In the one group, we discussed the different goals we had when it comes to our speech, and it was clear early on, there were different goals in the room. Some members wanted to allow themselves to stutter more openly, whereas others were instead hoping to learn more about techniques in order to not stutter. Although these goals can be quite opposite ones from one another, we were all united in coming out to the meeting, and in learning and supporting one another. We live in a fluent world and for most of us, we were taught that stuttering was unacceptable. How would our lives be different today if we heard stuttering in the media, out in public, from celebrities, or from an uncle of ours who stuttered openly, maybe even who stuttered proudly? How would we view our stuttering today if a parent or a sibling of ours convinced our 8-year-old self that our voice was just as important as their fluent voice, regardless of its fluency? We may never know the answers to these questions, but we have one another now to explore these issues and to move forward in a way that works best for us.
In the other group, we talked about how stuttering on the job can be tough. One member expressed a recent challenge as they are transitioning from intern to full-time employee with increased responsibilities such as presenting. Stuttering at work is an issue that comes up almost during every meeting, as all of us are well aware that with work usually comes communication. This is particularly challenging during a moment when you may not only have to prove yourself to your co-workers but may even have to educate them about this thing we call stuttering. Group members were encouraging, sharing their experiences of being the ‘newbie’ and how they made it through the tough challenges that arose at the workplace.
Thank you for reading our recap. Also, a reminder that our next meeting, our February meeting, will not be held on our regular 3rd Monday of the month, since this day falls on Presidents’ Day. Instead, we will be holding the meeting the following day on Tuesday, February 18th.