My name is Kelly Tabra; I’m 27 years old, I’m a psychologist and I stutter since I’ve been five years old.
I remember when I was twelve, during a History class; I stood in front of the classroom to talk about the Greek culture. I wasn’t worried about forgetting a historic date or about the grade. My only worry was to say the word ‘Greece’, word which started my presentation. I’ve practiced it several times and I was sure that this time I would be able to say it. Nothing further from reality: When I tried to say it, mi mouth was a lock, incapable of saying those sounds, meanwhile my mind tried to find in vain some sort of key.
These types of situations are not strange to the more than 75 million people that have a stutter, condition that affects biological and genetically the ability of making sounds or words and that, due to the fear or shame of being recognized as someone who stutters, it gets worse and it causes mayor difficulty at a communication level and, not few times, social.
During many years, I lived with that fear of being seen as someone who stutters, not only for the stigma that falls upon the different but for the frustration of not having a control of my own words, which, in spite of numerous speech therapies, psychologists, neurologists and other professionals, it was not possible.
But nevertheless, in May of this year, my life gave a great turn: I met the McGuire Programme, made by people who stutter that work actively for other people who stutter and I assisted to a four-day course in where, thanks to both physical and psychological weapons, I found a new way to express myself with complete freedom and trust; during the course, I found a lot of stories of courage and learning that motivated me to move forward and made me feel part of a great family.
Now, I enjoy every communication situation just like someone that wants to take possession of a new world and I learn from every mistake as a vital part of my recovery process and discovery towards eloquence.
People who stutter have the right to change our speech and choose what we want from our voices. I chose this road and that made all the difference.