Speech is something most people take for granted. And most of those people have little to no understanding of what life is like for those who can’t do it well for whatever reason. I can’t speak to everything, as I only know about what I’ve experienced, but I aim to help those with similar problems overcome them as I did.
And part of that is educating the free speakers to be more compassionate, understanding, and helpful. Too often in my own life, such people mocked me, even when I was a child and they were an adult (and even a teacher of mine no less), and with no sign they thought this was inappropriate or in any way hurtful. Times have changed, but I know such people are still out there.
I speak freely myself now, in my 40s, and have been that way for over 15 years. I’m hopeful that I can do my small part to change my corner of the world, and maybe yours. Please feel free to comment on my pages or blogs here, or contact me with questions about one aspect or another of that old life I suffered through, the new life I enjoy, and how I journeyed from one to another.
When I was in third grade, my family began verbally and psychologically abusing me each time I spoke, causing me to associate speech with pain, rejection, failure, and humiliation. It’s no surprise I developed speech problems, including mumbling. Unfortunately, most people don’t see mumbling as a speech problem (I hope to change this) and are often cruel to those who do it, thereby continuing to associate speech with pain. It’s like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
I spoke less and less as I got older, becoming more withdrawn, depressed, isolated, hopeless, and anti-social. I also picked up many behaviors to hide and compensate for my inability, some of them leading me to unknowingly perpetuate a cycle of speech and pain.
I used to tell myself that I could tell you how I’d been pushed out of the conversation, out of the room, out of the house, out past the moon and other planets, and was living out my life on the far side of Pluto, in the cold and dark, where I belonged. I’d imagine you asking me how I came back. And I’d have looked at you with the resigned eyes of a man buried in learned helplessness before telling you this was the end. There was no coming back.
But I was wrong. I do belong here, and so do you. Now I can tell you how I came back (without speech therapy, as it turns out), and that’s what I intend both this blog to do. I hope that if you’re suffering from speech problems that some of my discoveries can help you, too. And it you know someone who doesn’t speak well, maybe you can learn how to help them or learn what not to do.
As someone who mumbled from the time I was in 3rd grade until I was almost 30 years old, I can tell you that my inability to speak clearly met with all sorts of rude responses that only made me more likely to mumble in the future, assuming I dared to try speaking again at […]
There are two kinds of ignoring: passive and active. Passive Ignoring Passive ignoring is the kind you’re familiar with. This is when we pretend someone is not actually present. If they speak, we don’t acknowledge this at all. It’s as if they said nothing. We don’t look at them, pretending the seat they’re in is […]
There are two kinds of conversational interruption: benign and malignant. Benign Interruption Benign interruption is the kind you’re familiar with. It happens once in a while. The person doing it often means to help you along or say something related to what you’re saying. They mean no harm. Since it’s technically rude, they will often […]
Speech is something most people take for granted. And most of those people have little to no understanding of what life is like for those who can’t do it well for whatever reason. I can’t speak to everything, as I only know about what I’ve experienced, but I aim to help those with similar problems […]