Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scars (and other stuff people don't wanna see)

I've been thinking about this post for a while, and I am still not sure I can do the subject justice, but it's something that I think should be talked about. It needs to be out in the open. And my views on it may be.. highly controversial, upsetting, whatever. DEAL.

Scars remind us where we've been
They don't have to dictate where we're going.

- Criminal Minds

I have all kinds of scars.
I have stretch marks from having babies. That's acceptable, but nobody wants to see them. They're still ugly and should be hidden, right?


Well, I disagree. They say, hey, I gave up my body - not just for 9 months, but forEVER - to bring another human being into this world. And I'm giving my entire life in devotion to that human being. Shouldn't I be proud of that?
So, I wear two piece swimming suits. I don't give a f***. If you don't like it, you've got a problem.

I have chicken pox scars. No biggie.

I have a scar from when I cut myself cooking Thai food for a man I love deeply. I went into shock and finished cooking, had him over for dinner and cleaned up before I went to the ER, which may be why the scar is so big.


I have tattoos.



I have self-inflicted scars. A lot of them. Those are the ones that I (and the rest of the world) have the biggest issue with.
I shouldn't HAVE to be ashamed of them. That's where I came from. That's something I did once.
Everyone has ways they deal with pain. Praying, crying, drinking, breaking things, taking pills. Some people cause themselves physical pain to distract from the emotional pain.
I'm not saying it's good to hurt yourself. But there are worse things I could have done. I wasn't slitting my wrists. I wasn't cutting with the intent to injure. And there was always a focus behind it. My kids' names. A heart. Something to remind me of why I was only scratching the surface, and why I needed to push through the pain and keep going.

I know a lot people are going to take issue with this. This is why I ended up in therapy at the age of 13. It has ended relationships and friendships. It landed me in therapy again (along with my plans to leave this world by March 20th of this year) last fall.

So, with the warm weather coming on, I decided to wear shorts today.
If people were to look closely at all, this is what they'd see:



Shock and disgust, right? Horrible. Awful. That girl is messed up, yeah?
Maybe I was at one time, maybe not. I know a lot of people who get tattoos because it's a "Stress reliever".. it's "Addictive".. how is that different? I don't hurt myself anymore, not physically, but we all beat ourselves up emotionally too. Just cause you can't see the scar, doesn't mean it's not there.
I prefer to see it. Remember why it happened. Learn from it and move on. Be proud that you made it through.

Like so many things in life, I wish people were more open about this. I wish teenagers going through the same pain I went through felt like they didn't have to hide that pain -- maybe if they didn't feel the need to hide it, it wouldn't be so internalized that they would have to express it through self-injury. It's a vicious circle.

Couldn't we.. shouldn't we just look at these scars and marks and say "hey, ok, so that's part of where she came from. But maybe it'd be better to figure out where she's headed." Instead of saying "bad girl, don't cut yourself", look for the reason why this person is in so much emotion pain that physical pain is a welcome distraction? And then try to HELP, instead of judge? Maybe if we shared.. maybe if we weren't ashamed, or MADE to feel ashamed, nobody would have to hurt like I - and so many others - have, and do. (I don't think shame is a natural emotion... our parents teach it to us.. our teachers, our friends, our mentors, our church leaders teach it to us.. we aren't born knowing shame).

I kinda love my scars. You should too.

1 comment:

  1. I can somewhat relate. At one point in my life, I was a cutter. I was in a black depression and for some reason, it made me feel better. I guess it was because the physical pain meant I was still alive. Anyway, scars are sometimes beautiful and can remind us of why we are the way we are. I'm sorry things aren't perfect in your life or even on your body, but things can be healed...just like scars.