HIDDEN TRUTH

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Pale,

No tears,

No emotions

 

Stiff,

Standing still,

Occasional smiling,

Frequent hiding

 

She had built herself,

And broke down her walls

 

But all those who came running in,

Were simply the wrong kind of people

 

They told her she was worthless,

They avoided her like a diseases,

And they only needed her,

When they needed someone to look down upon and to despise,

They taught her to hate herself,

And she accepted it

 

She tried to be strong,

But deep down she knows,

The strength she tries to show,

Is a mask for depression,

That she thinks will be her ruin

 

She wants to fight,

Yet she asks herself,

‘How many times,

Will I have to say,

I’ll put on a fight,

Just one more time’

Darkness

His life was all about chains and darkness,

He walked over a bridge that took him to a forest and burnt it down after he crossed it,

 

He embraced so much negativity,

He made no light shine from within him

 

He ran deeper into his forest,

Every time he believed someone was close to finding him

 

He did not want anyone holding his hands,

He did not want anything that would shine a light,

He believed that he was not worth it

 

He got himself tied with shackles of self hate,

He embraced the darkness until it became his normal

What Would He Say

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When the thoughts about cutting herself or hurting herself started coming back to her, Jane knew that something was wrong.

‘Damn! Not this again!’ she thought to herself.

She laid on her back on her bed, one that she hated, and tried to cry, but she couldn’t it. Days earlier, she had thought about the last time she cried yet she couldn’t quite remember.

The last time she had tried to cry was in 2012, it was supposed to be the worst day of her life, yet she could not shed a tear. Since that day she was never able to. Since that day she also withdrew herself. She learnt to build her walls high, when someone broke them down, she would with time push them out and build them higher.

She lay in her bed thinking that something must have been wrong with her for having not cried in her times of need and despair. Years ago, all her days had been defined by tears. She had been bullied for so long, and she tried to get over it, but she did not. Instead, she started to hurt herself and the permanent solutions to end things she seemed to look for never worked.

She knew it was all over, until he came into her life. The boy that years before had taught her to keep it to herself when she had feelings for someone. She remembered well why; Jane had mentioned to her ‘friend’ that she had a crush on him, Kyle. The friend went and told everyone in their class. He found out, and he said some mean things, he was embarrassed that the freak had a crush on him.

Years later, they started talking, and ironically, he became a cure to her depression and her feelings of harm. He taught her what love was. He told her that she was beautiful… a word that had become foreign to her. He was the only person who saw right through her just by looking at her. He was the only person, who knew how she felt by the first word she said when they spoke through the phone. He was the only person who could see right behind that fake smile she wore everyday. He was the only one who noticed how good she had learnt to hold her tears. Then after many years, he just walked away.

Yet today Jane wished that Kyle could be here for her. She could not have held up all the pain she had inside. She could have let out all those tears she had held back for five years.

At this very moment she felt like a failure. She wasn’t able to get a job. She felt like the most stupid person on the face of the earth. The confidence she had built over the years had been shattered within months like broken china. She read, she listened to music, she read books, she talked to people, yet it never helped. Confidence was a work of art she needed to re-build and she knew that it took ages to do this.

Jane was certain that if Kyle was here, he would have the right words, he would have helped when she began to crumble into pieces. But he had left, she had let him leave, she had not fought. He was the person she thought about every single night, his memories were the reason she would stay awake in the middle of the night. One night she wished she could forget him, like he was never in her life, until she realized that without him images of her childhood would be nothing but darkness.

She held out her hand into the clear air, wishing that his were there to hold hers, knowing too well they were not. Then she tried to convince herself to think about what what Kyle would have told her when she felt like her life was a nightmare. Deep down inside she knew it did not matter, especially because he was not there. His memories were all she had, hope was all she held on to, hoping that one day they could meet, talk about why they grew apart, and forgive each other.

 

 

Song of my Life

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The past few years have been a journey of self discovery for me. All along there has been one constant thing – people asking me to change my personality, at home, at work, everywhere. The ‘you need to be’ statements have become a constant in my life.

I have always been a quiet and reserved person. Up to when I was nine, everything was fine. I was quiet but I had friends, I participated in lots of  extra-curricular activities in school-nothing felt weird.

