I’m Katherine Auqui, a person who stutters for 23 years. Throughout my life, I had kept this little story in a trunk box, to which only I had access and the people whom I wanted to share it with. It is not easy to confess a part of the stories of your life and more than one that has marked you for many years, and that has left a trace so deep that it was difficult to expose.
Many do not know what stuttering is, unfortunately, this term is not common in society. Some consider that people with a stutter are not able to study or show up for a job because they can not communicate in an “adequate” way. This is totally wrong since we are people as common as any other individual; nevertheless, we live in a society that is not very comprehensive and that is exposed to discrimination.
Throughout my life, I questioned myself many times why was it like that. Why couldn’t I just talk without some blocks? I remembered, again and again, the past experiences that marked me and did not let me define who I really was.
And as I remembered my past several times, for the traces that made me “hit bottom”. The uncertainty of what would happen to me in the future generated more anxiety, asking myself how would a person want to be with someone like me. How will I finish my career? What would my first job interview be like? Will they continue to make fun of me? These and other infinities of questions tormented me with the passing of days.
I chose to study Psychology, not only because I like to listen, guide, and help people so they can enjoy their mental and emotional well-being, but because the psychologists I went with told me that what I had was only nerves, that by breathing better my stuttering was going to “heal”. But the reality is that they had no idea what it was like to live with it, they did not know what I and many people were going through.
We are 1% of the world population that stutters, each one of us knows what it feels like not to be able to express ourselves, feeling fear, shyness, insecurity, and anxiety, which we have to fight every day.
Currently, my stuttering is not the same as before, it has improved a lot. Also, thanks to the McGuire Programme I had the opportunity to meet very valuable people both inside and outside the country. At the end of the course, I was able to reaffirm one of my greatest qualities, which is to be very persistent, I believe that in all these years, although I have fallen many times not only in this part of my life but in others as well, I have always had to fight and continue on the path I want to reach.