In response to Ashish Agarwal’s request …
As far as my memory goes I have been friends with stutter since I was 6 years old..i can not pinpoint the time or the situation when I started my companionship with my stutter..wish I could..wish I had known the exact trigger of my stutter, it’s been shadowing me all these years..The shadow changes its length ..intensity..size..every moment ..yes sometimes it vaporizes..perhaps it needs its occasional breaks too ..:) But then back it comes.. after a gulp of fresh air or two and robs and chokes me of my share of air ....again…and again…!!!
School Time :
· School till 11th was a like a torture zone..specially the attendance..i use to shiver,,hallucinate..feel dizzy..scared..before that session..i hated that part of my schooling..THE ATTENDENCE..
· I developed this trick eventually to evade attendance answering… I used to stand outside the class before attendance ..used to wait for my name being called ..used to walk in after that so that the teacher would see me and mark me absent ..sadly as a result I started getting punishment for coming in late..but that seemed better than the roll call..
· Teachers would consider me someone with a low IQ ..a misfit in the class..as I would just stand like a statue when asked to read out..i would feel dizzy..noises of other students amplified in my ears..hurting my ears..words suddenly become unreadable..voice lost..alphabets would start changing shapes.. Hallucination would creep in…followed by humiliation either in a subtle or a on the face manner from my fellow students …
· 12th brought out a different side in me….i somehow started to understand my stammer..and how it got triggered..i could feel anxiety would make my stutter worse ..once while roll call was on..i started singing to myself..Talking to others..Consciously trying to block my brain from giving much importance to the roll call session…and then suddenly I hear my name being called..and I in response I just say..”Present Mam”…in the perfect voice..perfect octave..
· Alas the trick did not work all the days..but worked 80 % of the time..a leap from 1 % to 80 % strike rate was huge..
One thing was clear…anxiety..was the trigger and fuel ..of my stutter..i tried to control it..but the moment I tried to control..it became a conscious effort..and made me more anxious..it became a infinite loop..and I would be back to stutter again..
College : Same scenario ..Stuttering graduated with me …J
Worklife : Was a complete turn around..the first salary..responsibility ..power..own byke..new love..friends..parties..adventures.. made me forget that I stutter..not that id didnt.. I didn’t have time to notice it..i was running high on testosterone and low on time to even think of my stutter J
Though I also had few sad experiences at interviews..have made a story out of it… http://bluekitedreamz.blogspot.in/2009/01/speechless.html
I started reading a lot..Books of all genres..even the contents of recycled newpaper paper bags didn’t escape me..:)Vocabulary increased…
Gradually I started tricking my speech..Juggling with words..and phrases..Substitution..i started slow..still gaining on it and using it to my advantage..
I still have days when nothing works..but then I am not angry ..i also do not get angry at others who do not understand my speech fault..i am working only on my anxiety ..and adding layers to my personality..which act like floaters to me when in rough sea of stuttering.. gives me confidence..
I do not propose my trick to anyone else..but it works fine with me. Today I have become opposite of what I used to be..and its been hard work....today I love to talk..Take the lead while speaking…I stutter or not doesn’t matter much..
I am awaiting your comments and questions..i also know I would be termed as covert stutter..but I would address that in my next post…..