Shame feelings

October 2, 2008

Last week I assisted my nephew’s birthday and had the opportunity to talk to him and his little friends – most around 6. It seems that they perceived something strange in my speech and began to laugh at it and make jokes.

As soon as I detected it I paid more attention and began to control my fluency. However, I felt a clear feeling of shame. I didn’t get affected emotionally as the reaction was completely normal on children who are great perceiving (and punishing) difference :)

However, this has made me reflect on the issue as I’ve found common ground with another situation. Particularly, since I knew that a baby was coming, I have been thinking of how my stuttering will affect the relationship with my son. Again, a feeling of shame appears when I visualise myself stuttering in front of my children.

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4 Responses to “Shame feelings”

  1. Torpede Says:

    I’m turning 17 in a month, and am in my 12th year at high school. Graduation right over the corner, heh. Hey, I actually see you as a lucky man, because I would have never expected myself to get married in my condition. If you don’t mind me asking, how’d you find the girl for you? I’m sorry if I’m getting personal, but… Getting social with people is just hard as hell when you’re a stutterer.

    I agree, even sometimes, I wonder how my relationship with my son is gonna be. How my relationship with my wife is gonna be. And all that crap… Sometimes, I wonder how I’m gonna do during the college interview, or wonder how it’s gonna be at my job interview. You really think they’ll higher a “stutterer”? Is what I ask myself, and it’s sickening.

    It’s true, though… Shame is a huge part of stuttering, as well as being nervous, anxious, and the sort. My blockage method I use, would be placing an “Ah”, “Um”, or something of the sort. In certain situations, such as reading aloud in class, I’m forced to pronounce the words as they are. This is hard for me, so I attempt the blocking, but it just comes out with my lips moving radically I wonder how I’m gonna do anything in life, sometimes…

    Please, answer my questions. I’m a depressed 16 year old, who needs something to look forward to in life.


  2. Hi Torpede,

    Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you find it useful.
    I can imagine it is very difficult to you to confront social situations, specially with girls.
    In my case, I didn’t find my wife…we could say it was a lucky coincidence during a party. We were friends but didn’t imagine we would get any further :)
    Now, I would say that major barriers when setting up relationships with girls are inside ourselves.
    From your message it seems that you have very low expectations on getting married. Try to change this picture or this will turn a self-fulfilling prophecy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-fulfilling_prophecy)

    Stuttering cause severe psychological side effects such as low self-esteem, avoidance, etc…These feed the fear and insecurity loop which severely affect fluency.
    Consenquently, from my humble perspective, I would try to work out increasing your self-esteem and getting
    as much tools as you can to confront this problem.
    Despite research suggests that stuttering may not be solved with psychological therapy, its side effects can be.Removing these side effects will dramatically improve your fluency and make you a more balance and happy person.

    In the end, ideally you may see fluency problems as a distinctive feature of yourself…but not necessarily a bad one.For example, I am completely sure I wouldn’t be so constant and decided if I wouldn’t have needed to re-affirm myself because of stuttering.

    Let me point out some actions you may try:
    + Go to therapy – nice place to understand stuttering and get tools to improve your fluency
    + Try to understand what drives fluency, self-steem, fear, etc..
    I read many books/webs on psychology. These are some of them I like very much:
    * “The Treatment of Stuttering” by Van Riper
    * “Self-Therapy for the Stutterer” by Malcolm Fraser (http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/TherapyWWW/selftherapy.html)
    * “The Psychology of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden
    * “Your Erroneous Zones” by Wayne W. Dyer
    * “Pulling Your Own Strings” by Wayne W. Dyer
    * “When I Say No, I Feel Guilty” by Manuel J. Smith

    Bear in mind I like theory a lot. So, don’t try to follow the theory path if you find uncomfortable with this path.If you go to therapy it is likely they show you many different approaches to increase fluency.

    + Remember that the most important person in the world for you MUST BE YOU. Learn to love yourself and to take action to create the conditions to be happy.
    + Tell yourself you’re in the way to solutions. Don’t compare your situation with the final goal but with the starting path. You’ll be feel better and surprised on how much progress you have achieved.
    + Set goals you can achieve.If the final goal seems too difficult, attempt small ones so that you can achieve them and feel motivated enough to stretch yourself and
    attempt more diffult ones.

    No much time left today…I hope you find this useful and try to find your own way!

    Good luck!

  3. a stutterer's wife Says:

    Hi Torpede
    I have been married for many years now to a man who used to stutter quite a lot – certainly when we first met. I didn’t think about his stutter at all or care about it – it was the person behind that attracted me and that I grew to love. If anything I found it quite special – a kind of vulnerability. Gradually, as we’ve been married and he’s gained in confidence and I guess felt more secure, the stutter has greatly improved.

    Hope that gives you something to think about -

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