Letter to a Shy Girl

There you are, sitting in a classroom, surrounded by other children who are nothing like yourself. They speak out loudly and confidently, they seem fearless in the face of danger, you envy their every move. Their effortless banter taunts you, it questions your twisted and tormented mind. Why is it so difficult for you and so easy for the rest of them? You wish the floor would swallow you up, you crave the comfort of dark and hidden spaces where you are invisible and have no need to justify your existence. Wouldn’t it all be so much easier if the world was like that? But it isn’t. You spend your days in a constant torment – wanting to blend into the background and then, at times, wanting to scream at the top of your lungs so they would all turn and acknowledge that you are actually still there.

There are lists with your name missing because you didn’t have the courage to raise your hand. There are punishments from teachers who get you and the naughty girl with a similar name mixed up (It took all of your depleted energy to speak up about that one, but once more you were ignored) There are days spent alone creating imaginary worlds in your mind because the reality of the real world was too painful to bear. You didn’t understand why you were like this, what made you retreat from society and disappear entirely. This feeling will never leave you as you get older, it will simply manifest itself in different ways. You will find ways to cope with this monster inside that destroys your self-worth.

There will be solace in pretending you are someone else and playing this out. Like a kind of euphoric release because at last they see you and appreciate you. You will try and find validation in the arms of men, men that will never give you what you need. You will try and drown out feelings of loss and betrayal by turning to the bottle – staring at your reflection in the dawn light and wondering where it all went so wrong. There will be days when you are unable to leave your room, when the thought of going out and facing people is a sickening and impossible dream.

You will once more become the Shy Girl in the classroom, afraid to take her place and speak her mind…

But the light spills through the clouds just enough to keep you going. You find beauty and peace within the chaos of your mind. Then you realise that all those years of quiet and shame were a training ground and now it is time to step up because you have so many things to say and do and time is ticking by.

You will always be that Shy Girl, you will always have this Monster in your Mind, but you must live with it, it is part of who you are and will always be.

“It’s all in your mind” they say…Yes, don’t I know that.

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