March 4, 2014 at 10:18 am #49399
I’ve forgot one thing: the story of the limp.
That thought experiment was the very one, with which I stopped my stutter.
Stopped it. For me it wasn’t as gradual as for Hans, but about one second.
Maybe two; the time of a recognition. Before that second: almost mute. After that second: totally, unspeakably fluent, as if I had been speaking with the wrong parts of my brain. I couldn’t even stutter on purpose.
So, before my recognition I was thinking exactly about the following parable, almost exactly like that. Have a good read, have a good thinking! Recognition, understanding stuttering, is the only way for a fast cure. Living with a cured self, with your new life: it’s another story, with much greater problems than stuttering itself. Freedom can be frightening. Are you ready for that? Are you really want to be free?
With that story, I really say goodbye.
THE STORY OF THE LIMP
There was a woman who got easily very anxious. And because of an almost constant anxiety her muscles became tense, cramp. She felt that she had to be aware, be ready for the escape, because anybody could hurt her. It’s a strange world. Or is she strange? Anyway, she had to fear it all. She had a cramp by that all over her body.
But it all wasn’t a big problem. As a child, she was pretty normal. A little bit more insecure.
Until one day something happened.
One day, she saw her mothers gaze: her mother looked at her leg puzzled. And what was even stranger: she didn’t say anything. Just that gaze…
Then the little child became really anxious: it’s not that she has a hard time, but she has another specific problem, which gives to her mother a hard time. It’s her leg. Her leg?!
She gazed into the mirror and viewed extensively her leg. She walked up and down, but saw nothing. So she tried to forget it all.
But among people she became aware of their gaze too. She heard someone whisper: “I didn’t know that she’s a LIMP”.
A LIMP?!?! – she asked herself really surprised and frightened.
But how? She didn’t know herself as a limp. Her mother niether. No, it can’t be true! She had to do something against this awful problem. At home – there is no problem at all, she walks fluently, so she can force herself to walk like that among people too.
So she became to focus on her leg while walking among people.
She became aware that she indeed walked strangely, yes, she may limped a little. What she experienced was that at first came an inner tension, an anxiety among people, and with that a cramp in her leg, and then – she limped. She wasn’t limp by nature, but she limped nevertheless. Awful! Ridicoulus!
She decided to do something against it. When she felt the fear and anxiety coming among people, she knew that she will have a hard time walking. So she tensed up her muscles of her leg really tight, to be able to walk normally, like normal people do.
And with that something wonderful happened: she walked fluently! She didn’t limp even a bit, even normal people limped more sometimes when they were tired and walked weak. Success!!
Her mother was so proud and relieved, that it was one of the best days of her life. Everything will be okay! Limping is not a problem! She can fight it; she can defeat it!
So since that first success, she started to use that technique, tensing up her leg-muscles before walking. She always did very good, more or less. Sometimes wonderful.
But, silently, a new fear crawled upon her. In the outside she was totally back to normal: hey, she was even more normal and confident than before the defeated limp! But in the inside, she felt an exact thing, a very troubling one: that it is more and more harder to tense up her leg-muscles.
As if they were giving her a more and more harder time on purpose, those awful, weak muscles! Well, maybe I’m indeed a limp?! I indeed have abnormal leg-muscles, probably… – she started to think. But she had no choice but to fake the ease of her walking in the outside among others.
So she gave it a really big time, to focus more and more, to be able to tense up her muscles. It was a roller-coaster. She didn’t understand it at all. Sometimes she could walk fluently when she was tired, sometimes the opposite; when she was happy, she was completely fluent, but she was less and less happy. Because, in the end, she was a limp, faking normality.
Even worse, everybody knew that she had a hard time. She thought that they don’t see it, because she was so into her technique and walking-awareness, but she walked more and more strange. And sometimes, when she couldn’t focus, it was suddenly very apparent, that she limped, and it was rather embarrassing, that she obviously wanted to hide it and fake it. And guess what, when they had remarks on the truth, she attacked them, at least secretly. “They don’t know it, what is it to be a limp.”
