To The People Who Make Me Feel Powerless Just Because I Stutter, Imagine If People Laughed At You, Too

To The People Who Make Me Feel Powerless Just Because I Stutter, Imagine If People Laughed At You, Too

And as I sat there all those times I slowly felt myself asking why did I even speak? Better yet, why did I even think I could?

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I know now that you didn't know, I know now that you thought you were just being a "cool" kid who wanted to pick on the kid who you found weak, I know now that you thought you were just trying to help. I can never go back and change those moments but I can sit hear, type, and one day say to you that I forgive you. As much as I bottle this in, as much as I don't want to remember... I remember. I can never erase when my stutter and you made me feel like. You both won. When I was just this person trying to be a normal human being you took that away from me.

Imagine sitting in a room with 80 students and a substitute teacher pulls out the
attendance sheet.

She then says "Please tell me your last name also when I call you," You hear names called one by one by one, everyone is just saying their name so smoothly. But then you hear your name called. "Allyson...K" as she stops with confusion on her face. "How do you say your last name?"

I think to myself "Why in the world does she want to know my last name? Just know I am Allyson and move on," I start to say "Kauzlarich" and I can't get from the K to the A. I am stuck. I am so stuck that the whole room goes silent. Silent in a way I absolutely hate. Silent in a way my anxiety is shooting up to my brain telling me to escape somehow. In this block, I stop and start again.

All of a sudden she says "What...you can't even say your own last name?" she says loudly with a laugh. I stop, my eyes get big, I am so in shock that this lady had the audacity to even say that to me. As I look around everyone is staring at me. Like they were waiting for me to say something or maybe I had a good comeback that got me sent down to the principal's office.

I sat there waiting for someone to stand up for me. I sat there waiting for my so-called friends to say something. But no one did. No one did anything and in the silence, I was forced to bottle my emotions until that bell rang. I just looked, smiled and said "yeah I can't", looked down, and let her move on.

The bell rang and I dashed out of that room. I felt the tears just pour out of me. As I walked out of that door all of my friends asked "Ally are you okay?" and I really wanted to turn around a yell and scream at them. However my go to line "I am fine" came slipping out. I felt so angry at myself for stuttering. I felt that this lady caused me to feel like my voice wasn't even worth defending. I felt no one could stick up for me, even myself.

Imagine you are playing the game "popcorn" and someone calls on you...

Think back to your younger school grade days. You are in class and the teacher wants us all to read a paragraph. As she tries to find volunteers she says "actually let's just do the game popcorn. One reads and then after they are done you pick and etc etc."

One boy starts reading and internally I am screaming, I want to walk out of the room, I want to literally die because I don't want to read or have anyone choose me. I hoped no one picked me. As time went on and other picked others to read I felt a sense of confidence, sometimes it's like a wave. But then suddenly I hear "Ally,"

I cough, "hmm", and find where they left off and the sentence began.

As I start the first word I get stuck right there, my inner critic who I didn't know at the time starts yapping saying "just stop" but I keep pushing and thinking "maybe I can do this."

As words come and get stuck and I keep on pushing through all of a sudden my teacher starts reading. Yes, you read that right MY TEACHER STARTS READING THE WHOLE SENTENCE. I stop, look up, and she just reads what I would of read and then picks someone. Was I a ghost? Did I not even read and I was playing a game in my head?

I start to cry, I felt like I totally got pushed down and that a voice like mine never deserved to read.

Imagine sitting in a room with your classmates and you go to answer a question...

I accepted I knew the answer...accomplishment. I put my hand up...bigger accomplishment, heck that is freaking brave! I started to answer: YOU GO GIRL...

Bless my teacher for being ever so sweet to have me answer, but little did I know I would get those reactions with the "popular girls." I go to start speaking and I then hear those laughs. I hated them for laughing at me. And as I am still trying to explain my answer my stutter is very present. I then told the teacher I forgot the answer and as I sat there all those times I slowly felt myself asking why did I even speak?

Better yet, why did I even think I could? They took my power... they made me feel like I was nothing. They made me think I had no right of even being a human being who just wanted to talk.
Imagine that. just imagine.

All those times I had to introduce myself to the class, always try and avoid this because of these horrible situations. And I don't really want to go into a lot of detail in this section, but there's one that will always stand out.

Some people don't understand and it's not their fault but this was just downright rude.

It was the first day of 8th grade, and I was in my new class. (The first day always terrifies me because I know we will have to introduce ourselves.) The teacher greeted us all with a smile and says to us that we are going around to room, standing up, and saying our names. I say back in my chair wishing I was invisible, as usual. Then comes my turn, and I get up off my chair.

"I.... I am... A- A.." I stop and I look down and think "crap crap crap that was so bad I gave my stutter away..they know something is wrong."

As I go back and retry one student then begins to laugh, and I mean obnoxiously laugh and points his finger at me. And this laugh was just the laugh that ended that trying to say my name. I started to cry, I walk out of the room and the teacher took care of that student.

Now, there are a lot more situations I didn't go into or didn't mention. I wanted to bring to light these in specific.

I know as people who stutter we all had our horrible and traumatic situations. I know it hurts to go back and say that is really where that root comes from. And if you are a person who stutters and is reading this know that we can overcome it all, and we can go from being afraid of this all happening again to saying "you know what, I may stutter but I am going to own it and if someone wants to make a scene and make us feel like a little fish in a big sea, they don't get to steal me being me anymore." I think these situations made us realize how strong our stutter can control us but also how many people just are rude, and as much as we want to we can't change that.

-AKay

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Goodbye To The Boy Who Sexually Assaulted Me, You Can Never Hurt Me Again

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.

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*Content Warning: Sexual Assault*

You destroyed me.

You took away my innocence.

You were able to take away my dreams and aspirations.

You were able to shut me down in ways I didn't know to be possible.

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.

Broken trust, that is what you left me with. A broken sense of stability and love. Sometimes I sit and wonder why you thought it was okay to take advantage of me? Why it was okay to hit, and belittle me? You had me left feeling foreign to my own body.

But then I realize it is not my fault, it is yours. This is not a cry for help or an avenue to get attention this is me raising awareness that not only did you hurt me but others are experiencing the same thing you put me through.

My innocence was taken by you without consent. I sat in my room for hours after that night thinking of ways to end the life I was given. I spent countless nights waking up screaming with tears rushing down my face. I spent the majority of my future relationships scared of ever letting myself feel again. I was forced to take avenues of help like therapy appointments and trying different depression medicines. All of this resulted from the 30 minutes you could not control yourself.

Yes, you destroyed me. But now I'm stronger than ever, you will never be able to hurt me again.

With all of the pain and endless nights of contemplating my reason to live, I found strength, I found a way to share my voice and help others experiencing this pain. I am stronger now than I ever thought possible.

I wake up every day now appreciating the things in life that matter most to me, like the love my boyfriend has for me, the amazing family I am blessed with, and the amazing friends that helped me through this experience. I have learned that fighting for my life was worth it and I was not going to let you take that away from me.

I will not stop sharing my story, I have learned that sharing my experiences of sexual assault has let others feel less alone in the scary process that you, unfortunately, put me through. What you did to me was not okay. But through this, I have understood and realized my worth in this crazy rollercoaster we call life.

I found strength in the moments you made me the weakest, and I'm no longer looking back.

I have hope that other survivors will understand that their life is just as valuable. There is a bigger fight for happiness and finding it is not always the easiest but the journey getting there is worth it.

You ARE strong.

You ARE worth it.

It's NOT your fault.

You're NOT alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.


Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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