Stutter Awareness with Justin Lacap

Episode 32 October 18, 2020 00:52:42
Stutter
Freewheelin with Carden
Stutter Awareness with Justin Lacap
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Stutter Awareness with Justin Lacap

Transcript https://rb.gy/b4lrp3

Who is Justin Lacap?

In this episode Justin and Carden talk about:

Resources:

Connect with Justin https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinlacap/

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:03 Hey, and welcome to free, willing with carton podcast. My name's carton Y cough. I'm a wheelchair warrior disability advocate and your host for this podcast. I want to bring awareness to invisible disabilities week, October 18th, through the 24th. And today I have a special guest, Justin Lee <inaudible>, who is going to speak about Sutter awareness. And Justin is the Filipino American creative and event professional with a stutter born and raised and living in Hayward, California. He's a family guy, a flower enthusiast, music lover, and avid traveler. Currently he works at Salesforce as an event supervisor on the real estate and workplace services team and an active leader in ability force, which is the employee resource group that believes in creating an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, valued and empowered to succeed regardless of ability or disability. His purpose in life is to use his creativity and generosity to produce experiences that promote happiness and positivity. Speaker 0 00:01:11 If you haven't already done. So please subscribe to this podcast and rate it, give it a five star rating with some comments on how to make it better. And also what you enjoyed about it. You can also DM me on Instagram or Twitter freewheeling with carton. I want to give another shout out to my friends app. I access life. It is a mobile app that allows users to rate interview places on accessibility in the built environment. So the parking lot, the interior, and it builds transparency and breaks down those barriers so that when you're going out and try new places, you have an understanding of what the accessibility is like in that environment. It's like the ELP for disabilities. I access life and use referral code carton. My name C a R D E N. When signing up without further ado, I'm going to bring on Justin to speak about having a stutter and also talk about Sutter awareness day, which is October 22nd. Enjoy Harry wining. Welcome back to free, willing with carton. I have Justin lockup here today to talk about stutter awareness and his personal experience. And I'm really excited to have him on today. Hey Justin, how's it going? Speaker 1 00:02:40 Hey, Carden. I'm doing well. How are you? Just it's the weekend. I know, I know it's been, it's been long, crazy what works at week lately, so I'm, I'm glad to be chilling and sharing my story with you. You and Speaker 0 00:03:00 Yeah. Let's kick it off with your childhood and growing up. Speaker 1 00:03:07 Yeah. Okay. So a stuttering really like, uh, throughout my whole life has taught me so many key themes, like everything from confusion to being ashamed, to being embarrassed, being, um, being, um, whew, whew, whew, milk, um, humiliated. Um, a lot of trauma turned into hope to, to, to, to, to, uh, change to, uh, re re re re uh, resilience and like ultimately like self love and, um, and acceptance. And my childhood was not easy. Like I knew that I was a different kid and um, every, like every day, I, I remember praying to God to get rid of my stutter and make me normal. Um, I was bullied a lot, um, in school by like other, other, uh, students in the school that weren't in my class. So it was really hard, especially because I didn't get the right treatment early enough. And, um, I was missing the miss diagnosed, um, at school. So yeah, it was a hard childhood, but through life, I, I just, um, held onto it and became more confident in myself, which turned me into a different person, uh, now. Speaker 0 00:04:36 Yeah. And that's so great to hear that you've had this journey of self love and resilience. What did they misdiagnose you in when you were younger? Speaker 1 00:04:46 Yeah, so, um, I remember I was in probably like third or fourth grade and I was sent, like, I was able to get out of class for like an hour a week. And I, I went to this other school to take language arts class and, uh, they thought that I just didn't know English properly and I couldn't like speak in that sense, but ultimately it was a stutter and I didn't get therapy for it until I was in high school. So I went through years of, of that, and it didn't really help. Um, so kind of just delayed my process and, and being a better a fluent speaker. Speaker 0 00:05:36 And when you did start getting that speech therapy and help in high school, how often were you going to it? Were you being pulled out of class to do that? Like, tell me about that experience. Speaker 1 00:05:49 Yeah, it was really, um, it was really life changing. It was in high school. I would go to a Cal state East Bay up in Hayward, Speaker 2 00:05:59 Maybe two times a week after school. And