Considering a short vow of silence for my mental health etc.

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_cora_
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22 Dec 2021, 5:12 pm

I realized that I feel less anxious when I don't have to talk, mainly with people I don't know, but interact in other ways, like by writing or typing. My voice is very embarrassing and it makes me exhausted when people don't understand, etc. I am already non-speaking online, and use text to speech and sign language, and typing if I'm not in VR.
Another reason I want to try this is because I have a non-speaking character that I'm writing and I want to understand how it feels to not talk irl so I can accurately portray him.
Mainly, I just want to make my parents more open to me not talking, during certain situations and just in general.
I plan to start it at midnight when on New Year's, and do it for 24 hours, and see what happens. Ideally, me and my sister will celebrate together on VR where I already don't talk, so it won't seem like I suddenly stop talking. I will then probably message her and explain that I won't talk the next day.
For my parents, I don't know how to explain it to them. They're the only ones making me nervous. I'm scared my mom will act like it's a tragedy or something, which it isn't, I'm doing it as a fun challenge to better understand my characters, myself and other people. I'm also only doing it for a day, and I we won't have school that day. Advice on what to text/tell her? Also, is this a decent idea?



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22 Dec 2021, 5:21 pm

I would look into overcoming your fear of speaking, before the anxiety becomes greater.


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_cora_
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23 Dec 2021, 9:57 am

theprisoner wrote:
I would look into overcoming your fear of speaking, before the anxiety becomes greater.


I should, but I don't know how. I have tried mindfulness, but it doesn't help, and everything just gets worse. Plus, I can't remember any coping skills that normal me has practiced over and over once I get in public mode. It's like my brain changes, and I am controlled and forced to do embarrassing things, like talking in monotone. I can't stand my own voice and no one listens to me anyway. Plus, I don't really like anyone I'm forced to interact with, and I don't think I should have to embarrass myself in front of them, and sometimes be called a brat for sounding grumpy.



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23 Dec 2021, 10:17 am

I bet you have a nicer voice than you think :)

I used to think I had a horrible voice! I used to think I was a retard in general.

But then....I decided to forget about all the negative things I thought about myself, and just listen to a tape of myself.

I realized, when I became objectively detached, that my voice is really okay (not great, just okay).

For some reason, I sense that your voice is more than okay.



ronglxy
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23 Dec 2021, 12:18 pm

It's a great experiment. I hope it turns out that it's a good one for you personally. You have gone over many "others" impacts which is most kind and considerate. Please let us know how it goes. I'm going to do it too, just to see.



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23 Dec 2021, 1:44 pm

ronglxy wrote:
It's a great experiment. I hope it turns out that it's a good one for you personally. You have gone over many "others" impacts which is most kind and considerate. Please let us know how it goes. I'm going to do it too, just to see.


I'm still considering doing it, but I'm going to mainly focus on the positive things it might bring (ex. showing people in my family that there's other ways to communicate, and that every way is valid and doesn't mean you should assume things about people). It's scary, but I hope that by doing so they'll be a little less uptight about such things.



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24 Dec 2021, 12:07 am

Good plan planning. I don't have much in the way of others. So I think I'll just watch closely to see what happens, or not, in my me.



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24 Dec 2021, 1:35 am

I've taken vows of silence before. They were amazing for me. I felt so much better for days after I started speaking again. The only downside for me has been that I didn't want to go back to words. But the calm I felt afterwards... amazing. Short vows of silence I completely recommend people try doing at least once. They can be cool experiences.

From my own perspective, good call on letting people know beforehand. It seems to help people prepare mentally. For some reason, silence can really weird people out. Even when they aren't the ones doing it. I find it bizarre. Some of my family was really cool about it though, very supportive. Fingers crossed your family will be supportive as well.

I get it that you'd be concerned about what to say to people to give them their notice. It seems like you have some good reasons listed here...understanding of yourself and others, sounds like a damn good reason if you ask me. Maybe just tell them what you're thinking and what you hope to gain from it. The fact that it's also only for a day...and a day you don't have school or anything...that should count for a lot. It's not like you plan on doing this for a month.

Yeah. I hope that they end up being supportive and that turns out to be a positive experience for you. I know I've enjoyed them, and learned some things, gained some perspective... I hope you do to.



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24 Dec 2021, 10:28 am

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
I've taken vows of silence before. They were amazing for me. I felt so much better for days after I started speaking again. The only downside for me has been that I didn't want to go back to words. But the calm I felt afterwards... amazing. Short vows of silence I completely recommend people try doing at least once. They can be cool experiences.

From my own perspective, good call on letting people know beforehand. It seems to help people prepare mentally. For some reason, silence can really weird people out. Even when they aren't the ones doing it. I find it bizarre. Some of my family was really cool about it though, very supportive. Fingers crossed your family will be supportive as well.

I get it that you'd be concerned about what to say to people to give them their notice. It seems like you have some good reasons listed here...understanding of yourself and others, sounds like a damn good reason if you ask me. Maybe just tell them what you're thinking and what you hope to gain from it. The fact that it's also only for a day...and a day you don't have school or anything...that should count for a lot. It's not like you plan on doing this for a month.

