I have selective mutism. No, it doesn’t mean that sometimes I choose not to talk. It means that I physically can’t talk in those moments. I want to talk but the words will not come out. In fact, there’s not much selective about it.
For me, these incidents can occur if I get a certain vibe off someone, and I don’t like them, or if I’m in social situations, particularly in large groups. I have good days and bad days. Some days I can speak freely and other days I can’t.
My mum once took me to a counsellor but my body refused to speak to her, so it was deemed useless. This was because I didn’t like her and found she had a certain tone in her voice that scared me. It’s important that people speak to me in a certain way, and if they don’t, sometimes I won’t respond.
I also usually don’t talk to people at first, until I feel comfortable with them. If you ask me a question, though, I’ll usually respond. Sometimes, it might just be a gesture though, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk. I just need to get into it.
It has actually gotten to the point where my mum talks for me most of the time because she’s worried I won’t say anything. It shocks her when I do speak up as it can be very unexpected. If I’m feeling more confident that day, I might talk more.
I find talking online a lot easier than in real life. It means I can put across thoughts that would never cross my lips. I like interacting with people, and talking to them, but I am normally not the one to start the conversation.
It’s hard not being able to talk when I want to all the time. Like the words are right on the edge of coming out, but they just don’t. My thoughts become overwhelmed with words that never came out and sometimes, I might just explode in a fury of thoughts later on to my mum. She doesn’t always like how much I talk to her, but I can’t help it! It’s what is stored up from earlier.
I can come across as rude for not talking when spoken to, but that’s out of my control. I hope this post helps people to better understand selective mutism.