Posted: Jun 12, 2006 12:39 am
I don't have full control over my diaphragm which basically means I stutter. I started to stutter when I was eight years old and by the time I was 22 I couldn't say a single word without stuttering, despite going to therapy every wednesday for three hours.
Then, in 1996, I heard about the Del Ferro Institute. Leonard Del Ferro was an American opera singer who noticed that stuttering people don't stutter when singing. He found out speaking fluently was just a matter of controlling your diaphragm, so he founded the Del Ferro Institute in Amsterdam (1978). I took this 10-day course which made it neccessary to stay in Amsterdam the whole time, awesome!!! His daughter Ingrid led this course, because the man himself died and she took care of my problem completely. However, the training to keep control of my diapragm is so heavy plus the thought that I already controlled my problem made me kind of loose control again. At the moment I'm 90% stutter-free. It depends on the state and situation I'm in. Phoning and speaking English is still pretty hard, so is talking for bigger audiences.
Telling a joke, I always start to stutter at the punch-line, often making it more hilarious than the joke itself. I work on submarines so I have a fire drill each month. When I'm the one who discovers the fire I have to yell "BRAND, BRAND, BRAND!!!" (FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!!!), but I just can't get those words out of my mouth. I think I have a couple of hundred funny stories like this. Also when I'm drunk I don't stutter anymore, probably because I'm not aware of the fact I'm a stutterer.
It's still both a weird and amazing experience not being able to say a single word. You should see me ordering a BigMac menu...