My stammer

At the moment I’m looking again at my stammer/ stutter, and my feeling and emotions about it.

In the 1970s, Dr. Joseph Sheenan characterized a stammer as an iceberg, with the relatively ‘small’ visible indications of the struggle of stuttering above the surface, and a great weight of negative thoughts and emotions that build up beneath.

Others have built on this analogy, with the Iceberg Beast (more, another image).

For me the visible traits are:

  • Blocking — this is the basic character of my stammer now, and has been for a long time;
  • Repetition — I don’t do much of this now — I did a lot when I was younger (the classic “p-p-please”);
  • Physical tension — in my neck, shoulders, jaw …;
  • Avoidance — I try to do less of this — avoiding situations (e.g. phone calls), sounds, words;

The invisible baggage:

  • Anger — less of this now, I’m glad to say;
  • Resentment — I’m trying to reduce this;
  • Denial — I don’t think I’ve told people, or myself, how much my stammer has shaped me, and my life, and how unhappy it’s made me feel at times;
  • Frustration — some;
  • Shame, hopelessness, anxiety … — a problem when I was in my teens, less now?!
  • Isolation — again, in my pre-teens, teens, twenties … I have more support now;
  • Self-reproach — I only thought of this recently!
  • Fear — maybe some lingers?

Does this help you?

Other blog posts relating to stammering/stuttering: 2010, 2011 & 2017.

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