One of the words I have particular difficulty with is “stutter”. If I were the type of person who went deep digging for meaning and metaphor in everything, I would say something about how it’s the most difficult word to say in so many ways…but digging for deep meaning initiates a Liz Lemon-level eye roll in me and to be honest I just think it’s funny and partially relevant. But I digress…
I don’t want to brag or anything but I have gotten pret-tttty good at hiding the fact that I stutter in my day to day goings-on. On a good day you’d think I’m a non-stutterer (not true), on a bad day I come across as painfully shy or a bit dim (not true), and on a typical day I just seem a bit nervous or wound-up (partially true). Because of this (and because I’m not super stoked about being pegged as “the one who stutters”) I don’t really talk about it. I don’t introduce myself as “EM and I stutter” and after the initial meeting it just feels awkward- like I’m “coming out” as a stutter (we’re here! We’re not particularly comfortable speaking in front of large groups! Get used to it!) and makes it into a bigger deal than it needs to be. So it becomes this…thing…that you notice after we’ve hung out a bit but don’t quite know how to place*.
The funny thing is that if anyone were to ask, I’m perfectly fine with acknowledging it and answering any questions. If I seem uncomfortable it’s because despite all evidence to the contrary (see: this blog), I’m not super comfortable talking about myself in general, but it’s the same as if you asked if I cut my hair or commented on my shirt and I’m always happy to get confirmation that you know I stutter and hey, it’s cool (like “it’s ok cool”, not like “bowties are cool” cool)**. So…am I in the minority here? Do other people prefer to put it all out there, or go in the other direction and shut. down. any conversation on the subject?
*I’m very possibly 100% delusional and everyone in the world has known I stutter from the moment they met me.
**If any of my real world friends are reading this: you don’t have to run out and start asking me about stuttering. Really. But if you’ve always wanted to and were just afraid I’d be all weird about it, ask away, dear friend.