Since her childhood, everything became worse and worse. She had a constant fight day by day that nobody understood. With her freaking leg! She became more and more disgusted by herself, darker and more depressed. And one day, she lost it all: the control.
She began to limp really awful now. It was so lame, that everybody was embarrassed and frightened by it. It now wasn’t just occasional limp or the strangeness of the walking, but an awful view of a total wacko dragging herself among normal people.
And there came a time, when she almost couldn’t walk at all. Tensing up her leg-muscles to be able to kill that awful cramp what made her limp, was more and more harder, sometimes purely impossible. Nobody understood: how can she walk almost normally for ten meters, and then have suddenly really bad cramps?! She didn’t understand it either.
She became morose, ironic, but deep down lost forever.
In the end, she hardly could walk even alone. She was at the end of her rope.
Then she saw a stutterer. It was funny: he had the same issues, very much the same. She began to think about him, that awful man, that stutterer. It was good to see her problem in an alienated view.
What she saw was that the stutterer tensed up his throat-muscles the same way to be able to speak. That way he managed to speak, but sometimes it was awful, he “limped” all the way.
But when she saw it from more close, she realized, that it was not the tension, what made the cramp go away even for a second, but the tension becoming relaxed, the relaxing of the tension, so the moment after the created tension, not the tension itself. So what she saw was: anxiety-cramp, tension, the relaxing of the muscle and with that a moment of fluency, a moment of relaxed muscles.
But, she wondered, what creates that awful cramp, which I need to trick with that tension-relaxation technique…? After the tension-relaxation comes a more tired muscle, okay, surely I’ll have a harder time next time, but this tension is my only friend in that war against the limp, my only sword, my only success…
And then, she, who had thought herself to be a life-long limp, understood everything:
“Exactly that very tension, which I create before a walking-situation, makes my leg-muscles after even a big success even more cramp, tired, which cramp I have to beat with an even stronger created tension the next time, which then makes my leg-muscles after that even more cramp … OH MY GOD!!!
What?! Is it possible, that I’ve been a fool all around?!?! Oh my God! That almost all of my problems I made for myself?! I stop the tensing up and I’m free?!
I never was a limp!! I made myself into one!!! I was not a limp, but a fool!! Ahh-haha-ha-ha-haha-ha!!”
– And with that, she ran in tears outside, dancing in the street, getting her life back from fate, crying and laughing at the same time.
She was happy and everybody was happy to see such a bright sensation. Just the stutterer looked at her with angry eyes at the corner of one street, saying to himself: “Y-y-eah, i-it’s ea-ea-ea-s-s-s-y, t-t-to b-b-be ha-ha-ha-p-p-py, w-w-hen y-y-y-y-you’re f-f-f, f-f-f, f-f-fl-, fl-fl-fl-
Nevermind.”April 17, 2014 at 1:57 pm #49626
I recommend all of you to read Allen Carr’s book about smoking. Even you’re not a smoker: because you are addicted to “tensing up to achieve fluency”. It’s the same foolishness, take a glimps:
“Carr teaches that, contrary to their perception, smokers do not receive a boost from smoking a cigarette: smoking only relieves the withdrawal symptoms from the previous cigarette, which in turn creates more withdrawal symptoms once it is finished. In this way the drug addiction perpetuates itself. He asserted that the “relief” smokers feel on lighting a cigarette, the feeling of being “back to normal”, is the feeling experienced by non-smokers all the time. So that smokers, when they light a cigarette are really trying to achieve a state that non-smokers enjoy their whole lives. He further asserted that withdrawal symptoms are actually created by doubt and fear in the mind of the ex-smoker, and therefore that stopping smoking is not as traumatic as is commonly assumed, if that doubt and fear can be removed.”
And again, because you stutterers are plain dumb, really really dumb, like all drug-addicts. So: “Carr teaches that, contrary to their perception, smokers do not receive a boost from smoking a cigarette: smoking only relieves the withdrawal symptoms from the previous cigarette, which in turn creates more withdrawal symptoms once it is finished.”
I repeat: with that moment of recognition I became in one tiny second comepletely fluent.
I say it again. With thinking over, why I do tensing up before speaking, I became in one moment so fluent, that even the kind of “talking to myself” fluency was a big fat lie compared to that.
