I have a large scar across the muscle above my knee. At one time it contained thirty stitches to hold it together. It was a trauma that I have a total recall of. I also have scars that are less physical. I was sewn together by a great many healers, some professional and some who had no clue they were helping me to heal. Here as well I have total recall.
Eventually you have to remove the bandage and live with the scar. We have to step back into our lives and walk on. A scar can be a reminder but it shouldn’t keep us from what we aspire to. To leave the bandage on longer than is necessary may in fact make things worse. The more we try to protect ourselves the less we experience. After my emergency I went to my family physician to have my sutures removed. He was uncomfortable with my wound and thought it best to leave them in. It was my experience that the longer a stitch is left, the harder it is to remove. I returned home and removed them myself. I was fairly confident I wouldn’t open up again or fall apart. We are more resilient than we sometimes allow ourselves to be.
For me, recovery is not a return to the way things were any more than my physical healing leaves me without a scar. The fabric of my life, like the flesh of my wound has changed. I am fortunate that my scar on my leg like the other scars I live with don’t interfere with the majority of my functioning but I have been altered.
Every scar tells a story but they do not have to be the whole story. Scars of the flesh are miraculous. Without thought or conscious effort the body reconstructs itself. Through Grace some of my other scars have healed as well. It can be time and distance or simply the decision to live with the scar. We don’t have to stand still to mend, in fact going through regular motions is often more helpful. I pick at the scabs of my life like we all do but some wounds heal only when we let them.
I hate my scars. They are my one regret.
You have reminded me of a person I knew while incarcerated in hospital. I met a young woman whose arms looked like she had been burned badly in a fire. She was a cutter. She was to me quite attractive and I saw on her arms a story of struggle and pain not something to recoil from. I would have been pleased to have held her hand but alas she was less attracted to me. There are people who do not understand our scars but there are also people who look beyond to the people we really are.
It’s nice to know that others can see past the scars. Those are the people that are worth my time and effort. I am probably the only person that struggles to see past them. I’m working on it though.
It’s hard not to be self conscious but harder yet to have no insight. I like the analogy from “Shadowlands” we are like pieces of marble and are formed by the painful blows of the sculptor. Not everything that defines us comes with a ribbon.
I give a deep nod of agreement.
Wow, that’s freaky! I think you just read my mind. I can’t say I love my scars (inside and out) but I’m growing to accept their presence. Maybe they were all just a necessary part of the journey.
I’m curious about something. When you use the word grace you always use it as Grace. Am wondering if there is a reason for this? I’ve just noticed it a few times. But don’t feel like you have to answer that one. Sometimes I’m just nosey. 😎
You may want to read my other reply to this post. I think there are people who can accept us scars and all, more so if we accept ourselves.
The reason I capitalize Grace is because it has been so important in my life. I return to the Forensic hospital every couple of weeks. There are clients there who were there before me. I am no smarter nor have I done anything they have not tried. Some are on the same medications yet they remain. Grace is the explanation I use for my ability to move forward and I am grateful that it has brought people into my life to help me on my journey. I figure if I my name is important enough to capitalize Grace deserves the same respect. I would not have much to my name other than capitals without it.
Thanks for the question, it made me reflect.
Thanks for telling me. It makes perfect sense. I did see the other comments, and felt sad. I know I’ve been at that point too for a long time, but it’s changed and it’s so good to not that burden on me. I’m still not happy with my scars but I can begin to accept that I did the things I did at the time because it seemed like the best decision at the time. Right or wrong, is irrelevant. That was just reality at the time. I’m not going to judge myself and let it hold me back anymore. I just have to work on maintaining this belief.
I think everyone is on a journey and so everyone is at a different point. From working with people (I run a support group) who struggle with self harm now, I think I have become a whole lot more accepting of myself (and my past actions)
I’m a scab picker too. Not good because it makes the scarring worse and takes longer to heal in the long run.
I’m also a self-harmer – self-confessed and I regret so much cutting my hand twice. I’ve got three straight lines nest to each other, like I’ve been scratched by a small dinosaur and now above that a massive graze cut where I sat for ages with a twig scraping away at my hand. Total regret.
But I have now said that I can no longer self-harm for several reasons so hopefully that’s the end of it and I won’t scar myself anymore.
I used self harm as a teenager and my scars have faded. In over 25 years I have not been able to come up with an understanding of why I did this. To be honest I haven`t looked into the psychology behind it. I can tell you it did not solve much for me. I do hope you can find other ways to cope and express you pain. I don`t usually talk about this part of my past. At the time I did it I think the difference from now is that I had no supports in place to come to terms with my issues. I`m not sure talking to someone is a cure but it could be a start. Thanks for sharing. When I think about it cutting does not really let anything important out nor does it let anything important in though it can seem to. I would like to hear your take on it.