How I learnt to love myself by Indya Shaw

The first seedling of self hate was planted in me
during my first year of school,
when a group of grade six girls pinned me against a wall
and punched me repeatedly in the face
because I was small and had an unusual name.

Years went on; I moved schools but nothing changed.
Imagine being eight years of age, too scared
to walk into school in fear of a boy in the year above
cornering you and pulling your arm
so far behind your back that you scream out in pain.
Imagine being nine years young
and having nothing but your own thoughts
as company, as you watched everyone else have a happy childhood
that you yearned for so much.

Being ten years old and “too weird” to be friends with.
Eleven years old and having hair that was “too curly”.
Twelve years old and learning that if one person doesn’t like you,
that’s enough to make everyone else not like you, either.

Thirteen years old and just not worth knowing.
Fourteen years old and “deserved to die”.
Fifteen years old, crying myself to sleep every night.
Sixteen years old and trapped in a relationship
that hurt more than anything had in my entire life.

But it’s not like that anymore.
I turned seventeen, and I finally spoke up.
I turned seventeen, and I finally walked away.
I took my life into my own hands.

Now, I’m eighteen years old and I’ve never been stronger.

I know that I no longer possess the banner of purity
and innocence that I once did.
I regret to admit that this world made me grow cold,
but that stops now. Never again will I let
somebody else’s negativity get under my skin.
My body has dealt with too much hatred throughout its life,
and it’s time for a change.

I am eighteen years old and I will love myself,
even if nobody else does.





Indya Shaw currently resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her small family and two pets. As an only child, Indya spent the majority of her spare time reading novels and poetry, and she believes this influenced her writing style today. She hopes to publish a book of her poetry in the future. Her work can be found on her blog

Leave a Reply