I Can’t Say My Own Name

My stutter was getting worse during my junior year of high school. I don’t know what happened. I thought I was getting better. And by getting better, I mean having the fluency mentality. I remember it was around junior year because we were taking more AP testing and applying for university. I had to state my name, and I faltered.

It felt so abrupt, so sudden. And I was scared.

For as long as I can remember, I never had difficulty with my name. Many People Who Stutter face this challenge, which is frustrating beyond belief. If anything, the C in my last name would be the kicker. Otherwise, name stating was a battle that I could win.

A year before I was losing the battle, I said to myself, “If I can’t say my name, that’ll be the end of me.”

There is something about not being able to say your name that strips you of your power. If you’ve ever read or watched sci-fi’s where some demon or genie will take your name in exchange for whatever you asked. It seems non-threatening. But as life goes on for those people in those stories, they forget their names, and thereby themselves, for they no longer have an identity to which they could claim their own.

That might be dramatic, but to some extent, think about it. You could lose your money, your belongings, and your relationships, but if you had to give up your name? How would you feel?

I was so tethered to the possession of my name that when the day came, and I could not say it, I broke down. I had to claw my way out of this failure because I knew if I didn’t, I would be stuck.

There is still a black dot of fear whenever I have to introduce myself. But I knew that if I could say it before this, then I could after.

Many People Who Stutter have nicknames or have shortened their names because of this issue.

Next time, if you hear someone struggling to introduce themselves, don’t laugh. Don’t retort, “You can’t even say your name?” They are battling a storm if they chose to stutter through it. They are choosing to claim it. And that takes some serious guts.

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Asia Monét

Asia Monét

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A 20-something who stutters and trying to figure out how to deal with it on top of adulting shenanigans and discovery