I had my keys on the door when I heard a door close to me open. He greeted me and I responded to the greeting. He asked me a question about something that had happened and I replied to him politely. He became aggressive and I was irritated by the tone of his voice. I gave him the explanation as I closed the door behind me.

I was upset and I could not allow him to think that he can get away with the way he spoke to me. I left what I was doing and walked across the garden and  knocked on the door.

I knocked hard on the door. As I waited for someone to respond to my knock  I turned around and reminded myself not to cry when I spoke to her. Someone else opened the door and invited me inside. I walked through the passage and saw her standing by the stove preparing a meal for the evening . He was standing behind her. I asked her if she could step outside for a moment as I would like to speak to her.

I began the conversation by explaining what had happened and asked her that in future  whatever needs to be communicated to me should be done by her. I emphasized on not dealing with him. I told her that he had no right to speak to me like that or anyone for that matter. She understood where I was coming from and told me that I was not the only one he spoke to like that. He speaks to everyone like that, I heard her say. He speaks to me like that.

She said she could not change him and I should just ignore it.

The problem is I have ignored people like that for a very long time. I thought that if I kept quiet they would leave me alone. I was wrong. They never left me alone. As they continued their bullying I felt smaller by the day. I felt like I deserved to be treated like dirt.

But I realised that I do matter and I should speak up when something does not feel right to me.

I got tired of being told I was not good enough. I was tired of having negative feelings towards myself.

But I was uncomfortable about confronting people. I felt bad after doing it. I felt like I was wrong to tell people how I felt.

Their reactions would take me back to my shell.  I was told that I was overreacting or a drama queen. They did not want to listen to what I had to say. They did not think my opinion mattered. All they could think about was themselves, how to use it against me.

I knew after I have done it a few times that I was reclaiming my power back. That’s what really mattered. Other people’s opinion of me could not hurt me anymore because I had found my own voice.

Until next time