Who would I be without selective mutism?

I've often wondered how my life might look if I had not presented with selective mutism as a child. - If I had attended my first day at nursery school and spoken to my peers and my teachers? - If I had never struggled to answer the role? - If a stranger had smiled at me and I answered them with a friendly "Hello!"  - If I had always been full of smiles and poses for the camera? - If I'd … [Read more...]

Selective mutism – how my daughter helped me to heal

When my daughter was three years old, her pre-school teacher told me that she had never heard her speak. Immediately my mind spiralled out of control: I was terrified that she might follow in my footsteps, and selective mutism was not something I wanted my daughter to experience. Simon (my partner) reassured me that our daughter is not me. She is her own person with her own life, and her own … [Read more...]

Re-defining ‘Quiet’ – exploring the depth and abilities of the quiet ones

When I was young I developed a severe dislike for the word 'quiet'. To me, this word felt hugely suffocating; needlessly smothering me over and over again each time it was spoken. For every person who has ever described me in this way (and there have been many), I'm not even sure anyone realised how insulting and damaging it felt. Each time, it was as if my true self was being pushed … [Read more...]

Have you heard of selective mutism?

I grew up believing I was shy and quiet. I didn't like it, but I didn't know how to be anything else - because no matter how hard I tried, there were often situations I would find myself in where I was unable to say a word. I had a head full of questions, opinions and desires, but somewhere between their swirling around my brain and the sharing them with others, they often got stuck. I figured … [Read more...]

When you’ve had enough of being ‘the quiet one’

When I was sixteen I had had enough. I felt like I was trapped inside of my personality - and I was sick of being quiet. For as long as I could remember, I had struggled to fit in. Everywhere I went, I longed to be able to say more, to stand out more, to make more of an impact ... but I was terrified of the new expectations people would have of me if I became that person. I felt trapped by the … [Read more...]

Is it possible to grow out of selective mutism?

When I was young I had no idea that Selective Mutism existed. I assumed I was 'just shy' and I also assumed that one day I would simply grow out of my shyness, and find it easy to share my voice with others just like everybody else. I dreamed of the day I would cross that magical threshold - and of the ideas, questions and opinions I would be able to share when I got there. Many times … [Read more...]

Quiet and proud – making peace with selective mutism

For a long time I felt like the word 'quiet' haunted me. Everywhere I went - no matter who I met, or how far I ran - the adjective would be there, waiting for me. I never knew when it might pounce ... sometimes I would think I had escaped, but ultimately it would find a way in. Just as I thought I'd left my 'quiet' nature behind and become the confident, self-assured, friendly, bubbly girl of my … [Read more...]

Here’s what the 30 day blogging challenge has done for me!

Writing has always held an important place in my life. Due to selective mutism, the tricky task of translating my thoughts and feelings into words has not always been easy. Even now, I find the words I use when I speak don't always represent the original intention of what I was hoping to say. I want to do my thoughts and feelings justice by accurately representing myself in this world, and to do … [Read more...]

I have something to say!

All through February I wrote about selective mutism and my experiences with it. If you have been enjoying reading my posts, the good news is that I've barely even begun! The more I write, the more I learn about myself and the different ways this condition has manifested in my life - as well as discovering some great ways to help me shake off those remaining symptoms. I am not about to stop writing … [Read more...]

From the Heart – introducing my speech about selective mutism

For the month of February I have been exploring my experiences with selective mutism. My last post was about my interpretation of communication - and the ways we communicate without speaking. Today I will be representing my local Toastmaster's Club in our area competition. My speech is about my experiences with selective mutism, and is entitled, "From the Heart." In this post I will explore my … [Read more...]