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’

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’

My Book

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I wrote a book,

Yet you thought every word was about you,

 

You were completely oblivious to the fact that I had a past,

And people that I’ve loved and hurt before,

Or those that have loved or hurt me before

 

You completely forgot,

That my book had different characters

 

You may have been a chapter,

Or a page,

Or a paragraph,

Or a sentence

 

But do not make me to put down my ink,

Just because you think my whole story is about you

The Friend

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Her friend said that she could always turn to her,

Yet when she did in her time of need,

She laughed at her

 

Confused,

She held back the tears,

And let out a chuckle,

Not even knowing where it came from

 

The friend who was to hold her hand,

Pushed it back,

As soon as she reached out

 

The friend made her feel,

Like she was surrounded,

Yet lonely

 

The friend who was to wipe her tears,

Made her hold them back,

For another day

 

And when she walked away from her friend that day,

She knew that she would never turn back

 

Yet everyday,

She thinks back and wishes,

That all her friend could have said that day was,

‘I’m sorry, I’m here for you’

 

And maybe,

That day when she lost herself,

Could have only been part of a memory

Turns Out

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She thought that no one noticed her,

Turns out he and a few other people did

 

She thought he would never like her,

Turns out he did

 

She though that he would never hurt her,

Turns out that he did in a way that she would never forget

 

He lied that he loved her,

Only to violate her

 

She thought that he would never noticed her,

Yet he took her to a dark place

 

She thought that he would never love her,

Turns out he was right

 

Turns out she was an easy target for him to hurt

Special One

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A man once told her,

That he loved her

 

Once an enemy,

He later turned out to be her guardian angel

 

He knew her mood,

By her ‘hello’ on the phone

 

His presence,

Was enough to make her know that it would be alright

 

He said that he saw the tears in her heart,

And the joy in her eyes

 

He said that he saw the pain in her past,

And the struggle in her present

 

He said that he longed to touch and kiss her,

But he went away

 

He taught her what love should be,

He made her hold on to him as a memory,

And she wondered if he did the same

 

She wishes he were still her,

To wipe her tears without his touch,

And to hold her hand without him being in her presence

 

Everyday she wakes up,

Is a reminder that he went away,

 

She still remains grateful for the lesson he taught her,

Knowing what love is

 

 

 

They grew apart

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Once upon a time,

Two strangers fell in love

 

And with time,

They grew apart

 

With every fight,

She decided not to be dropped and picked up by convenience

 

With time,

They ended things

 

The I love you,

Turned into you were a waste of time and money

 

Then it became clear,

If they really loved you,

Some words would have been said