The Story Of Asma
Bullying is a critical issue that needs to be tackled and addressed globally. It is a particularly serious issue that can harm a person’s mental state and wellbeing. Bullying can come in a variety of forms; it can be verbal, such as slurs, threats, or impersonation or it can take the form of social exclusion, rumors, or humiliation. It could also be physical, causing harm to someone’s body or property.
Unfortunately, children who stutter are subjected to more bullying than their fluent peers, with up to 81 percent of children with a stutter report bullying at some stage. If not addressed, bullying can have long-term implications, such as depression and anxiety, health problems, and lower academic achievement. If the mocking is about stuttering, it might lead to negative thoughts about stuttering, which is a setback in the process of becoming a confident communicator.
Today we are here with a story of a young woman, sharing her experience with bullying. This is the story of Asma.
Read her story in her own words.
We live in a world dominated by the spoken word. Almost everywhere at home, school, work and social gatherings speech is the way people get to know one another and share ideas, information, feelings, etc. By means of speech we tell who we are, what we want and why we are important. But for me speaking is an entirely different experience.
My problem is not in finding the words but rather in saying them. I have had a stutter since grade one. Never received therapy when I was a child. I was told that I spoke differently than anyone else. When I stuttered at school, the kids who were my own age mocked my speech. Whenever I repeated the first sound of a word, they would imitate me. I felt hurt when someone made fun of me for something that I couldn’t completely control, like the way I talk.
From my early years, I have tried to hide it and overcome it in some way or another. All my efforts were almost fruitless. Stuttering has affected my entire life, especially my life choices. Talking on the telephone, talking to my teachers and classmates, introducing myself when meeting new people, round table health discussions, college courses requiring oral presentations, job interviews, English speaking exams to name a few, are some of the many speaking situations that I avoid or hold back from participating in.
My speech made making friends difficult. I couldn’t speak clearly to defend myself. I was teased and bullied all the time. My speech made me feel dumb and people didn’t like to hear me talk just because my stutter bothered them. I always asked myself, why did stuttering choose me?
I always imagined that there is a train line going from the brain to the mouth. When normal people speak this train carries their messages and delivers them to reach the mouth easily, whereas if I speak, I always feel that there is something heavy like stones in my train’s truck that makes it harder for the messages to reach my mouth easily. These stones do not allow me to produce a sound or even get the words out smoothly. They also prolong my sound and break up my speech. They sometimes make me produce words with excess pressure and that makes people bored when listening to me. My speech stops, I’m out of breath when talking, I pretend to forget what I wanted to say and I avoid situations when I would have to talk. I keep practicing the first part of a word over and over before being able to move on to the rest.
I studied many articles and books about stuttering very carefully and started practicing soon. I realized that I couldn’t be the therapist and the client/patient at the same time. I needed professional help. Then I enrolled in speech therapy for 7 weeks in Edmonton, Canada. After the therapy session that I took for 7 weeks , I have learned to be more in control of my speech. I have learned how to maximize the fluency of my speech and how to deal with stuttering. The therapy helped me think about different kinds of communication.
I noticed some improvement and started to feel more confident in my speaking. The therapist had a real method and helped me through lots of practice of certain sounds and words. I struggled and still do and I will always stutter especially if I am really stressed emotionally. My purpose in life is not just to speak fluently but to overcome the fears and shame about the way I talk and to become a stronger person. I also believe that I’m a person with a stutter for a reason and I believe someday I will get the right reward for stuttering all of my life, it’s just not my time yet. I deserve to be able to speak whenever and wherever I want and if someone has a problem with the way I speak, that’s their problem, and not mine.
Nothing is a problem unless I make it one. Stuttering only becomes a handicap if I let it affect my life. I still have good and bad days, but the most important thing is that I believe in myself more. This is my body, so I can’t give up.
Asma’s story conveys a message of strength. Every day, we make dozens of small decisions that either benefit us by expressing our ideas or detract from us because we are hesitant to express our opinions or desires.
To avoid potential conflict, it may appear to be easier to go with the flow. However, allowing others to walk all over you can lead to increased tension and worry, as well as a decrease in your sense of self-worth and play into your fears.
Learning to advocate for yourself can empower you to take control of your life, believe in your own strength, and pursue your goals. The more powerful you feel, the more powerful you will become.
And that is exactly what Asma did. She took the decision to accept her stutter and seek therapy that will enable her to manage her life rather than being driven down by others’ emotions and judgments.
A quote by Jane Austen that holds true to the emotion of strength; “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
You are your own champion and power; once you make the decision to help yourself, no one can stop you.
We are here to empower your voice and inspire others through your story and experiences. So share your story with us and we will share it with the world!