Make Room For The Stuttering

Loss of Control

Posted on: August 1, 2009

Probably one of the most helpless feelings a person can have is that feeling you get when you lose control. You  probably know what I mean. With me, my stomach feels like its going to bottom out, my chest gets tight, and my heart starts to pound so hard it feels like everyone can hear it. And my face heats up , I feel a lump in my throat and then my eyes start to well up. If the feeling lasts longer than a few seconds, the welling in my eyes spills over.

I feel loss of control when I get embarrassed, because these reactions happen automatically and involuntarily. I also feel loss of control when I get angry, or sad. I always felt like I should be able to control my reactions to feelings. Almost all of the same physical reactions occur.

Loss of control for me has always been significant because I always tried so hard to be in control. All my life I wanted to be in control when chaos swirled around me that I couldn’t control. Things that went on at home when I was kid, that weren’t my fault (but thought sometimes it was). I couldn’t control my father’s craziness. I couldn’t control my mother’s alcoholism. I couldn’t control my brother and sisters. I thought I wasn’t trying hard enough, and always felt guilty that these things were happening around me and I couldn’t do anything to change or control them.

I used to feel I had some control over my stuttering. Fairly early, I began to know which words or sounds I might stutter on, and concentrated on switching words or doing the avoidance thing. That stopped working for me long ago. I started feeling more in control when I dropped most of the covert stuttering and just let natural stuttering out. Since not fighting so hard to not stutter, I have felt pretty controlled with my easy, relaxed repetitions.

But not any more. Not since my stuttering started changing.  I have felt more and more out of control. My speech seems messier, I can’t predict stuttering moments like I used to be able to, and I feel more tense. People have noticed it. I have noticed it. I get embarrassed sometimes, especially when I am willing the physical reactions to not happen,and they do anyway. And then I get embarrassed because I am embarrassed.

Someone who has never stuttered really doesn’t know how it feels to get stuck, even for just a moment. You really do feel helpless, especially if you are around someone new or who is impatient. Even though I tell myself I don’t care what others think, or have at least reduced how much I worry about that, I still sometimes feel the sting of judgement and fear rejection. Even with all of my openness about my stuttering and my willingness to stutter publicly and just do me, that feeling of being negatively judged stays lodged somewhere in a corner of my mind. And then I wonder, will it ever really go away?

This is one of those tougher topics for me. I don’t like to admit that I am sort of a “control freak” and really notice when I feel the loss of it in my life. I guess I chose to write about it today because the control issue has been cropping up more and more for me. I am dealing with personal stressors and I notice much more tension in my overall me. My speech, my feelings, my emotions. I have been reacting much more strongly to the lack of control as well.

What do you think? Do you feel out of control when you get really stuck in a stuttering moment? Will that feeling ever completely go away?

3 Responses to "Loss of Control"

I have on many occasions and it is terrifying, I feel so helpless and embarrassed.

I am not sure it will go away, until we are completely alright with stuttering (if that is ever possible).

Thats a fair anology, I like it and will take it into consideration.

[…] wrote a post on Loss of Control five years ago! And it still rings true today. I want to share parts of that post in today’s […]

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