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 ❤

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mental health · Photographs · selective mutism

Is There Anything You Want To Know?

So after speaking and contacting different people around the world I have figured out the best way to reach a lot of people and spread more knowledge about SM for right now is to make a YouTube video.

I am really doing my best to be able to have talks about it and see people face to face because I think the affect is bigger, just from my own experience. I really want to be able to visit schools and talk with people working with kids, because that’s where the knowledge so desperately needs to be in order to help… But a great way to start is social media. And I also want to be able to inspire others that are struggling right now, and I know I could reach them with videos.

So with that, I want to know if there is anything you want to have answered? Any questions you have? My first video will mostly be about my own story and how it feels like growing up with selective mutism and not getting the help I should have gotten from the system and school… Write any questions in the comments, and I will answer them in either this video or the next one!

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Photo: @susiphotographer

Gjerne skriv ned spørsmål på norsk også, jeg tar de selvfølgelig med!

mental health · selective mutism · SM

God Morgen Norge – Selektiv Mutisme

I dag hadde jeg mitt første tv intervju angående selektiv mutisme. Jeg er så takknemlig for at jeg får muligheten til å dele min historie, og være til hjelp for andre som sliter akkurat nå. Jeg vil gjøre mitt aller beste for at kunnskap, støtte og hjelp blir spredt. For at kompetansen rundt denne lidelsen øker, og unger slipper å føle seg utrygg i hverdagen. Slik at de kan bli møtt med forståelse, og ikke fortvilelse.

Det var utrolig godt å ha Heidi Omdal ved min side, for en utrolig fin og inspirerende person. Veldig stolt av å kunne være på God Morgen Norge med henne.

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Trykk her for å se intervjuet!

Med det håper jeg så mange som mulig vil være en del av foreningen av selektiv mutisme, gjerne trykk her for mer informasjon – så håper jeg vi kan spre enda mer kunnskap og støtte sammen ❤

Har dere noen spørsmål angående gjesteforelesning på skole/universitet gjerne kontakt meg på fma11824@gmail.com.

Yesterday I had my first tv interview about selective mutism. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my story and spread knowledge. I want to do my absolute best to help and make sure people struggling with this anxiety disorder right now will not feel alone. I want the school system and the support system to understand it. I want people to keep finding out, researching and doing their best to improve where they can so that no kid or parent has to be left alone and left out like my mom and I.  

Any questions regarding selective mutism and my story please contact me by email; fma11824@gmail.com.

personal · selective mutism · SM

It was never a choice

It was never a choice. What kid would choose to not speak up, not get to know new people, hearing adults and kids talk about you – but say nothing yourself?

Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder and it used to be my entire life. There needs to be more knowledge, more support and more help.

My mom and I fought through it, all alone. Teachers needs to be aware of what’s going on right in front on them. No kid deserves to feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, and they have to carry it all alone. Not even professionals being able to help, or understand.

If you told me as a little girl that one day I would stand up and confidently share my story and be an inspiration to others – little Marte with anxiety would have never believed you. The loud, stubborn and ambitious Marte I was as home would have just told you “I can do anything.”

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personal · Photographs

Selective Mutism, Miss Norway, Modeling

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Jeg elsker å være kreativ med små ting som håret mitt, eller sminken. Samtidig går jeg ofte både uten sminke og med håret slik det er når jeg står opp, spesielt dager der jeg jobber og skal få unnagjort mye. For meg gjør det også at det blir ekstra morsomt å faktisk gjøre noe annerledes når jeg “ordner” meg. Kommer nok til å ha håret mye som dette nå som sommeren nærmer seg!

Ellers lurer dere kanskje på hva jeg gjør nå? Jeg valgte som sagt å trekke meg fra Miss Norway, og det står jeg selvfølgelig enda for – dere kan lese hvorfor HER. 

Jeg kommer til å være i Norge en stund til, egentlig for å jobbe og planlegge. Jeg prøver å få gjort flere foredrag om selektiv mutisme, da det er noe jeg virkelig tror kan hjelpe – og ikke minst som trengs for å spre kunnskap og håp. Leser du dette og vil ta kontakt angående foredrag, spørsmål eller noe annet – finner du mailen min på denne siden! Ikke nøl med å ta kontakt.

