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21 August 2007 @ 12:54 am
*looks around*  
Hi all.

I decided over the past few days that I need to undergo a trial or test to attempt to better myself. No, it's not for any kind of religious reason... it's just something odd that I feel the need to do.  I seem to have a bad habit of saying inane things and interrupting people... so no better way to nip that all in the bud.  I decided to stop speaking.

Of course, I want to keep my job, so I speak seldomly there, but just enough to get by.  Please read my journal for accounts of my journey (I just started today, so there may not be much to read just yet.)

I am pleased to see that a community like this exists... makes me feel like less of a freak. :)

Thank you all for listening...
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Volim što sam lezbejka zato što su žene lepepthalogreen on August 21st, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
Is this a permanent decision or are you going to stop speaking for X amount of time? I think if the goal is to learn to choose your words more wisely and stop interrupting you need a time limit.

But I also think that stopping speaking entirely is kind of the easy way out. Kind of akin to wanting to stop gossiping about people and therefor moving into a cave in the mountains where there's no one to gossip to or about, you know? But I think for a trial period it could be a good thing, get you trained out of interrupting and then when you start speaking again you can train yourself into speaking only when you want to.

I read in your journal that your husband is worried about how it might harm your relationship, and I don't blame him. I would recommend setting up time every day to talk on aim or something, write him love letters, show him extra affection. But make sure that you keep communicating with him. Communicate all your needs to him, tell him what you're thinking, tell him how you're doing, ask him about stuff. Without communication, your relationship will break down.

Some people find it easier to communicate in reading/writing and some don't. If your husband is better at talking it out than reading/writing it out, then It might be feasible to have conversations with him talking and you writing. Or you might want to consider making an exception for talking to your husband (i think an exception is worth it, if it starts to look like it's causing problems in your relationship) using a system where you each raise a finger when you want to say something, the other person finishes their thought and you speak in turns. This way you'll be practicing not interrupting and practicing not saying things you'll regret later (because since you don't want to talk, you'll only make the sign for a statement that is true, good and useful), you'll be silent /most of the time/ but it won't hurt the relationship.

When we first stopped speaking, at age 11, it caused a lot of problems. With us, though, it was a real inabiilty. We couldn't even talk to ourselves when we were alone. So we did what seemed most logical at the time: we learned sign language. But our mother was unwilling to learn sign language and refused to read the notes we left her, screaming at us to "talk". She'd tear it up if we wrote her a note.

In a relationship (mother/child, husband/wife, whatever) both sides have needs, and both people need to make allowances for the other. Not speaking is something you feel you need to do right now, but this will probably inconvenience those around you, so while doing it you'll need to be extra sensitive to their needs too.
voluntarilymutevoluntarilymute on August 22nd, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
I agree with you completely, and so far, I have been following your advice anyway. :) It's funny; my husband and I pride ourselves on our strong bond and communication in our relationship, and one of the first things he said to me when I told him about what I wanted to do... was that he was just afraid he'd lose touch, but that's something I am absolutely determined to not let happen. As he's kind of weirded out, I've been doing the majority of the discussion initiation - we exchanged IMs a lot during work today, and has some really good discussions. After work, we had an event to attend to on an online game we both play (aw who am I kidding, we were running a raid in World of Warcraft) and we got some more discussion in there.) It's just going to be a matter of developing new routines and systems before he's comfortable striking up a conversation with me verbally, I think. If I am the one who has to initiate the change in routine, I am absolutely willing and excited to take up the task.

A permanent decision...? I'm not sure. My friend Mike at work also knows of my plight, and he was teasing me a bit about it, which means he was at least becoming more comfortable. He's the only other "safe" person so far, other than my husband. The workplace is really touchy, and I'm learning a lot about how I'm going to need to change my routine there. I'll write a bit more today about how my day went and the feelings I had throughout it in my journal later, since I'm already typing up a storm in this comment... Anyway, there are some things I need to figure out... like... how to order at restaurants, what the heck am I going to do when we go visit the in-laws... my heart is screaming at me to make up a lie, but my conscience refuses to let me do it, except maybe to strangers... *sigh* I haven't developed a timeframe. If I'm in this for the long haul, it was my husband's suggestion for us to both learn ASL. I think it's a really good idea, but it's also quite an undertaking to learn a new language. Then again, it would give this plight another purpose...

