Yakety Yak I talk back

I have been reflecting of late on the day i learned to speak.

I wasn’t always able to do it easily.

Speech had been taken from me.

The institution really was no solution for me. (paraphased DAN Slogan)

But in spite of my newly acquired impairment i tried to deny my experience of disability. I mainstreamed. I got a job.The role disabled people were allowed way back then.  A lonely scene. Me and the computer. A mainframe. Air conditioned. Cut off. Isolated.

I got promotions. I got wage increases. Year in. Year out. No problem.

But then it came to the point, 9 promotions on, when the next step meant meeting the public. The boss said they would be embarassed to see me, redfaced at my stammer. If i wanted to do it I needed to learn how to talk.

So i took the step. Engaged with the medical model and at the end of the day found a temporary, then contemporary cure. I changed. The introverted extrovert became an extroverted introvert. I couldn’t shut up. I spoke without hesitation, without stumble. The elusive perfect speech settled upon me like billy-ho. The boss offered me the job. I said stick it. I’m off and off i went. New in a new world.

 I came to long for myself to be back. The fellow i knew. The shyer person. The one that people had a real interest in talking to, telling problems to. They loved me for i could not speak and that meant they could and here i was now out on a limb. Not yakety yak. That wouldn’t cover it. More like yikety yekity yakity yak. The gas that bubbled.

Eventually the temporariness of the solution faded and my friendlier self returned. But i knew something new about myself. I could cope with the world. I had the speech i wanted and i could represent. I also knew i really didn’t mind myself too much either. I am. I contribute. I have purpose.


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