Delat 4




 Del 4

The problem is deeper than can be expected

The title may speak for itself. What I have heard since childhood that Stig stutters a little has been discussed a million times, especially when I came up in years. Admittedly, I have probably been successful, despite my disability. Presumably, life had not been better without the handicap. I must thank Mother Earth that I was born in a decade in which everything became better and better. Wealth grew strongly and jobs were abundant. Employers were prepared to employ people with defects, only I did a good job in fast tempo. To do piecework was an ordinary wage form during the sixties.        

The stutterer in the workplace                 
The situation today is very different. When our government in 1999 strengthened the situation of handicapped persons in employment the employers got the opportunity to get rid of them. They wanted to be sure that they would not bite remain in the workplace.      
Today it is much harder. It is not enough just training and doing a good work, skills and three-year high school grades. Furthermore, it requires good Swedish in both speech and writing. We've found that the employees work harder if they have influence and control over production. It also increases the claims of competence. When you want to recruit new staff the candidate's tone, commitment, desire and charisma is taken in consideration just as the applicant's perspective on humanity and social life and how knowledge is defined. What they want are people who are independent and who can make their own decisions and regardless of if they work on the factory floor or in a management group. Experience is not estimated in the same way any longer in Sweden.               

Now a new concept has appeared - self-managing skills, which is the ability to grasp context and be able to set your own actions in relation to the whole. The trend seems daunting. In July 2006 the multinational enterprise Eriksson announced that staff over 37 years were offered a large sum of money to if they resigned. The idea was to replace them with younger engineers.            

With the aforementioned application criteria, it is not easy for a stuttering person to be accepted in the labor market, especially not if there is an older person. When he finally has entered the labor market, the next difficult phase is to keep your job.

Stutterers testify                 
In a therapy group I asked a stuttering person why he did not let out his stuttering. “It doesn´t work to be stuttering,” he replied. Since I for many years had been involved in a stuttering club and knew how they reasoned this person was an "unspoiled" stuttering - I was concerned.    

Another example was when an employer was tired of the stuttering and let him go. Once outside the company, he was sent to a psychologist. His task was to strengthen the faltering self-confidence so that he could get a new job. If this is put in relation to therapy for adults as something that should be about the present situation it is frightening.     

Cure is not available for adult stuttering
Nowadays there are no therapies that cure stuttering. Once a stuttering receives stuttering therapy is often an introduction to help oneself. The therapies must also be repeated periodically. This means that some form of symptom relief can be offered from the community.



The speech is not automated

The question is what it is that makes the stutterer cannot get his speech automated. My answer is that they require different forms of distraction for it to work, which is the opposite of exercise. This all know stuttering authorities because they have all run into "the wall.” Sports elements do not work well. They go out with that it's like to practice golf - the more you practice the better you become - in this case to speak. All of this is "wind" for the simple reason that it does not work in practice. All those who exercise get a positive effect, but it does not depend so much on the training itself but is a result of which could be anything, which means that whatever you try the result is that you speak better. The problems will appear the days, hours, minutes when you get tired.             

Would those words be said by the first stuttering doctor named Ferenc Albert, he had probably described this as an empirical insufficiency.                     


The impossible handicap
Labor market situation has changed. When the employer is looking for people, he handles it carefully. Before advertizing a requirement´s specification on what the candidate must possess regarding skills is done. Once the candidates' application forms are on the boss´ table a coarse screening is done after which a few are selected for interviews. Personality is considered as very important. As there are usually many applicants on each place someone is chosen who seems to be free of negations.      

This is tough for those who stutter only now and then.  In my and others' experiences this is likely to be one of the most difficult speech situations that exist - there is so much at stake so it must not go wrong. The manager who interviews you is asking questions about what you can while he examines you from head to toe. He may even challenge you.

In the 70s, I applied and got some work. It was at that time that it was pretty easy to get a job, the easiest time in living memory, probably the easiest time ever. As the 40-Generation and young, I could find work even as speech handicapped. The attitude at that time was that the speech was not as important in some occupations. It worked with the argument that my stuttering made me work more than any others. We lied at the time too. A person confined to a wheel chair was able to work with what he could by e.g. sitting at a switchboard. Today the world of work has changed in character, the population is multinational, which means that employers attach great importance to allow everyone to express themselves in speech and writing. In addition, white-collar sector has increased substantially by computerization and other structural measures.                

