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Somethings Can Never Be Resolved

"Why does everyone have a good voice, and I get stuck with this one..."

This question, running through my brain in Elementary School, Middle School, speech therapy sessions, and even today seeing other kids my age with "resolved Apraxia." Worst of all this question of, "Why do I have my accent?" never has a completely adequate answer.

Even as a kid, it was something along the lines of, "God gives us all gifts and things we need to work on." 

So, my voice isn't a gift? It's something I still need to work on? My voice is a curse-I'd think to myself.

I was a cute kid, pretty long hair, and I wasn't the most intelligent but I worked hard-then I'd open my mouth and be damned with chuckles, bullies, and rejected crushes.

I hated my voice. I wished sometimes that I was mute. But I loved talking and singing too much, and yelling. I couldn't be mute, I was stuck with my damning voice. 

I got older, having to admit that perhaps I'd never be a "Resolved Case." 

My philosophy changed. Isn't my voice itself a gift? I didn't have one before, but now I do. Even if there's a funny accent in there. Any voice is better than no voice right?

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It's a dizzying cycle of questions; none of which lead to an appropriate answer. Every time I optimistically tell myself that my voice is beautiful regardless of the accent, that my voice alone is utilized as constant Apraxia Awareness for those unaware.

There's moments I'm triggered to return to the question of, "Why do I get stuck with this voice, and others don't?"

I'd be lying if I said I never thought about what it would be like to not have this funny accent. I sometimes read about older kids with resolved Apraxia and I ask myself, "Did I do something wrong?"

And it's silly. I know it's silly, but it's completely natural. I see people my age with perfect communication abilities, yet they had Apraxia?

I'm happy for them. They did exactly what I had tried to do for 13+ years in Speech Therapy. Was it wrong of me to quit? Maybe, but then again, my commitments changed. I just had to go to the best college possible. Getting the most amount of speech therapy possible, would have sacrificed this opportunity. I couldn't have improved my application to Emory if I had continued going to Speech. I knew this. Sometimes I believe that I sacrificed my speech for my college education.

But, I look at others with resolved Apraxia. I'm happy and proud of them, but inwardly I'm nastily green with jealousy. Why do they get a decent voice and I don't? Was the 13+ years of speech just not enough, and if it wasn't enough, then what else could I do?

This constant back and forth is exhausting. It's draining, even writing about it is an emotional roller coaster. 

But this is the complete, raw emotional truth. As natural as it is to wonder about not having my "accent" and look at other Apraxia success stories (and others without Apraxia at all) with jealousy - I try my hardest not to. I try to see every positives with my voice, with my accent, because I have no other choice. 

At the conference, people wondered how I was so confident, funny and happy.

Here's the secret: I have no other option but to be happy, find humor, and maintain confidence. 

I can't rely on others to make me comfortable in my own skin, or in my own voice. I can't rely on others to settle this back and forth question of, "Why do I speak like this."

Because others don't have the answer. Because to others, my voice is still something that should be "fixed." When others tell you you're broken, they're not doing much to help your happiness and confidence. However, when you assert your self with confidence and happiness. Well, I feel sad for the fools that try to tell you that you need to be "fixed." Their words no longer contain you, nor your emotional well-being.

I understand this post is rather wishy-washy, but I wanted all reading to know that as much as I love writing, advocating, and spreading Apraxia Awareness-it does come with it's own personal battle for me.

Sometimes, when I'm invited to speak at walks and such, I'm perplexed as to why in the world anyone would want to see someone speak about a speech disorder that I technically didn't overcome. Wouldn't it be better to have a fully resolved person stand before people and sound completely intelligible?

No one likes to admit that they aren't fully resolved, yet I do that every time I write and speak. Perhaps though, I can only hope that my unresolved speech is merely a reminder that we don't need to be a 100% perfect to be happy or successful.

After all, aren't your kids with Apraxia still 100% perfect in your eyes?







Comments

  1. You are 100% perfect. And so normal in being wishy-washy about your feelings! Sometimes perfect healing us about getting to that place where you are totally content with who you are and not about getting to that place you wish you could be. Just like me. We all have issues and imperfections that we'd love to overcome. Some have greater challenges. You are a terrific person who is making a difference and that is better than being "perfect".

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  2. Thanks for sharing. You're right, my son doesn't need to be fixed. Sometimes it is so hard to make him go to therapy (he's 5) when he is protesting and says it's too hard. What would you say to a kid like that? We have incentive charts and he ultimately knows why he needs therapy, but in the moment, do you have any advice on what to say?

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    1. You know, when I would throw my fits-which trust me there were plenty- I always enjoyed seeing
      my parents like full-grown adults struggling to speak. I recall one day my Dad actually cheered me up by explaining he can't say "massachusetts." My dad actually still can't say Massachusetts correctly. He talked to my speech therapist in front of me and the speech therapist worked with him for like 5 mins to try to get him to say the word-even gave him homework! When I was a kid, it was cool to see my parents in a similar boat if only for a few minutes!

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