Letter from a reader

October 6, 2013 in Selective Mutism

This is a letter from a person called Blue Bird, who is in college, but is also struggling like many of us. If you would like to give some encouraging words, be sure to leave a comment!

Hi everyone! I’m a Junior in college who has never been diagnosed with selective mutism, but I know for a fact that I have it. Like many here I’m pretty sure that I had it before it was ‘discovered.’ I have always felt that I was different from the rest of kids, but I had never known why. All I knew was that I couldn’t do what they could do, because I could never understand it. What I mean is actions like; hugging, laughing, crying, or showing any form of emotion. It seemed physically, mentally, and emotionally impossible for me to understand how to feel what they would feel and act as immaturely as they would. I always thought to myself; “What are they doing” or ” How can they do that?”.

Now I’m in college and functioning successively academically, but falling socially. The thing is, I transferred to another school my Sophomore year to this school now… and it’s proving to be a challenge. I had a few very close friends at my old school that were also, in a way, different like me. But now, I’m at a school where I can’t make that connection with anyone. It seems impossible, but it’s true. To me, the people here are all the same (I hate the way that sounds but I seems so true to me). As a terrible throw-back to high school, they are the ‘rich preps.’ As a disclaimer, I have no ill-will towards them because they are rich; that’s not fair by any means. It’s just that I feel like as soon as I talk to them, they see that I’m not like them. The conversation goes like this; I talk, she/he talks, I say something else, he/she says ‘oh’, and leaves. I just don’t get it.

I need help is what I’m saying or actually not able to say. This is a painfully lonely condition that I have never been able to speak to anyone about, because they just couldn’t understand it. Or in my parent’s case don’t want to hear it. I just want to talk to people who know what it’s like and give me some advise. Sorry if there are any spelling errors.

Thanks for reading!

Blue Bird

——————————–

Hi Blue Bird,

Talking is hard enough. But even after you manage to get any words out, it’s an effort to go that extra step towards an actual conversation. It just takes practice.

Remember that what you have to say is important! You have a unique point of view that no one else has, that you should share with the world. With time, people will see that you are a diamond waiting to be unearthed.

Also, you don’t have to say the perfect thing. Nobody can do that all the time, so loosen up and you will realize that you can say whatever you feel like (as long as it is not very offensive). If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve accomplished so much already!

Stay positive! Try to give off a good vibe, and people will want to stay with your energy. The easiest way to do this is to smile and laugh (when appropriate). =]

And a lot of it depends on what you say, but try the “yes, and” technique: whenever you want to add to a conversation, agree with whatever they said (yes) and then add to it (and). For example, if a rich prep at your school says “my dad bought me a mercedes this weekend,” you can reply “yes, and I see he bought you a great work ethic too!” Or you can say “yes, and it’s very beautiful. What do you like most about it?” etc.

Don’t let it get you down. If you can find some friends who have similar interests as you, then that will be great. But no matter what, just practice talking and try to improve. That’s the best way. =]

I hope this helped, and good luck!

-Seth