SM · video

Personal Stories & Comments About SM

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. 

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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…

REPLY:

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

REPLY:

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

REPLY:

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.

REPLY:

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 ❤

mental health

BEFORE & AFTER – Gaining Happiness

Times have changed and I know a lot of people are now wanting to gain muscles instead of just getting skinnier or losing weight, which is how I feel like it used to be. If you, as a girl, were working out you just wanted to get a little bit toned and would much more rather loose weight than gain it. I remember I wouldn’t lift any heavier than like a 5kg weight because I didn’t wanna get muscles that were “too big” . Because I was a girl and it wasn’t pretty. Stupid, right? This was before I developed a serious problem with food, weight and my measurements, but I still had that mindset.

That’s loooong gone now and I love lifting heavy weights. I mostly do legs, that’s no lie, and I guess partly how that started was also a result of the world changing around us and what became more “popular”. Now I feel differently. I do love having more curves, but I most importantly have a genuine passion for working out with weights and getting stronger – it gives me a lot more than what just running on a treadmill does. It’s a little break from all the stress around me, just going to the gym and focusing on me and what I’m doing in that exact moment and only that. Working out has always been some sort of therapy for me, no doubt.

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It’s clear to see the difference on the outside, but the changes on the inside are what matters the most. On the left you see a young girl who had actually GAINED weight after being in Athens and then I had arrived in Milan, still extremely skinny and also sick. My body was craving so much because I had been neglecting it from everything for such a long time that I started buying crazy amounts of junk food, going back to the model apartment, eating it all, then not eating anything the next day except for drinking juice because I felt bad. I remember feeling so ashamed, just thinking how in the world I became “that girl”. Truth is: anyone can. As this was going on I was even helping other models struggling, giving them advice and talking to them about their problems with food and their bodies. It’s crazy how much in denial I was.

I remember that later, after Milan, when I started gaining weight because I actually got a inflammation in my stomach as a result of everything I had done (will have to live with that forever) and had to start a medicine that gave me a lot of water weight, my model agent sent me pictures from my Milan trip saying how perfect I was back then. I mean, how does it not mess you up?

Then on the right – you can see me now. Healthier and happier. Strong and in love with both pizza and green tea.

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I will always have a slim figure, it’s just in my genes and I am not trying to show you guys what anyone should look like, or what a transformation should be. This is just mine. That is not what I am trying to shed light on – no body types, no big or small, no thigh gap this or big butt that. It’s the happiness you give yourself when you decide to just let you be you. The healthy version of you. Wether it’s going to the gym just a little bit more, or going a little bit less. Wether it’s to stop letting yourself not eat what you want because of “carbs”, or if it’s adding more vegetables to your dinner instead of eating noodles every day. It’s all about balance. Too much of anything is never good.

I found change in the people around me as well, I started realising what was important – knowing I could not live my life like this. I met Dan and all I started doing was living in the moment. Food was something to enjoy and love was something you couldn’t define by a body or an image. I realised love is real and it doesn’t judge. So I stopped doing that as well. I decided to give love to the real me and everything that comes with doing so.

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Photographs · traveling

Weekend Getaway

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Last weekend Dan and I had a little getaway. For Christmas I wanted to give him an experience rather than a thing, so I rented an Airbnb in Narrabeen, basically right on Narrabeen Beach, as a little weekend getaway. It’s really the best time I’ve had here since we arrived. It was such a calm and nice little town, I loved our cozy apartment and being able to start the day on the balcony looking out to the beach and hearing the waves constantly throughout the days.

It makes me feel kinda silly for choosing to live right in the city of Sydney when I know how much I love the beach life, but for now I just need to focus on making the best out of my opportunities while being here where there is a lot going on.

I wanted to share some of the pictures from our weekend with you guys ❤

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If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat you probably saw more of our weekend there – if you’re not following already my username is @martefre on both ❤

personal · Thoughts · traveling

First Day of 2019 – Thoughts

I’ll be honest. First day of 2019 and I haven’t ever felt more lost. It’s how it goes though isn’t it? In your twenties you’re a bit lost and then you find yourself? I have always known what I wanted to do next, where I want to go next, why I am where I am and doing what I am doing, but now – I have no idea.

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Photo: Mila Ritz

I am thankful and grateful that I got to share my story last year, and be some kind of support for anyone struggling with Selective Mutism. That I had my first talk about it and that my Mom and I finally got to experience the support from others ourselves, even though I don’t have it anymore it was such an emotional experience. This is my most cherished moment from last year. I will keep working even harder this year!

I moved to Oslo with Dan. Somewhere I never thought I would have enjoyed, but turns out – I did have some amazing months. I also finally got to live closer to my best friend, and even though it didn’t last for long I really appreciated being able to have her so close. I also made some amazing friendships – we didn’t get too much time, but the time we had gave us something to keep for years on and for that I am thankful. I loved being able to be closer to my mom, just a quick flight away and I was home, back to the safest place I know, right next to her ❤ I was also closer to the rest of my family – my brother, dad, aunts, cousins, and my little niece… I went through some tough times and lost my Grandpa, and to be honest it’s still very heartbreaking to think about. If my Oslo time taught my anything it’s that my family means everything to me. We don’t have all the time in the world and I just want to spend the time I’m given with them around me. Everyone’s getting older and I just don’t feel like being so far away all the time. So you could probably ask what the hell I’m doing on the other side of the world? I couldn’t even tell you, but I think my restlessness just had to get me here. And that’s probably the biggest reason for why I’m feeling so lost right now. What am I doing so far away? It’s not like I haven’t done it before, it just feels different this time.

