My parents have told me that I first began to stutter when I was a young boy – I was just four years of age. I must admit that I do not remember that much from this time of my life however I apparently attended speech and language therapy for the first time when I was aged five.
During the first few years of having the stutter my abiding memory is one of wondering why – why me etc? In fact I continued to ask this question right up until the time I managed to overcome it! I will be writing about many of my personal experiences of “bad stuttering days” and about how the speech impediment affected my life in the blog section of this website.
The main impact of this speech impediment began to hit home from the age of fourteen when I started to fear for the future. Now I do not mean a fear for my life or anything like that but just a fear for aspects such as: Will I be able to meet a girlfriend?
Will a girl really want to date a boy that has a stutter etc? What kind of career can I have with this speech impediment? Will I be able to find a job? How will I cope with all of the socialising, for example when my friends start to go to bars and clubs? Will I be able to order the drinks and food etc?
If I get married how will I be able to give the groom’s speech? I just knew that not only was the stutter having a massively negative impact on my life at the age of fourteen, that things were only likely to become worse. I seemingly had very little to look forward to and so much to fear.
This was a major cause of frustration for me as the majority of my friends and family were seemingly coasting through life where as I was having to battle my way through each and every day. I left school at the earliest opportunity when I was aged sixteen and started to look for work.
My first job was working for an insurance company – the role was a very basic one at what was classed as the Grade 1 level and one which did not involve using the telephone, which was just perfect for me. The average time people stayed at this low level before being promoted was six months.
I did not want to be promoted to the next level as that level included having to make and answer telephone calls. To gain promotion you had to apply to the Personnel Officer when any available positions were posted onto the “jobs notice board”. I had a great plan – I just would not apply for any of them and to this day I still hold the record of being the longest ever Grade 1 employee of the company – I am so proud!
After four years I was basically given a Grade 2 position much to my great annoyance! I could write forever about how stuttering impacted my life and as previously mentioned please feel free to read through the blog when you have the time as I will be making regular posts about these experiences.