there, I was able to work with a speech pathologist and they were able to help me out with techniques and different scenarios of how to get out of a stutter. When, when speaking and after that, after that experience with going through therapy over there, I really felt more confident in, in, um, in, um, um, uh, speaking in front of my class, um, uh, talking on the phone and just like everyday, um, everyday casual, um, uh, conversations sometimes. Like I remember like when I introduced myself to someone, I sit around my name and, uh, they think that I forget my name, but really, they just don't know my situation. Speaker 0 00:06:50 Hmm. Hmm. Yeah. And especially when you have a first interaction with someone, sometimes that's people just think like, Oh, it's just nervousness or they have all of the assumptions. How does that make you feel? Speaker 2 00:07:07 Yeah, it's, it makes me feel not heard and not understood. And through years, like even, uh, growing up at home, like my parents with being gov is just too nervous or anxious and they just told me to calm down and try to finish my sentences. So there was a lot of awareness that still had to be done at home in order for me to feel comfortable out in public. So, yeah, I feel like I haven't really brought this part. Like, I really haven't brought attention to this part of my life until like my adulthood. Speaker 0 00:07:47 Hmm. So you're kind of going through this coming out essentially right. With your disability? Speaker 2 00:07:54 Yeah. Yeah. Actually I never really talked about it with like other people until like after college. And like, even when I had my first job, like I had like, um, like 23, like I didn't really disclose that information, but, um, back at my last company, like I kinda talked about it, but it wasn't until now being at Salesforce, I feel very confident in disclosing this part of my life and having people more aware of it. Speaker 0 00:08:30 And that's so important to feel comfortable and safe and feel that the communities that you're coming out to is trustworthy. And what about the particular environment or job, or maybe your own personal growth? Was that trigger to be like, okay, I want to talk about it. Speaker 2 00:08:59 Yeah. Uh, I knew that I knew that I was ready to come out as like my true self. Um, although, um, last year I did a lot of work on myself and, and, uh, transforming to become like a person that I always wanted to be. I knew that through acceptance and self love, and even, even, um, even even a breath, a breath work like would really like enhance the person who I was meant to be. So, um, actually like, um, as I was applying to my current job here at Salesforce, I disclosed that information to HR and they were able to accommodate that. And I've never had that experience in my life before and having like really strong core values here at Salesforce, especially equality. I knew that I had a place in this company and I, I knew that I could be myself. And when I was going through this, um, uh, transformation last year, I knew that authentic authenticity is like very key and is very important to me. And I believe that when you are your most authentic person, you can produce some of the best work in your life. So having that motivation in me to just release and let go really brought me to this point where I feel like it doesn't matter what people think. It doesn't matter. Like how I say something, what, whatever I have to say is important and people will just have to wait for it, for it to come out. Speaker 0 00:11:01 Yeah. That's so true. Being the most authentic version of yourself, showing up as you are, as your whole self is the best thing that anyone can do. And I feel like oftentimes in companies, we show up as our work self and then five o'clock kids, we shut the door, close the laptops, or nowadays we just do a swivel chair into our kitchen or into our bedroom. Right. We're mostly working from home and then, well, there's the personal personality that comes out. Speaker 2 00:11:40 Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I, um, I found this guy named chase Gillis online, and he's a speaking coach, but he doesn't, he doesn't, um, share and techniques Speaker 1 00:11:54 On how to overcome your stutter in that way. But he, he more Gore goes towards the fact that you should be authentic. And that really, really stuck to me because I think if you're really passionate about what you're saying, and if you really have, if you really believe in what you have to say, then it will come out. And the more that you think about your stutter or the more that you think that you're going to stumble on something, the more you will. So a lot of it is just like self-confidence and like determination to push it out. Speaker 0 00:12:29 Yeah. And thinking about how people have to just be patient and wait for it to come out. Yeah. Talk to me about what it feels like when you are at work or you're in a conversation or a room with people and you have that stutter. Speaker 1 00:12:49 Yeah. Yeah. You know, like sometimes, like I still get laughs and like looks from