Growing up I was a very quiet girl and never spoke up.

I wasn’t shy or a mute, but my voice was little and has been so as long as I can remember. I didn’t speak up because when I did, people would always say, “Your voice is so soft,” or “Can you speak louder?” or “You speak like a mouse.”

I didn’t really care what they said, but I didn’t see a point in trying to strain my voice to meet their expectations.

I still don’t.

Michaela Heleana (Little Voice)

What was ignorance from people turned into bullying, because as I got older the smaller voice made less sense to people.

I was called names because of it. I remember on the bus to school once a kid said that I should try to deepen my voice because I sounded like a baby when I talked.

Just to clear things up…I don’t hear that my voice is small and pitchy. To me, I sound normal. I can yell and deepen my voice that way, but I cannot change my voice entirely.

There was another time I called to order pizza and the woman on the phone said, “Sweetie is your mom home? You are too young to order pizza.”

I said, “No, I am 17 years old.” and she was silent.

It is even worse now at 21 years old when people call me “little girl” after I talk — which not only makes me feel terrible, but tells me that people have no shame.

I just don’t care anymore.

I think back to the movie “Little Voice” every time someone makes fun of me or talks down to me.

Except I don’t use singing as my voice. I use writing.

People can say what they wanna say. Freedom of speech and all that.

However, I took a public speaking class and my teacher didn’t seem to have a problem with my little voice.