I never really had much experience with them, other than the small, unnoticeable one on my forehead from a bad case of chicken pox in 1989, but after my surgery I have five, very distinct scars. My only real experience seeing how people react to someone having a scar is my the large scar on my brother’s right (maybe left?) shoulder from running and crashing into a glass lamp as a child…this was not unusual behavior for him, so I never thought it odd that he would be permanently marked by his rowdiness. It was like a tidbit to add to the collection of stories. 

The braided skin of my scars won’t likely be seen by many people, although I do have an odd compulsion to show people, which I suppress often. There would be something cathartic, I think, in sharing my scars. It’s something I see everyday, but no one else has to deal with it. This desire is on the rise, perhaps because my scars aren’t quite as dainty as I had expected them to be, and they are more pronounced than I thought it would have been. To be fair to my surgeon, I doubt I had any sort of realistic expectations. 

Reflecting on this desire to overshare (which I do often) with my scars, I realized it’s much like emotional turmoil. People have physical and emotional scars, the reason I feel the need to share my physical scars is much the same as the reason that we should be sharing our emotional ones. We can’t handle it alone.

My desire to share my scars is more than “this is weird, come look at this”, though that’s part of it. It’s more about the fact that I see this reminder everyday of what I went through the past year and finally through the surgery and it’s a hell of a lot to mentally process alone. Also, I feel like people can see my scars through my attempts to cover them, I can tell where they are through my clothes, but that’s because I’m hyper-aware of what is going on. People are like that too, with their emotions, they feel that everyone can sense that they are not okay, so they build bigger walls around to protect themselves while they are vulnerable. Just barely braided enough to be kept together.

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