The Scent of a Mother

Mum gave me many gifts. She gave me the freedom to explore and be creative as a kid, she taught me how to sing and how to read and write. She read me bedtime stories from books and from her own imagination. I have fond…

On Friday night I attended my daughter’s high school formal. I had been feeling restless and distracted in the days leading up to it. But once there I discovered that these feelings were experienced by others and that they were completely normal. I also realised that my nervousness wasn’t simply…

I recently attended my daughter’s parent-teacher evening at school. I hadn’t felt too bothered about it. I had pictured myself sitting there with her teacher for a short time, then leaving, satisfied that all was well. I didn’t have any major concerns about my daughter’s progress. It was more a…

I hope they don’t ask me that question today.
I’ll freeze on the spot; I’ll have nothing to say.
I don’t understand why I tremble with fear
But when I’m at school I cannot let them hear
My voice just stops working each morning at eight
It simply shuts down as I walk through the gate
People say hi but I can’t say hello
why i can’t say it i really don’t know
I smile and I wave. It’s all I can do.
It’s my way of saying, ‘hello, how are you’
I don’t understand what it is all about 
Why I cannot seem to get the words out
My throat just blocks up as they gather around
They ask me to speak but I can’t make a sound
Why don’t you talk’ they ask, are you just shy?’
But I cannot answer. I can’t explain why
'go on' they say, 'just say one word for me'
But my words get stuck. not one word can get free
If they only knew, I hate being this way
I do want to talk I have so much to say
I wish they could see that although I am quiet
I can be fun too! I can be a riot!
I love to play games, to join in the fun.
Or sometimes just sit back and watch with someone.
I love a good joke; I wish that they knew
I do get the joke; I am laughing too
I try very hard to talk in my own way.
To show that im listening. I hear what they say
I talk with my body, I talk with my eyes
I say ‘yes, me too!’
‘what a surprise!’
I wish they could see that it isn’t my choice
I may not have words but I do have a voice
But maybe they won’t ask that question today
Maybe they’ll see me and just want to play

My daughter climbed in bed with me the other morning. So nice to know my seventeen year old still feels comfortable doing that. I started chatting and became quite animated about something and she said. ‘Are you sure you have selective mutism (SM)?’, jokingly.

She understands SM. All my children…

After eighteen months of remaining alcohol free it appears I have fallen off the wagon. There is alot going on in my life right now. I’m not going to go into all the possible causes. It doesnt really matter. …

Jania Williams

I write poetry, memoir and personal essays. I write a blog about my experience with social anxiety. Writing helps me make sense of the world.

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