When growing up I was very, very shy around others, kids from school, and people in public and as well as my family. Whenever family came over I would hide behind my mom because I didn’t like talking to people and I feared of rejection, which I still fear of rejection but not as much.
My older sister and brother would force me to do things that would get me in trouble. I was always so gullible so I would believe the things they said about me and others. I think the reason why I was so scared of others was that I would believe people would treat me like my sister and brother did. So I guess that was why I was so quiet… maybe? After four years of living in Omaha, we had to move because my mom couldn’t afford to live at my grandma’s house because when my grandma left to go to a nursing home because of Alzheimer's. We had to move in with my other grandma, which is my dad’s mom. Which had meant going to a new school but my mom had told me, “Don’t worry, you and your brother will be going to the same school.” Was she right? No… no, she wasn’t. I was supposed to be going to Hoover Elementary but they were full. So my brother was signed up before me so he was already registered in Hoover’s district. So my mom signed me up for Lewis and Clark.
On my first day of Lewis and Clark, we were in the parking lot just about to go in. My sister was upfront with my mom and I was in the back with my brother. I then asked my mom, “You’re gonna stay with me right?” Everyone in the car laughed, but I didn’t. I was terrified of what people would think of me.
I remember when we had walked into the office, I was extremely anxious, my adrenaline was going, my heart racing. Then we were walking to my classroom. I remember clinging to my mom hoping she would just take me with her to work. When they had opened the door, I panicked and I started screaming and kicking, all of the students had given me strange looks and I knew I screwed up on my first impression. I heard one girl say, “What’s wrong with her?” and I knew other people were probably thinking the same thing. And ever since I got there, I had been nicknamed, ‘quiet girl’ and ‘mouse’. I also remember one girl pushing me down at recess and the boys gave me nicknames.
I didn’t have friends for a whole year when I got there. Until first grade, the teacher had a student help me with me talking. Because they thought I didn’t know anything since I never spoke. Which meant I had to learn sign language and talk into ‘box’ which was only me balling up my hand and holding it over my mouth to make my voice seem louder. After a while, that student became my best friend. They were probably the first person I have ever talked to in school and the first person who actually got to know me. When they had become my friend I had felt more confident because I knew they would support me and be there for me and people wouldn't tease me as much. So I started to talk a bit more when I had to. And talking more was easier for me to talk about how I felt to others and I realized how it affected me and I didn’t want to live my life not talking to anyone because it wouldn’t get me anywhere, so I didn’t grow out of it, I had fought against it.