Make Room For The Stuttering

The Importance Of Control

Posted on: August 15, 2014

I 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 blog post.

Probably one of the most helpless feelings a person can have is that feeling you get when you lose control when speaking. You probably know what I mean.

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, my eyes spill 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.

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 sometimes my speech is messy. I can’t predict stuttering moments like I used to be able to, and I feel more tension and lack of control.

I often feel helpless, especially when around someone new or who is impatient.

Even though I tell myself I don’t care what others think, I still sometimes feel the sting of judgment and fear rejection.

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

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1 Response to "The Importance Of Control"

What a great post, Pam! I think that you’re absolutely right in identifying loss of control as one of the most problematic aspects of stuttering. It’s basically at the core of all the difficulties which we experience. I’m not sure that one can ever become immune to the sense of helplessness that envelopes you when you simply can’t articulate the words that are in your head.

The unpredictability of stuttering accentuates this. You can be in a queue in a shop, rehearsing what you want to say but the fact is that you don’t know what will happen when your turn comes to speak. You might be fine or you might be incapable of progressing beyond the initial syllable of the first word. You can issue stern instructions to yourself ‘not to care’ and, on a good day, your emotions will obey. However, all too often, you’re just left feeling acutely frustrated and embarrassed. That’s my experience, anyway …

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