Well … It couldn’t be more definitive!
The conference attendees, including and particularly, all the medical professionals in attendance, thoroughly discounted “childhood trauma” as the cause of stuttering. They have put me in touch with two more stuttering associations and unanimously agree that I have “acquired stuttering.”
Further, they unanimously believe stuttering to be a neurophysiological condition based in the Inferior Frontal Gyrus and Superior Temporal Gyrus as revealed in innumerable clinical studies and trials comparing the structure of these cranial ridges to those of non-stutterers.
I’m awaiting further information from Drs. Beale and Tendera about my “episodes” (the seizures that have slowly diminished in frequency and intensity) to understand them. Might they be stuttering related or are they due to C-PTSD? I’m going to pursue that inquiry next.
I also officially don’t give a fuck that I stutter. All I care about is that it was not caused by a tumour or an ischemic event so I’m going to ask VGH how they were able to discount anything physiological when I was diagnosed. I’ll reassure myself that no further investigation into cause is prudent.
I’m much much happier being able to account for my speech and motor dysfunction to stuttering and not childhood trauma and the story of abuse. I can be completely honest and informative (and thorough) in explaining my visible/audible condition to people I meet and keep my personal history private. Hooray! My future is brighter.
What’s the big deal? It’s this: Yes, I was abused. But linking my stuttering to the abuse was a mistake (that’s been being made for decades by doctors and speech pathologists). I have always known people have endured much worse than me and not succumbed to disabling symptoms, so to blame my disabilities on my abuse made me feel weak.
I’m not weak. I know this now. I thrived in spite of my abuse. The late onset of my speech and mobility issues is well-known to global stuttering experts and better explains my situation that an emotional reaction to abuse fifty years after the events. All my symptoms (except the seizures) are rampant in the stuttering world. Who knew! And I’m awaiting word on the seizures.
I’ll take time to reflect on what I’ve learned and to do some follow up with my doctors, and then I’m going forward completely thrilled with a better understanding of my condition.
The conference exhausted me because it was so exhilarating. I slept soundly last night.
Now I prepare for Miss Niki’s arrival. I’ve shopping and tidying to do today, and some cooking preparation and baking to do.