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Silent Strength: My Unspoken Journey

In the calm embrace of this Sunday morning, I, Sumiko Nakano, sit down to pen a chapter of my life that has silently sculpted the person I am today. My narrative is not laced with words spoken aloud, but with silent expressions of strength and resilience. Today, I wish to share a snippet of that narrative regarding my speech disability with you, dear readers.


The genesis of my speech disability is rooted in a harrowing car accident that occurred when I was merely three years old. That fatal incident took away my beloved parents and left me with damaged vocal cords. The medical personnel in Japan at the time either misdiagnosed or overlooked the severity of my vocal cord injury. My silence, attributed to the trauma and loss, did not raise the concerns it perhaps should have.


Upon being warmly embraced by my adoptive family and moving to the shores of the UK, the misconception surrounding my silence continued. It was not until a thorough medical examination at the age of six that the irreversible damage to my vocal cords was discovered. The reality was stark; I was to navigate through life without the ability to speak.


However, this speech disability propelled me onto a path of non-verbal expression. The realm of martial arts became my sanctuary, my medium of communication. Each technique, each stance, each combat maneuver became a word, a sentence, a narrative. The octagon turned into a domain where I could articulate my journey, my resilience, and my fortitude without uttering a single word.


I've never perceived my speech disability as a limitation. Instead, it’s a unique facet of my identity, a silent companion on my journey. It has honed my ability to communicate beyond conventional means, forging a silent yet robust connection with the world around me.


Through this blog, I aim to share a glimpse into the silent sphere I navigate daily. It's a testament to the potential within us all to adapt and communicate, irrespective of life’s hurdles.


As I reflect on my journey thus far, I am reminded of the boundless ways in which we can express ourselves and connect with one another, beyond the spoken word.


With silent gratitude,


Sumiko Nakano

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