I know how important my previous video turned out to be for a lot of people, so I thought I would make another one and talk a bit more about the struggles you can experience when you’re getting rid of the anxiety, as well as other thoughts. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be so happy if you leave a comment and subscribe ❤
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 ❤
Dan and I went to see this movie the other day “Eight Grade”, it was a good movie – but most of all was the meaning of it, the message and what it could mean to others. There’s certain things that the main character “Kayla” said that I feel resonates with how I felt as I was trying to put Selective Mutism completely behind me. Mostly in my teens when I did talk to others, but found it really difficult. The movie is not about Selective Mutism, and even though the main character finds it difficult to be herself and talk a lot to the people at her school she does not have Selective Mutism, but I know there’s certain things and feelings being explained in that movie that you for sure have felt yourself if you struggle or have struggled with SM, most likely on a different scale – but it’s just a nice thing being able to listen someone speak and explain things in a more childlike way, somehow it becomes more real and honest.
This was said in the movie;
“I’m really like nervous all the time. … It’s like I’m waiting in line for like a roller coaster and that stupid like butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling you get. I get that all the time. And then I never get the feeling after you ride the roller coaster.”
I remember walking around constantly feeling this way. There was never a moment to relax and not think or worry about anything and everything. And it just kept on going like that.
She also talked about confidence.
“A big part of confidence is being brave, and you can’t be brave without being scared”
At the end of the movie she said these words, amongst others like “pretend you have confidence and that will somehow generate real confidence”.
That is something I felt I had to do as I was trying to get rid of my anxiety when I was younger. I believed in myself, always, but I did not have a lot of confidence in doing anything or saying anything when I was around others. So I just started pretending. It sounds so easy, but it feels like the most difficult thing in the world for people struggling with Selective Mutism – pretend you have confidence? How are you supposed to do that when you can’t say a word, right?
Like I said this is what I started doing after I had challenged myself for years with the little things, that I’ve talked about previously – the small steps that matters the most. After getting through it I was able to be myself a bit more, or at least answer and have short conversations. I knew I had to challenge myself on different levels if I wanted to get to where I one day saw myself. I was in my teens at that time. I saw people around me daily do and say things and not even think twice about it, so I started saying to myself I could do it to – I should do it because then one day I might even be like them – just fully be myself and not be one bit concerned or worried about it, because I knew in my heart there really wasn’t any reason to be.
And just remember it’s not always going to be comfortable, nice feelings, a safe environment… In the moment it might feel worth it to stop challenging yourself so you don’t have to face those feelings, face the unsafe and scary – but it’s so important to keep telling yourself this is what makes me grow, makes me better and stronger. Like I always think – people are just people, who cares? We won’t be here for long so just be yourself and enjoy the great things in life, share your opinions and be proud of who you are. Life’s too short. Take on the challenges and don’t be too hard on yourself along the way. You can do anything. You just have to believe it yourself.
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.
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 ❤
Jeg skriver oftest bare på engelsk her, men jeg ville veldig gjerne dele en video fra da jeg holdte foredrag tidligere i år og fortalte min historie med selektiv mutisme, og i tillegg fikk møte utrolig mange flotte mennesker. Det var en helt spesiell dag. Selv om jeg ikke sliter med det lengre vil det alltid være en del av livet mitt, og bare det å ikke føle seg alene lengre var så utrolig fint. Det vet jeg at mamma kjente på også. I tillegg var det fantastisk å vite at det jeg har å si kan hjelpe andre. At min historie betyr noe. Da blir alt liksom verdt det.
Jeg må bare si tusen takk til Foreningen for Selektiv Mutisme som faktisk gjorde den dagen mulig, og for alt de gjør alle andre dager. Dere er helt fantastiske.
Håper dere liker videoen ❤
This is a video that was filmed the day I had my talk about selective mutism! It was such a special day, and I’m so grateful that both my mom and I got to experience it. From going through it all alone to meeting so many amazing people supporting each other was amazing. Even though I don’t have selective mutism anymore, it will always be a part of my life. Unfortunately the video is in Norwegian, but I will add my two other videos in English about selective mutism here as well. ❤
So a lot of people wanted to know more about my Mom’s feelings, struggles and so on when having me, a daughter, with Selective Mutism. What was it like for her, and what did she go through? I’m sure a lot of you can relate, and I hope this video makes you feel less alone ❤
Please write any questions or requests for any other Selective Mutism videos in the comments, and I will remember until next time! Thank you for watching!
Those two extremes equal me. Who I was, who I have become.
There’s the one extreme that has shined through and the one people now seem to recognise in me. Creativeness, ambition and boldness. The loud one that wants to be seen, that wants to live for her passion and be creative. The one that made me fight.
This side of me has made me do and experience things I never in a million years thought I would. It has made me get out of my darkest time, and keeps on pushing me everyday.
There’s the other one that took up my entire life as a kid. Selective Mutism. Anxiety. Fear. I never left the memories and feelings behind me, I decided to take it with me and carry it to show others what is possible. To inspire and help. Support and spread awareness. I took charge of it and decided I would keep my fight with me to show you, to remind myself of what I have achieved.
It also made me different. Different forever. In a good way. More emotional, but also better at explaining my feelings. More understanding. Stronger. A fighter.
Even if I didn’t want to speak up about it – I know I would forever have parts of it with me. In everything I am and will become.
So this is what I want it to be about. To share with you guys. The two sides. The two extremes. Me.
I hope you want to keep reading, interacting and following. There will be new updates here every Wednesday and Sunday, so stay tuned.
Photos: Goldsmith Photography
Lots of love,