Background image: Chris Lawton via unsplash

Words like ugly, stupid and square-eyed made her freeze. She was paralysed to its effects, deadened to its pain. She grew like a stunted plant with its leaves amputated, all that was left was a head full of resignation planted in self-loathing clay. These words followed her through childhood, forced itself down her oesophagus until she digested its bitter leaves. These words circled her memories and looped like a broken record. Over the years she kept its power alive, she ignited its flames and seared all hope and acceptance. Hope was not a word she’d tasted.

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