While growing up, I would often get in trouble for negative behavior in school; behavior that I would use to deflect attention from my stutter. At first I was the bully; my thinking being, if people were afraid of me, they would not laugh at me.
Later, I became a class clown; this time thinking if they laugh with me, at least they would not be laughing at me.
Later in life, the personal and professional aspects of my life became affected.
I am happy to say that I am now past the slippery slope and well on my way to eloquence.
Prior to The McGuire Programme, I attended numerous speech therapy courses for a period of over 15 years, but only the McGP helped me to break through.
The program provided me with a holistic way to retrain my thinking around speaking. It has allowed me to dream again to accomplish each one of my Big Hairy Audacious goals.
I have stuttered since I was about 5 years old. Back then and pretty much until I started on the McGuire program, stuttering was connected to a tremendous deal of confusion, anxiety, shame, and just generally the opposite of well-being. I don't think a lot of people around me even knew that I stuttered, or even less what it meant to me to stutter.
I am referring to the typical response I had to deal with for all of my childhood when I spoke in class or around other students. I was plagued by a debilitating stutter. Most of the time I dealt with it by being the quiet kid in class, and I was almost held back a grade because “quiet” was confused with “slow learner”.
My earliest memory of stuttering was when I was about age 6, standing in front of the class struggling to say something and all the grown up kids were laughing at me.
My stutter held me back in so many ways, it dictated who I spoke to, what I said and the career path I choose. As a junior golfer I lost tournaments from fear of having to make a victory speech.
The list of choices I made because of my stutter goes on and on but I struggled through life as best I could. I was lucky to have family members, school friends and college friends who spoke for me.
Standing up to stuttering
"I have come to believe over and over again, that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken."