Monday, 25 March 2013

What is stammering?

According to Heidegger an essential characteristic of human beings is the need we have to communicate and share with others our state of mind and understanding in an intelligible way. It is one way we define our place in the world and who we are. A truthful expression of who we are can be defined as authentic; the self is being articulated. In contrast, merely repeating what we’ve heard without any thoughtful contemplation is inauthentic; the self is laid to one side.

Putting our experience into words is equivalent to the construction of “themes”, which are related, but not identical, to the experience; for example, the word “sun” does not carry the Sun with it but does trigger an average notion (or theme) of the “sun” in the mind of the listener. Themes can either be authentic or inauthentic.

Stammering disrupts the means by which the need to communicate is fulfilled. It renders the construction of themes confused and inauthentic; therefore, constantly and painfully shifting a sense of self and belonging.

Stammering is thematically inappropriate communication. When I want to talk, I think about the theme I want to convey. This phase of thinking is free of stammering and feels authentic, I am gathering together my thoughts and building my theme. When I’m ready to physically verbalise my authentic theme it feels like my stammer imposes its own, inauthentic theme, pushing my intentions out of the way and fulfilling its own agenda. There is an intermingling and fight for control between my personal, authentic theme and the inauthentic, stammering theme: as if two songs are being played at the same time. It is very confusing and disorientating. I’m not sure if authenticity wins the fight…

No comments:

Post a Comment