Make Room For The Stuttering

Unfelt Feelings

Posted on: July 13, 2009

How do you know when you have found something inside you that needs to be felt and processed? It comes to you, suddenly perhaps, and won’t leave until you deal with it. Feelings are not easy to deal with. They leave you vulnerable, mushy, sometimes raw. I have been almost buckled under lately by an overwhelming feeling of sadness that just won’t go away. Sometimes, for no reason at all, I feel all teary-eyed with a sudden lump in my throat. Then I am trying to push something down.

I think this unfelt feeling is grief. It sure feels like grief. I feel like I am missing something, and you feel grief when you are experiencing loss.

I may be experiencing loss of my former stuttering self. For three years, I have been gradually more and more overt with my stuttering, and in turn, more and more accepting. In many instances, I have nearly lost the covertness I had for so long. With the gradual open stuttering came a lightness within me. As my stuttering self relaxed, I was at ease publicly stuttering and publicly disclosing. People remarked that my stuttering has been easy and relaxed and very easy to listen to.

Now, however, there has been a shift. My stuttering is not easy and relaxed. There is tension and I am uncomfortable. I miss the easiness I had. I miss the ease I had talking about stuttering. This is not the part that I wanted to “die to”. This may indeed be the loss that I am grieving.

I talked on the phone with a friend recently. She stutters and has had a long journey of ups and downs, trying to find an acceptable balance with stuttering in her every day life. She said something that quite startled me. And she prefaced it with one of those “I hope this won’t offend you” ( you immediately brace yourself for the worst when someone says that). Anyway, she says that when she first met me, I was bubbly and full of laughter. Now, I seem to have lost  that, and I appear to be more solid.

So, is it the laughter I am missing, mourning? Is solid bad? Am I am not  relaxed and laughing with my stuttering anymore? Is it that obvious? We talked about how the journey takes us in different directions and where this might bring me. 

Feelings have a funny way of showing up announced, leaving you feeling all mushy and raw, don’t they?

4 Responses to "Unfelt Feelings"

Hi Pam-
When I first came out about my stuttering about 4 or 5 years ago, I initially felt great. The euphoria for me stopped shortly after because I think in some way I felt that if I came out and disclosed my stuttering, I would stop stuttering. I can relate to your grieving because that is kind of how I felt. The good news is that I was able to turn that into recovery. I started to use my fluency tools and became so much more fluent. Not only that, I stopped thinking about my stuttering all the time. I think you are on a wonderful journey that will lead you to what you ultimately are looking for. Believe it or not, you might not even know what that will be yet. There will be bumps along the way, but I think you are on the right track. Lori

You may be recovering repressed emotions from your childhood that have nothing whatsoever to do with stuttering. I went through something similar a few years ago, when the feelings associated with my parents’ divorce all came back to me at once, even though I hadn’t thought about that in decades (literally.) The trigger was that my daughter was the same age I’d been when my father moved out, and suddenly I was processing all the old unfelt feelings.

You’ve described enough childhood trauma on this weblog that you might well be uncovering feelings associated with any of those circumstances.

I completely can relate to the first sentence. For the past twelve years (how long I have stuttered) I have suppressed my emotions. Anytime I had a bad experience I would forget about it as quickly as possible.

About a month ago, I got to a point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. I am trying to figure out how to deal with them. I have talked to a couple people about my stuttering and the emotions that go along with it.

I miss the Pam I met, the Pam I was counting on to help me become covert and accept my stuttering more. Of late each post I read, I feel like I am losing her more and more.

The person who made the second comment is right, it could be supressed feelings from childhood, or it could be current struggles in your life that is causing you anxiety and anxiety causes us to stutter more.

Dont lose yourself Pam, you are on the right path to total acceptance of yourself.

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