There's a lot of ugly in the world

There’s a lot of ugly in the world. But I’ll tell you why having a stutter is not.

My nephew turned four in June and he waits for me to finish speaking when I stutter. Sometimes he checks in with me when I do to see if I’m okay, and I put a hand on the back of his head to assure him that I am.

I see my sister’s eyes shine when I speak about the things that make me happy. I talk and talk and talk and she makes sure to listen because she knows about the years when I didn’t talk at all.

I had someone laugh in my face at a bar a couple of years ago and I carried that hurt with me for a long time. I let it move in with my other hurt and they made it into a nice little home with thick concrete walls no one could get through. I convinced myself it kept me safe, but I was lonely.

(I’m not lonely anymore)

I heard over a hundred different kinds of stuttering last summer. I used to only hear mine. I get stuck on vowels a lot, sometimes also D’s, B’s, N’s, M’s, V’s, J’s, and yeah, sometimes the whole fucking alphabet. The perplexing beauty of it is that it doesn’t always sound the same and that’s okay because I don’t think I want it to. If you stay long enough you will hear me stutter fifty different ways and that’s how you know.

(I let you in)

Some keep score and they will tell you that stuttering is always equivalent to a number on a scale of severity and they will tell you things that sounds like facts, and you might believe them for a while.

(That’s okay.)

But you are not meant to be put in a box.

You are not meant to keep it hidden.

You are meant to be free.

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