Last Tuesday was my Birthday. You know, that day of the year when people are forced to call you and to say something nice. I always disliked this day because I hate the extra attention. However, even though I try to avoid the spotlight, deep inside I wanted it to be a special day.

This year I realized how my stuttering has affected my social connections. I got around 5 to 8 calls. Even if I wanted, there was nothing I could've done to organize a reunion. It was just so lame and pathetic that I missed the attention. My parents are in the USA and my friends are... FORGOTTEN! I have created such isolation that I have lost contact with them. I have rejected so many invitations because of my stuttering. I used to get calls from aunts and cousins but I have missed those family reunions. My family thinks I just don't want to be with them or that I have changed. Most do not know I stutter. The only ones that have called were my grandparents and even they sounded "weird". Of course, I am just so concentrated in avoiding anything that involves exposing myself talking that I haven't visited them for ages.

I do not want this. I wish I could be stronger to tolerate all the pain and shame that stuttering brings. At least I have realized that I have to change. I can't keep on doing this. I need to confront my fears although it won't be fun. Finally I got what I always thought I wanted: A birthday in which no one would notice,but man it is not pretty!