” You’re oversensitive.”

” You’re too insecure.”

” You’re just socially awkward.”

” You’re weak.”

” You make me like this”

” You should be glad I walk away; You don’t want to find out what I’d do otherwise.”

” Your self-esteem is just painfully low.”

” You always care far too much about others opinions.”

” You cry too much.”

” You’re too needy.”

The words start as papercuts that you try to ignore or pretend never happened. You laugh them off or smile away the initial shock. Maybe you speak out, but it’s only a word or two, so maybe it’s not worth causing a fuss. It’s only a paper cut after all.

You start to move differently though. You try to avoid the pain. You try harder.

The problem with paper cuts is they need a little time to heal. They need you to be still and gentle. They need not to feel that pain again, at least not too soon, but more words come. Where do they come from? Everything seemed to be going so well. You were trying extra hard. You were moving just as you thought they wanted. 

But every time you move, it hurts.

Every time you move, it feels less like you.

Hearing the words becomes normal but your body doesn’t realise. Your body still flinches, your heart still races and even when you don’t hear the words, you hear the words.

The paper cuts are thin, and even though you can feel them all of the time, nobody else can see them. While everyone else is smiling and chatting the pain of those words, those papercuts, those doubts in who you are, feel like part of you now.

It becomes hard to remember a time when the sores were just paper cuts. It’s hard to remember who you were before the very first paper cut.  

I am sharing these words because

Every paper cut matters.

Every paper cut matters.

Every paper cut matters.



There is never a good enough reason for someone to speak words like daggers. There is never an excuse for cruelty of the tongue. It is never ok for someone to shred your self belief, even if it is tiny piece by tiny piece. 



Let’s have these conversations. Let’s talk about the uncomfortable stuff. Let’s make it normal for queens to grab their swords and shields and run to prop up and straighten the crowns of her struggling sisters. Let’s remind our struggling sisters who they are beneath those wounds. 


I’m here. I’m listening. Please grab your sword and shield, straighten your crown and put your shoulder next to mine.







Cover image courtesy of Tommy van Kessel

Crown image courtesy of Jared Subia