Also, it was really early in the morning when I wrote that introductory post to the community, and there were some things I didn't get into. I think the excuse I have about how I interrupt people too much is just due to an isolated event with my boss. There hasn't ever been a problem with me interrupting my husband; we are oblivious to this, and we do it to each other all the time with no ill effect, ever. :) Both my husband and my friend asked me "ok, so what is the point of this?" and I felt obligated to come up with an answer... so that was the answer "to develop better self-control"

Ever since I was young, I've had a fascination with not being able to speak. A few days ago, something snapped inside of me and I realized that I could actually do it, so... yeah.

The most difficult part of this is going to be finding our limits - both mine and my husband's. This isn't a trial to test our relationship, I think it's just me being selfish. If he tells me to knock it off, or gets really frustrated, of course I will oblige. It's just a matter of stepping outside of both of our comfort zones...

I'm sorry my reply is so disjointed... it's a lot of thoughts all at once. It's really funny though - your comment looks like something I would have written, because I am forever throwing around advice to other couples about what makes good communication. I suppose this makes me a hypocrite. Maybe.

Thank you again so much for your comment.
voluntarilymutevoluntarilymute on August 23rd, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Hi.... sorry to comment again, but if you guys could please read my latest journal update (the super huge long one)... hopefully it helps you understand a little bit better. I seem to be learning new things every day, here.

Thanks. :)
Meredith: gallaudetwoofiegrrl on August 29th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
I am always puzzled when someone says their alternative to speaking is signing. I am a hearing person, a certified interpreter, and a new Gallaudet student. Sometimes when I am feeling emotional I prefer to sign rather than speak, but usually it is because I express my emotions better in ASL than with my voice, which is usually quavering when I am emotional anyway. I just come across more clearly - my emotions are more pure - in ASL than in English.

But otherwise, to me, signing IS speaking. Can you explain - either in a reply or in a new entry in this community - how you are more comfortable using your hands to speak rather than your mouth? To me they are both speaking, I guess I don't understand the difference between hands and mouth in this case. If I were to stop speaking for traumatic reasons (including anxiety/fear) I can't imagine signing being "allowed" in that case. I would love to understand this a little better.
Volim što sam lezbejka zato što su žene lepe: Co-consciouspthalogreen on August 29th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
I think it has something to do with making noise. We are a multiple system and we were abused as a child and as a result many of us have difficulties with speech/making noise and some of us don't speak at all. When we first stopped speaking in a noticeable way (the people who don't speak at all were in the body all of the time), we needed a way to communicate and we wanted to have a language to say the things that we couldn't say out loud, a language no one would understand, a language that doesn't make noise. We made our own sign language, and then got interested in real ASL when someone who did know ASL told us that some of our signs meant the same thing in ASL as they did in our language. (Believe was the same, and so was future. I don't remember what else was the same.)

On a tangent, as an adult, we learned to speak Hungarian and find that some things are easier to express in Hungarian because it is not our native language and the words have less feeling attached to them.

For a while, though, ASL was our secret language. We learned it from books and videocassettes and after a year or two someone who has deaf parents asked if our parents were deaf too because we signed well by then. I think, not having looked at the books in a long time and only having ourselves to communicate with, our ASL has slowly become our own private dialect. We've had met very few people who knew sign.

Once, at age 11 or so, at the ChildHelp centre there was a dog that we used to sign with a little. He came over to us and we petted him and started a conversation in sign, just the beginning of one, saying hi to him. And one of the police officers who worked there said "It's a hot day today isn't it?" in sign and we were so scared that someone understood us in our safe language, that we just stared at the police officer until she went away.

Trauma caused (for some of us) a complete inability to speak, but we were still able to write and use our hands. It wasn't about not talking at all, it was more about not talking out loud, in our mother tongue, in a language that could be understood.