Most people have scars, mine just happen to be caused by my own hand. If anyone is triggered by mentions of scars caused by self harm please stop reading now.
I have depression, and cutting was one way that I coped. The marks from that time can be found on my left shoulder, my left forearm, stomach, and both thighs.
At first I hated them and was ashamed of them. But, now I love them and am proud. My opinion changed when I realized that the scars were a record of what I have been through. Each mark is proof that I have fought the demons that reside in my head, and lived to tell the tail.
I haven’t gotten any negative reactions from strangers, just people staring and asking where I got them. Most are surprised when I am so open with my response, which is usually “I have depression and these are the marks of one way that I used to cope.”
You would be surprised how many people answer with their own similar stories.
When it comes to friends I find it easier to handle their reactions. Any friend that has had a negative reaction to my scars has been cut out of my life. If they can not accept or be supportive of what I have been going through then their friendship isn’t worth keeping up with. The friends that I have kept, and made, sense then have been the best ones I have ever had.
Many people with scars from any type of self harm may be worried about how a significant other will react to them. I got lucky, my boyfriend has never treated me any different because of my scars. We have been together for nine months now, and they are normal to us. But, if you are dating someone who doesn’t react as favorably to your scars, I would try to explain to them your feelings behind them. If that doesn’t work, I would urge you to think about your future with this person.
My family used to stare at them, make sure that I wan’t cutting anymore. They have said that they don’t want to see anymore. They have been nothing but supportive. After five years of having them I only catch them staring occasionally.
Have I ever covered my scars?
No. I have never intentionally covered my scars. Even when I was ashamed of them, I wanted to see peoples reactions to them. I think part of me wanted to let someone who may be struggling with something similar that they are not alone.
When I was cutting and hiding it I would look at other peoples bodies, searching for scars. For something to prove that this could be survived with dignity.
So, I wear what I want, showing my scars, because they are part of me. I am proud of the stories they represent.
If you want more information on self harm and how to help someone going through it click HERE.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal you can find a list of suicide hotlines by clicking on this link.