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Finding My Own Voice: Marte Fredriksen

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Marte Fredriksen looking out to the distance

Hi everyone, Marte here. I recently had a heartfelt interview where I opened up. Today, from my home in Norway, with GK, I’m finally using my voice to tell my own story. 

In our conversation, you’ll learn about the challenges I’ve faced and the victories I’ve celebrated. This chat is just a glimpse into my ongoing journey, so stay tuned for more insights and stories.

Can you share with us your early life and the challenge of selective mutism you faced?

Marte: Certainly. My struggle with selective mutism began when I was just three years old. It wasn’t just shyness; I was literally unable to speak in most social situations, a condition that persisted into my teenage years. This silence shaped much of my early life, forcing me to find other ways to connect and express myself without words. It was a deeply isolating experience, but it also made me observant and empathetic towards the unspoken struggles of others.

What sparked the change that helped you find your voice again?

Marte: The turning point in my life came through travel. When I was approached by a modeling agency to work abroad, I seized the opportunity, despite my fears. Moving to Athens marked the beginning of a new chapter. Being immersed in a new culture and having to navigate on my own forced me out of my comfort zone. I had to communicate, which gradually helped me overcome my mutism. It wasn’t easy, but every small step was a victory. 

How has your background influenced your approach to travel and life?

Marte: My background in living silently has profoundly influenced how I perceive the world around me. Traveling opened up new avenues for self-expression and helped me rediscover my voice. Each new country and culture I experienced helped reinforce my newfound ability to speak and connect with people. It taught me that while my past shaped me, it did not have to confine me.

Can you describe how meeting GK has influenced your journey?

Marte: Meeting GK was a pivotal moment in my life. His strength and resilience in the face of adversity were incredibly inspiring. He understood the power of overcoming physical and mental barriers, which resonated deeply with my experiences. Together, we’ve learned to support each other’s journeys, celebrating our strengths and navigating our challenges as a team. Our relationship is a constant reminder that we are not defined by our conditions but by how we rise above them.

What role does advocacy play in your life now?

Marte: Advocacy has become a significant part of my life. Sharing my story and the strategies I used to overcome selective mutism has opened doors to help others facing similar challenges. Through public speaking, social media, and our travels, I aim to inspire and empower those who feel voiceless, to find their voices just as I found mine.

Looking ahead, what are your hopes for the future?

Marte: Looking forward, I am hopeful and excited about continuing to use my voice in ways that can make a difference. Whether it’s through advocating for mental health awareness, inclusivity, or simply sharing the beauty of embracing life’s challenges, I hope to inspire others to see that their voices matter and that they too can change their narratives.

How has sharing your story online impacted others, and what feedback have you received?

Marte: Sharing our stories online has been a really rewarding experience. By opening up about our challenges and victories, we’ve been able to reach a global audience who relate to our experiences. The feedback has been incredibly positive and motivating. Many individuals have reached out to us, sharing how our stories gave them the courage to face their own struggles or to help someone they know. 

Parents of children with selective mutism, individuals with disabilities, and even those facing unrelated challenges have expressed gratitude for the visibility and voice we’re giving to topics that are often shrouded in silence. This connection has reinforced our belief in the power of digital platforms as tools for advocacy and support, encouraging us to continue sharing and expanding our outreach.

Thank you for sharing your incredible journey with us. Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

Marte: Thank you for listening. My final thought would be to encourage everyone not to underestimate the power of their own voice. Whether loud or soft, your voice has the power to change not only your own path but also to light the way for others. Never be afraid to speak up, to tell your story, and to embrace the fullness of life’s experiences. Thank you for joining me and you can follow me on Instagram for the latest updates!

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