Monday, 18 March 2013

Mondays + Mutism

I hate today. It's Monday.

I hate it because I HAD to get out of bed this morning. No sleeping in allowed on Mondays. Doesn't mean I don't dual with my alarm clock though! 

Monday is groan-worthy. I have to crawl out of my small and very comfortable dream world and join the real one. I don't like it nearly as much.

Just saying.

I love today. It's Monday.

I have six children in my class and that's a very nice number. Two of my children go home at midday and my babies are happy - no teething, no temperature, just happy. Which makes me very happy.

I love quiet days like today. It means that I don't need to talk the whole day long to every person at every moment.

This is how I was meant to live.

Last week I lost my voice. For one day. It's hard navigating the challenges of my normal work day and in spite of the additional challenge of not having a voice, I had a really good day. This may sound strange but I really liked not being able to speak. It forced me to slow down a bit, to notice the nuances in my day - answering a child's need without asking, just meeting it because I saw it. I might have missed it otherwise. 

It was strange and kinda funny to see how others reacted to my quietude. Most thought there was something wrong with me and asked if I was okay. They were satisfied with my whispered answer that I had lost my voice. But what if I hadn't lost my voice? If it was in perfect working order and I chose not to use it twenty hours of the day? Would people still look for a reason behind my reserve? 

I'm going to be bold here and say yes, they would. In fact, I know they would.

As a child I had an anxiety disorder called selective mutism. Here's some information about selective mutism - thank you Wikipedia. I would often have the desire to speak to someone, but the fear of doing so overwhelmed me in such a paralyzing way that it was virtually impossible for words to escape my mouth. Lots of people wondered about this and asked my parents what was wrong with me. Because not talking at all in not normal.

Since then I've learnt that as much as not talking is abnormal, so too is talking too little. When I'm quiet, people sometimes think there is something wrong. But they're wrong. There's nothing wrong at all. If you were wondering, no, I'm no longer affected by selective mutism. Certainly not to the degree that I was as a child. But I'm not completely unaffected either. I crave the mental space and freedom that silence gives. My voice combined with the myriad of others, the interactions that come with it cause me to feel an uncomfortable sense of dread and impending doom. Things get just a little bit much, a bit confusing and a lot overwhelming. I need these quiet days to balance that out and keep me sane and functional. 

Here's to Mondays - good for the mind and the soul and for the heart to overflow with warm fuzzies.

1 comment:

  1. OMGOSH! I can't believe I haven't seen your posts in my feed until now! Ahh! Horrible blog friend I am =( Alright, I gotta go catch up on all of your posts! Better late then never right?