Stuttering 9 times out of 10

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are certain words that I’m going to stutter on no matter what.

I do know that I can work past this. But the following items are always painful:

1. If I say my name the way I was raised to pronounce it — with a long e. If I use the proper Arabic pronunciation, no problem. (This continues to be pretty wonderful, by the way.)

2. The “1” in my phone number. It’s near the end, and I really hate the dread that comes when I start saying the first few numbers.

3. My hometown of Lancaster.

4. The town we just lived in, Yanbu.

5. The word “wife,” which, as you can imagine, makes conversations really awkward. Because switching/avoiding doesn’t help at all. What am I going to say, “spouse?” Yeah, no.

So as you can see, some very, very basic stuff. The thing about the phone number is that I’ve pretty much given most companies/services my number. And I can always hand people my business card which lists the same number. For the cities, I’m not having those conversations as much any more either. Only when I first came to the office.

One of the hard things about knowing you’ll stutter on words — especially basic ones — is that by the time you get to a point in your life when you don’t need to say them as much — it’s really hard to do any meaningful practice. Because people are going to ask once in a great while, and they’ll look at you funny if you can’t say, “wife.”

I think also that looking at the basic list above — the cities and “wife” require talking about yourself. And that’s not something I’ve ever enjoyed doing (thanks to stuttering, of course). So even practicing — and talking about myself and history — takes a big change in mindset.

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