Today you do not even have to have a handicap to make it difficult to get a decent job. Even the young people have a hard time. The elderly are the hardest. Many jobs also have a trial period before a permanent job is offered. The elderly are offered various forms of pension arrangements, which in turn open the way for the young.           

Do you stutter yourself?                           
Stuttering handicap is impossible in many different ways. Sometimes or rather quite often things happen without my possibility to put my finger on it. They call it “the personal chemistry” and say that it is not correct and it is interesting because either we are too different or we are too equal. The latter happens when two “hidden” stutterers face each other. None of them strains that much but they both can feel, sense or symbolically smell that they work equally. It was good because then we understand each other may seem, but it's not that way. The signals sent out grow worse and influence their speech. Suddenly I too am reminded of my stuttering speech. I have noticed that the stuttering I got to know outside the Stuttering Association and where acceptance exists from both sides the rules of the normal speaking persons are valid.

Be taken seriously              
Assume that all but Superman and his likes at the unsafe and insecure or negatively charged circumstances can stutter. We are therefore all stutterers, the fake and the "true.” Do you remember in school when someone stuttered and the schoolmate said "You stutter" or "You cannot speak plainly." To stutter is thus no big deal for anyone, it takes the edge off the message and all people want to be taken seriously.                     

Often the "fake" stutterers are excellent and have great positions in society. They are soft, timid and generally pleasant in their purposefulness. The weakness may be that they are in need of some measure of security, which even exists in the narcissistic type of person.   

The real stutterer has unfortunately no chance to assert himself against the normal speakers in the world of work for you are not let in in that position.

It may be harder to make a career for me with a stutter. Then there are those who have developed a compensatory drive, and they're really talented.

Stuttering is deep in the mind

Stuttering can cause memory loss. The stuttering may destroy the brain overall. It may be what you call "blackout.” These things I have encountered a number of times in life. It's scary when it happens. In the Intensive Stuttering Therapy one knows about the problem, as well as Ferenc Albert. Not even in stuttering circles, this is something people talk about. And either do I. Full stop.               

Imagine that the mind is like a basement. Far down there dwells the devil, the parasite that should not be in the body. Starting position is the severe stutterer who wants to get rid of his monster. This creature can even take the liberty and life of his own, stammer when it pleases, or rather come out and show himself as his "master" least expects it. There is no control, firmness or anything else that is carrying the speech. Just knowing that you will never know if it is possible to complete a conversation can be incredibly frustrating.      

Suppose that stuttering is an incorrect way of learning that has lasted for several years, perhaps very many even, which has led to that the speech has been automated in the wrong way. I think that if there are too many things that have been trained in a wrong way, it becomes too much to correct during the speech. The assumption is based on the thesis that it is going too fast for the brain to keep up.                     

There can be many things in the depths that are irritating. Events that do not seem so difficult or that in their gender role are expected to be done can subsequently develop into a severe traumatic event.

If you got your stuttering in the speech development at age three, it is also where the root of evil is. To get there and work on the trauma is not easy. Primal Therapy has made attempts, unfortunately, it will be as wide as the whole person becomes involved in a relapse that is unparalleled.   

You will never be completely free of your adult stuttering, accept it as chronic but make the best of it.              


Friends on the Internet      
A stutterer told me that he has all his friends on the Internet but would like to have "real" friends. He wishes he could break the habit but do not know how it would be possible. "It feels odd to talk to a" real "man,” he says. He does not like his disability.


40 years without success
The clearest sign of that stuttering is chronic, I find  when I look at my stammering friends that I know since 40 years. They stutter in the same way as 40 years ago. There is not one iota of change. I cannot say anything about the stuttering frequency because the contact with them today is not as extensive, but it ought to have become somewhat better, given that there are studies showing that stuttering diminishes when we are elderly. What I notice is that their voices have grown darker.

