Every scar tells a story, reveals a past adventure, a past heartache, and a past memory. Some people scar more easily than others, but one thing thing remains true about scars, no matter how big or small. They're there forever.
I used to be ashamed of my scars. I used to try to hide them, or make up stories about why they're all over my arm, my ankles, my hips. And I guess now people only see the ones that line my arms, not the burns on my leg, my hand, or the scars I have from picking old wounds. I may not directly lie about where my scars come from anymore...no more story about a burn from the bakery I worked at, or some cat scratching me. I mean, come on, was that every really believable? Do cats really have 6 claws that are parallel to each other? No.
Now when someone asks, I just look down at them, cover them up a bit, as if to hide the person from the bitter truth for one more instant, and then glance up at them for a moment and say, "They're really old scars." And then I change the subject. Okay, so that's not really telling the truth, but it's better than directly lying to their face, right? Every scar may tell a story, and since I wear mine very visibly, I guess I can't knock the people who demand to know the story. But why is it I'm so afraid to tell them? Why am I afraid to tell my best friends, my teammates, my family members, what I've done to myself?
Sure, there's only a handful of people who know exactly what I've been through, who were witnesses to what I suffered growing up. But there have also been people I've met that don't care what I've been through, who see it in my eyes that I've been hurt, and who probably only wish to hear the truth about where I've come from and what's brought me here. Yet I still run away from them. I try to run from my own story, one I have written for years, memorized it down to the very last facial detail and muttered last words. It's a story I don't like to tell very often, one that wipes the smile from my face each time. One that turns my eyes glassy as I turn away to conceal the tears. It's not all bad, of course, but most of it explains why I've become the person I am-- why I'm freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional. A lot of it also explains my attachment to people, my fear of them betraying me, leaving me, or just plain physically hurting me. And parts of the story reveal my peaceful side, my need for human love and devotion, and my heartfelt wish to make everyone around me as happy as can be.
But why can't I just make myself happy? I go through these phases every once in a while. Phases of feeling self-worth, pure happiness with the world around me, and this hop in my step that can't be overturned. And then, darkness falls. A feeling of anxiety rushes in that can't be stopped. It attacks my body from the inside out. First, it devours my stomach, leaving me feeling sick and curled in a ball. Then my breathing rate rises and won't be lowered for anything. Tears start to burn my eyes and the smile fades away into a grey frown. And that physical state stays in place until someone, or something can shake me out of it. And I must say, as the years add up, it has become harder and harder for people and things to get me out of this state.
One thing I can always reflect on in that state of mind is my arm, or my leg, or my hip. A constant reminder of where I've been, and where I don't want to end up again. A few strokes of those tale-telling scars and I'm ready to try to smile once more.