The Scars We Bear

Monday, June 23, 2008

I went into Photoshop to revise my picture over there on the left. I'm new to the software and wanted to play around with the color and remove a few more strands of flyaway hair (anal AND a little vain, that's me!).

Just for kicks, I got rid of the keloid scars on my chest. And it made me tear up a little. I've had them so long, I don't remember what it's like NOT to have them. But seeing me scar free and smooth made me sad. This is the real me, the me I want people to see instead of my scars.

I hate these scars. I don't really remember how I got them but I hate them. They itch. Buttons, zippers and rough fabric irritate them. The seatbelt constantly rubs against them. People stare and kids point at them. I'm embarrassed by them. They make me feel ugly. Even on my best hair, make-up, and outfit day, the scars still ruin it a little. And I don't like having my picture taken. In any photo of me, they are always all I see.

I'm not as confident as I used to be but I can fake it. I'll buy a low cut top or dress because it looks good everywhere else but I'm convinced everyone is staring and thinking, "she'd be kind of pretty if it weren't for those ugly scars."

If they weren't smack in the center of my chest, I'd probably forget all about them. But, they are right there, staring back at me in the mirror. All the time.

It's a Catch 22: I don't want them showing, but I spend so much time scratching when I cover them it's just not worth it.

I try to tell myself to get over it. That they really aren't a big deal. If two scars are the worst thing in my life I should count my blessings and quit whining.

I've caught people staring and pointing. Someone asked me if they were a tattoo. I'd had a few Midoris one night and caught a guy at bar, staring. He apologized and gave the usual, "do you mind my asking what those are?" I told him they were scars left over from heart surgery where I almost died and it was hard for me to talk about it.

He looked horrified and apologized some more for bringing it up. I felt bad and fessed up. I said I got kind of tired of people asking about something that makes me feel so self conscious and that I try hard to forget. He still felt really bad and I got a free drink out of it.

I think we all have scars of some kind, physical or emotional. And they can be so crippling can't they? In the grand scheme of things mine are such a minor thing but they can alter my mood just like that [snap].

I wasn't planning to blog about it but since it made me emotional and I want to be as "real" as possible on this blog I started typing before I could chicken out. Do you have any scars (of either kind)? Do they get in the way of you living your life? How do you handle them?


  1. I don't have scars, but for me it's my skin in general. It's so bad I hate to show any more off than what is absolutely necessary to be comfortable. My skin is blemished everywhere, except my face. Really looks bad! I guess it keeps me humble? lol Not sure, just trusting the good Lord that there must be a reason!

    Sorry about your scar. I'm sure the looks of others are painful. It's hard anytime we're noticed for anything other than our beauty! You're a beautiful person though! Surely you know that!

  2. Oh, it's tough. I feel like my best part of my body was always my middle section. Then I had twins. Talk about stretch marks galore. I'm so grateful for my kids (and my tummy tuck), but it's still pretty ripply.

    You're beautiful, btw.

  3. I'm glad you blogged about it. I thought it was a really well-written post and I hope that it was helpful to you to get your feelings about your scars down. Is there any kind of cosmetic surgery that could lessen their appearance. To me, they don't look that bad, but if you feel that self-conscious about them it may be worth the investment to try to get rid of them.

    Like Wendy, I also struggle with my complexion. I often have pimples on my face and my back. I'm so sick of breaking out. It just seems like I should be over this problem by now.

  4. Thanks for being so honest. I will be honest and say I did not notice until you pointed it out. I know this post will help others as well as yourself for stating how you feel. I think the scars inside from others are some of the hardest to heal!

  5. Wendy- Sorry to hear that. I have heard light fruit based peels help with blemishes. I'm thinking of trying one myself. You're right, maybe my scars are a way to keep me humble!

    Jamie- Tummy tuck? Color me jealous. We can compare stretch marks over cocktails at the pool!

    Jen- Thanks for saying that! The bigger scar is the result of a failed attempt to remove the original.

    And backne? I've got that too! Yuck! Especially after the hot weather we just had. I feel like a teenager sometimes. I'm too old for pimples!

    The Roost- I hope so. That's why I put it out there. And yes, the healing usually does need to start from the inside!

  6. Found your blog through Rocks in My Dryer. Beautiful post, and, yes, I think we ALL have scars of one kind or another.
    Glad I stopped by!

  7. I found you from looking at a comment at Shannon's place.

    I hadn't noticed the scars on the original photo until you pointed them out. :)

    As for waiting until you get your ducks in a row before you start blogging, DON'T. That was my advice before I saw this post. And it's even more true after.

  8. I feel you! When I was 13, I was hit by a car and broke both of my legs. One was an open fracture that required surgery, and then ended up having surgery on the other one the next day because of swelling causing nerve damage and also the need for pins to be put in... so I have nasty scars on both legs - one of them from just below my knee to just below my calf, and the other is only about 6" so not as bad. It took me years to wear shorts in the summer. Once in high school I wore a short skirt and someone told me I had a run in my panty hose! I wasn't wearing panty hose. It took a very long time to get over, but now I hardly think about it. It's too hot not to wear shorts! :)

  9. That was a great post. It sounds silly, but I'm struggling with how veiny (is that a word?) my legs are since my third baby. I don't like wearing shorts and feel very self-conscious.

    I found your blog from a comment you left at Rocks in My Dryer. Nice blog!

  10. Genny- I'm glad you stopped by too. Hope to see you again!

    Rebecca- Thanks for coming over! Hope to see you again too.

    KMommy- Hit by a car! Holy schnikes. Now I really should shut up!

    Lizz- Thank you for coming over. Those veins are no fun!

  11. I'm so glad I read this. I noticed your scar in Florida and I'm sooooooooooo glad I didn't ask about it. I honestly assumed it was from a childhood accident and decided to keep my trap shut. You know me, I am the most sensitive person on the planet so, I am very well aware of how my questions or remarks might rub someone the wrong way. Thank you for sharing your story!

    p.s. I've had THREE abdominal surgeries. They're called bikini lines, as if I will ever be caught dead wearing a bikini to prove the scars won't show :)


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