Identity Crisis

You have the reminiscent effects of a speech disorder, but for some crazy reason everyone around you is asking where your accent comes from.

When you're a kid, how confusing is that?

Is this speech of mine an accent, or is it a disorder? What the heck is a disorder anyways?

If everyone says it sounds like an accent, it must be an accent right? That's cool, right?

I was in Elementary School and verbal, but attending Speech Therapy often to practice articulation and those dreaded R-sounds.

However, one day on the playground, a couple kids asked me where I was from. This was the very first experience I recall being asked about my accent.

I told them I was from California, but I suppose that answer wasn't acceptable.

"No," they continued, "Where are you really from? You have an accent..."

I responded, "I'm from California."

Except, I pronounced it more like, 'Califuhnia.'

Even an adult supervisor nearby heard and started engaging in the conversation:

"Really? Where are your parents from?"

"They're from Califuhnia too," I responded. I began to doubt my story.

Were my parents really from California?

They ended the conversation by saying, "Oh, well it doesn't sound like you're from here."

Identity Crisis settled in. Were my parents really who they said they were? Are they really my parents, or are they pretending to be my parents?

Wouldn't my parents have an accent too?

My overactive imagination went on overdrive and within 20 minutes I convinced myself that my real parents were living in Hawaii after moving from England. So the accent was from them.

You could only imagine the conversation at home: "Mom, are you really my mom? I think my British parents are in Hawaii."

They had to show me old photos and basically convince me that they were my authentic, real parents. Which, to this day, I find pretty hysterical.

In the scheme of things, it was easier to believe that I had 'real' British parents in Hawaii than it was a speech disorder.

Come on, the secret British parent story sounds a lot more entertaining, right?