I sat down by the blocks and began to play with it. It was something that I could do while I waited for the therapy session to begin. I curled my lips into a smile as I fit all of the pieces together.
A tall brunette haired woman walked into the room as I felt a slight shiver down my spine. “Hey Maria.” She spoke. “I’m the speech therapist here at NHS.”
I waved my hand.
“Let’s start with sounding out the letters. Okay.”
I nodded my head in agreement.
Everytime that I look back at the times that I spent inside a room for therapy, I never realized that I hated being stuck in a stuffy room. In other words, I loved the outdoors more than I love being stuck in a stuffy room.
“Okay so let’s begin with sounding out the Alphabet.” She said but she said it like I was a little baby. It hurt me that someone thinks that I can’t do anything for myself. I hate when people do that, especially coming from medical professionals. I don’t get why people would treat others as if they were a baby. I hated being talked to in that manner.
“Can you sound an A for me?” She asked.
I quickly rolled my eyes and mouthed the letter A.
“Okay.” She spoke. “How about the letter B?”
“B.” I mouthed.
“Okay. Now, I’m going to step out of the room for a bit and bring your mum in.” She told me as she stood up. She walked towards the door and opened it. She took a step out of the door frame before closing the door shut. “She’s ready for you.” I heard her say from behind the door.
My mom walked into the room and closed the door behind her. “Anak, Ano ang ginagawa mo dito? What have you been doing here?” My mom said to me as I played with the blocks in front of me.
“Blocks.” I quickly responded, nodding my head.
Little did I know at the time that I was being diagnosed with Selective Mutism.
If you don’t know what Selective Mutism is, it’s when you don’t speak around people and speak to others selectively but I knew that that wasn’t what was wrong with me. It’s something deeper than that. At that time, it was Selective Mutism. That was the diagnosis for me.
“I think that your daughter has Selective Mutism.” The therapist said to my mom. “It’s a treatable thing. Once we are done with her, she’ll be talking to others and strangers in no time.” The therapist was hopeful but I felt hopeless.
I thought that I could talk about what it is that I actually feel. I mean, I could talk to my mom but I also felt like I could talk to anyone about how I actually feel because of what was diagnosed. I couldn’t even lift a finger for myself. I felt like the world is somewhat against me because of Selective Mutism. If you don’t know what Selective Mutism is, it is when someone only speaks to certain people but not around strangers. Selective Mutism is treatable with numerous speech therapy sessions.
I learned about how actions speak louder than words. Our actions can turn a bad day into a good one. Mine turned from bad to worse as therapy sessions began filling up my days. Any other day was filled with me stuck with a pen and paper writing stories and fanfictions in my journal or on loose paper.
It occupied my days when I wasn’t stuck in a room or avoiding talking to teachers. I avoided asking for help on math. One of the subjects that I was bad at but I used a calculator on multiple times just to get a passing grade on.