Staying Quiet

Yesterday, a friend of mine who had not been around for a while asked me why I was so quiet, saying that I used to be the life and soul, or something like that.  Another one of my friends responded by saying that I matured, but I wouldn’t say that’s it, although getting older and slightly wiser may have a minor part to play.

First off, it has a lot to do with me not being the same person I was all those years ago.  I’m more in tune with who I am now, so I don’t feel the need to be overly excited and bubbly to hide my insecurities or attract attention from those around me.  I prefer to sit quietly observing, speaking when I have something to say and receiving attention based on who I genuinely am, rather than the act I put on so you don’t see the real me.

Another reason for my quietness is the state of mind I’m in at the moment.  I’m already someone who doesn’t like speaking for the sake of it, but when I’m going through one of my darker periods, I’ll say fewer words until I feel really convicted to say something.  I don’t want to shut myself off from the world and not give time to the people I love, because that would go against my new mantra, which involves me trying to stay more connected to others and give more of my time, just like my late uncle and grandad.  Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll be able to be fully happy and chatty when around them – not for now anyway.

To tell you the truth, my mind isn’t really here half of the time and the whole of me is fighting to stay alive.  There are times when I may be quiet, because I’m there in body but not in any way else.  I’ll smile and speak when needed so you wouldn’t know.

And if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not around that particular group of friends so much any more or I’ve felt shut out from certain sub-groups that have formed, so there are times when I will feel a little uncomfortable or out-of-place.  I also tend to feel like an outsider anyway, so that doesn’t help.

That is why I’m quiet and why I probably always will be quiet – unless I feel passionate about a subject or have something to say.  Talking isn’t something I’m going to be doing a whole lot of anymore.


The Real Shaniqua

I’m sure that a lot of people in my life would say that they know me, but I’m also sure that the majority of them have got that wrong.  I mean no disrespect when I make that statement, but it is the honest truth.

Yes, they know the happy Shaniqua; the jovial, bubbly, lively, sweet, friendly, outgoing, funny Shaniqua who “always has a smile on her face”.  I’ll admit that is the Shaniqua I am most of the time and that is the Shaniqua who is present on the surface, but it is also the Shaniqua that I allow them to see.

I wear the “happy” mask to keep the questions at bay and hide away from everything I am struggling with inside.  I wear the mask to put up barriers between them and me, because I don’t want to let people in.  I wear the mask because it’s easier.

The mask I wear hides the ugly and for people to really know me, you have to see the ugly.  I’ve had people run away when they’ve seen that I’m a little fragile and damaged, and there are numerous individuals who have been surprised by one of my moody outbursts on one of my dark days.

You don’t know the real me until you see me depressed and down.  You don’t know the real me until you hear me talk about my feelings of despair and unhappiness.  You don’t know the real me until you see me break down in tears.

You don’t know me until you get a look at the scars that border my arms.  You don’t know me until you learn about my trust issues.  You don’t know me until you know about my feelings of isolation and loneliness.  You don’t know me until you hear about my low confidence and self-esteem.

You won’t know the real me, until you see the back of me, turning around and walking away, because I can’t take it anymore and I need the space to be alone.

The real Shaniqua is not all joy and light, but I am also filled with darkness, pain and wells of emotion that I cannot always express.  This is who I am and I want people to understand that there is more to me than what they simply see on the surface.

I’m not going to be that sweet girl they see all the time and there are times when my broken side will reveal itself, because sometimes the mask falls off or it becomes so constrictive that I need to remove it.  All of this is what makes me the real Shaniqua.

The Real Issue

A few days ago, I told you that I need to go back to the beginning, and yesterday I did just that.  Going back to the start was what I needed to do in order to move forward and now I believe that I can finally do that, after having a refreshing walk and long talk with God.

It wasn’t the easiest of tasks, as some my childhood memories were a little hazy and there were particular situations that I don’t really like facing , because of how bad they make me feel about myself.  However, it was all necessary if I was going to gain an understanding of why I behave the way I do and why I get so deeply effected by unnecessary things and situations.

Last night, I took a long hard look at myself and the guys that I clearly remember being involved with.  I realised that my early antics were typical silly actions that many children carry out.  I saw that I was intrigued by people from an early age and that I liked lighties from childhood.  Most little girls like boys and they think it’s fun to talk about boys, but I let this love of boys become a controlling factor in my life.

It’s easier to blame a guy or tell others that a guy has hurt you, rather than admit that you have problems with yourself or face up to the issues in your family.  I would take all of the bad things that guys would say or do to me and react badly, because I actually felt horrible about myself and did not like the person that I was.  I would do things with guys that weren’t me, because I desired to feel wanted and attractive, but I would just feel worse later.  I would crave the attention that they would give me, because I didn’t feel that I was getting it from my parents.

Up until recently, I did not even realise that I had such deep-rooted issues in my home life and now I think that it’s too late to change them.  However, what I can change is how I feel about myself and how I perceive the person that I am.  I need to really love myself, appreciate who I am and forgive myself for the things I have done in the past that I ashamed of.  I need to see the person that God sees when He looks at me.

Guys are not the main issue, even though I have spent so long convincing myself that they are.  The real issue is me and I’m glad that I have finally realised that, because now I can do something about it.  The hole in my heart that I have spent so long trying to fill with attention from guys has been caused by the emptiness that I feel, and I need God to come in and fill it.  It won’t be easy, but I have faith that it will happen, because my God can do anything.

My hope in finding love has been revitalised, because I know that once I am at one with myself and have a heart filled with God’s love, He will send the one into my life.  I just need to keep on remembering that God will always want me, love me and give me undivided attention, even when others won’t, because that is what is important.