Looking for a Little Hope

by Christopher Kessler, age 16

I am a 16 year old male. I have stuttered since I was a little younger than five. I went to speech therapy since kindergarten until 8th grade. Then I stopped. My speech got to be ok...until lately...As a lot of you may know, being a teenager is very stressful. I have problems with friends, family, school, job, etc. Well, since August of 98, my life has been very stressful, perhaps the most stressful it has ever been. I got depressed and my stuttering started to act up. I figured it was nothing...just a little bump in the road, and I would get over it. Well, I was wrong. Lately even more things have been wrong, and my stuttering is at it's worst. I can talk fluently in conversations with people, face to face, but if I am to read out loud in class, or talk on the phone most of the time, I freeze. I can't speak. It's gotten to the point where I am afraid to answer the phone, afraid to talk in class...I went to my guidance counselor and told her about the problem, and she is going to try and get me the speech therapist again...but I haven't heard from them yet. She told my teachers about my problem, and they understand it. I also found out that my Science teacher stutters and stammers. We had a long talk about it after school today...it was a little uncomfortable, but it was good. But I still am afraid to do things like talk on the phone...and I am just looking for a little hope...

added with permission
March 10, 1999

Update - email received from Christopher July 28, 2008, added with permission

Update - email received by Christopher Aoril 6, 2019, 20 years since he first published his 16-year-old article, now he us a successful state legislator in Maine, added with permission