Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breathing Deeply

I never like to talk about my demons...really, who does? But I've been doing it...and last night at therapy was a prime example. I'm about to be completely honest here...I have nothing to lose...I had to come clean about the extent of my stuttering.

I don't answer the phone. It goes beyond not wanting to talk to telemarketers...it's more like my body fails me and I can't form the word "Hello". The simplest word and yet, I can't say it. When I say that I can't say the word "Hello", I mean I can't say it when I answer the phone. It feels like my throat tightens and while my mouth might be moving, the sound does not materialize. Sad really. But it's just a quirk that I've dealt with my entire life. Even as a child, I never answered the phone. In fact, I'd pretend not to hear the ringing of the phone to avoid the whole ordeal.

My therapist's feeling is it's the trauma. The trauma of my childhood. The trauma of living with a "selfless, financially and morally stable couple who just wanted to raise children...and with a man who needed to abuse". I'm disgusted that I'm still dealing with this crap in my adult years..but I'm also hopeful. Hopeful that I'll be able to one day not dread the ringing of the phone and to embrace my oddness as being a part of me.

I also apparently have forgotten how to breathe. I was a singer in high school and we were taught to breath through our diaphragms. But once the chorus concerts or musicals were done, I'd forget and go back to my normal chest breathing. The way my therapist explained it to me, I chest breathe because of the whole "fight or flight" instinct I've come to have. Growing up, being scared, I'd hold my breath when things got too crazy of scary. And that caused me to chest breathe. But chest breathing doesn't relax you...only diaphragm breathing does. I've been practicing today...every half hour at my desk, I make myself become conscious of how I'm breathing. One of these days it'll become a habit. A good habit to have for a change.

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