Things changed when I transferred to another school when I was ten, at first everything seemed fine. But I had difficulty in chosing the extra-curricular activities to engage in. It was like they were developed to fit certain people. I opted for music.

A year after, people’s attitude towards me began to change. I began to get bullied, but being from Kenya, it was never really physical as fighting might have led to suspension or expulsion from the perpetrators. It was mostly statements, I was too ugly, too dark, I had a bad walk, I ran badly, I ate like a cat, I started being called stupid. They watched everything I did, and turned it into something negative. At times, the teachers got in on it. I rememeber one mocking me in class when I was 13 because of how I was running during a PE lesson.

When the bullying started, everything changed. My grades dropped and I withdrew from the world. I began spending a lot of time alone. When I got home I would lock myself in my room and just listen to music. My parents thought that I was just being rebellious. A few years down the line, my mother took the keys to my bedroom in an effort to make me mingle more.

Deep inside, I was going through so much pain. I had endured negative comments on each school day for five years of my life. My self esteem became so low that I even stopped looking into mirrors. I remember locking myself in my room one day and I began to cry. I asked God to help me forget it all… with time, I forgot about most of the memories that taunted me.

In high school, I studied in a remote part of the country. There wasn’t any bullying, people seemed to mind their own business. I made a few friends but people were puzzled at how quiet I was, I rarely interacted with students from other classes.

In my first year, I was motivated to work hard, I was still haunted by scars from my past.I started out well, but I never really believed in myself. I began to immerse myself into writing as it was one of the things that made me happy.

I finished and went to college. I made a few friends on the first week, most of them were extroverts. I would tell myself that I would work on becoming as outspoken as them.

On one idle day, I decided to go for a personality test. I found out that I was an INTJ. It was at that moment that things began to make sense. For the first time in my life, I felt like I knew who I was. My counsellor thought I was special, I didn’t exactly know why at the moment.

I however felt like I was living in an extrovert’s world. I felt like I needed to change or I would never go past an interview. I never changed, but I managed to get called to interviews for internships.

In most of the posts I got, I was questioned for being quiet. One of my bosses commented at one time, ‘smile,just say hi to …when he comes in, its easy!’ I did try to greet people but I found it hard to interact especially in a place where most people were very vocal. In my appraisal, I wrote in one section that I was an introvert but I got a response that implied that this did not matter.

With time, I changed jobs. And for a moment it felt like hell because ‘flaws’ in my personality kept being pointed out. ‘I was too quiet, I never ate lunch in groups, I was not outspoken as the new staff, I was never assertive enough,’. I tried to change… not that anyone noticed.

After hearing a few negative comments, I began to feel miserable. I decided that I would change my approach in future interviews or else people would expect me to be an extrovert. But I decided that I would not change to make others happy while I myself was unhappy. I would embrace who I am. After all, they never asked the extroverts to change. They never made efforts to understand me, but a lot of effort to judge me.

Very recently, someone told me that ‘I would die and no one would remember me’ because I was quiet. I never responded because it felt like it was a statement from a bully.

I know myself, probably better than most people think. People think that just because someone is quiet, they do not know who they are. I have decided to embrace my personality and let people think what they think, after all, they will constantly be judging me. I live in a world where people are constantly telling me what will happen in my life based solely on judgement… or looking at me as an easy target to vent out their negative comments.

‘I am Doreen (‘soy doreen’ in spanish) and I am an introvert. I am strong in my own way. In my silence I have found my confidence and my strength and I have discovered my true self’

Silent Shouting

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Rebel that dresses like an angel,

Talks in a low voice,

Walks in a gentle manner,

She has the innocence of a baby

 

They tell her to be ‘loud’,

They tell her to ‘show aggression’,

Everyday they ask her to ‘change for the better’

 

Yet she keeps quiet,

It’s her way of telling them ‘no’ without speaking up.

 

A World

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In a world

Where disability and disease

Is used to lock people out

Rather than to help them

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In a world where leaders hate

To gain supporters

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In a world where leaders at work

Put their employees down

And they never help them

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In a world where race shouldn’t matter

But if you dig deeply it does

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In a world where there is so much fighting

Life is no longer important

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In a world that is all about the ruler

You can literally ignore the ruled

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In a world where people are tired

But few dare to speak out