Saturday, 22 October 2011

You Took My Words.

You have been part of me for as long as I can remember, although my mum said you didn't come along until I started school and  it was my fear of school that invited you in.
I hate you. I've always hated you. You make me feel inadequate, different and sometimes make me appear  stupid. You see, you do this thing, you take away my words and replace them with yours, with words that are so difficult to say that they make me sweat and shake, they make me want to disappear.

You made my days in the classroom miserable.  I feigned sickness when asked to read just to keep you away, although one day a teacher forced me to. You spoke instead and she ridiculed me. She should  have known better.
You destroyed my childhood dreams of being an actress or a teacher because I knew that you would always be there, waiting, ready to mock. I just wasn't strong enough to fight you, I was too young then.

I tried to suppress you. I recited poetry at school concerts and Church soirees. I sang in a choir. You were powerless while I was reciting or singing.
 I joined a drama club and had three lovely years when as a teenager I appeared in various plays and no one guessed you existed.
But you were still around. My college days were haunted by you. I always made an excuse when it was my turn to talk to the class, sometimes I even took the day off.

Despite you always being there I passed my college course and qualified to work with very young children and loved my job, you were never around when I read them stories or played games with them. You were never there when I was with friends who knew me well, but when I met people for the first time it was you who introduced yourself and not me.
In large groups, I was very quite and had to pretend I didn't know the answers to some questions because I knew it would be you and not me who would answer.
Travelling on buses was a problem as you wanted to tell the driver where I was going you didn't let me speak and he didn't understand you.

As the years went by I challenged you more and more. I gave a speech at a medical conference (as a patient) I went back to college, I took a job where I had to answer the telephone and speak to strangers all day.
I knew you were still around but I fought you so hard.
I went to visit a hypnotist, hoping she would banish you from my life forever. That didn't happen although she did give me the tools to keep you at bay.

Now I am much older and much wiser,  my heart breaks for the little scared girl that I once was.
I now know that you that you are a part of  many  people's lives, some are never without you. Yes, I think you have ruined lives and prevented some people from reaching their full  potential.
No one knows why you become part of their lives but you are certainly not welcome.
I have not conquered you yet but I can control you and most people apart from my very close friends do not know you exist. I think my family have forgotten about you.

 What makes me win over you is that now I am not afraid to tell anyone about  you. I used to keep you secret and wanted no one to find out about you and that made you stronger.
Now, if you do manage to get through to take my words away I tell people I have a bit of a stammer and to bear with me and do you know what? They are always very nice.

P.S This has been a difficult and personal story to tell but it's been floating around in my head for years.
 My stammer does not bother me much now so please don't feel sorry for me, just always have patience when someone with a stammer speaks to you, it annoys the hell out of them too!

                                                       ANNE X


  1. When I first came to your blog it was this post alone that captivated me. I read it and read it again. At one stage I swallowed back a tear, and realised what a strong, couragous and beautiful writer you are. You had me hooked, wanting to know what was this thing you hated and yet would consume you at times. This thing you managed to beat off, not till the very end did I realise, wow, that is brilliant writing.
    On another note: I have come across a couple of stammers in my workplace over the years and well aware patience is rewarded 10fold.

  2. Patient dreamer, Thank you so much for your lovely comments it is very kind.I'm glad you enjoyed my posts I hope you'll come back and have a look again.

    Ms frog, thank you for the smile but where are the words? I'm not letting you away with that,I need feedback !!!!!!!!

  3. You took my words, i just had a smile left so i shared that with u xx

  4. Ha ha ! Good answer! You win!

  5. This is a lovely piece of writing Anne, and it seems Saturday was the day to write about our demons! I hope writing about yours has helped you xx

  6. What a wonderful piece of writing, Anne. Good for you for kicking the demon in the teeth there. That showed him!

  7. Rebecca and Shirley,yes we all have demons we have to give a kick from time to time.

  8. Anne you took my breath away and and I knew from the begining what tormented you. I used knew an amazing photogrpaher who spoke elequoently when face to face, but on the phone I knew it was him, becasue he could not speak to me. But we managed to communicate Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. BIG hugs xx

  9. Pauline, thanks for your comments they are always welcome. I sometimes still have trouble with the phone,I'm fine if someone phones me but not so good phoning strangers, unless I'm mad about something and phoning to complain. It doesn't help that my first name begins with a vowel which are alawys the most difficult.

  10. Anne, what a brave and beautifully written post. You've definitely triumphed. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  11. Thanks Talli,that means a lot.

  12. Great piece of writing Anne! Hope you are doing well. Just stopping by to say hello.

  13. This was so moving. I gradually realized that you were talking to your stammer but that made it all the more haunting for me. Well done for being able to share this with us.

  14. Thanks Maeve, nice of you to stop by thanks for you kind words.

  15. Rosalind,I'm so pleased you enjoyed it ,thank you.

  16. I wish it was as easy to be as articulate in speech as it is in writing. Thank you for your blog. I too can hide my stutter most of the time, but when it does show up it's loud. I do the facial contortions with closed eyes too :-(

    1. thank you for reading this. I am really good at hiding it too,using certain words and phrases. Sometimes it creeps up on you when you least expect it. I think when you stammer you just can't help your eyes closing as you struggle to get a word out.

  17. Lovely xxx Lou


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