Childhood trauma leads to torrent of expression
The first things Shayna Reidy sees when she wakes up in the morning are the lyrics of her favourite songs plastered all over one of her bedroom walls.
Shayna surrounds herself with words, so it’s not surprising that she has been gifted with the ability to write.
‘‘When we moved into this house, the condition was that I could have a wall in my room to write on if my mum got to choose the carpet,’’ she laughed.
‘‘I thought that was a good deal.’’
Life has dished out some pretty hard lessons for this 17-yearold Matamata teenager.
When Shayna was four years old, her tiny body was subjected to the harshest sort of pain anyone could experience.
Shayna was covered with hot water after tripping on the jug cord and suffered third degree burns to her chest area, back and under her arms.
She recalls details of happened as if only yesterday.
‘‘I’ll never forget the pain. I kept saying to mum ‘ I’m okay, I’m okay’,’’ Shayna said.
‘‘Understandably my mum was freaking out, she put me in a cold bath and my skin started to peel off. She just did what she thought was going to be best.’’
About two weeks after she was admitted into hospital, Shayna
the what it was was given her first bath in a handbasin because she was so small.
‘‘There was a mirror directly above me and it was the first time I had seen my burns,’’ she said.
‘‘ I can remember screaming ‘ get them off me, get them off me’.’’
Given Shayna’s life experiences, it’s no surprise that a gift for writing has been instilled in her. ‘‘I have no idea where it comes from. It’s kinda weird.’’
She has notebooks with poems she has written all over the place, she participates in blogging and is a member of a number of online writing forums.
Shayna wants to be an author and also dreams of one day owning an undercover nightclub overseas.
Shayna said it was the support of her mother and her friends that got her through. ‘‘My mum is amazing, she has done so much for me and never knocks anything I want to do. I’m very lucky to have her.’’
Even though she is reminded about the day that changed her life forever when she looks at herself in the mirror, Shayna is comfortable in her skin and says her burns have become part of who she is.
‘‘They’re a part of me and are what make me who I am.’’
Born to write: Shayna Reidy has a wall in her room where she writes the lyrics of her favourite songs or poems that inspire her.