Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The Stuttering Fritz
My stutter has come back.

Firstly, the word 'stutter' is really quite indicative of a stutter, isn't it? Like a fast, capitulation of consonants, delivering themselves in rocket infusion of sound. If that sentence is any indication of what is going on with me, then I leave it to you, dear readers, to imagine Fritz stuttering through the days.

I had a stutter at the beginning of my career with the GA. Dept. of Corruption. It had to do with a total lack of ability in communicating with career felons. Pretty soon, I got the lingo down and the stutter went away--well. It changed, manifesting itself in bitterness, cynicism, and a desire for fast food. Then, I went to therapy and everything improved, including the job situation. I got canned and that was that.

So now I've got the stutter again. It just reappeared after two years of dormancy. Michael will tell you I stutter when I am trying to get a point across or have had too much sugar, but these incidents are fairly rare and have more to do with general excitement, not a complete psychological meltdown. Unfortunately, my new job and pending marriage have elicited the Original Stutter, and it is all the fault of a particular parent of a client.

He's got the Stutter, too.

I was just on the phone with him, explaining how the State of Georgia does not seem to think his daughter's needs are as important as funding more artillery for our country, and so she was not granted the Day Supports Waiver she so desperately needs in order to fulfill her life with actualization, independence, and eventual employment. Nope. Georgia can't help the hapless children who suffer from epilepsy. What Georgia can do is hire me as a completely ineffectual caseworker with little to no ability to help these people in need. Yay for me.

He started to stutter, and once he got going, I was swept into the stutter, as well. Both of us were babbling incoherently at each other over the phone, and while the words were far from understandable, the grunts and underlying tones could not be mistaken: disgust, frustration, anger, disappointment. And I'm not even a parent. I'm just a stupid social worker.

While I stutter along today, trying to get words out (be they verbal or typed, they're all coming out like gobbledy-gook--I typed that at least five times before my fingers found their routine), I have to remind myself of certain facts:

My stutter will go away, but I will never understand how terrible and frustrating life is for someone with a developmental disorder.

My wedding will come and go, and hopefully I won't stutter through the ceremony, but when I return from my much-needed respite, there will be at least another fifteen people on my caseload, all needing services, all badly misunderstood.

My stutter is hard to listen to, but more importantly, my clients talk every moment in a different language, and their message is completely clear: "Help me."

My stutter will go away, but my clients' problems never will.

How I wish I could be more eloquent. Right now, all I can do is stutter. And it simply isn't enough.
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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