Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Reaction to BBC documentary 'My Child Won't Speak'

Well I watched it.  It was quite emotional for me.  Each of the three girls had a different impact on me.  When I was a child I would not talk to any adults outside my immediate family.  I still struggle with anyone who has the upper hand or in a position of authority although I do comfortably manage polite greetings these days.

Danielle was the eldest and still didn't speak when she was 14 or 15 years old.  She started a new school to help her overcome her difficulties.  I felt for her as she was fighting the fight without professional help but with a mother who recognised she was suffering.  I had to manage without proffessional help, without any help for that matter.

 My mother went through all the emotions discussed by the other mothers; the reasoning, the bribary, the desperation, the frustration and even tried disciplining me.  But I never ever felt she understood.  She is a strong believer that exroverts are better than introverts, not different, better! And she never let me forget it.   I had a conversation, aged 11 or 12, that I was too old to be shy now.  I was no longer a little girl and itwas just rude.

Megan is a beautiful little girl aged 10.  She was having therapy at school. All the other kids had just got use to not talking to her.  But, she was getting help and starting to win her fight. She had a very quiet voice but everyone was quiet and listened to her.  I remember when I use to try and talk at school, I was not heard.  The teacher saw my lips moving one day and I was told if I wanted to talk I would have to talk louder.  I felt so embarrised I did not try again.

Red was the youngest.  She was eight years old and could not speak to her grandfather.  She obviously loved him very much!  I missed out on relationships with my Grandparents and Uncles as I was growing up.  It is only recently that I have realised how many happy memories my sisters have of them,  I have was left out.  There is still time for meet to know my Uncles but it is very hard for me to start a conversation now after so many years of polite hellos and goodbyes with nothing inbetween.  After this programe I feel inspired to try again.

One of the childs anxieties started after after talking to a stranger she thought was her mother.  It wasn't.  Her mother said she had never seen anyone so upset after she realised.  I had a similar experiance when I was very young.Aged about three I lost my parents.  I was running up and down the road crying as I looked for them.  A lady eventually caught me and helped me find them.  I think I kicked her when she tried to pick me up.  I screemed the whole time.  I would not tell her anything tho'.

I think it was the same day, it was definitely the same place.  I was hiding behind my Dad's leg as they were talking to another man who had the same trousers on as my Dad.  I was horrified when I looked up and realised I was hiding behoind the wrong pair of trousers.  My parents were laughing and talking and I thought it was because they had the same trousers on!  :'o(! This all happened before the mutisim set in, but if there was a triggor that day must have been it!  I use to have nightmares about waking up naked for years after.

Finally they spoke to children braking bones and not crying.  I think the most shocking thing I did was when I was putin the wrong taxi by the school.  I was about 7 I think.  The taxi driver took me t the wrong house.  I got out the car at the wrong house and started walking along the road.  the taxi driver insisted I got back in the car and he took me back to school.

I am not moaning and certainly do not feel sorry for myself, but watching the programme really helped me understand how I have got to the place I am today.  I would not change anything about my life now and all the experiances I had as a child have made me who I am today.


The programe will be on BBC iplayer for the next week.


Adelaide Dupont said...

At 11 or 12 many girls and women are just beginning to be shy.

Some people do have that attitude about age, among them the Fidra publisher. I feel in her case it was about jobs and employment, especially as an author going out to promote your work.

(Now that is scary and back-breaking!)

There are very few true extroverts. Most of them are introverts who can become/roleplay. But it's all about where you get your 'energy' from.

It's been interesting to read about the connection between bipolar disorder and (especially) social anxiety.

One wonders if some of the more extreme traits of bipolar can be reaction or compensation, because you already have this energy in your body and it has to get out.

Karita said...

Beautifully written and expressed. You have given me some thoughts of my own. :)