people and like, I feel like this is one of the only handicaps that are out there that see that, like, people still laugh about that. People still, still aren't getting Hume I'm humiliated on about, so I think that, yeah, like it's one of my, it's my biggest pet peeve of when, when I'm trying to say something and people I finish my sentences or they, they, they just lose attention and look the other way. So it really, but like now that like I've been more public about my stutter and I'm very open about it. I feel like the more people are aware that I do have one day do understand, but, but, but like you still, you still run into that small group of people that don't know me that don't know much about the Sutter disorder or, or, or, or anything like that sense. So a lot of there's, there's still a lot of awareness that has to be spread up, but that has to be spread out about this. Speaker 0 00:14:05 Yeah. And look right now in the media, we have an election coming up in the United States and one of the nominees drove iden has been very public about having a stutter and seeing him at the debate and then seeing the comments on Twitter and Instagram after are just so cruel. But what is it like for you to see kind of like a role model or an icon or someone that also has a stutter who's in, who is in the limelight right now? Yeah, Speaker 1 00:14:39 Yeah, totally. Well, you know, this year has just been so crazy with, you know, the pandemic and, and the elections and, uh, 2020 overall has been, like Anne has been in, has been in Speaker 2 00:14:52 Unfortunate year, but I feel like this is a year that I'm actually finding my voice finally. And it's very refreshing to see Joe Biden to, to, to, to, to see him sharing his story like four years now. But I never, I never, I called attention to it until this year. And, you know, like I was watching a lot of interviews of him online and he does say that this is a very, a very debilitating, uh, situation for, for someone to, um, to, um, to, um, have a stutter. And I couldn't agree more and he just, um, I've um, and I've also learned a lot from, from, from what he says in his stories where you just have to practice practice, practice. You just have to be deep determined that you will get whatever you have to say out. He, um, I remember in one of his interviews online, he said that his mom always re, re reminded him that we are, we are defined by courage and re we are re we are retained by loyalty and he also shares, and he also shares and spread the word to like reach out to people and like seeing what their stories are, because we, we, we really don't know someone's situation until you take the bedtime to ask about it and really understand. Speaker 2 00:16:30 Um, so he's really been a great part of my year in the sense of my life. And I also remember him saying like, like no one has a right to mock someone and make fun of them for something like that. They cannot, that they cannot control. And, um, things that people can cannot control is not their fault. So that really stuck with me. Um, this year. Speaker 0 00:17:03 I really like that quote, I missed the first part, but I got the re you're redeemed by loyalty. And I think that's so true. It's like your vibe attracts your tribe and those who want to follow you will follow you based on your values, not necessarily your disability, they've overlooked that. And they've looked past that and they recognize the quality and the values that you make yourself of Speaker 2 00:17:35 <inaudible>. Speaker 0 00:17:37 What are you kind of you doing for this year? It's a big year for spreading that awareness. Speaker 2 00:17:44 Yeah. So I knew that this was a year that going to speak out and at Salesforce, there's so much opportunity to like share my story and to be involved in groups that can help with that. So right now I'm on the ability for leadership team in San Francisco chapter. And it's such a, it's such a big month right now in October it's disability, employment awareness month. And also on the week of the, um, of the 18 or 19, I believe is, um, in invisible disabilities week. And then ultimately on the 22nd of this month is, uh, a stuttering awareness day. And I'm going to plan a fireside chat on that Thursday, the 22nd with Salesforce employees. And I'm just going to invite like different people in the stuttering community to like, have an intimate talk, to, to bring awareness to employees in our company. And this, this has been an idea that I've had for many years, even before I was at this current job, because I feel like a lot of the times, especially in the workplace, people aren't aware of this. And I am going to invite people from the Vincent, from the national stuttering association, as well as, um, other speaking coaches and some doctors to really just share different angles of a stuttering in an hour to, um, to bring more light to the situation and, and help those who might know us that, or, or who, or who is actually a setter to feel more comfortable in the workplace. Speaker 2 00:19:41 I can't wait. Yeah, Speaker 0 00:19:44 That's so awesome. I love how