Sometimes I wonder who I exactly am. who am I that sometimes people seem not to understand me when I talk? Is it because of the language barrier? is it because I have an accent speaking my non mother language? or is it because I am not eloquent and expressive ? is it because people don’t just like to listen to me because I am not like them? don’t dress like them? don’t wear my hair like them?
don’t eat what they eat? is it because these people are pre-judgemental? or what again? Many questions that have been a bother to me.
When I started elementary school in Togo, ma grandfather took me from the capital city Lome where I leaved with my parents, to the village (Badja), where I did all my elementary and secondary school. I was very shy and a lot reserved, sometimes scared of the students who were talkative and rough. This is because I was afraid that they may do something to hurt me, such as describing how I work, speak or talk, dress or I was afraid in general for I just still don’t know why. Sometimes the class mates asked my questions and expected answers that I knew were curious to know and made me feel like I was different from them. It accentuated the fact that I was born from parents that were from the North and then I lived and schooled in the Sud. Two different places in the same country that speak some many dialects, different accent while speak the other dialect. That I could understand the dialect difference but I was still able to speak the language of the Sud. Should I understand the accent part too. then, When it happened that I was speaking French, the official language in my country, people still look at me somehow. After French, English was and still is the second language in Togo. I was still person of interrogations. Moreover, people interpreted what I said from what I really meant. This tended sometimes into a gossip. or a way to make bigger what was not supposed to be. Even I class, I sometimes felts like the teacher did not want to have me talk or hear me or more listen to me. Frustration? I don’t know. By the way, why did I think all this? Low self-esteem? But I fought the for my self-esteem. I did not want anybody to make me lose my self-esteem . You know what, I think all this happened to me because where I came from. I mean my family cellular.
My parents did not have a beautiful relationship. That I can not say much. I know there were a lot of fights, misunderstandings. I saw my mother been beaten, locked out and even asked to leave the house late night. I remember that night when I was raining and after a big fight, Maman was thrown out of the room before us the children and the next thing I saw was her cloths case. Out in the rain. That was the day I knew that my life was having an end. What could my father do to me and my siblings when he had to work all day outside the house and always come back when we the children were sleeping. We were then left in the hands of any woman who could accept to come home with our father. As a child, I was accused of doing things I did not do. As I am writing this today, I know with my hand on my chest that there were things that I did not do, but had to say I did in order to avoid been beaten but it still did not work. As a child I had to be the mother to my brothers and sisters, had to do the house chores that my mother or step mother could have done. I can go on and on. That was when my grand father once in the city had to save me by taking me with himself to the village. I am grateful for grand father’s spontaneous act that saved my life, a gesture that made me who I am today, that allow me to do what I am doing today and how I see things now. Today, I still feel something that I cannot define. I still feel like people don’t understand me, or don’t listen to me or worse like people don’t like me. I have been fighting my way to overcome any frustration, any injustice; anything that may want to bring me down or make me look and feel too small. I have been trying to express myself through my hard work in schools, work places, church, my trying to understand others and then be understood. I have been trying to bring myself out of that shell that has been hiding who I really am. I know and understand that I can be anything I want to be and do anything I have to do and I do this with love. passion, remember, my way to express myself in the land of human.
After all, I am alive. I have learned from all that happened to me . I am not complaining, I am just thinking and reminiscing the past believing that there is no future without the pass. Also, I believe that if everything that happened to me had affected my life and destiny, I strongly believe that all the unhealthy things that I went through could not deny me of my destiny but could only delay it. I know that one day. the Lord will help me fulfill the purpose of which He created me. So today when I see somebody behaving somehow, I question myself, make myself more available to the person, listen try to understand. Otherwise we will continue making mistakes and pushing people away. Stay blessed