Who Said Dating as a Stutterer Was Easy??
A few weeks ago I became privy to a conversation between a guy I was seeing and one of his relatives. He told the relative all about me (☺️), and included the fact that I stutter — harmless, right? Of course. However, I was pretty caught off guard when he expressed to the relative that he was "concerned" about my speech impediment, as stuttering has been said to be genetic (I guess children are important to him and his family *shrugs*).
After the complete shock of the incident wore off, I have to admit I was a bit hurt. I had no idea that my stutter had been a point of concern for him, a negative. I was under the impression that he accepted me, and it, wholeheartedly.
I'm not seeing him anymore.
But sometimes I'll think back to that situation. I've realized that I wasn't so much hurt about him being concerned as much as I was frustrated that he knew so little about stuttering. Although stuttering is said to be genetic, most children experience some sort of speech impediment and they're usually nothing a bit of speech therapy can't correct. It hit me that he honestly didn't know that.
To be honest, I was a little irritated with myself. How could someone I was seeing not know something so basic about stuttering? I am the advocate here, I should have told him. I got over that quickly, though. His lack of knowledge is not my fault, nor should the weight of his ignorance fall on my shoulders. But I will say, there's so much that fluent people don't know about stuttering, even with all the work we advocates have done.
So, in the end, the situation proved to be a source of motivation for me. There's so much work to be done and advocacy must continue. I'm so glad to know so many stutterers who are doing this work. And I'm glad that I can be a voice as well. That's what this blog is about, spreading awareness and letting fluent people into the world of stuttering. Maybe one day, stuttering won't be met with "concern." My hope is that it will, instead, be met with acceptance.
Side note: Please don't drag the guy! He's a really nice person and didn't mean any harm! Go easy on him pretty please!