what you're doing is you're taking what used to be almost, you probably felt like it was a burden and wishing and praying to God that you didn't have it, and you've turned it into this opportunity of, well, this is the cards that I have and then I'm dealt with, and what I'm going to do instead is bring awareness to it and showcase to the world what it is and how we can be better allies of each other. And that's what it's all about is really bringing your full, authentic self to work and in your community, and then gathering other allies along the way to be a part of your journey. Speaker 2 00:20:33 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if I could share like that, like if I could share this information with like, with us, <inaudible> with a small group of people and that group of people share it with their tribes and so on and so Speaker 1 00:20:48 Forth, I think like this could be a really good change and like my own ecosystem. And I think that, you know, like this is a year that I want to take action and it's all about having that mindset that I am not defined by my center, although it is a big part of my life and how I communicate from like a, from like a day to day basis. It's something that I know that if I, if I put a confidence and determination around it, I don't need to worry about it. And I think that, you know, like coming from my childhood when I, when I didn't want it, when I prayed that well, when I prayed to God to like, get rid of the stutter, now my mindset is I wouldn't have any, um, um, um, I wouldn't have it any other way because it's a part of who I am. Speaker 1 00:21:45 And it really brings a lot of, uh, personnel. Um, um, it really brings a lot of, uh, personality and color to like who I am in this a decade of my life. And, and, and like what we said with being authentic. It's like, if you are your true self and if you own it, and if you are coming up and waking up every day, knowing that you could be yourself and you could say whatever you want to say, this pipe, any stumbles or flares along the way, then that's all I need to, to be happy and to, and to, uh, carry on. Speaker 0 00:22:31 Hmm, no. Speaker 1 00:22:35 Yeah. And you know, like Speaker 0 00:22:37 Useful, I'm just listening to you, Speaker 1 00:22:39 You know, it's all about like, you know, like self-love, and, you know, if you, if you can't love yourself, if you can't love yourself, you're a stutter, then it's hard for you to like, accept and love anything or, or like anyone else. Right. So I think, yeah, it's just being confident in these circumstances. And like, you know, like this road was like uniquely designed for me from, from the universe. And I think maybe in my second life, I won't have a stutter, but for this life, I know that I do have one and I'm going to speak, I'm going to speak out whether or not it comes out in one second or 10 seconds. Speaker 0 00:23:29 And I'm on stutter awareness day, which is on October 22nd. Right. Okay. Doctor was 20 seconds. Is there anything that you're doing to promote that like a hashtag or a certain color or a certain phrase or selfie or something like that, that others should participate in? Speaker 2 00:23:52 Actually, I'm working with the invisible disabilities team on ability for us at Salesforce, and we are doing like a promo internally, but I wanted to share with you guys all that, um, like their, a tagline is I wish. So my tagline is I wish people would let me finish. And, um, yeah, I will be, um, uh, creating a blog post, um, later this month with like my story and, and bringing more awareness to us lettering. And I think, uh, I am ready to, to, to do this publicly. And I'm very excited, and this is something that my, that my child self wouldn't imagine th th th th uh, uh, to do. But now that I've gone through all these experiences of being embarrassed and being <inaudible> misunderstood misdiagnosed, I think it's time for me to just let loose and release and just be comfortable with who I am and be authentic. Speaker 0 00:25:08 I wish people would let me finish. Yeah. It's a great timeline. So kind of want to dive into a little bit more about the stutter and for you personally, just so I have an understanding, is it a particular word, a syllable, a sound, a letter, or is it just overall, I'm sorry, I don't want to like sound ignorant overall, like of not being able to properly formed sentences or like how, what does it feel like in your brain? Speaker 2 00:25:43 Yeah, well, I think if I be, before I talk, I think like my mind works faster than like my mouth. Right. So before I talk, sometimes I just get like, worked up about, Oh my gosh, you're going to stutter. I'm going to stutter. And then I stutter. Right. So does not for, like, in my case, there isn't like a particular word or, or like a letter or sound that it happens on, but I like to say it's just a random, right. So before, like, I was just like, if I knew a word was coming and I couldn't, and I knew, I couldn't say that word, I would just think of like another word that's, that's similar to it. And just say it, even if it's, even if it's