Search This Blog

Monday, September 13, 2010

My child has what?

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!



  1. Bliss, Thank you for starting this blog (and for commenting on mine a while back!). I have gone through all the same emotions you listed, and I remember crying A LOT after my son was diagnosed. It's very hard and confusing, and you're right that not many people understand SM who aren't living with it. They think it's "just shyness" or that the kids will just outgrow it, and it's not nearly that simple. I hope blogging helps you on your journey. It's certainly helped me to write things down. Please stay in touch.


  2. I hope over time you will find that writing this blog helps you to be able to deal more easily with Selective Mutism. Please do not be hard on yourself. You have not done anything to cause your daughter to have SM, but you have done a lot to help her overcome it by researching and learning all you can about Selective Mutism. I have been where you are and can assure you that your daughter WILL be able to speak in public in the future. Keep supporting her and take care of yourself because you are her hero and she needs you on her side.

    Feel free to email me anytime...

    Julie (owner of SM yahoo support group)

  3. I believe sharing your thoughts and feelings through this blog is really going to help you through the journey ahead as well as help others that are in the same situation. I know when I wrote the articles about Thomas' journey on Associated Content, it really helped me to gain more understanding and feel more at ease with what we were dealing with. I knew through my articles others would come to know more about SM and it would help me to connect with more SM families. It truly has been a blessing to connect with you and others through the Yahoo group as well. You and your daughter are in my prayers. Kristina

  4. hello there, reading this blog make me cry because is the same exactly way I feel, it just looks like I wrote it, I am also over protected with my daughter Samantha who will turn 4 in june, she gets so much anxiety when entering her class and the kids are sitting down, she she not let me go, her teacher comes and holds her hand and take her inside, after that she is fine. What hurt me the most is seen how she holds her emotions and pain all day in day care, until I come to get her. Yesterday a kid was kicking her and she didnt said a word to the teacher, the teacher, today she hurt herself in the playground and a girl went to tell the teacher, because she can not even cry WHEN SHE IS IN PAIN. She dont talk to nobody in school. We have play dates with different kids and she is non stop talking. I have a good support system in school/day care, WE ARE ALL OVER THE TOP MOMS, GOD ONLY GIVE US AS MUCH AS WE CAN HANDLE AND KIDS WITH SM ARE GIVING ONLY TO SPECIAL MOTHERS. I WILL LOVE TO HAVE A NON PROFIT TO HELP ALL THE KIDS IN MY AREA.