These people who I'm talking about have been in Stockholm Stuttering Association, which means that they have in an excellent way had access to all kinds of literature and all the activities undertaken in association management, also appeared on the association's therapy evenings at least once a week.

I cannot understand how this has happened. I write about very intelligent people. Is there no practical connection to the pursuit of knowledge? What causes it? Changing the pattern of speech is almost   impossibile in adulthood. Perhaps it is safer to have a problem with speech instead of many other problems. They participate rarely or never in stuttering therapy. They are content to discuss and become experts in therapies and priorities rather than the delivery of intelligent content. The answer may be as simple as that they are now talking as they always have.             

You do not learn to play an instrument by simply reading books about it.



People who scare                   
It's not just the content of what people say who can intimidate. It may be that I perceive the person as threatening. What he stands for is important. Is he a friend or foe? What is it that hides behind the mask? A sensible person can see what kind of feelings the other person has especially if you've got to know the person. Then you know the symptoms. Is he angry, has he shown emotions that can be frightening? If you cannot read the person you have in front of you it also scares. "Vibes" - vibrations tell us whether we like the person or not.         
If someone in front of me looks nice and gives me a nice message, it affects my speech for the better. If he looks unsympathetic I immediately feel uncomfortable and I wonder at once if I can trust him.

"When it was at its worst with stuttering, I was very afraid of people." (Beppe Wolgers)                                                                  
The stuttering person may stutter more when speaking to a person that he emotionally is not attuned to in a positive way.                

Other scaring things            
The world is scary for a stutterer. The words that are said have different intrinsic meaning. They have a purpose. How we perceive the world depends on how we did in our childhood, how we interpreted our parents and what we brought into adulthood.     

In some form there will always be the father, the influence fades, but in the dim memory he recurs in the role of the "boss.” It is he who decides and controls over you, even when you think something else.

The manager has control over you and it worries of course. It was important to do the right thing to get his approval. As a child you got to know your father. You knew when he was angry, sad or happy. You read his mind before you acted.                     

Your relationship with your parents' anger has influenced you significantly. If you got scared and moved away from your Dad, you probably do the same regarding your boss as an adult. On the contrary if you had a fight with him you have probably received a not insignificant choice into adulthood.

Where you came in the hierarchy is surely depending on your innate skills and your social development. They might even be shaped in the sandbox. My wife Louise wanted to teach her playmates so they became students of her first class. As a classroom she used the sandbox. Believe me there have been many classes over the years. She never left the school world.       

One way to get away from managers is to become a manager yourself, the higher up you get, the more managers you avoid. 

Fun treatment: Put a picture of the manager´s head on the dart board and throw darts at him and let the aggressions hail him. The head has dad´s role.  The philosophy is that it is enough and that one does not attack the boss in real life, but it's a philosophy that didn´t work for me and perhaps for others as well, so, some caution is good.                   

Dishonest signals                  
The situation often requires the right signals. It does not look good if the priest has a smile on his face at a funeral. That does not mean that he doesn´t wish well he probably does even too well. It is rather a question of what he has learned, in other contexts this smile had probably been an asset.

People do not understand stuttering persons who send out signals that do not match. It may be in the workplace or among friends and acquaintances. Stuttering as a phenomenon seems to be well- known, most of them have stuttered themselves or been in contact with someone who really is stuttering.

I always had a smile or was not very far from laughter, plus humor, unfortunately, sometimes at the expense of others. This was my way of surviving, my way of dealing with this super-human problem. Now that the laughter has died away I have become more normal, probably as boring as everyone else.                    

Employers and others had trouble reading my body language. They were simply confused and in some cases also angry. I was sensitive and did not want to show you all of me and therefore I put out the smokescreens as a protection. The managers thought that I wasn´t serious enough in what I was doing, but it was not the case, quite the opposite, I just didn´t want to show how vulnerable I was.