not the right word. So yeah. It just, it like, it, like, it like, uh, comes and goes, right. Like some, some conversations and some sentences it'll be just fine. And then some other ones will just be a train wreck. Right. But it's all an acceptance. Speaker 0 00:26:48 <inaudible>. And what are some of the things that you do to help get you through the certain sentences? Or like what you said when it is a train wreck? Speaker 2 00:27:01 Yeah. So before I remember actually when I was a kid, I would, I would, before therapy, I would, I would make, like, I would make body movements to like, get the sounds out. Like I would, like, I would like move my arms and my legs very, very noticed noticeably to like other people. And I w I would be ashamed by it. So that would help like pre therapy, but during therapy and, um, high school, you know, there's a lot of techniques of just like, um, how to, how to blend words together. So the sounds are a fluid actually. Um, when I was in grade school and in high school, I was in a choir and I like being inquired because, Oh, blah, blah, blah. When I sing, I don't stutter. So, I mean, so it made me feel really good about myself. So, so that helped a lot. Speaker 2 00:28:07 So that, that helped out a lot. And also currently right now, I, in addition with those, uh, techniques, I just really try to work on my, uh, uh, my, my breathing and just like making sure like when I'm in meetings and when I have a big interview or when I'm talking to other folks that like, I'm really calm and very centered and just very, very present, I think, um, I'm a very anxious person, uh, to begin with. So if I'm thinking, if I'm thinking of, um, if I'm thinking ahead of myself, if I'm thinking about other things that is not in that situation, I, I tend to set her more. So I think with being mindful and being very present and just like taking the time to breathe and like, think about what I'm going to say, it comes out easier. Speaker 0 00:29:10 Hmm. You mentioned how you were in choir and feeling that sense of like freedom and relief almost because you had that momentary just feeling of, you don't have to think about it. You know, you're just singing and it's coming out so fluidly and I mean, you have a very lovely voice. I will say that I can only imagine what you sound like singing. Speaker 2 00:29:39 No, it's been year. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:29:42 And the reason I'm building you up your confidence, because I want you to sing me something right now. Speaker 2 00:29:48 Oh my God. Pardon? I'll say it for next time. Speaker 0 00:29:56 I'm just kidding, but, okay. So you were singing when you were growing up. Do you do that now? Is there anything else that you're doing to help kind of continue to build that confidence and to help, to kind of get you through certain sentences? Like performing arts? Speaker 2 00:30:19 Yeah, I know. Um, so yeah, currently it's, yeah. It's just like what I said, just like, um, just like, um, having that mindset and like being authentic and just being very confident in what I have to say. And like, like whenever, like I'm talking, I just, I know that my slitter is there, but I don't let it like, take over my, my mind and let it take over, like what I have to say. And I think before, like, I was just like, I shut out and like, or maybe like, not even speak in like, in like a group, um, in like a group, uh, conversations or, or like in meetings, but like, especially now this year, like we're working from home and being in this endemic and I'm like on my computer, like most of the day I like really like, found my voice to like speak out and just like before talking, just like really understanding like, well, but I have to say so like <inaudible>, so when it comes out, it's just comes out and just, and just flows that nicely. Speaker 0 00:31:37 Hmm. Nice. Do you still do any of the body movements to help get certain sounds, syllables or sentences? Speaker 2 00:31:46 You know what? I, I am using my hands a lot right now, but I think that's, that's what I've, that's been kind of normal, like in these past few years, but I know that when I talk and I do go through a setter, I tend to like, I close my eyes and look the other way. So yeah, I, I really do appreciate it when people will, blah, blah, blah. When I'm talking to someone and they're very patient with me and they keep eye contact with me. And that makes me feel really validated and like comfortable with them. But, but like, but like I could tell you that it does really suck when people like, look like when, when, when people try to finish my sentences or, or laugh, or even like, maybe like they just don't understand and they just feel uncomfortable too. So I just need to that part as well Speaker 0 00:32:42 With the body movements I learned in another episode with autistic people is they have something called floppy, happy, floppy, happy someone, a syndrome that they call it. And so when they have so many emotions of like a Boolean send excitement and happiness, it comes out in the form of body movement and they call it floppy, happy. Yeah. The