Apr. 19th, 2008 02:40 am
hells_half_acre: (night)
I've developed a case of laryngitis now. This is new to me. I rarely lose my voice and certainly I've never lost it to this degree before. I can speak only in whispers. When I attempt to make a vocal noise, I can sometimes get a sort of non-committal grunt after many tries.

It's reminded me of when I was young though. I have to be honest and say that these memories haven't surfaced in years, but when I was young I used to occasionally panic at the thought that I had forgotten how to use my voice. I was not afraid that I had forgotten how to talk(I say this only because many people who read this journal know that I had a fairly heavy speech impediment when I was young). My fear had nothing to do with forgetting how to form words in the mouth.

Occasionally, when I found myself alone for any length of time. I would suddenly become convinced that I had forgotten how to use my vocal chords. I found that when alone, I was unable to raise my voice above a whisper. In every instance, it was not that I had actually forgotten how to use my vocal chords, it was that I was unable to raise my voice above the level that the situation required. It was an odd unintentional (and entirely subconscious) limitation on myself. I could only whisper, because I only needed to whisper in order to hear myself. If I found someone to talk to, I'd have my voice again, because it was only then that I needed it.

This afternoon, once I had realised that my voice was indeed gone, I shrugged it off as a side-effect from my cold. Then I started thinking about how I really feel perfectly fine. My throat feels fine, save a dry cough. My vocal chords, in so far as I can tell, feel fine. The only problem is that when I try to speak, nothing comes out. It was then that all of a sudden, I was flooded with these memories of me as child, sitting in a room and trying to remember what it felt like to speak. How is the sound of my voice usually produced? Am I really duplicating the same force of air required? It was impossible for me to tell as a kid. I would sit there whispering to myself, knowing that something must be off with my method, but unable to pinpoint what exactly.

As I recall, it used to take me several minutes. I've never been the openly-panicking type really, but I'd sit there for several minutes trying desperately to pretend other people were in the room to see if I could remember how to speak in more than a whisper. Usually,  after a few false starts, I would finally make some sort of vocal noise, startle myself at it's volume, and then relax and not bother speaking again until the need arose.

My only point in posting this is to ask: Was this an odd childhood experience of mine? Does anyone else ever remember worrying that they had lost their voice as a kid (not due to illness, but just because they'd forgotten how to use it)?


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