I thought I would share some of the comments/questions about Selective Mutism that I receive from others struggling or from people knowing someone struggling. I think it’s important just seeing and feeling that you’re not alone and getting that support from others. I often feel very sad and frustrated hearing what people go trough, it’s very tough. At the same time I feel so honoured that you guys want to share this with me and others! I mean, you are so brave. I didn’t talk about my SM when I was younger at all, first of all I didn’t want anyone to know because I didn’t feel normal, and secondly I guess there wasn’t the same opportunities out there – I didn’t see anyone sharing their story and I felt very alone which for sure made it feel even more like something you shouldn’t talk about. But yet here I am receiving messages from 10 and 13 year old’s sharing their story with the rest of the world. So brave and strong!
I’ll share some of the messages/comments that has been written to me on my channels, mostly on my videos, and for the ones that has questions I’ll share my response to those as well!
I don’t have any professional aspect in this with education, but I do have my own life experience and personal story with Selective Mutism and it is from that I am answering questions or giving advice to anyone. I do my best to help in the way I can.
My 7 yr old daughter says that the only thought that goes on in her mind while answering a question in school is how will people (teachers and classmates) react as they have never heard her… Can you please tell us how you overcame this aspect of SM…she’s now comfortable talking to strangers , ordering in restaurants etc…but not while talking to people with whom she has not spoken to before for the fear of their reaction…pls give some tips how to overcome these thoughts which stop her…
Thank you so much for your comment. I remember feeling like that, and it’s not easy… For me it was about realising that I need to do it for me, that I deserve to talk and use my words just as much as everyone else. Take one step at a time. Maybe decide together to answer one thing a day, and so on… I think it’s a lot about gaining that confidence in yourself. It’s very very difficult and frustrating because the worst part is the attention, but it’s so important to start thinking that you need to do it for yourself. If people look, they look. You are strong and it will only make you stronger and more secure in yourself… It’s a fight but it’s worth it!
Thanks so much for this Marte, it’s really good to see people talking about this now. As a former SM child myself I can completely relate and understand. Especially the pain you feel when questioned as to why you don’t speak, how frustrating and embarrassing it was to be introduced as someone who ‘doesn’t speak’ or shy. And also how talking to strangers is easier as you don’t feel judged. I particularly loved how you talked about the good sides to it. I too feel I read people very well, have more sensitivity to others than most and understand a lot about people through trying to understand myself .The more videos and posts I think people can do the better. Well done for getting to where you are today and thanks again xx
This means so much. I do think it’s important for people struggling right now to know that even though it all seems bad, we do have some very good things come out of it that makes us who we are, and makes us see the world in a pretty understanding, different way that I know other people usually don’t. And we are very strong!
I have a friend who has selective mutism and im doing everything I can to help her however its nothing is working and I doubt I have even the slightest chance however I dont care if its the last day of school I refuse to give up on her and im wondering if you had any advice that could be of use
It’s so amazing you want to help. Just be patient and understanding – I think that’s the most important thing. Be normal around her as much as you can, maybe talk about challenges she can do to start taking small steps, and just support her through it the best you can!
I’m 13, and I have selective mutism. I only just recently just found out what is was, and iv’e always just though I was weird. I was always known as the “weird kid” the “quiet kid” and iv’e always felt like I wanted to talk, but I couldn’t. All of this prevented me from making new friends and joining clubs. The only person I ever talk to is a friend a met last year, and even though it is usually just whispering and writing stuff down on a paper to him. He’s the only friend iv’e ever had. My parents never understood, and they always ridicule me say i’m weird for not talking, and how it’s embarrassing for them how I don’t talk. This video really help me, and reading the comments and listening to your story really makes me feel not alone.
Thank you so much for sharing your story! You’re such a brave and strong person, I know for a fact when I was your age I couldn’t even share what I was struggling with. I am really happy to hear that you have a friend, and even if it is writing things down on a paper or whispering – it doesn’t matter, you have someone and that’s so important. I’m really sorry that your parents doesn’t understand, it shouldn’t be like that. If you are able to, I think you should show them this video, or even just write them a letter or an email explaining how you feel, and adding some links for information about SM, including this video so they can understand more how you feel. Sometimes that is easier than just saying it, and often it might make them really read and properly receive all the information – hopefully realising they are wrong in the way they put you down, instead of being your support. Parents shouldn’t say those things, no matter what’s going on. You are never alone, and I’m so impressed by your honesty and strength!
Here’s more from people sharing their stories:
I’m 17 almost 18 and I currently have selective mutism…no one really knew what it was while I was in public school so I was always just labeled as the shy girl that doesn’t talk, people would always confront me on why I wouldn’t talk but I couldn’t bring myself to tell them so they’d call me weird and ignore me.
I had selective mutism until I was 15 years old. I’m now 19 and I can now speak to most people. I still have anxiety while speaking on the phone to strangers and my anxiety stops me from leaving my flat sometimes. But I am so proud of how far I’ve come. You are not alone and you can get through whatever you’re going through. Stay strong Thank you Marte for sharing your story xx
I’m 11 years old I have it too it’s hard and makes blood pressure go up and I get really nervous.
I relate to you so much, I’m 21 and have had SM since I was In Kindergarten. It’s been tough. Thank you for explaining the positive side of having SM , because you made me realize the truths on the positive aspects of having SM that I’ve never thought about before.
I wish a could give you all a hug! I can’t believe how strong and brave these people are, I truly admire your openness and if I could just give you the perfect advice to get completely rid of Selective Mutism I would… The truth is there’s no easy path and there’s a lot of ups and downs, but it makes you grow – and you learn so much about yourself, life and others along the way. The most important thing is to stay strong and don’t lose hope. Teach yourself to be ok even though you are uncomfortable, it’s something that will always help you out in the long run – putting yourself in situations you might feel uncomfortable feels like the worst possible position when you have SM, but the more you do it the more you learn that it helps, it works. You grow and you’ll be able to overcome more and more as time goes by. Thank you to everyone sharing their stories, and also to anyone watching and learning about SM from my videos because their friend is struggling – you are so amazing!! It’s because of people like you guys we get through it.
I’ll add the two videos I’ve posted so far ❤