Would you believe me if I said I had a speech impediment growing up?
Well I did. This is the first time I’m sharing this part of my story online and for good reason.
I was made to feel different – not in a good way
Struggling to pronounce my R’s, W’s and Y’s, people used it against me. I was a target because I was behind the rest of the class. My classmates noticed this. Even at the age of 4, they could still tell something was different about me.
Was it the fact I used to wear a baseball cap every day and refused to take it off even in the classroom?
Was it the fact I could run faster than everyone else and could outrun anyone who dared to chase me around the playground?
School wasn’t pleasant for me. Even at the early stages of education, I was bullied by someone. I remember the names. I remember certain things that happened. Bullying never leaves you, even 22 years later.
Our traits are their flaws
One thing I’ve learned from my bullying experiences is the flaws people see/hear are the traits we have the chance to love. My speech might not have been great at first, but since, I’ve delivered talks at national conferences, been interviewed with various radio stations and produced videos where I was the voice over.
Learning to love your traits can take time. Some of the traits can be seen as flaws. I definitely saw my speech as a flaw. But I’ve learned to love it. The way I speak is the way I communicate on here. The way I communicate on here is the same way I speak in person.
My R’s, W’s and Y’s…
My speech still isn’t perfect. When I’ve delivered talks or just communicated with someone face to face, I still notice certain words are still hard for me to say.
I love that!
The speech impediment is part of my journey. It’s part of who I am. It’s not always noticeable, but it’s still a part of me and what makes me the storyteller that I am. I don’t hide it. I shout out about it.
R – Real
W – Worthy
Y – Yourself
A quick message to those school bullies
I will never look down on my self-worth, because you don’t love yourself. I’m a real person with real feelings, who is living his life to the full.
The looks you once gave me are now sources of motivation to ensure no-one else goes through what you made me go through. The surgery I had to have due to the physical abuse you put me through.
You may no longer be in my life, but I still remember what you did. I have control now. I have the heart to turn your negativity into my positivity. I have the words and self-worth to be the person I am and to continue doing so…
Images taken by Tajinder Kaur