It has been previously established that my voice is rubbish.
Fortunately I have a couple options via the computer.
One is to use the on-screen keyboard (I can still maneuver the mouse with my right hand).
The other option is to use my ‘tobii eye gaze’ which is a device attached to my monitor and tracks my eye movement. With my eyes I can type, access any program, email, etc. It certainly takes more time but it is an awesome tool to have. It enables me to communicate without it turning into a silly guessing game of ‘What is Janae trying to say?’ When I sit behind the computer and begin to type it is like taking a big breath of air after being under water. I no longer feel as trapped in my thoughts because they come out easier to understand.
We define ourselves in so many ways. Some might be: Our job, our title, our pay, where we live, age, physical characteristics, married vs single, friends, children at home, being an empty nester, how good we are at something, what organizations wet are affiliated with and on and on. When one of those things changes it has the potential to leave us deeply unsettled and insecure.
I’ve been through a fair amount of physical loss and it does leave me shaken each time it happens. Each time I have had to redefine how I perceive that aspect of myself.
I never thought my voice defined me which now, of course, seems like a stupid thing to think. I have experienced significant periods of insecurity over my changing voice. But eventually the approach I try to take is this: I have children to raise and they are going to pick up on my cues. It isn’t an option for me to be ashamed of the way I am because I don’t want them to be embarrassed by my condition.
And so I will keep trying to talk as long as I can. Game on.
Here is the ONE advantage of having a difficult to understand voice… The bishopric doesn’t ask you to give a talk in church. Or so I thought. This past spring they DID ask me. I wrote the talk but fortunately my friend, Andrea, read it.
The talk was based on Elder Uchtdorf’s talk “The Gift of Grace”
On a side note I do appreciate, more than ever, people who do share their vocal talents with the rest of us. Here is a picture from a concert we went to this summer. Instead of a normal pose we asked if they would photobomb our family picture. (Megan didn't come.)