|Photo credits: David Stones and Jacquelyn Revere|
A semi-retired business executive and CEO, David divides his time between Toronto and Stratford, Ontario volunteering in support of the world renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival and the town's rich cultural heritage.
“I was intrigued by Jacquelyn being a stuttering actress", recalls David. "I thought it was really cool”.
Jacquelyn had begun exploring the stuttering community when she first heard about Stutter Social. “I stuttered since I was three and so I've lately wanted to explore more of the stuttering community. Mainly because I was ashamed of it”.
Regularly participating in Stutter Social hangouts gives Jacquelyn a chance to “have conversations that I can't have every day with people who I talk to all the time because they don't have the same experience with speech. Sometimes we talk about stuttering and sometimes we don’t but the open dialogue is fun”.
For David, participating in Stutter Social Hangouts is like having a weekly therapy session.
"A very important part of therapy for stutterers is desensitization, confronting your stuttering. And being comfortable with stuttering. You can’t find a more supportive environment than a hangout because you’re talking to fellow stutterers who have empathy and understanding. And they are very supportive of you."
Over coffee in a New York cafe, David and Jacquelyn chatted about each other’s experiences.
"I learned a lot about how Toronto has a thriving theatre community", says Jacquelyn. "And I also love talking to people who have been where I am right now. Hearing his stories and his successes and difficulties, its always nice to know that you are not the only person who has ever gone through something, and even though, in the back of my mind I know that, the reassurance is always nice."
"Small victories was one of the most important lessons that I took away from our meeting, along with our new found relationship."
"The mountain may seem very high", explains David. "But with each step the summit appears closer. There is a tipping point with stuttering, as with so many things in life”. And once that tipping point is reached, one is able to put their stuttering into perspective and feel a sense of control and “counting, treasuring and embracing the value of the small victories along the way".
Jacquelyn adds, "I can be very hard on myself, and I just have to continuously remind myself that 26 years of a certain habit will not change overnight. It's a continual road, and luckily now I have someone to talk to who has been on this road. David really is at a place where I strive to be, so I am excited for our future conversations."