My explanation was really quite simple. My speech therapist had wanted me to speak in a slow sing-songy voice that was not my own. I did not want to speak in this voice. It required that I take longer to think before speaking, it required that I delay emotions and reactions and that I take a lot of time, bending my face and vocal chords, to achieve clarity.
But what does so-called clarity mean if it is not my voice? Surely, people can hear me without trying in the sing-songy voice. Yes, my words have more flow. But where is the intensity of ranting? Where is excitement? where is anger? These things could not be expressed in the sing-songy voice. These things were erased.
This is a consistent experience for me: therapy solutions always ask me to flatten the texture of my experience. They ask my voice, my body, my possessions, my movements---to be simplified. They want to pave over my bumps. They want to morph me into a copy of a statue. They would have me change my body and speech and presence into a statue for someone else's garden.
That life is not a life I can see myself living. I treasure the ups and downs. The silences and the static. I treasure the free expression and while sometimes that expression is sad, my spirit lives in the continual dives and climbs. My mind is more creative because it can be excited and then nihilistic. My voice means more and contains more passion cause it is curved not flat.
It was important to me as a child to have a complex and uneven voice but be able to own that voice as my own as a voice that I chose to have. It remains important that people have make extra effort to hear me. My voice is valuable as an appendage that moves with my emotions and physicality. My voice lives with my complexity and the messiness of my experience and that is why I am proud to be dysfluent.