gal that I interviewed, um, the other day was as a child, she was always told, stop doing those body movements. That's bad. Like society looks at that as a bad thing. And for you also saying that you used to be trained to do certain body movements to help get you through the stutter. It's just the only, it makes me think that I think society has created what is socially acceptable for certain movements when you're talking to someone and it's looked down upon when you do exhibit more Vani movements than others. And what we don't realize is that it can help people or it's their way to express their feelings and emotions because they don't have the language or the ability to communicate. Speaker 2 00:34:13 Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree with that. It's like the movement kind of just like takes away from like the, the anxiety that I have from my stutter and it just releases that energy. Right. So I think we'll all like, overall, I think I'm a very like, like active person where I, I like move a lot. So I don't know, like between that and my stutter movements, I don't know, like they just flow in altogether, but yeah, I do do agree that like, society, like really like, has that preset notion of like, of like, what is right and what is wrong and sometimes with what is right to them or what is wrong to them is not always right. Speaker 0 00:35:02 Yeah. Um, if you're comfortable, do you want to share the kinds of accommodations that you would ask for, or that you've personally used either at work at home, in your community, so that, uh, or for those who may feel scared to ask, you can shine a light. Speaker 2 00:35:23 So, yeah, like, uh, when I was interviewing at my job here at Salesforce, I actually disclose the information that I do have a setter with, uh, with HR. And they did accommodate like, um, a few like, uh, like, um, extra time during my interview for that. So that really helped. And also I think with them knowing ahead of time, it just, it just saves everyone the time and the, and the wonder of like, what is really happening with this guy, you know? So that is one thing that I would recommend if, um, if you are interviewing for a company and they do value equality and all that, it could really help. Um, in terms of other things and events and stuff. I haven't, haven't really called much attention to that, but I can book, but I can share that my mentor right now, she actually gave me a really good advice to like, if I know that I am talking to like a new group of people, or if I'm in a meeting or if a meeting with anyone in general and just like this, uh, D D D uh, disclosing that information off the bat, then it just, it just clears everything up and, and people tend to understand you better and, and are more empathetic. Speaker 2 00:36:51 So that, and other ways is just, you know, like, I know it's not ideal to have a stutter, and sometimes you wish that you may not have it, but I think acceptance is a really big key here. And knowing that even if you go through therapy and, and, and learn all these techniques and really work on those things, sometimes it may just come back and it's, and it's something for me that I've accepted, that it's probably gonna stay with me for the rest of my life. And knowing that I, I just want, I just want to feel present and comfortable with myself. So I would encourage other people to, to just to just be yourself and just like, even if, even if you may feel like you are coming to a stutter or something, you may say might not come out as like a Smith as a, as a, as a, with like butter, um, your message is important and people will just have to wait and let us finish. Speaker 0 00:38:08 And just going back to that tagline of, I wish people would let me finish because yeah, I like how you said they won't come out as smooth, like butter always, but it'll certainly be worth it to hear it at the end. For sure. I think it also, in my opinion, it just allows you to have a conversation that isn't so quick. I feel like our lives are just so meeting to meeting, to meeting, to meeting and everything is scheduled for a certain amount of time. And I think we forget sometimes to just spend a little bit longer talking to someone. Speaker 2 00:38:50 Yeah, for sure. And, you know, Carden, like, I, I'm very fortunate to like, have like a tribe of like friends and family that, that are very patient with me, you know? So even if I don't find that in the workplace or like out in public, I know that I have people in my life that are there for me, that will, that will, that will talk to me. And that will be patient with me as long as I, as long as I need to get my word out. So that really brings me hope. And I, and, and that's one of the reasons why I want to call it a lot of awareness to, to this this month is that like, people might know, like people's, maybe someone has a neighbor who has a friend that has a sister that has a stutter, and it's just all about sharing that knowledge and like, and sharing that knowledge, not even about what stutter even is, but like how it might make a setter feel