(Please excuse the self-absorption of these detailed posts about my life experience, but they serve me well as fodder in my consultations with my psychiatrist and speech therapists.)
It’s hard being mute. Today is day three. I’ve excused myself from everything on my schedule for the next week.
Fear is creeping in. My voice has become worse just as suddenly as it initially broke. I am going in the wrong direction.
The poor woman at the Fiat yesterday did not know how to deal with me. She kept communicating with me as though I was also deaf but her kindness was as evident as her ineptitude.
Whatever is wrong affects my whole body. The very first thing that happens if I try to talk is that my arms move. My arms and wrists bend close by my side and they tremble like the fledgling wings of baby birds. Tuesday, I kept trying to “push through” and talk and not only did my arms go crazy, I got cramps in my legs and feet from the strain.
When I lived in France, I dated (and was smitten with) a fellow who was deaf. Poor Henri struggled with reading lips that could barely speak French. Two decades later my pal Pete went blind.
Pete and I were spiritually and intellectually intimate; with Henri, our only intimacy was physical. Pete and I lived in the same world but Henri lived in another world.
Right now, I live in another world too. I feel alone “in here.” Only on this blog do I have a full vocabulary and grammar; only here do I have a voice.
- I have one
interesting and one predictable thing to add:Walking home from taking my car
in, I came upon a woman with a beautiful young puppy. When the puppy approached
me, the woman stopped so that I could have a moment with her dog. Then, when
she spoke to me, I answered easily with no stutter. It was just a phrase, but
it was clear. Then a man approached with another puppy and I easily engaged
with both him and the woman.
- Chris and Frani came to visit me here in my house. When they arrived, when I went downstairs to walk them and their car into our garage, I felt very apprehensive. When we went upstairs, speech was very difficult but after about twenty minutes, I was talking very well — certainly well enough to forget completely that I had any kind of fluency issue — until I, my speech and/or my past became a subject of discussion. This is not new; self-consciousness is a voice killer.
I have to go and get my car and as soon as I thought of that, dread overtook me. To some degree, I may be living a Catch 22 existence wherein a fear of being unable to speak further inhibits my ability to speak.
Today is an excellent day to get started on my wheat dress. It’s supposed to rain all day. I need to get my mind off my speech.