My name is Jurjen de Jong. I am 25 years old and yes I stutter. I hated my stutter for a very long time. It is still not my best friend, but it is a part of me and it will always be a part of me. Let me tell you something about my life as a
It all started when I was around 7 years old and I noted in class that I was stuck in my words more often. This became worse and I went to speech therapy. This helped me during primary school with accepting my stutter, but when I went to secondary school my thoughts and struggles with and around stuttering became very bad again. I tried to hide it, but this didn’t work if I had to do a presentation or had to read in class. I didn’t know other people with whom I could share my struggles and thoughts, back then. So, I felt lonely in my situation… During secondary school, I tried to skip language classes, because I didn’t want to speak in class. ‘Luckily’ I was good at math and so after secondary
After my bachelor’s studies, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. So, I moved to Belgium (to the city Ghent) into a house with 30 international students. Here I had to speak English all day. This helped me with the first steps of coming further out of my comfort zone. After one year in Belgium I studied a year in Sweden and did some Swedish language classes (which was again a big step for me) and my English improved as well.
I still stuttered, but I started to care less about it. I graduated for my master in mathematical physics and the year after I moved again to Belgium (this time to Leuven) to study an advanced master in Space Studies. All went well but I felt I didn’t challenge myself enough on speech improvements. So, during this year I started to do workshops with the Broca Brothers (2 Dutch guys who created a method to solve partly your stuttering), which brought me into the world of pws.
The summer of that same year I went for a week to Northern-Italy to meet fellow-pws. This was an awesome experience. For a
I wrote also a blog about the week for the ISAD 2018. Click here to read the blog.
I went after the week in Italy to Taiwan to do a Chinese language class. This was very exciting because, as I just explained, I had a lot of problems with language classes during secondary school, but I noted that my stuttering was not that bad anymore during classes, and my confidence was much higher. As a result I could for the first time enjoy a language class a lot.
The next step for me to become a more confident