and like what you could do to help us get her out. Speaker 2 00:39:51 So, yeah, just like what we said earlier, like, I I'm, I feel very empowered hearing what Joe Biden has to say about his theater. And like, even for him, like he has, he, he said that his daughter was pretty bad when he was growing up, but when you hear him talk, now, it doesn't even seem like he's had one, you know? So I know that, you know, like maybe it is possible that like, that we could overcome it at some point, but I know that like, in this, in this part and this time of my life, I guess it's here with me, like he's, or like my, my center is something that I appreciate. And as a part of me, and I know that it, I know that this theater is not ideal, but it really, it really makes me who I am. And like, you know, like I want people to remember me by my sitter. Speaker 2 00:40:48 Like, you know, it's like, it's like, that makes me unique. That that makes me different. Like that, that makes people remember me. And, you know, like, I've only like these past few years, like came to like accept and like, understand that like, stuttering is not a bad thing. Like, I can't control this. It's a part of me. And it has been a part of me, like in my childhood, which was very dark, but now it's very light. And I look at it as like a very positive, positive, um, what's it called? Positive, like trait in my life. Speaker 0 00:41:29 How do you want people to identify your stutter? So do you want to be caught us like Justin who's daughters? Justin has a daughter stuttering, Justin, like, obviously not that one, but like how you want people to identify the stutter. Speaker 2 00:41:49 I would say Justin to stutter. Stutter. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And you know, like, I've only like, only like recently I've added that word to like my bio until like my, like my bio's on my social media and at work. And by, by all that I have for this as well. It's like, this is a really big part of my life. If like people meet me and they like, see me face to face, or whether it's virtual or, or in person, like, that's one of the things that they're going to re remember about me. Right. So it's like, it is what it is and I'm here for it. I think anything Speaker 0 00:42:32 That, I mean, this is my personal opinion, but anything that you can do to set yourself apart is how you're going to be remembered and whether that's a disability or not, you know, I totally use my disability as a one up in a lot of situations. There's a lot of benefits that come with having a disability. Speaker 2 00:42:56 Yeah, totally. And like, I, I was like, I never was a part of this community until I joined ability force. And like, just being a part of people, like being a part of a group of people who like really, really understand without like, having to explain is like, so it means so much to me. And, um, yeah, it's just, I, I find a lot of comfort in just like knowing other people who, who are the same. Like when I was meeting with people from the national stuttering association, um, weeks ago, it was like one of my, like, it was one of my first times, like actually like talking with a Sutter, I feel like I've only met like a good handful. Like, I can't even count, like with my fingers, how many other centers I've met actually in person or virtually, but like, it really just brought, like, it just really like grounded me and really gave me a lot of perspective on like how me, how people make me feel and think when they're talking to me. Speaker 2 00:44:09 So like, it was, it was just a really crazy experience. Like having had like, chatting with someone where the Sutter and them going through their motions of not being able to say a phrase or a word. And it's like, wow, like that's what people think about. Or that's what people like. I know, I know now how people feel when they talk to me and like, and like what I said earlier, it's like, people may not know, so they may, may feel uncomfortable or they just don't know how to react. And they might just feel bad overall for me, but I don't want people to feel bad because it's something that I accept and I am willing to have for the rest of my life. So overall it's great. I love it so much. Speaker 0 00:45:00 I'll say the first time that I met someone with my type of muscular dystrophy was just so enlightening and very much like looking in a mirror and it was really weird. It was just like, wow, you moved dress like me. Speaker 2 00:45:20 No. Yeah, for sure. Speaker 0 00:45:22 Just like me. This is so cool. Speaker 2 00:45:24 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, it's different, right? Like when you see like people online or like on TV or whatever, but like having that like face to face, like one to one interaction with them. Wow. I like it. It's so cool. Speaker 0 00:45:40 It really is. There's a lot of just comfort in that. