Google is for the weak

wompwomp

Yes. But only in slightly more than 140 characters.

Backstory which may or may not be relevant:

I started stuttering when I was 12, as part of what we (ie. myself + my loved ones + the various neuros I’ve seen in the last 6 years) now believe was a TIA. At the time it was believed that I had severe epilepsy. Then when that hypothesis fell through, that I was “faking it” for attention and/or had a severe anxiety disorder. For two years I had a moderate to severe stutter for all but a few days at a time. I was in and out of speech pathology programs and therapist’s offices like a revolving door. My parents were assured that stuttering was something people grew out of.

Then I woke up one day at 15 and just didn’t stutter all the time. My family rejoiced! I’d “outgrown” it!

Spoiler: I didn’t “”””outgrow”””” shit.

I now stutter only sporadically. I might skip or repeat a few sounds here or there, but not a whole lot more than someone who’s never stuttered (probably… maybe… I actually have no way to confirm this). I might have a noticeable stutter for a few months out of the year.

The one “saving grace” or “silver lining” that I held on to until this past year was that my stutter is (likely) a direct by-product of my migraine disorder. Like, it seems silly to contemplate now, but whenever audibly stuttering and required to be in public (because I couldn’t leave the house until the stuttering had passed, obviously) I would all but scream that I have a neurological disorder. As if it would keep people from making snarky comments.

Spoiler: People are awful, and the snarky comments never stopped.

Stuff that’s actually relevant:

I still hate my stutter. Mostly because it’s annoying. I talk a lot. I like to talk. It’s hard for me to talk a lot when it takes a full minute to get out a sentence (aphasia not-withstanding).

That being said just being aware that not everyone “outgrew” stuttering is… great, honestly. I don’t know if I feel as passionately about ~stuttering being a blessing~ as some people do, but it’s definitely nice to know that there are other adult humans who said, “Fuck it” to “outgrowing” something that controlled every conversation I had for over a decade.

Waxing a bit poetic here, but I actually love hearing people (especially adults) stutter. It kinda sounds like coming home (or something slightly less dusty-old sounding, but equally as corny). It’s soothing, regardless. I definitely don’t feel as though I have to worry about holding up a conversation when I’m talking to someone else who stutters, which is fucking mindblowing.

((And yes Dr. Martin you were totally the first adult I ever heard stutter. Thanks for being great at being alive, etc.))


I didn’t know where to put this so here it is after a fancy line: Yeah. I know. I’ve had access to the internet since I was a preteen and I never thought to Google “adult stuttering.” I was seriously so ashamed of myself that I figured the only result would just read something like, “So you’re trash: 18 pictures of landfills YOU can relate to!” Seriously. I wish I were joking. People with chronic illness/es are/have historically been discouraged by medical establishments to Google their symptoms, and I took that to heart for a really long time (mostly because my neurological symptoms are roughly analogous to “could fall over and die at any moment” which I really don’t need Google to remind me of, but still).

Addendum: I know that I’ve heard/read/elsewise experienced adult stuttering in media. That’s… really not the same. Stuttering in most (if not all) of the movies I’ve watched is presented as something which is overcome with “hard work” and “determination”–something which, for me, has proven impossible. Alternatively a stutterer will be presented as someone who would rather die than stutter (often bungled, like in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), someone who just plain ole startles easy, or someone who is literally only there for dramatic relief. Regardless of the trope employed I’ve never experienced someone stuttering in media as an event which doesn’t inspire pity or self-hatred. So not quite the same as the experience as hearing someone stutter in meatspace, tbh.

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One thought on “Google is for the weak

  1. Pingback: On dysfluency and home – mxmoireabh

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