving me comfort, my saxophone, that turned my unspoken emotions into sounds people could understand, and my pen.

When my spoken words block, the written words start to flow. When I'm down. When I'm happy. Yes, even when I'm angry. Alone, at parties, in school, at stuttering events. The social media is an amazing outlet, but poetry is what's under my skin. Makes my hand look for a pen, like a baby looking for a mother's breast.

One of my poems was published earlier on the ISAD online conference www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad7/papers/bridgebuilders7/anita7.html I guess that was the most emotional and powerful one, as it made my family understand what had been unsaid so far. Since that, they have been my biggest fans.

Another one I like very much is the following. I still use it to end my presentations, as it shows the different aspects of stuttering.

Why are you looking at me like that?
Have you never seen me this sad before?
I love to talk
Joke and tease
Tell you what I think and feel
Answer back
Explain things
Tell you how much you mean to me
Tell you why I'm so sad
But the words, they just get stuck

Why are you looking at me like that?
Have you never seen me this angry before?
People talking pass me
They laugh at me
They cut me off and fill in my words
They don't believe in me
I can, but cannot show it
Don't get the chance
And I can't even yell at them
Because the words, they just get stuck

Why are you looking at me like that?
Have you never seen me this happy before?
I laugh and I dance
I chat and I joke
I don't care
I have a new friend
I love my job
My brother just called
My daughter was praised in school
And the words, they just keep on flowing

Why are you looking at me like that?
Have you never seen me this confident before?
Sure I can talk, if you just give me some time
Sure I can do the job, if you just let me show it
Sure I sing you a song, if you just hear me out
I feel good
I know I can
I know I'm ok
I'm proud of who I am
And the words? Who cares!

Some poems are short, some have rhythm and rhyme, some are long with words that come straight from the heart, where one rapeseed is just a tiny yellow flower, but a field full of them is like the sun blinding your eyes.

This poem is a simple observation, quickly written at a children camp:

The children, they play
And why shouldn't they?
They talk and they sing
They don't give a thing
Parents share pride
They all unite
No shame no fear
For some, only here. . .

Others were written with a glint in the eye:

There you are again
I see your large shoulders
your shiny, curly hair
you're talking to a girl
I wish it was me
the butterflies in my stomach
all wake up at the same time
when you suddenly smile at me
I return your smile
my knees turn weak
when you're coming towards me
we stand face to face
I drown into your eyes
you hold out your hand
I take yours
I feel your warmth
flowing through my veins
without a word
we walk towards the dance floor
my hand resting in yours
my cheek against yours
our scents mix
our hearts beat as one
I wake up
when I hear your sweet voice
I hold my breath
waiting for the three words to come
three words
that will make my head spin
my hands sweat
my legs turn into jelly
my brain block
three words:

"What's Your Name"?

All my poems are my private, collector's items, all copyrighted. As they all contain parts of my inner soul. But by sharing these with you, I hope to inspire you to share your words. For you, and for those who still don't understand.

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the author before October 22, 2012.

SUBMITTED: August 26, 2012
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