Something that right now in time, I need to address. If only for myself is a sensitive issue that has troubled me my whole life...
I grew up very shy and quiet, I cried on my first day at school, so much so I made myself sick and ended up being gradually taken into class. I refused to speak to any adult, other than my Mummy and Daddy.
My only allies were other children. I found it a lot easier talking to other kids in the playground, than I did speaking out loud in class or directly to a teacher.
I loathed being made to speak directly to adults. I repeatedly refused to speak to dentists, doctors, teachers and hairdressers etc.
My shyness was recognized, but my teachers found a way around it, and got the best out of me through other ways. I shone in project work and English.
I even found myself slowly coming out of myself by the time I had reached the end of junior school. I took part in both the Christmas play, taking key role as narrator, and also stood at the front of the church and read aloud in front of a packed full service, without a second thought.
My eleven year-old self was finally coming out of her shell.
The irony that is often one step forward, three steps backwards, my time at secondary school was very disrupted and unsettled. For a long time I felt trapped and alone.
Becoming a teenager should have symbolised maturity, instead it is when I became far more withdrawn than I had ever been. I spent my time blanking family members, refusing to speak aloud in class, and generally being the social reject.
College was a very different environment. A lot of the problems I faced at school soon were something of the past. The shyness got the better of me again. I spoke as little as possible, only when and asked to do so. I didn’t ask my tutors questions, I didn’t go the extra mile, I took the back seat.
When I left college life did change. I didn’t progress onto University, something that wasn’t the right choice for me.
I became an adult legally and I faced a lot of tough challenges along the way, but also found the freedom adulthood brings. I met my boyfriend; I left home and became independent. I faced unemployment for a long period of time, I was forced to speak in interview situations, but found myself completely challenged and tormented, when it just wasn’t enough to get me the job.
I know it’s hard to describe the exact root of the problem, or the actual problem itself. But I do have a voice. I do speak.
I speak to my family, I speak to my boyfriend, and I speak to my closest friends like any other normal human being.
The times I find it most difficult to speak is to strangers, distant relatives, my boyfriend’s relatives and work colleagues.
Regardless of all this, I always try my best, if only saying a little ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
Earlier this week I heard something which had been said about me, regarding my shyness. It’s true what they say. The truth does hurt.