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:45:44 Like I have yet to meet one, like in person or like at, or like at work, but yeah. I wish I just had like a group of like homeys that like all Sutter and we can solve banter. You know, Speaker 0 00:45:59 What would you name the band of your stutters? Speaker 2 00:46:03 Um, repetition or like, or like, or like, or like, like, uh, or like on loop or something or like loop de loop or something like that. Speaker 0 00:46:23 I like repetition. Oh my gosh. Speaker 2 00:46:28 I wonder what I would like for some his song will be, I don't know. We'll figure it out. Right. Speaker 0 00:46:35 That's great. I love that. I'm thinking also about other people that you've seen on TV and movies. Has there been any type of representation other than John? Speaker 2 00:46:50 Yeah, I know that Marilyn Monroe has a stutter. Oh, really? I didn't know that. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. She has one. I'm actually going to pull up a quote from her that I really like, okay. Imperfection is beauty. Madness is genius. And it's better to be absolutely ridiculous and absolutely boring. So I look at that as my stutter. It's like, I could be like, I could be like anyone else and just have like a perfect, um, a perfect speech and just like, say, say everything so fluently, but that's kind of boring. Right? Like you also, you like want that person to like spice things up. I think that's me Speaker 0 00:47:35 Since the repetition, Speaker 2 00:47:38 Some repetition. Right. Speaker 0 00:47:40 That's so great. Um, is there anything else that you want to share Justin? Speaker 2 00:47:45 Um, yeah, let's see, like overall, I just want to tell all of us, all the centers out there that like that you should not judge yourself for this and you should not let, let it define who you are, although it is a big part of your life. Like it's something that you could overcome. And just like, I think ultimately Lee carton, like the big theme here is just like being authentic, right? So I think if you really accept every part of yourself and everything that goes on in your head and in your heart and in your soul, and really accept that you could really be the B, B, B be the best person that you could be. And at work, you could produce some of the best work that that you've ever made in your life. So don't let, don't let your center holds you back from what you believe and what you have to say, because the more you advocate for your thoughts and what, what is going on in your head, the more you will be overall happy and like live that, that, that calm, calm, positive life. Speaker 2 00:49:05 And like, you know, overall here, I just, I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful for my stutter. So grateful to be able to share my story with you, Carden. I'm so grateful to, to be a part of a company that I could share my story with, and that I can be very open about, very grateful for my friends and family who are very patient with me, grateful for Joe Biden, for sharing a story. And like making me, making me build that confidence in myself to, to be comfortable and to be, to be a person that can say something with a sucker. Right. So, yeah, I just encourage everyone to accept it and do the proper, uh, uh, uh, birth, uh, breath work that will take. And I think with that, um, just being authentic. And now that I think about it, I think these are a, are a letter that I stumbled on. I think I've stumbled on breathwork maybe like three times in this conversation. So that is one, Speaker 0 00:50:22 Hey, who knows? Maybe that could be something that if you, I don't, if you go back to therapists still today, or if there's other tactics that you can use, I mean, the first thing is for you to identify it right. And then figure out what's next. And if that's something that you even want to do, like that's totally up to you. Speaker 2 00:50:44 Yeah, for sure. Yeah. But I think, um, here is just now my vibe and my vision is right now is just to take action. So just taking action to accept, share, and to just live my life with the stutter. Speaker 0 00:51:01 Well said, thank you so much, Justin, for your authenticity and just showing up as yourself and sharing your story. I think we learned, I learned a lot just about really showing up as your whole self everywhere. And I do know what it's like to not feel seen or heard a number of times growing up and having that mindset shift that you've started to work on and something that you're actively living is really helpful going forward. Speaker 2 00:51:43 Yeah. And like what I said, I kind of want to like end on this note card and like, for like you and I it's like the universe like built this road unique for us. So like, this is something that, that makes us so like awesome and like, amazing. And it's just like, I really wouldn't have it any other way. So I am so I'm so appreciative right now. Speaker 0 00:52:12 Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Justin. I really appreciate it. Speaker 2 00:52:15 Thank you, Cardin. I'll talk to you later. Okay. Bye. Thank you friends for listening. Please rate and follow this podcast or text card at (470) 588-1215 with comments and suggestions tune in next week for another disability topic.

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