Make Room For The Stuttering

Feeling Self-Conscious

Posted on: August 18, 2010

I want to see how others feel about this. I sometimes feel self-conscious when stuttering, not always, but certain times when I stutter a certain way. And it feels odd considering I accept my stuttering.

For example, just last night,  I felt a wave of self-consciousness when I left work. I always say good night to the Maintenance guy. I am no fool – there are certain people you should be nice to. (Well, you should be nice to everyone, right?) If I want my trash emptied every day and an occasional box of tissue for the office,  I make it a point to chat briefly with him daily.

He is always the last one out of the building – he has to wait until we all leave so he can set the alarms. Sometimes he is waiting for us to leave, other times he is in his office down the hall. On those occasions, I usually yell, “Night, Doug!”

I almost never say “good night” because I never know how the “g” is going to come out. There, I said it. Guilty as charged. I stutter sometimes on the “ga” sound, so tend to avoid it when I have to yell my greeting. Silly, minor, trivial . . . . but I am very aware that I do that.

Well, last night I must not have been thinking. I yelled “Good night, Doug” and it came out “Ga-ga-ga-ga-ga-good night. ” Yikes. I felt it – so self-conscious, because the people I was walking out with heard it. Nothing happened. They didn’t comment, I didn’t get struck by lightning.

But I still felt that feeling – tightening of the chest, quick flush of the face, sped up heart beat. I also wrote about this on Feb 10, 2010.

Do you ever experience that? What makes you feel self-conscious about your stuttering?

13 Responses to "Feeling Self-Conscious"

You better believe I feel it sometimes. In those moments, I have to remind myself that I am a person who stutterers and I just stuttered. Nothing more, or less.

“I think we all feel vulnerable at times Pam. Usually I don’t give a damn but there are times when I do feel really annoyed with myself when I get that self conscious feeling. I suppose it depends on the mood we are in at the time, don’t you?”

Yes, that has happens to me very often. It happens when I don’t like what I am hearing. I make some noise, like prolong the s in a word or repeat the t in a word many times. Since my main pattern is blocking I am working on densentizing myself to hearing those stuttering noises. And realizing that that IS better than blocking.

Sometimes I can be totally fluent. Until I pick up the phone. It’s like a bucket of cold water. But I try to shake it off and continue with what my message was. I do feel slightly chilled afterwards though. But life goes on. “

Of course you feel self-conscious sometimes about your stuttering. You’re human. And you are also allowed too feel that way. We may accept stuttering.. but it still is what it is.. and we still sound different than everyone else.

Yes, lightening didn’t strike. There; the world still turns. Wasn’t there a time when that would have set you off into a crying fit instead of feeling a little self conscious? It would have to me. You’ve come a LONG way- you are allowed to be imperfect sometimes. And then… you live on!

Pam, I to feel like that at times. I can be almost totaly fluent at work. But every once in awhile it just hits me. I hate it when customers are around and just fear “THE LOOK” I guess that just goes with stuttering. We just have to remind ourselves “It’s OK To Stutter.” Besides you stutter like a RockStar and Rock Stars don’t care 🙂

I have had tremendous success in dealing with the “Self -Conscious” ness and guilt that you speak of. It has been the single most difficult part of my therapy experience, yet I am forever grateful for the therapist that led me to it and helped me attain it.

I have unending IDGAS when it comes to my stuttering…

Retz, what are IDGAS or did you mean IDEAS? And what type of therapy helped you most in dealing with the vulnerability, guilt and shame?

I’ll try and keep this short.

Speaking as a PWS, I had experienced 14 continuous years (age 3 – 17) of what I view as traditional therapy – Doman Delacato Therapy, fluency training/fluency shaping therapy, stuttering modification therapy, “Hybrid” therapy, DAF therapy and Drug therapy. By the age of 17, after seriously experiencing these types of therapies, I had developed into a “severe” stutterer and exhibited the ultimate stuttering behavior, chosen silence.

I then experienced a stuttering therapy approach that emphasized increasing talking, even if I did stutter, decreasing communication apprehension ( emphasis on decreasing the fear of talking and decreasing the fear of speaking), increasing interaction with others and therapist provided counseling to identified significant listeners in my life. Interestingly enough, this type of therapy discouraged me — almost forbid me — to use any type of previously learned “techniques” ever. It was OK to stutter!!!

One of the major results of this therapy approach for me was the release of the natural speech I already possessed. (I could always talk without stuttering, as long as nobody else was around!)

IDGAS = I DON’T GIVE A SHIT. For me, this was the most difficult part of the therapy approach for me to acquire and own. It was the KEY ingredient for me!

I still stutter but the ratio of stuttered speech VS natural speech is unbelievably remarkable to me when I consider where I was. Many professional SLP’s have remarked to me that they find it hard to believe I ever stuttered. I always tell’em stuttering was a gift that I am glad I received! It taught me so much and have learned so much because of it and all it brought to me.

I am so grateful to the therapist and the therapy trip he took me on. The journey was/is way beyond what I ever thought possible . The freedom to speak without fear of stuttering or talking has been – is – an incredible life changing experience for me… I just don’t give a shit anymore.

Wow, thanks so much for sharing all that. I can really understand and almost glimpse that journey.
That must be such incredible liberation for you. I have never stuttered consistently severely, did more than now as a kid, but I can very much relate to your feelings.
I hope you get to share this with others. Do you still stay in touch with that life-altering therapist?

The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds In A Material World…

I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

Hey Pam:), I am very self conscious of my stuttering even if it so happens that no one heard it, it still makes me feel uncomfortable and ashamed. If I stutter profoundly I feel like everyone is watching and judging even if if they are not or don’t care. I don’t really have that “I don’t care it is ok” attitude down packed yet;O

Yes I feel that and lately it’s become worse to the point I want to talk but I can’t. A few months ago it use to be so much better.

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