Our week of challenges is over and we are so happy to have raised over £1000 for the Stroke Association. This is a massive figure to have raised and we are so grateful to everyone who donated and supported us through the week. The Stroke Association is an amazing charity and the money raised will help them to continue to support stroke survivors, their family and carers.
You can continue to donate and share our link here: https://www.justgiving.com/UCL-Speech-Language-Therapy-Students/
My experiences of voluntary stammering have been mixed. Towards the end of the week I was really struggling. I thought that as time went on it would become less uncomfortable and I would have more positive feelings about it, but I continued to dread interactions with people in shops and cafes, and chickened out on more than one occasion. However, I found speaking on the phone much easier, and yesterday had a long conversation with NHS Bursaries whilst voluntary stammering.
The main thing I noticed throughout the week was that I felt more submissive in conversations. For me, having a stammer made me feel weaker than my conversation partner. This was obviously my own perception of the interaction and it’s highly unlikely that my conversation partner cared about my stammer; but my main feelings during interactions were vulnerability and weakness.
Having done therapy with adult stammerers I know that this is a common theme. Many of the adult stammerers I’ve met will avoid certain situations, or dread interactions where they have to say certain words or sounds. They will sometimes feel like they are being perceived as weak, nervous or incompetent. It’s very easy to say that people don’t judge a stammer, and I know very well that the people I spoke to during the week weren’t judging me by it, but it still FELT like they were, and this was what made me feel uncomfortable. It has been an extremely valuable experience and whilst I don’t feel I successfully managed the challenge, that in itself was an important revelation for me.
Thank you everyone for your support and donations to our JustGiving page, we couldn’t have done it without you!