Jeg skal også fremover fokusere på å få planlagt noen photoshoots her i Oslo, eventuelt andre oppdrag slik at jeg får gjort så mye som mulig til tross for at jeg er i Norge! Det kommer også snart noen utrolig kule bilder ut fra en veldig nylig photoshoot. Jeg gleder meg til å vise dere.

Tusen takk for all støtte ❤

I love being creative with small details when it comes to my hair, or makeup looks. I also love my days without makeup and just focusing on treating my skin and hair right, and just getting important things done like work and workouts. That makes it more fun when I put on makeup and do something different with my hair. I’ll for sure be having my hair like this for the summer. 

Other than that you might be wondering what I’m doing now? Like I wrote earlier I chose to leave the Miss Norway competition, and you can read why HERE

I’ll be here in Norway for a while longer, just planning and focusing on getting to do more talks about selective mutism because it’s something I really believe can help and give hope to others. If you are reading this right now and are interested in knowing more, or have any questions – please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is on this page! It doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re from. 

I’ll also be focusing on doing more photoshoots now while I’m still in Oslo! I did one very recently, and I can’t wait to show you guys. 

Thank you for all your support ❤

selective mutism · SM

Selektiv Mutisme – Foredrag!

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På lørdag var det klart for fagdag for selektiv mutisme – og dagen jeg skulle ha foredrag! Foreningen for selektiv mutisme har vært helt fantastisk, de har virkelig stått på og fått til så mye. Ovenfor ser dere Anne og meg, en av de som driver foreninger og en helt utrolig dame som jeg kom i kontakt med etter å ha delt min egen historie.

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Jeg har ikke hatt en “presentasjon” siden skoletidene, og da var jeg aldri helt kvitt selektiv mutisme – så det var veldig spesielt for meg at det føltes så naturlig på lørdag.

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Det som var helt utrolig for meg var åpenheten, alle historiene, kampene – og følelsen av at vi alle hadde noe til felles. Alle hadde kjent på fortvilelsen og utfordringene, men samtidig tror jeg mange fikk bekreftet hvor mye riktig de gjør. Hvor mye små skritt betyr. Hvor viktig det er at vi alle står sammen og jobber for mer kunnskap, mer støtte og mer håp.

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Jeg tror alle gikk ut dørene litt lettere, sterkere og veldig klare for nye utfordringer. Det er så viktig å ikke føle seg alene, og til tross for at mamma måtte gjennom det, er det så fint at det finnes et slikt fellesskap nå.

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Det er også så utrolig for meg å tenke på hvor mye historien min har å si for så mange. Det tok en stund før jeg bestemte meg for å dele hva jeg har vært i gjennom, og alle følelsene og tankene som kom med det – men jeg er så glad for at jeg gjorde det. Det er så viktig for meg at dere som sliter vet at dere kan komme dere ut av det en dag. Uansett hvor langt nede dere føler dere, hvor umulig alt føles – dere kan ikke gi opp! Det skjer ikke på en dag, men det skjer gradvis – med både dårlige og gode dager, tøffe øyeblikk og vanskelige utfordringer.

En av de som driver foreningen sendte meg også noe veldig fint som jeg vil dele med dere; “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”

Det kommer alltid til å være verdt det ❤

Foreningen vil veldig gjerne ha flere medlemmer – den er fortsatt ganske liten og trenger all støtte, så gjerne meld dere inn her!

// I think it’s important that I share this in English as well, as it’s something so important! The other day I told my story at an event for SM here in Oslo, amongst professionals, teachers, families… I’m just so happy that there’s amazing people working for this, so that we can all meet, share stories and bring hope to others. There’s so much knowledge still in need to get out there to everyone so people can understand, and so that teachers and professionals can give the right help.

I’m so incredibly grateful for all the nice words and messages, I never thought my story would have such a big impact –  I will keep sharing my story and I will always keep fighting for more awareness. 

I also got a very nice message that I wanted to share; “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”

It will always be worth it ❤