With Hardship Comes Ease
Issue 89 February 2012
Since childhood, Zabaida Bi had suffered from a stutter, even experiencing difficulty in saying the names of her loved ones.
Ever since I was a little girl, all I can remember is having a stammer. I received speech therapy lessons whilst at primary school, but all we were told was to take a deep breath and try to say everything in one go. When I started secondary school, we weren’t given any support so I would stay quiet. If there was something I didn’t understand in class, I did not have the courage to put my hand up and ask. I always had the fear that I would stutter on one word and my classmates would laugh at me.
I hated English lessons in particular, especially when we were asked to read aloud. I would count how many pupils there were before me and work out which lines I had to read. I read them in my mind over and over again, hoping that I wouldn’t stutter on any of the words. But when it came to my turn to read, I had worked myself into such a state that I had forgotten what I read in my mind. My fellow pupils would get frustrated because the excitement in the story had been building, but would come to an abrupt end with me.
As I grew up, I got cleverer with dealing with my stutter, by using tricks and avoiding words that I knew I could not say. If I had to say someone’s name that I wasn’t able to, I would try to describe them, or if there was a particular word that I could not say, I would just say, “the word is at the tip of my tongue but I just can’t remember it.” I was able to secure a job and was promoted several times, where none of my work colleagues knew about my speech impediment.