Stammering is already a very confusing phenomena: scientists are still working to find out a comprehensive theory of causation. Common man just cant get over the variability: But he was speaking fine just now.. What happened suddenly? Everyone is confused.
This confusion is further spiced up by labels which make perfect sense to user but little objective understanding to the listener. For a long time, I thought that I am a “mild stammerer”. Then, I read about “covert stammering”, “Internalized stammering”, “Synonym stammerer” etc.
Still later, I read Sheehan: His iceberg made sense in a very personal way. Stammering is not what we do with our mouth. 90% of the problem, core of the problem is how we FEEL about communication in general- and our speech in particular. All the inner emotions (“Pain body” a la Eckharte) of guilt, shame, fear, loneliness, excitement etc. really constitute what goes under the name of stammering.
That being the case, how do we categorise people’s stammering difficulties? Someone may speak fine in most situations but may have HUGE emotional baggage related to communication, relationships, commitment etc. May be quite disabled socially. Should we call it “mild stammering”?
Another pws may have difficulty on every second word but is totally “un-ashamed” and goes ahead and speaks at every opportunity: should we label him Severe stutterer? I am sure you begin to see what I am driving at.
Another problem: when we say, I am a mild stammerer, we are also implying: I dont need to address the issue now; it can wait. Let me deal with other “important” things in life first. Also, whenever I do work on it, I dont need to work that hard, that long, that consistently..
Can you see the tricks our mind plays on us? Why? simply because mind wants no change. Change is uncomfortable. Status quo is familiar and comfortable. An entire life can be spent this way. I spent forty years like this! And I thought I was a very intelligent person!
So, friends, wake up- take charge and deal with whatever is bothering you- stammering or whatever. Here and now.
PS: How would you react if a court gave verdict like this: He is guilty of mild murder. Or Vigilance bureau said- Mr XYZ is guilty of mild bribery, extortion and embezzlement..