A Broken & Shattered Lens
Hello dearest friends. It's been awhile. But I truly believe that there is a time for everything, therefore I must trust that today's blog entry is right in its timing. I must trust that if I would have written this prior, it would not speak the intensity that it will at this very moment. Especially with 2020 having been such a challenge for every single nation across our globe. So I am going to run freely with my writing today. I will trust that this will help many others and also bring a sense of freedom for myself. I am believing that it will shed light as to how selective mutism can still creep in and be present in ones life, well after you think you've fully walked out of it. The views, the mindsets, the lens of how you think can still need healing and fixing along the way.
Lets go back quite a ways. I've lived in my head for a very long time. Many of those who have lived through selective mutism or are currently still in the midst of it, can tell you that this becomes the norm and you unfortunately do not know anything else. It becomes a safe place at times, but also a place where you can control things. This was my world as of age 3. Having conversations with myself. Good and bad. Over analyzing things. Breaking myself. Setting unrealistic expectations for myself. Entertaining fear. Woundedness. Brokeness. Rejection. I have come a long way in the past 3 years. I can assure you that this did not come without a lot of hard work, an exceptional professional counselor to help me walk out and see the real truth in my life, and the support of loved ones to trust it was safe to process and break free from it.
As I pondered as to where rejection really hit hard in life, I think my biggest shattering moment was the year I came back to my original elementary school. I cannot recall if I mentioned it in one of the previous entries, but I ended up switching schools for a year in grade 3 (which was probably my most traumatizing school year of my life). What I didn't realize though is when I would return to my previous school to do grades 4 through 6, the friends that I had there, that were solid from pre-k through grade 2, would be no more. They had made their own circle and I was no longer part of it. Hard reality check for a 4th grader. I mean lets be real here, we were all just kids. So I truly do not hold this against any of them. They are fabulous humans and I have much love and appreciation for them. I never even mentioned this to any of them at that time or even after the fact. But this marked me hard. I had a tender heart (I still do to this day, it's part of how I'm made up). My world spiraled then and I became super consumed with finding a way to "fit in" to be part of their circle.
From grades 4 through 6, I was driven to find any possible way to be in the "in crowd". In my mind, I thought that if I could possibly fit in in this way, it could "x" out the whole weirdness and alienism of my selective mutism. I would work hard at trying to be cool. To be wanted. To have people want to be friends with me. To look a specific way. To have a title. Here I am, age 35 now, and I can truly look at it and admit it. I was hurting. My worth lens was broken. I could not understand much of it. I thought that it would fix more of my life or bring it some sort of well worth meaning. That was not the case. On several occasions this would fail and my world would come shattering down. I can tell you that even through the rest of my schooling, I had a fear of being looked down upon from the "in crowd". Since I was so used to people ridiculing me because of my selective mutism, I thought they would ridicule me for any possible thing of my life.
Fast forward to my adult life. I sadly was super insanely sensitive and would see much through a rejected and broken lens. If someone did not talk to me or make me feel included, I immediately claimed rejection in my mind. If someone stopped talking to me, rejection would settle in. If someone I loved would treat me differently then what I would know, again I'd feel rejected. It was all I knew. The moment I'd feel like I'm being pushed away, I would throw up my coping and safety mechanisms and go into protection mode.
I am hoping that what I'm sharing today truly helps someone know that you're not alone. That this broken and shattered lens can be healed and fixed. Does it take time? Of course! Will your lens be perfect? Absolutely not. I can tell you right now that I just went through a bout of this very "head spinning", stuck in your head moments, the past few days. I have learnt that there are tools to fight this and that speaking truth to break the lies truly brings freedom. In times where things do not seem to shatter, PLEASE, I encourage you to reach out to those around you who truly love and accept you, fully, and allow them to lift you up, cheer you on, and help you fight. We're all fighting our own fights along the way of life. It is the way we choose to look at them or allow them to shape us that is key. I am grateful for how far I have come and how God will use this and use my story to bring so much hope and freedom to many others.
Keep running the race of life. Keep your head up and know that YOU my friend are worth far more than you can truly believe or see. You are loved and you are cherished.