My joy and positive attitude was sometimes false, but this superficial method really worked with people. Then there are those who are in a different way and feel really bad about this behavior. One person who took offence was a woman in the Stockholm club - she wanted to know what I had to hide. I also took offence and wondered what was wrong with me, because even if the behavior was false, I wanted everything to be so well. When I look back on my different therapies it is probably no one who has influenced my choices as much as she. She would just know how much she influenced me. I took her words seriously and really changed into a person that people could both read and take seriously. Presumably, she had confused the private and public life. After a few years of therapy I was so readable and credible, that I even got a ten-year relationship with Elise, and then I married Louise who now has been my wife for 15 years. However, the night life hasn´t worked so very well. It does not work to show the naked Stig Lindh. His smile and laughter has currently been toned down and I can now work on building new powerful walls against the outside world´s viciousness.

Stuttering as a disability is greater than we stutterers would like to acknowledge.                     



Infectious stutter                     
The reason for my suspicion is that on numerous occasions I ended up in speech situations in which the defendant began to "strain.” The other party is an adult. I get an uneasy feeling that it's me that has affected his speech. Is it not so that it is very common among normal speakers to mimic the other party, which in this case would mean an imitation that is not in his favor. In the end it's not any advantage for me either.           

In  my  film  "Is Stuttering Something to Hung Up

On?" I interviewed my doctor and he said that we were more alike than different. I interpreted it like that for many persons the step to stammer is short, which could mean that these people find it uncomfortable and want to protect themselves.                     

Stuttering Association´s President Anita S Blom said that there were those who could mate stutter for a while, but they don´t take it home with them. Furthermore, we talked about comic "Bamse" which in a text bubble had the text: "Stuttering is not contagious.” It is certainly true, I would not be surprised if stuttering children have playmates. Children can be as responsible as adults. Adults can unfortunately have the lack of accountability, which means that they say things they do not have reason for and should do.     

When I was a child I had as many play-mates as everyone else. Moreover, the fact is that stuttering is not contagious because it is neither a virus nor a bacteria.                     

What is at stake is probably an impact on the communication transmitter and receiver. A non-stuttering person can fall into a stuttering person's speech caused by the stress factors that occur in speech situations. The consequence of this is not for long, but due to the circumstances of the moment.

Why do some adults imitate the speech of the counterpart is the issue?   

Stuttering children have playmates – Adults are without playmates. Sometimes stuttering affects the other party but that does not mean that he carries it home.                     

Stuttering as a disability

Within the Disabled National Organization one does not estimate the severity of the disability, but do it at the individual level. For example, a blind man was born without sight, another may have gone blind in one phase of life which affect their lives differently. There is something similar with stuttering people. Anyone who got his handicap in language development with severe stuttering versus those who began to stutter as adults also have various disabilities. The latter can be cured by the speech therapist while he who started straining in speech development is a presumed chronic stuttering, which is virtually incurable. Here the speech therapist is aiming on different types of problem alleviation.          

Stammering is not a homogeneous group. Some can get by with a little stuttering, others survive poorly and are feeling too bad and it does not have to do with the frequency of stuttering, but there is nothing said about it. Today there are even stutterers that are homeless and even without having a drug problem.     


Seen in the light of other disabilities        
The word disability means "hand in cap" and was originally used in the sports world. Severe physical handicaps as spasticity, congenital malformations of the limbs, facial defects such as cleft lip and palate-splitting or birthmarks are perceived almost always by the wearer as a severe handicap, so serious as to characterize him or her mentally, often greatly.

And if we consider the invisible handicaps such as mental abnormalities, language disorders, deafness, stuttering these groups of disabled people are also different in relation to the so-called normal. For these groups communication with others is difficult, perhaps impossible. This leads to exclusion and isolation. Seen in this light stuttering is a disability.

The whole truth probably does not exist in this observation, but it touches something very important, namely that the disabled person´s experience of him and his situation very much depends on the surrounding setting. Likewise, the means that the society makes available to remedy the handicap is of great importance.

Karen-Marie Hauschild writes in her article "Stuttering as handicap" that "Unfortunately we must admit that much is lacking in terms of recognizing disabled persons as full citizens, equal to other people and as long as it is so and as long as society does not have realized that under no circumstances  keep on tools that can reduce or possibly eliminate the disability, so far, disabled people, including stutterers, have reason to feel discriminated. "

Many stutterers adapt to the situation and choose silence. In school, you can also choose to be quiet if you speak with the teacher about it but then life is also a silent existence.


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