Marie (moropus) wrote in text_is_life,
Marie
moropus
text_is_life

Selective Mutism

I have just found out that thing I had as a kid is called Selective Mutism. I kinda grew out of it, but not entirely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_mutism

There was no trauma to kick it off, it just runs in the family and since it wasn't too severe, my parents decided to let me grow out of it, since I was terrified of the shrink, and would answer questions of any one who directly asked me one. So I take a drug for anxiety attacks and its working quite well.

I have to talk to a lot of people at work,and sometimes I think its very taxing, because I'm still naturally shy. Opposing somebody nearly kills me. My teachers would comment that they noticed I had gone days without saying a word. Truth is, I couldn't think of anything to say, and I didn't learn small talk until quite an advanced age. My parents were not surprised because my Dad was the same way. They have six kids. Half of us don't shut up and the other half don't talk. It kind of balances the family, but my teachers all thought there was something wrong with me. I managed to tell one teacher that the other kids said the same exact things every day and I thought that was dumb and I didn't want to do that. I had to take tests to prove I wasn't mentally ill or unable to function.

One part of the test involved commenting on every item in the shrink's office. I thought they would take me away if I didn't start talking (I was only 8 and very confused about the purpose of the test) so I told the guy his fake plant was ugly, I didn't like his wallpaper, and his tie didn't match his socks. Also my dad told me men should wear long enough socks so when they sit down, you can't see any bare leg past the sock.

And I knew these were all rude things to say, but I thought he was going to take me away if I didn't start talking, so I said everything that popped into my head. But when I got over my rant, and he tried to have a conversation with me, I didn't have anything to say. Mom and Dad came in later and told him Dad was the same way as a kid, still naturlaly quiet, and they didn't think there was anything wrong with me. They refused to have the rest of the litter tested because they talk when they have something to say, they are smart enough, and they'd rather listen than talk. And we're all smarter than the average bear. Real short on common sense at times, but who' got everything? And we all grew out of it to various degrees, have jobs, etc, proving my parents were right to let us alone because we weren't that bad.

Once I get past "Hi, how ya doing?" there's not another thing in my head to say. I'm OK with the little meaningless conversations people want to have standing in line now, but I learned to
wind people up, let them talk and listen. That's easier for me if I don't know them well or if I run out of things to say.. Some of us are just happier listening. We're made that way.
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