When I was a little girl, I’m afraid of the public. I ran away from kindergarten hafazan competition because in the last minute I got to know that I needed to read aloud surah Al-Fatihah on stage, with a microphone. During assembly, I was always the last person in the queue. 1. Because I was the tallest, 2. Because I don’t want to interact with people. Because of my silence attitude, I was bullied by two girls who at that time were prettier and more attractive than me. Next to my kindergarten, there was a playground. Usually, after school hours, kids would get their clothes dirty by playing there. I always got back home with clean clothes because I didn’t play along, but I did not go back home straight away either. I was ‘recruited’ by those two hot girls to look after their bags while they were playing with others. If they caught me ‘careless’, which means I looked away, not focus on their bags, one of the girls would pinch me, not that cute kind of pinch but the painful one. I didn’t tell my mum until one day she left a definite mark on my skin because I don’t really remember what ‘sin’ did I do that day that I got extra punishment.
In the evening, other kids including my siblings would go outside to play. But I was not interested in socialising. I stayed at home and watch Taiwan or Hong Kong series. I learned reading since I was 5 years old, so I watched these series with the help of subtitles. My passive behaviours became worse.
Looking at my weak and fragile personality that to a level I couldn’t even stand for myself, my kindergarten teacher, Mrs Halimah (yes I still remember her name & even her face because she was the catalyst who shaped who I am today). She called me and spoke to me in private. She urged to speak up when I think things are wrong, be brave to talk in public, defend myself because teachers and my parents are not there 24/7 to take care of me. When people want to pinch me, fight for myself, but don’t hurt people because I’d be the same like those who want to physically and mentally harm me.
Since 6 years old, the moment Mrs Halimah built my confidence, I was determined to change myself. I changed drastically then I don’t remember that two bullies disturbed me after that. If it wasn’t because of Mrs Halimah, I am still Malissa who you can barely hear her voice even in the class of 10.
My social skills are still terrible, but at least I have about five close friends now. I am planning to expand my social circle but people are tough subjects.