Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dying for Happiness: The Trial of My Life Part 1

"Elder Dye was a late talker." Said my mother. "He only said a few words until he was 3 years old and I tried to put shoes on him that were too small. He said 'Mommy, these shoes owie my feet'. I was shocked. He really could talk. He started speech 'therapy' in kindergarten and was doing quite well. The only problem was that he had a slight hesitation when he said certain things. He stopped speech in the fifth grade. He said it wasn't helping anymore and he didn't like missing classes."

For as long as I remember I have had trouble with my speech. I had the hesitation, or stutter, from a young age. My mother is right, I quit going to speech in the fifth grade because I thought it was a waste of time and didn't like missing class, but mainly because I did not like being the outcast in my class, having to leave to go learn how to speak like everyone else already did. So the hiding began. I began to substitute words that I could say for words that I thought I would stutter on. I got quite good at this. Actually really good at it. For a while my mother did not know that the stutter was a problem because I hid it from everyone. I hated being the outcast.

My mother continues, "When he was a junior in High School the 'hesitation' started getting worse.  We really did not know where to turn for help."

My mother asked if I wanted to go back to speech therapy at the school. I told her "NO WAY! They don't know what they are talking about and don't know how to help me." So the hiding continued. After hiding my stutter for so long, it began to get harder and harder to hide it. In my Junior year, with the added stress of High School life, and being involved in many other things, the efforts to hide my stutter began to come to no avial. There began to be more and more words and sounds that I would stutter on and less and less ways I could get around it.

For most of my life I was a happy person and mainly had a positive attitude about things. But as the stress increased, so did the stutter, and as a result my positive attitude began to decrease.

"By his senior year it was so bad it was difficult to watch him speak.  His face would become distorted as he tried desperately to express himself.  It became very worrisome to all of us." Said my mom.

As the stutter and difficulty to speak continued to increase, depression also began to increase. As depression increased, so did my stress level, which as stated earlier made my stutter worse. So as you can tell, it was a cycle that continued to get worse and worse. In the midst of this deadening cycle, other things in my life also began to change. I noticed that I was not reading the scriptures as much, and my prayers were quite pathetic when they happened. I began to wonder if God really loved me, and I had come to the conclusion that I was probably viewed as an outsider, even to God. From the experiences earlier in my life, I knew that there was a God and I knew that he had power. But I began to make my self believe that He no longer cared about me! It got to the point to where I knew that something had to change. But I did not know where to turn.

Mom continues, "I asked him what he was willing to do and he said anything.  I have a good friend whose a speech pathologist and she suggested I do research online to find help about stuttering.  That is really the first time I heard the word Stutter. After much fasting and prayer I found the name of a Dr. Michael Susca who taught at the University of Pacific in Stockton California. About 45 minutes from our home. I called what I thought was an office number and discovered I had the cell phone number of Dr. Susca. After talking with him for an hour and then talking it over with my husband and Elder Dye, we decided to take him up to Stockton for an evaluation. Dr. Susca said that Elder Dye had learned how to cover his stutter and he had run out of techniques.  He then said he needed to learn to 'stutter his brains out.' It was a blessing in our lives to find such a respected and qualified person to help our son."

This was when things began to change. I realized that I was a normal person, even if I didn't speak like most other people. I learned that Dr. Susca had a stutter as a boy and now is 100 percent fluent. Hope began to enter into my life. Although, my attitude was still negtive and I was still quite depressed. So I decided that I needed to turn to one more person to help me through this. The person who knows me and what I am going through.

As I prayed I asked if he was there and if he knew me. In a way my prayer was that of the Children's song, "A Child's Prayer." "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?" I felt a warmth and love that I had not felt before. I knew that God was there, I knew that Christ knew what I was going through. I learned that the atonement was there for everything we suffer in this life, not just our sins. (see Alma 7:11-13) I learned that there was a way out, and that Christ was willing to take me on the path out from this depression and trial, if I was willing to let him. So on we went. I began to pray more and read the scriptures more, and through this was when I knew without a doubt that the Book of Mormon and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true.  I saw my attitude begin to change, I felt happiness and peace that I had not felt in a long time! I knew that I was not an outsider!


  1. We think you are great! I suffer from depression too, so I know exactly what you mean. It's such a downer. As for the song. Funny... I sing that to my babies every night when I put them to bed, and I never made that connection to my own life. Thanks for the new perspective!

  2. Thanks Sister Traylor! I have always loved that song, but it wasn't until a few months ago that I made the connection to my life, and how real it was for me!!!


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