I also tried Miss Norway, which I am thankful for because I figured out I really had something to share – my story with SM meant something so much bigger than I ever thought, but it also just made me experience once again how messed up this world is. Old men convincing girls to pay and give them money to be in a pageant that claims to “be more than just about beauty” because you have to have a “case” to fight for – yet if you got them any money the attention was there, but if you made a difference and worked for something bigger it was ignored. I got to the finale and I decided enough was enough. I wrote a blog post about everything I had experienced, and I do really hope other girls read it and learned something from it.

I also started spending more time in the gym with weights and only grew more and more passionate about it. My body has changed – no doubt about it, but so has my mind, and I’m happier than ever just being me.

Dan and I reached our goal this year as well, or should I say goals. We moved to Oslo, worked hard and saved up money so we could go to Australia. I finally got to see Caitlin again, and like we did in London we got the chance to live together again. This time in the cutest apartment. And now we’re here.

It’s nice here, the scenery is beautiful and the weather is amazing. I even love the thunderstorms.

In terms of work I want to be more creative, but the industry seems a lot different over here. Like always I do have some sort of plan for what I am doing and I am very passionate about it, and to be honest right here in Sydney could be a good place to start.

I just don’t know what it is. I struggle to feel like I should be here, that this is the place for me right now. Then again Australia is big and other places might feel different, and I haven’t seen everything even here in Sydney – I just wish the weird feeling would go away.

I’m young and I’ll figure it out. I’m lucky I’m not here completely alone and I got good people around me – which I am so grateful for.

Just because people are traveling and being somewhere completely different than you, sharing photos and experiencing something else – I really don’t want you to think it’s all perfect! It’s tough, and this time it’s much more tougher than I thought it would be – but nothing is wrong with that. Maybe it isn’t for me, maybe I will end up loving it and things will change, but whatever I figure out I just know I’ll have to listen to my true feelings. I’m still staying here for now, and for the rest of 2019 – let’s see what happens. I am incredible grateful to get another year on this earth. I’ll do my best this year – let’s get to work ❤

 

 

Thoughts

Two Kids In Love

6

two kids

different lives

different worlds

2

trying to figure out life

life and love

no

we already know love

3

do you know it takes work?

do you want to love and be loved?

do you know it means not giving up?

do you know it means loving yourself?

1

go your own path

choose the real love

the unconditional love

the self-love

the love that makes you not just fight for someone else

but yourself as well

 

life is unpredictable but I get to wake up next to someone 

I love.

 

Photos: Vilde Bråten @wildust.photo

personal · Photographs

Self – Love

I want to talk about self-love. About loving yourself. Loving yourself when you’re all alone. Loving yourself without makeup. Loving yourself because you’re unique and you’re you.

We all have insecurities, and when having the type of anxiety I used to have – it was more centered around other people. It is so frustrating being inside your head – and having confidence and self-love, but the second you get out in situations where you feel unsafe, all of that disappears. It used to take a second and I felt like I was robbed of everything I had when I was by myself.

So what happened? How did I push myself enough to have the same feelings about myself no matter who I’m surrounded by? How did I go from being the quiet one who only wanted to be invisible, to someone who loves herself and respect herself?

By being surrounded by my mom growing up I learned to love myself from an early age. I knew my worth and I knew I always had the right to my own opinions. I learned that my voice and dreams was just as important as anyone elses. This could unfortunately never have “saved” me from my anxiety disorder. I had to go through it, but I always had what my mom taught me in the back of my mind.

When I managed to fight the anxiety I was struggling with, and realised what I actually could do – everything changed. I took my confidence outside of home, I started speaking up and I wanted people to hear me. I’m always thinking – you only have this one life, why would you ever waste it by worrying about what other people would say or mean or think about you?! Every single one of us is going to be gone one day, and how will they opinions about you matter then, or ever? Why should it stop you from doing or saying what you want? You need to live your life to the fullest, and it always starts with loving yourself – before anything.

I know there’s so many struggling with this every day – so I wanted to write down some things you might find helpful ❤

* Write down the things you like about yourself. You can even ask your closest what they appreciate and love about you.

* Always remember you only have this one life to share your opinions, stand up for yourself and make a change.

* If someone doesn’t like you? Know that they have their own problems and there’s always a reason for something – they are probably struggling with themselves and it really is sad how that’s the only way they can make themselves feel better. Know it’s not worth any of your attention. Focus on you and your life. They are the ones wasting time.

* You are UNIQUE and no one is like you!

* Find a hobby. Maybe you’re wondering how this will help with self-love? If you spend day by day looking at people and what they are doing with their lives – you won’t feel good about yourself. Pursue something! Do something for yourself, and get good at it – or even just improve. You are capable of so many great things. Do it for yourself and no one else.

* STOP COMPARING YOURSELF! I know people do this every single day. Why do you want to look like someone else?! You are so special. There’s so many inspiring people out there and I get inspired every day, but I would never wanna be them. The world already has one of him or her – I wanna be me because no one else has that. You should own it – it’s so amazing.

Be good, do good – and love yourself.