I have struggled with my stutter all my life. When I was young, my stutter was so profound that at times I found it impossible to speak. Although I could hear the words in my mind, my tongue, my mouth, my throat were utterly paralysed, convulsing with my desperate efforts to make them work in harmony. This is called blocking. It is such an acute muscular spasm that no sound at all comes out. A complete stoppage of speech. I cannot tell you how awful this is.
I used to dread my turn to read aloud at school. As the teacher’s pointer came closer and closer, I would begin to feel the slow burn of humiliation rising through my body. My breath would shorten. My palms would prickle. I would skip ahead, searching for the paragraph I would have to read rehearing it over and over in my mind, yet when at last my turn came, all my tortured mouth could deliver was a sound like a frog being strangled.