There are scars
Everyone has them. The pinprick from the time your friend jabbed you with a pencil and you can still see it twenty years later. The line down your knee from wearing out the bone before its time and medicine that is a modern marvel. The indention in your shin where that big red-headed jerk from your rival high school caught you in an illegal move and you became aware that shin-guards are only so protective. Maybe there is one in your hairline from running through the living room at five or six and face met fireplace to gift you that reminder that your mom has a point when she says not run in the house.
Some Show Them Off
Often those scars get brought out at parties. Drunk wanna-be daredevils spinning tales of glory days and who took the biggest risks. A comparison to see who has the most outlandish tale, the most stitches, and the gaudiest scar to show for it. Maybe someone will claim a shark attack that was probably an oyster shell that got angry at being stepped on. Maybe you took a punch to the nose from a 6’2 guy for defending a girl that might have been stitches for a busted lip after you missed a fly ball at baseball practice. The scars have their story and the owners have theirs.
Some Hide Them Away
But some of us don’t show off our scars. The ones on our arms, on our wrists, on our hips and our thighs. The ones that crisscross themselves in what is almost a pattern. The ones that if you squint and tilt your head spell out insults we hear so much and so often we aren’t sure if we put them there or if they just were pressed into us from the very air. Those of us in the corners, the shadows. Long sleeves, long pants, wrist cuffs. We do not show our scars as we have been told they are nothing to be proud of. Self-inflicted, a razor here, a pocketknife there. We hide them under our clothes convinced we are alone and ashamed of ourselves for getting to this point in our lives.
The same ones who show off the scars that life decided to bestow on them would have us to believe that our scars somehow make us less than what we were.
Our scars do not lessen our value. They do not change who we are as a person and they will not always be something to be ashamed of. I am not proud of what I did when I was trying to survive. But I am proud that I survived. Those ridges on my arm are just a testament to the monsters I fought and the strength that I won. If my scars being visible enables someone else to talk about their demons, to know that someone else faces the same ones, it is well worth the looks from those who think that life only gives scars from her hand.
We all have scars. We all have a past. We all have no reason to be ashamed if we are moving forward.
Please reach out if you ever need to talk.