Make Room For The Stuttering

Even When I Stutter

Posted on: March 1, 2009

For a long time, I hated to hear myself speaking. I would refuse to leave messages on answering machines and hated to even record my own greeting messages on voicemail boxes. When I have to do it, I sometimes will re-record my message over and over until it is perfect. I thought I sounded bad, and no one would want to hear me if I let loose and allowed any stuttering out.

I have had to record greetings on my voicemail at work, several times, when we have got a new system. I have done it at home, and of course on my cell phone. The last time I did it at work, it took over a half hour, because I recorded it over about 10 times. Every time I stuttered, I would stop and start over. I do stutter when alone and talking to myself. I was nervous that someone would come to the door, and hear me saying the same thing over and over again.

Now, its pretty ridiculous when you think about it, because I sound how I sound. Why should I go to such great lengths to make my recorded voice sound different than how I sound in everyday life, talking in real time? Because I was worried about what other people would think. I was worried about negative reactions. When I think about it, anyone who knows me would probably never have the nerve to say, “Wow, I heard your voice mail message, and you sounded horrible with that little bit of stuttering”.

I don’t sound that bad. I have gone out of my comfort zone many times over the last year, and recorded myself on pod casts and YouTube videos. And I don’t sound that bad. My voice actually sounds pretty good, even when I stutter. It is strong, varied, I use pitch to my advantage (Can you tell I am in Toastmasters?) and its not unpleasant to listen to. How do I know this? People have told me. At first, I didn’t believe them. But when I started listening to myself, I realized I had wasted a lot of time obsessing about nothing. I sound like pretty much anyone else on a recording. Different than in real-time, but Me.

Even when I stutter. Its pretty easy, relaxed stuttering. Its me. So there, I have admitted something that has always been one of my nonsense worries. Whew, now I won’t waste any more sleepless nights over that one.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.