And because you stutterers are really, really like mules when it comes to your “terrible affliction”, I translate once more the massage: “Contrary to their perception, stutterers do not receive a boost in their fluency from tensing up before speaking: tensing up only relieves the anxious need to create fluency, which need comes from the previous seemingly successful tensing up, which in turn in reality creates more dependence on the tensing up method, hence more anxiety needed to be relieved. When it comes to the point, when no tensing up can be produced to relieve that much anxiety (created by tensing up!), the brain drains and the throat becomes blocked: accidental stuttering becomes blocking stammering.”April 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm #49654
phylostam, I found adjusting to freedom from fear both wonderful and extremely difficult. I would value reading your experience of this time in your life.
HansApril 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm #49653
This is an extract from a newspaper article written by Martin Hunter Jones, who has a counselling and hypnotherapy practice in Sydney.
There exists a mental condition called Multiple Personality Disorder, where a person experiences a switch from one distinct identity to another. Not only do sufferers switch personality and behaviour; the different personalities experience a distinctly different physiology. For example, one personality might need glasses for an observable fault in his eyes, while another personality inhabiting the same body does not need glasses due to the eyes being normal.
This shows that the mind, expressing a personality, causes the physical conditions that the body experiences. There is a huge amount of evidence to support the assertion that the mind actually forms the physical. To ignore this evidence, because it doesn’t fit into our modern scientific thinking, is a hypocritical refusal to apply the very notions of open-minded inquiry science prides itself on.
In other words, you are what you think. Change your thinking and you change your personality, including your physiology. This can happen gradually, over many months or years (Hans), or in an instant (phylostram).
There are a few annoying physical symptoms of growing older that are troubling me, such as short-sightedness and having to pee three times during the night. Might thinking young thoughts revers these conditions? Worth an honest try, me thinks.
HansAugust 18, 2014 at 6:23 am #49908
William Parry –
I’m always saying the very same in my own ways.
It feels really great that I don’t have to become some kind of stuttering guru.
Then everything is out there. Everything is solved.
When I understood that vicious circle described theoretically by Parry, I literally stopped stuttering.
Take care.August 28, 2014 at 8:55 am #49940
philostam, This is very interesting. Thanks for posting this. I have been stuttering since I was 8 or so. I’m 20 now. I’ve also enjoyed reading many of your other posts. I must say, it is a bit unbelieveable to hear that you were almost completely mute, and were able to become completely fluent almost instantaneously. Most of the time, my stuttering is mild. It’s only severe when in the very beginning of a conversation, or when I’m asked to introduce myself. Immediately after I finish introducing myself (sometimes after a few seconds of silence and blocks) the muscles of my throat relax and am able to speak somewhat fluently. So there is some truth to what you’re saying.
Ultimately, I think stuttering is physiological and psychological. It’s a viscious cycle. Some people are predisposed to stuttering, and the subsequent fear and terror of stuttering that they develop afterwards worsen the act of stuttering even more. Because of that, I think in most cases there are many ways to ”cure” stuttering. It could be through pharmaceuticals, drugs, meditation, diet, vitamins (I’ll be experimenting with thiamine and magnesium soon), or eliminating the fear of stuttering itself. I think everyone who stutters will benefit by eliminating that fear, tension, and terror they feel before they speak, so I will be working on that as well. I need to be more mindful of how my vocal cords tense up when I’m in a ”stressful speaking situation.” If I’m talking to a family member for example, my stuttering is very mild and I feel relaxed. When talking to a group of strangers, I tense up and stutter moderately. If it’s a large crowd, it’s even worse. But this doesn’t mean that stuttering is entirely psychological, since there are people full of fear and anxiety of public speaking who doesn’t stutter. There is a physiological component to it as well. The question is which is more dominant: the physiological or the psychological aspect? how did stuttering even began? Was it mind acting on the body which caused it to be embedded in dna? or did evolution screw up somewhere? These are interesting questions worth thinking about.
Good luck to everyone who read this.May 18, 2016 at 7:30 am #52764
I need your help, I believe in your system. Can we chat in 1 on 1 one of these days?
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