Yeah. I hope that they end up being supportive and that turns out to be a positive experience for you. I know I've enjoyed them, and learned some things, gained some perspective... I hope you do to.


Thank you so much for the encouragement! Luckily, I have some time to think up how to tell them. I have trouble saying things I feel nervous about out loud, so I will probably try to text them so I can formulate the best way to tell them. My sister is probably a safe bet of who to tell first, though she may lowkey judge me. Then I'll ask her how to tell my parents? I could text my mom and tell her, hopefully she won't think I'm weird or feel bad for me or something. My dad will probably have the worst reaction, even though he usually stays in the basement on weekends working on his train layout. The worst would be if he got angry at me for this.
My parents are extremely unpredictable. Fingers crossed that it will go well.



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24 Dec 2021, 1:17 pm

Texting sounds like a good way to go about. I completely get that...trouble saying things out loud when nervous. I'm notorious for having prewritten things for times I have to communicate something important. It's a strategy that works well, methinks. And yay that you have time and someone to bounce this off of and help you get the wording/phrasing worked out. I doubt your sister will judge you for this. I know it can be easy to think that people will think the worst. I do it anyhow. I always brace for impact with people... I'm usually wrong, and things generally go alright, but my brain still thinks worst case scenarios. Here's hoping that part goes well for you. I have a hunch it will. I hope too that it goes alright telling your parents and that they pleasantly surprise you by being onboard with this.



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26 Dec 2021, 7:28 pm

I told my sis, surprisingly she was very chill and didn't even seem weirded out. Now I just got my parents... my sister said to not care what they say bc they shouldn't complain because it doesn't even affect them. I'm not sure which reason to tell them tho, i will probably wait until the day before



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27 Dec 2021, 8:46 am

I'm sorry to hear you are feeling like this but from my experience, giving in makes it worse. I don't like how I look and once responded by hiding my face and never leaving which spiralled. I was soon terrified of outside and was missing school and was very isolated. Mindfulness didn't magically help. It took me awhile but what I try to do is challenge myself every now and again and since I have, it's gotten better. It took me a long time of trying and testing new things out. After awhile I realised that mindfulness for me was a nice extra thing, but only useful at certain times and I had to focus to know when those would be. I'm wishing you all the best and if you have any questions, feel free to ask :)



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27 Dec 2021, 8:54 am

_cora_ wrote:
I realized that I feel less anxious when I don't have to talk, mainly with people I don't know, but interact in other ways, like by writing or typing. My voice is very embarrassing and it makes me exhausted when people don't understand, etc. I am already non-speaking online, and use text to speech and sign language, and typing if I'm not in VR.
Another reason I want to try this is because I have a non-speaking character that I'm writing and I want to understand how it feels to not talk irl so I can accurately portray him.
Mainly, I just want to make my parents more open to me not talking, during certain situations and just in general.
I plan to start it at midnight when on New Year's, and do it for 24 hours, and see what happens. Ideally, me and my sister will celebrate together on VR where I already don't talk, so it won't seem like I suddenly stop talking. I will then probably message her and explain that I won't talk the next day.
For my parents, I don't know how to explain it to them. They're the only ones making me nervous. I'm scared my mom will act like it's a tragedy or something, which it isn't, I'm doing it as a fun challenge to better understand my characters, myself and other people. I'm also only doing it for a day, and I we won't have school that day. Advice on what to text/tell her? Also, is this a decent idea?


I don't see the harm in a 24 hour vow of silence, nor do I see the harm in you exploring different forms of communication. At your age, I would go weeks without speaking to anyone (including family members). I still struggle with situational/selective mutism. Communication does not = speech.


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_cora_
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27 Dec 2021, 8:09 pm

I'm actually feeling pretty good right now, I had an awesome night and successfully talked to some family members. (At their house for a few days) I have a feeling I will burn out soon, though, I'm a little overwhelmed but in a happy way. Often I don't realize how hard I'm pushing myself when I'm having a good time.
I'm excited for the vow of silence, also super nervous though. But it will be good to retreat in happiness instead of anxiety or anger. Still nervous about my parents' reactions tho. Idk how to show them that i'm doing this to care for myself, not because I'm too anxious to talk.
If it works out, though, this may prove to be a good way to calm down after overwhelming excitement.



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27 Dec 2021, 9:44 pm

Nothing drives me crazier than people trying to draw me out when I'd rather take a "vow of silence." Now that I'm diagnosed, I understand why I need to be alone with my thoughts for a while, and I don't apologize for needing to do so.



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28 Dec 2021, 1:27 am

Tried that.

It was one of the most natural thing I did. It was more than "safe", it was fun.

It stopped that persistent and coping part of me in my head that's been compensating for cognitive verbalization, even when it's never needed draining my mental resource over 'verbal anticipation translations' that do not come.

To a point that I'm giddy half the time and want to giggle out loud when I deliberately do it.

Since me being unusual all around is not unusual...
It was fine around my mom, my sister do not think much of it ... And it driven my boss nuts I laughed out loud. :twisted:


Perhaps I'll do this more often.


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