As a child I believed this. It helped to nurse my bruised ego. It was easy to selectively interpret events: I got through Combined Pre medical test at one go- so it meant that I, a stammerer, must be very intelligent! But what about thousands of others who got through similar tests, and did not stammer? Well, I was a child and not a trained researcher to bother about such considerations. It helped to believe in my intelligence and so I went ahead along that line of thought. Gradually, my identity was exclusively being defined by these two thoughts: I am different- I stammer – I am intelligent- I can help myself.
This gave birth to insidious avoidance strategies and patterns: yes, because I as a very intelligent person was trying to help myself! Now years later, I question that notion. If we are truly intelligent, why do we suffer on and on? Why are we taken for a ride by all kind of con-men, “therapists”, quacks and charlatans? Why do we spend hours and hours googling “stammering cure”, while denying stammering is of any importance to us? And even when we do go to someone for help, we have this skepticism at the back of our head: What can he do about it, when I have tried EVERYTHING and failed? Anyway, let me give him a try..
As a child I heard a saying: Smart guy slips on two occasions. First occasion I have totally forgotten about but the second one was: When he steps in sh*t, he stops to investigate the whole matter- he stabs his finger at the golden stuff sticking to his shoes and investigates it: is it really sh*t? Of course it is!
This applies to many of us who consider ourselves “smart”, “intelligent”. It is only when we have lived life whole-heartedly, suffered and mellowed- that, that intelligence is transformed into wisdom. In our case, it often manifests as- giving up avoidance, embracing acceptance and transcending the impasse. Of course, this transcending may look like “running away” but it is diametrically opposite. Running away or denial is based on an instinctive reaction based on fear and resistance. Transcendence is outcome of acceptance and humility.
Later, I read that psychological studies have not found stammerers to be of more (or lower) intelligence as a group, compared to normal population. In other words, you may find intelligent and “not so intelligent” people among stammerers as you find them in other groups. My sense of my “uniqueness” based on my stammering began melting away. There were others too, who suffered, came out of it, talked about it and carried on with their lives. I think this was closest to a cure of my “stammering mindset”- when I learned, that there is nothing special about myself or my stammering. I lost an “empire” but gained peace and understanding.
So, how do I answer this question now: Are stammerers intelligent people? Yes, they are if they can step out of that “VIP enclosure” and dance and sing like the whole creation..if they can celebrate their diversity, accept others with their diversity and get a glimpse of the unity behind all the apparent diversity..