Stammering has given me a quirk

Stammering has given me a quirk

A-Level student, fashion intern and YouTuber Tamsin Laura talks about the ups and downs of stammering, not being so hard on yourself and sharing experiences through videos.

Hi. I'm Tamsin, I'm 20 and I have a stammer. I have had it for as long as I can remember. I don’t really have any exact first memories but around the age of four I do remember replacing the words within a sentence to try and stay fluent. But it ended up quite a jumbled-up conversation.  

It's often easy to give ourselves a hard time going over what we should or shouldn’t have done.

As most of you reading will probably agree, growing up with a stammer is frustrating and stressful a lot of the time. It has certainly shaped my life. In no means am I saying badly, I feel like it’s given me a quirk. Everyone likes to be remembered!

Struggles

One of my biggest struggles is the phone. Even thinking about the ringtone is making my heart race. I think it’s more the fact that I personally rely on facial expressions and hand gestures to help my conversations flow. With phone calls the pressure is heightened, with the person on the other end expecting you to say something within a 2-3 second timeframe. No matter how hard you smile, they aren’t going to see that.

Sometimes I get an overwhelming feeling of guilt that I might be confusing someone when I stammer. I find this especially at work, when I’m required to relay information. However, I must flip that point on its head as I’ve been very lucky to have always had a supportive team to work with.

Acceptance

One positive is that a large majority of the time I get to see the ‘best side’ of people. I’ve noticed that as soon as someone sees me struggling, they slow down their own speech. I think most people are more understanding of my stammer than I am. It's often easy to give ourselves a hard time going over what we should or shouldn’t have done. Something I'm working on at the moment is accepting myself and learning that it’s okay to struggle.

I get to see the ‘best side’ of people.

A life saver for me in general is offloading with someone after work, usually my partner or my mum. Letting myself have a full-on conversation with someone knowing I'm unlikely to stammer just helps me relax and makes me feel heard. I am always so thankful to my friends and family for their endless support and love.   

More recently, I've taken to the internet to share my experience of having a stammer with others through my own YouTube channel. Though I've only made a few videos so far, I am loving it. Ironically, I do not stammer at all when filming but I'm sure when I push my boundaries a little more I will.  
 
Thank you so much for reading,
Tamsin x 

Visit and subscribe to Tamsin's YouTube channel, 'Tamsin_Laura' to watch her stammering-related videos, including 'I have a stammer' below.

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