One Word

Through having lived with my own social anxiety for, I reckon, more than fifteen-years now, I’ve more recently developed symptoms of speech impediment, where I have difficulty pronouncing certain words and sentences in certain situations. As far as I can remember, this started back when I got my first job, working face-to-face in a customer service role.

This one man would come in (usually on a Saturday). He was friendly enough and always seemed to recognise me and make note of the fact in a kind way. But, he had this stutter and, when he talked, my reaction was to feel very uncomfortable (being very timid at the time) and unsure of how to act. Of course, I’ve never said anything about it (to anyone) and I helped him on his way.

That feeling and the memory, of each time I’d interacted with this name-less man, it has always stayed strong in my mind. After a while, I even found myself beginning to stammer and stutter and, well, it’s never gone away since then.

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