Orlando Jaramillo
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas

First Course:
February 2015

A flaw that is gradually becoming my greatest virtue.

I don’t remember precisely at what age I started stuttering; what I can’t seem to forget is the constant teasing, jokes and mimicks that my uncles and cousins made each time I used to “jam” when I wanted to say something.

As a kid I didn’t understand my problem and all it caused, I thought it was something good; I thought that my stutter made everyone happy.

My childhood wasn’t that tough even though I never had any psychological attention, any type of treatment or therapy for stuttering because all specialists downplayed it, they claimed that as I grew up my stuttering would vanish and there wouldn’t be any future issues.

Unfortunately in my teen years the tolerance was not the same; the harassment, the jokes and the challenges were bigger and stronger each time. In this stage of changes I started knowing what shame was, added to that huge weight that was growing gradually; that load called: Stutter.

Many people that I hanged out with catalogued me as someone too serious, but they didn’t know the strong desire that was inside me; to intervene in conversations, tell a story or a joke, meet new people, present in class, talk in public; all the easy and every day things to anyone, I wished for with all my strength.

I suffered a really tough stage, my self esteem was on the floor; stress and pressure were my daily agenda. I didn’t find the support nor the motivation that I used to look for in my family; they kept being “happy” with my stutter.

Even though I had the support of my parents to keep going, I dropped my studies for a year, I didn’t want to keep going on, I didn’t want to keep moving forward. I detested my past, I hated the present and I feared for the future.

In spite of reaching University I was at a total disadvantage to others; it was really hard for me to concentrate and perform any kind of activities, therefore I preferred being isolated, I lived in constant anxiety just thinking that at any moment I will have to talk and deep down I knew I would mess everything up.

The self-hatred was something very strong that occured to me; I didn’t like stuttering, I wanted to stop doing it. I needed a solution to all of this, I was tired of being afraid and feel sorry for the simple fact of wanting to express myself.

On Internet I found information about a course dedicated to help people with this speech impediment, a programme called McGuire.

The McGuire Programme helped me have full assurance in my speech giving me the necessary techniques for each challenging situation, avoiding blocks, freezing, facial distortions and word repetition. It helped me above all in acceptance, I could accept myself as a person with a small stutter problem, and that is working very hard to overcome it.

Nowadays I can say whatever I want; in the time and way I wish to.

But there is something that the programme does not tells us, and we all get a big surprise when we find out ourselves; the McGuire Programme gives us a  complete pass to a new life.