The Story OF Reenam
A very important aspect that gets overlooked today is the psychological impact that individuals with a stutter go through. The emotional and psychological strain that dealing with their disfluency puts on people who stutter makes them prone to depression and social anxiety.
The harmful belief that stuttering is a sign of mental illness is incorrect. Emotional exhaustion, a lack of self-confidence, and poor social functioning are all symptoms of such harmful and incorrect categorization of people with speech disorders.
Today we are here with a story of a young woman, sharing her most vivid memory from her childhood and its psychological effect on her. This is the story of Reenam!
Read her story in her own words.
The hardest part about stuttering is not the physical aspect of it but the psychological impact it has on an individual. I still clearly remember my first day of 3rd grade. It was a new school and I had joined in the middle of the year. As I walked into class, I kept fidgeting with my fingers and avoided any eye contact with all the new faces who were staring at me. I finally made it to my desk, all the way at the end corner of the room and sat down. I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “Okay, not too bad. I got this.” Well, I guess I spoke too soon.
A few seconds later, my teacher asked me to stand up and introduce myself. My heart started pounding hard, my palms were sweaty, and everything around me blurred as I forced myself up. All eyes were on me and there was no way of escaping this, I had to say something. I took a deep breath, opened my mouth and wanted to say, “My name is Reenam Sami.” But the only thing that came out was,” M-m-m-m…” I tried again, this time I used my fist to hit my thigh in order to get the words out, but again I only managed to say,” M-m-m-m…” I could hear my classmates snickering in the background. I released all that tension by bursting out into tears and rushing to the washroom. At that moment all I wanted was for the ground to open up and swallow me. Very dramatic right?
But for a person with a stutter, situations like these are very dramatic. I am 25 years old now but that memory is still fresh in my mind because it had a huge psychological impact on me. My classmates only saw the physical impact of stuttering, which were my word repetitions and my fist hitting my thigh. But what they were unaware of was how I felt: guilty, nervous, hopeless, alone, ashamed and angry.
Like most stories, my story also has a happy ending. People are not as mean as we think they are. The problem is that people are not aware about stuttering and they don’t understand the psychological impact stuttering has on the individual, so as people who stutter it is our responsibility to be honest about it and spread awareness. And that is what I did. No doubt, the first month of third grade was horrible because I kept hiding my stutter but then one day I decided to give a presentation about stuttering (I know! A verbal presentation in front of the ENTIRE CLASS) and explained to my classmates what stuttering was and how insecure it made me feel. That was the best decision I ever made.
Today, I still stutter, and I am still afraid of speaking in certain situations but the only difference is that I love myself and I have finally accepted who I am-a proud PWS.
Reenam’s story conveys a message of self-confidence. Accepting and trusting yourself is crucial for everyone, whether or not they stutter. To adjust to life with your head held high, you must first understand your talents and shortcomings and have a good perspective of yourself.
A simple but profound quote stands true in this situation; “Confidence is like, Show up in every single moment like you’re meant to be there.”
You need to show up for yourself and believe that you deserve it, no one should hold you back or have the power to tell you that you don’t or that you can’t do it.
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!