Monday, 26 March 2018

Inside A Stammerer's Pain

How does it feel like to have thoughts bottled up in you begging for freedom but finding none? I will not forget in a hurry.   
I used to be a stammerer. Yes the key word is "used to" because I'm no longer. And I don't care if you still hear me stammer sometimes. I said I'm no longer a stammerer. We'll talk about that next Sunday.  
The purpose of this post is to create an awareness. Just to give you a little sneaky peep into what life is like for a stammerer, of whom I was the least anyway. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be for others who have it more severe.  
I am angered when people make fun of stammerers. They think it's a joke to mimic a stuttering speech. If only they knew what it felt like, it wouldn't be a laughing matter.   
Do you joke about people being blind? Or about someone on a wheelchair? So why would you make fun of someone being a stammerer? Don't you know it's quite a disability for some?   
How would you feel to be imprisoned in your thoughts, not being able to express yourself fully, having a social phobia, giving the impression that you're shy or that you're an introvert when in the real fact, you are the opposite? How would you feel to just easily give in to an argument because you can't afford to defend yourself? How would you feel to be embarrassed in front of a new crowd because there was no way you could escape saying your own name? How would you feel about deliberately telling half-truths just to escape the truth that wouldn't come out without shaming you. For example, you are asked, 'what's the time?'. You look at your watch and see it's 10:57. How unlucky! An F and an S, you know you can't escape stuttering on those. So you say it's 11. Imagine you had to almost always not say things how they are because you want to avoid some embarrassment.  
People think you're not sociable because your words are few or that you have a problem with English language because you have to substitute words with ones queer but more palatable for your cords.  
How would you feel to never be able to take on your dream job because despite equality and inclusion, you cannot bear to be a set back. The role requires you talk and that, fluently. You know you're not just fit for it.   
You know what I liken it to? Though I've never been there so I can't be sure. But I guess it feels like being crippled when you know you have a thing for athletics. Though I've heard stories of those who were able to overcome that to do something nice for themselves. I know of one who danced with her artificial limb. But however best you adapt, the truth of the matter is you still are not able to do what you really would have loved to do if you were like others and you can't escape that thought of "if only".   
It is really tough on stammerers. So please don't make it harder by mocking them. Don't mock people just because they are different from you. You can never know the tears they've shed, the endless prayers to be like you, the tireless efforts to save themselves, the exploitation they've gone through because of it.   
Don't mock the fat, the ugly, the short, the long, the unmarried, the childless, the divorced, and every other label you can think of. People did not create themselves. Situations happen upon people. If many had a choice, they would prefer to look like or talk like or be like someone else. It is hard enough that they are trying to play with the cards that nature served them.  
Don’t mock them because until you're in their shoes, you can never know their pain.  
Radiant ~ March 2018

Sunday, 18 March 2018

I Said I Must Write


So I said I must write and I didn't care about what. 
My Granny died 4 weeks ago and we were asked to write a tribute for the publication to be served on the day of her burial in May. The deadline for submission was last Thursday. I had thought I wasn't going to be able to write anything since I haven't had any inspiration to write this year. Not that I have not had any interesting experiences to be shared, but I was just waiting for the first line to drop on my lap before I would pick up my notepad to type 'cause that's what I'm used to.
But I've waited and you've waited. I still see the numbers coming to my blog every week to check and it hurts me. It hurts me that I don't have something for you, that you are disappointed again and again, that the numbers are dropping, that soon Radiant would be history. It hurt me.
Then the deadline for submission was approaching. How would I justify not writing a tribute for my Grand mom? Don't I miss her? And if I were to write a thing at all, it would really be disappointing to just say, "Rest in peace Grandma. I miss you." I already overhead them say, "Chidiogo will write us a poem", meaning that they are expecting from me, not just a tribute, but something creative as the writer that I am.
Well, this is the end of the story. On the eve of the d-day, I picked up my notepad, blank screen in front of me, blank mind inside of me, I didn't care. I had to write something. Anything.
"'Grandma', we called her..." and the words flowed like water from an unblocked tap. The next day I put finishing touches, sent to my editor to see if it made sense and he said, "it's beautiful". Really? I've had the secret all along but did nothing with it. It is called a writer's block, but the cure for it is for the writer to write. How ironic! 
So I said I must write today and here we are. I am excited that you'll be glad to see a "new post from me" and  you'll be happy to "read me", as some of you have requested in private messages. Shout out to y'all who don't let me drown in that block, who give me a reason to fight to write again. Your direct messages and even just the fact that you still visit this blog when there is nothing new here helps me keep hope alive.
Therefore, I'll write again. I'll write again but this time not for me. I've served myself all this while and maybe that's the lesson I needed to learn from this break. Life is not just about me. It's about you too. I want to serve you this time. I'll pick up my pad even when I don't feel like. I'll make the time even when I'm choked up my sleeves. So tell me, what would you want to read from me?
Let me know in the comment section below.

Radiant ~ March 2018