With each passing day, I’ve come to realize that for the last twenty-five years I have lived in my body, I haven’t really known the skin I’ve lived in. In the sense that I don’t pay attention to something until I’m forced to look at it by way of injury or illness.
The same questions run through my head every time as I try to access memories I do not have. Has this always been this way? Has this changed? What is different about this? Could it be different? Maybe? Or am I just now seeing this for the first time? These questions are better than what I automatically told myself when I was dealing with things as a teenager. I’m going to die. What I’m experiencing will kill me sooner than I wish. Somehow everything leads to death. I’d imagine myself having a different life from this one very minor but must be a life-altering moment for me. Of course, none of what I imagined actually happened and thankfully, my extreme anxiety has morphed into obsessive questioning (I know they both sound bad but at least one seems slightly more productive.)
Because I don’t pay attention to my body and it’s apparent creeks and shapes, when something out of the norm happens, I’m left feeling like a blind duck, waddling down an unfamiliar street. Without a point of reference, I’m left assessing a body part I haven’t paid too much attention to and asking the questions above while reminding myself not to panic, this may have been always been my normal and I just haven’t noticed it until now.
Referencing an old memory with my body when encountering present questioning is never ideal. I overcompensate for lost memories by creating stories in my head that are probably not true but they must be real because they’re the only things that give me comfort in this very moment. My thyroid has always been this size. Of course, my left hip has always popped. I did hear that noise coming from my left side while I was in the air. I can still walk. My eyes can squint again. That’s a stress zit, not a hormonal pimple. Most of these are true, while some are rationalized statements that don’t necessarily add up to the reality I live in but choose to believe at the moment so I don’t return to that younger version of myself.
This year has been a lot. I’ve realized how much I’ve grown and areas of my life where growth could be good for me. One thing I’ve realized from so many unexpected health issues throughout my life is how much I choose to ignore something until I’m forced to feel it. I do this in many aspects in my life, but my body in particular, has made me realize how much of my own skin and bones I do not know out of fear of what could happen if I do acknowledge it. Though I’m no longer a teenager, I must admit that fear and jumping to conclusions still lingers. Forgotten moments don’t help and questioning or telling myself false truths are good for a little while but not for a lifetime. In moments like these, I often wish I knew more about my body so when I’m in pain or something looks or feels off, I know what’s my normal. Maybe by writing this, I can develop reference points that will keep me from worrying as much in the future.
I am a person who stutters. I’ve stuttered my entire life. I’ve been in speech therapy. I’ve taken medication to help reduce my stutter. I’ve lied to myself, saying that I don’t have a stutter.
My stutter hasn’t gone away. I’m now 25 and I still stutter. Some people grow out of their stutter. I’m not one of those people. Stuttering isn’t curable. I don’t stutter because I’m anticipating a word. I’m focused on what I’m saying, not how I say it. Repeating words in my mind three times before I say it out loud is unrealistic. There are too many conversations in a day to repeat everything I say in my head three times before speaking. I avoided eye contact for years because I was scared of seeing how people may react to my stutter. That fear is real but taking back the power allows me to determine how I feel about myself and not anyone else.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m referring to the advice Steve Harvey gave a woman who stutters on his show a couple of weeks ago. I find this video from an article posted by the American Institute for Stuttering that highlights the dangers of Mr. Harvey’s advice. While a lot of the speech therapy I had as a kid wasn’t helpful, this was partly because I wasn’t willing to acknowledge my stutter. As an adult, I have begun to accept my stutter and with the help of AIS, I see my stutter in a new light.
Everyone who stutters has a different relationship to their stutter because no two people stutter the same. Many of the people who stutter as a kid grows out of it by the time they reach adulthood. It’s not uncommon for a person to stutter as a kid and not as an adult. I know that for me, my stutter can shift within a moment. Heightened emotions and situations certainly play a part in how I stutter. I know that my story is a little bit different because I took medication as a teenager to have my stutter “go away.” I spent the majority of my high school and early college years not worrying about my speech. At one point, I even thought I had grown out of it. But when I went off the medication, my stutter came back within a couple of months.
