Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Taking On Grace

When a person finds their voice, they take on grace.

For years, I lived in a self imposed silent prison, cloaked in veils of shame, rarely allowing my voice to be heard.

I am a woman that stutters. My words are sometimes broken, halting, or pushed out. Or sometimes they don’t come at all. By the tender age of five, I learned how shame felt. It was reflected in the eyes of my listeners – my father, teachers, and peers. I didn’t measure up. Their shame became my shame.

So I took up a life of hiding. I learned how to switch words, even when what I said made no sense. I avoided speaking and let people believe I was nervous, shy, scared and not very smart.

But that was so far from the truth. I talked to myself all of the time. I had so many things to say. I knew the answers in class, but never raised my hand. I couldn’t risk exposure, because they laughed and pointed. The few times I dared speak and was mocked, I pretended it didn’t bother me. The saying, “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you” was not true for me. The stinging words of others who teased me hurt. My own broken words hurt. I cried inside.

Stuttering became my shameful secret. I got so good at hiding it that no one in my adult world knew I stuttered. But they also didn’t know ME. Inside her was a strong, gifted woman with a voice that needed to be heard, that clamored for release. I began searching for a way out of my silence. The way found me.

I was fired from a long-time job because of stuttering openly. That was all it took. My inner voice screamed to my outer voice. I no longer wished to hide my authentic self. I started talking, to everyone who would listen. I shared my story. I met others who stutter, even women, shattering my belief that I had been the only one. I was finally alive!

Communication is more than just perfect fluency. It is connecting, sharing, standing up and speaking up. I have a story. Everyone has a story. And so do other women world-wide who stutter.

Listen to “Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" at

Hear my voice! Hear our voices! I am graceful!


Dando's picture


done!, this is a touching story. I really like the fact that you have come out it and you are alive. keep up the spirit and all the very best.

Pamela Mertz's picture

Thank you!

Thanks Dando for reading and taking the time to comment. It has been a long time coming for me to freely express my unique voice. Now that I have, I want to help other women suffereing in silence to do the same.

Nusrat Ara's picture

It's good to know that you

It's good to know that you have finally raised your voice.



zoneziwoh's picture

Beautiful! dear Pamela

I admire your courage and strength dear sister. This is beautiful. You are great women.

Your essay reminds me of my tender age too. Whenever i reflect back i get vex with nature for not treating me fairly. i have always thought that i didn’t enjoy my childhood. You are not a lone sister. Though, mine was not that i stuttered. Mine was on ‘food’. I felt so humiliated even as a child, being denied food.

Stay Blessed



facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

olutosin's picture

Love your voice dearest sister

Nice that you speak for others now. Thank you so much...

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


vivian's picture

Grace will lead you

I am found another me, you are not in this alone. You are already an overcomer. Good to have you telling now.... Thank you and keep it up..........


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Pamela Mertz's picture

Grace will lead you

Thank you Vivian for reading and responding to my first story I posted here.Do you stutter too? Is that what you meant by you found another me? I would love for you to be a guest on my show, if you have access to skype. Let other women hear your story. We can inspire the world by not being afraid to use our voices. They may be broken words, but they are beautiful!

Jan K Askin's picture


Dear Pamela,

Your eloquent entry illuminated my understanding of yet another way in which our voices may be stifled. Let all voices ring out.

Thank you for your story.


Jan Askin

eapa's picture

A language more powerful than words

Pamela, this is such a beautiful and touching journal entry. No one could have communicated it better than you did. Thank you for sharing this. It reminded me of how my native English-speaking friends hug me when I am already brain-dead and do not have the energy to translate words my mother tongue to English. I do believe that there is a language more powerful than what is spoken or written. And you my dear, is a living proof of that. So thank you again.

Myrthe's picture

Pamela, thank you for sharing

Pamela, thank you for sharing your story. I think it is absolutely great that you are now using your voice to speak up for other women who stutter and give them courage.

Pamela Mertz's picture


Thanks for taking the time to read and offer feedback. I was a little nervous disclosing this story here, but its my story, so it has value.
We all have a story and feedback is such a gift.

Frances Faulkner's picture


You were brave and wise in letting your two selves blend into one, that of a strong leader. This type of story is such an inspiration in how to live life. Keep up the good work and continue to tell it. Thanks for sharing,


Pamela Mertz's picture

Thank You

Thanks for such an affirming comment and for taking the time to write it as well. When we take a risk to be vulnerable, its always rewarding to get feedback that it was OK to do so!


Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Mkandeh's picture

Ebola: Sierra Leoneans feel like prisoners

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative