My daughter, Bryn is a wonderful child. She is smart, funny, thoughtful, sweet, and talented among other things. However, not many people know this. Why? Because Bryn rarely talks to people outside her immediate family. For the longest time, we thought she was just really shy. However, recently we have learned of a condition called Selective Mutism. Selective mutism (SM) is a severe childhood anxiety disorder in which a person who is normally capable of speech is unable to speak in given situations, or to specific people. Bryn received an official diagnosis for this condition at the beginning of August this year. What does all this mean? Your guess is as good as mine. Some people think this condition isn't real, including the pediatrician that recommended the Psychologist that gave the diagnosis. Most people have never heard of it.
I don't know where to start as my head is full of all kinds of information and feelings. I feel guilt, sadness, pain, heartache, confusion, and anger to name a few. I wish I could ignore the feelings. It is hard for me to hold it together most days. When I start to talk to someone about Bryn, I break down and tears fall. When I try to talk to Bryn about it, I break down and tears fall.
I feel guilt, because as her mother, I feel like I created this child and molded her into the person she is. I LOVE HER! However, I just don't want to see her suffering like this. Where did I go wrong. What did I do to make her this way. Did the genes my husband and I passed along, make her this way? That's where the guilt comes into play.
I know any mother will understand the sadness and pain I am feeling. It is just so sad and agonizing to see your child suffer. She doesn't want to go to school. She is to afraid to try new things, even fun things like bowling and bounce houses. My heart just aches when I know she would like to do something, but can't.
I find myself confused at every turn. I read things on the internet and in books about how to treat this anxiety disorder but this is not how the professionals she is seeing are handling it. They are not offering us any help with day to day life. Some think medication, some don't. It's just confusing.
I am just ANGRY that this is happening to my sweet kid. She has a great personality, but doesn't feel comfortable showing the true Bryn to the rest of the world. Childhood shouldn't be so hard. A 5 year old shouldn't have such trouble!