There’s no cure for stuttering. Techniques such as repeating the word in your head before you say it can easily fail. Talking to yourself in a mirror is like talking to yourself any time of the day, you don’t stutter because there’s no stress. It’s not all in your head because stuttering can be caused by much more than just anticipation and sometimes anticipation causes the stutter to go away. It’s not about how much confidence you do or don’t have. It’s not about what you do or don’t tell yourself to get through the day.
Again, this is only from my perspective. There’s no one size fits all for stuttering because everyone who stutters, stutters differently than the person next to them who stutters. Applying a one size fits all method, especially from someone who’s stutter went away, is dangerous because many people stutter their entire lives. And that’s okay.
August 12th, 2018
I love when I’m in a place and my phone isn’t on the forefront of my mind.
This is so important for someone like me who seemingly can’t detach from the lure of always needing to be updated on who posted what and when on Instagram.
It’s an addiction I’ve been trying to control for a while. Habits that I’ve blissfully unaware of harder to acknowledge than one would assume.
Denial and ignorance take over my mind for a long time until my awareness over my routine becomes too strong to the time that falls out the window due to too much time scrolling through stranger’s photos on the app that’s different to detach from.
It’s only when I’m on my own and away from good cell coverage that I can step back and see what life is like when it doesn’t revolve around feeling the need to know who, what, when, and speculate on why.
Although, I had this feeling when walking through New York. Being out and about in the city, I barely thought about what could be happening on the addicting app. It was another view into a life where technology wasn’t sucking up the time in my day.
My goal is to get to a place where I don’t feel the need to check Instagram too many times a day when I’m in good cell coverage or have WiFi.
For now, deleting the app will have to do.
(Some of this is rambling, some of this is incoherent. I’m tired and excited to spend the day not on my phone.)
Summer wind is unique. Its warm feeling can either comfort us or make us want to scream. It’s different in every place and depending on how you feel about this season, the wind will either make or break you.
I tend to be indifferent towards the summer wind. Some days, it reminds me of my childhood and other days I feel as though I’m living in hell. It’s normally the latter.
As I’ve gotten older, I have felt less positive about the heat. I grew up in Arizona and I didn’t think much about the heat. I’d run around barefoot in my neighborhood, staying outside until the sun disappeared past the horizon. I had tan skin and white hair. Then I moved to Colorado and I missed the heat like an old friend I never imagined I would one day lose.
Now I hate the heat. I hate sweating from doing nothing. I hate being weighed down by the weather. I hate not being able to breathe. I hate the endless, hot days that feel like years with no rain. I hate that summer leaves as fast as it arrives. I hate that my old friend has become my enemy.
Three months long at all. Though it extends by a little in spring and autumn, this summer wind never fully cools down the long days.
I’m Kelly Severseike and welcome to my new blog! If you’ve been reading my writing over on my old blog, hi! And if you’ve never read anything of mine and somehow found yourself on my site, nice to meet you!
I’ve been blogging for four years now and over that time, I’ve posted 180 pieces of writing! Tons of poems, a few essays, and a couple of stories. For almost three years, I have posted something every Monday! I’ve only missed one Monday and that was because I was on vacation and didn’t have Internet access! Blogging has allowed me to really hone in on my writing skills and hopefully inspire a couple of people along the way.
Photography is another passion of mine. I love capturing small moments and details that are often overlooked. I’m obsessed with sunsets, flowers, beautiful views, and my cat. On my website, you’ll see photos I haven’t posted anywhere else! I’ll update it every once and a while so be on the lookout for that!
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been combined my two passion and I’ve made two short films! Rotation is a poem with a series of moments shown along with a beautiful song. Torn-Between is a narrative piece that’s about a young woman in her early twenties coming to terms with the decisions she’s made and debating the possibilities of what her life could be.
I will be posting something new every Monday! If you want to receive my blog post in a weekly email, please let me know!
Thanks for stopping by!