Child­hood trauma leads to tor­rent of ex­pres­sion

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

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.

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