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I had a severe stammer for most of my childhood and early adulthood.  It lasted until i was nearly forty; thus i stuttered through sermons, social services casework interviews and college classroom lectures.  It was frustrating and embarassing.  I thought i knew the origin of the stammer, but i was mistaken.
Until i was three years old my famy lived in the Tongass National Forest in Southeastern Alaska.  A temperate rain forest is a beautiful and mysterious place.  My {adopting) father and two other men ran a powerhouse that provided service to a mine some distance away which i never saw.  So the entire world consisted of this small beach, three shacks, and the dark woods surrounding me on three sides.  The shacks were occupied by my father, (adopting) mother and me; one of my mother's brothers, and a young couple.  These five people were my whole world.

An airplane with seven college women and their pilot was forced to land in the channel near us.  The women, probably in their late teens or early twenties were on their first wilderness adventure, exuberant, excited, loud.  I was a cute toddler and got attention, but not all the attention.  My word had more than doubled in population and i was no longer the center of it.  Of course, all i know about this is what i was told later.  I do not know how long the women stayed, but it was long enough to share several meals at our table.

I did not yet understand the concept of an adult conversation in which a small child had no place except as a possible topic.  I tried to join in but was ignored.  I started to cry, and i started to stammer.  I continued to stammer for the next 38 years.

Do i ever think of those women as "mean?"  Did i ever blame them for the many painful experiences that accomanied my inability to communicate verbally?  Of course not.  I was fourteen before i became aware that my stammer was muich of a problem, and forty when i first heard about the college women.  By then i had arranged the  "experiment" in which my stutter was "extinguished."  No cause for resentment here so far as i can tell.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
I am reading your stories with interest, my friend though I am not certain one should search for resentment in one's life unless the goal is to exorcise it.
Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:04 am (UTC)
I think you may be right. But i think that i am no longer a resentful person, though i'm sure i was at one time.

As i start to remember my later childhood, teens, and early adulthood, i should become more clear about about the events of my life; whether or not i was resentful; my participation in the events that i allowed to make me angry,etc,; and the fact that i could have chosen not to be resentful but did not make that choice. Hopefully, that will clarify some issues i still have.
Believe me, if it doesn't, i will never do this again.
Jun. 23rd, 2017 12:37 am (UTC)
Your journey of sobriety is an inspiration, sir. Your steps are like looking back and moving forward at the same time. Thank you for sharing them.
Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:05 am (UTC)
And thank you for your appreciation and encouragement!
Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:14 pm (UTC)
They must have seemed like aliens. I mean, they were alien to your world. But they must have seemed really Other.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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