Thank you to everyone who came out last Wednesday for our February meeting. Despite it not being our regular meeting day (because of President’s Day), we still had an amazing turnout with over 25 people in attendance, including about 8 new comers and plenty of old-timers. After we read opening words and did introductions, we split up into 3 groups of about 8 people each. After the meeting, as per usual, many of us went over to Juniper, our trusty old bar that we go to after every meeting, and talked and stuttered even more. Below is a quick recap of a few things we discussed in our groups.
In one group, people shared that they didn’t like to advertise because they felt it was simply stating the obvious, that there is no point in telling people what they already know. While in another group, members felt that advertising was necessary in order to take ownership of the situation. Despite the different opinions, both groups also brought up that when we tell people we stutter, we are telling them so much more. The way we talk about it also communicates how we feel about it – and by extension how we hope the listener will respond to it. If we act like it’s okay with us, it indicates to the other person that it can be okay with them too. This can lower our own discomfort very effectively, and also theirs. When people respond poorly to advertising, it’s often because they’re picking up that we are ashamed to be advertising or to be stuttering. Usually people react well, and especially so if we feel good about ourselves when we advertise.
Regret and Fear
As people who stutter, we have experienced fear of being held back because of stuttering. And when this fear actually manifests itself, we feel regret. As shared by one group, we can be so afraid of stuttering that we opt out of a class we want to take, speak a second language, and choose specific field to work in. In retrospect, we wish we hadn’t let fear of stuttering hold us back. But when it does hold us back, it is okay too. Because as validated in one group, our experiences of stuttering are very real. There is such a psychology behind growing up and feeling like you don’t have a voice. However, a few things to always remember is that it is never too late and that you are never alone.
One topic that was brought up in every group was the importance of this stuttering community. These friendships inside can help alleviate our shame. When we respect and value other stutters, it can make it easier to respect and value ourselves. In one group, we shared how humbling our first meeting can be. To be around so many people who stutter can help us normalize stuttering in our own lives. From being a better listener to developing lifelong friendships, we can learn so much each other.
Exciting Announcement about our first Women’s Group on March 5th!
Have you ever arrived to a stuttering support group and thought, “Wow, look at all these cool people who stutter. But why are there only five women and nineteen men here?” You’re not out of your mind — the math backs you up! Out of every five adults who stutter, only one is female. On March 5th @7-9pm at ART (Manhattan meeting space) we will host a special group meeting to give women who stutter a restorative space to connect and share with one another. ALL women who stutter are welcome. Feel free to shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns.
- Monday, March 5 at 7-9pm
- 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor (Room D)
Next Manhattan Meeting
Our next Manhattan meeting will be back on our regular 3rd Monday of the month.
- Monday, March 19 at 7:30-9pm
- 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor
Next Brooklyn Meeting
If you are looking for additional meetings, the Brooklyn chapter meets on the 2nd Monday of every month in downtown Brooklyn.
- Monday, March 12 at 7:30-9pm
- 30 Third Avenue
Getting Involed: We value each member of our community and are always looking for new ways to expand our chapter. If you have an idea that you’d like to share, or would like to get involved, please email us. We’d love to hear from you!
Until next month..
– Manhattan Chapter Leaders