I have two scars on my face that are about an inch long. One of them I obtained ten years ago at a doctor’s office, and the other a year and a half ago when a bathroom attacked me.
I hide these two flaws with bangs and the rim of my glasses. Most of the time I don’t really think of them, except for that awkward time of day when I actually look at what I’m seeing in the mirror. For me, looking in the mirror is a little like hearing my recorded voice: “Is that REALLY me?” I guess what I see doesn’t really match up in my mind’s eye of what should be there.
My mental image of myself just doesn’t include obvious damage. I hide the scars I suppose because I’m not really that keen on being defined by them. I’m not self conscious about them, and will tell the stories if asked, but they’re not really a big part of who I am.
On the other hand, it’s the damage inside I’m truly afraid people will notice. I spend much more time being careful about what I say and how I interact with people than I am with the hair and makeup disguise.
I think I’m probably not as good at hiding hurts as I hope. Scars from emotional struggles have been harder to heal and have left a legacy that colors just about every single relationship in my life. I could wish it wasn’t noticeable by others, but it probably is. The caution, awkward hesitation, restraint, the occasional wild enthusiasm – all of it gets a little weird occasionally I’m sure!
I’m not intending this to be a completely navel gazing narrative, rather setting a stage for how important I think it is to have personal heroes. I’m talking about real people in my life that do amazing things and encourage me with their bravery and honesty.
My heroes are my friends. They share stories of hurt and learning; speaking out from the deepest places of their being. They create a path for me to feel brave enough to begin my own healing, shining a light into the scariness and making it not so scary.
There are folks out there whose only outlet are anonymous hotlines and obscure subreddits. While I’m sure those places have helped some, I’m eminently grateful to have your openness encouraging me to do the same.
Maybe my interior damage is obvious, but I’m starting to be okay with that. Hiding it is not the path to healing. So thank you, my friends, my heroes. Thank you for teaching me about healing.
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.