So today I have something a little personal I want to talk about. Scars.
I have many scars, childhood accidents, an operations, a recent scrape from my bike; I have few that I am self-conscious about. I am most nervous about the ones on my chest. I have bad acne scarring all across my shoulders and chest and because I have sallow skin they are noticeable little white circles. People have commented on and asked about them and that's the only reason I know they are noticeable not just to me.
When I was fifteen, the friend of a boy I was dating commented on 'those weird marks on my boobs' and a years later a friend of mine asked why my shoulders were sprinkled with white marks. As someone who comes off as very confident this is one things I struggle with. Every time I wear strappy or low cut tops I worry that people are looking at my scars and wondering why I would show off a body like that.
I have friends who are similarly self conscious of only certain marks and scars. One with scars up her spine from a scoliosis operation, another with marks on her arms from self harm, another with a scar on her lip from a childhood bike accident.
We spend a great deal of time being proud of our unique traits, skills and defining features but also a significant amount of time hiding things we think people won't understand or might comment cruelly on, despite having no way of changing these things.
I have no insecurities about the moles on my face or the parkour wound on my shin or even the lump in my foot where I have a metal screw. These are all part of me, of my story, of my life. Somehow, a part of me doesn't see my chest scars that way. They seem to me something that shouldn't be there, marks that should have faded, that should no longer define me, that have no significance to my story other than a few negative comments after their appearance.
I guess so many times I've been able to be open about mental scars, or to tell a story of some gnarly scar I obtained doing something cool or stupid, or showing off some unusual birthmark or quirky trait. But there are some things that are not special, not shareable and not interesting but can mark us in ways we didn't realise. I suppose my scars are a reminder to me of all the things that shouldn't have an influence, like mean comments from strangers, or bad days from the past, or lost items or forgotten places. They are a permanent reminder of nothing but their own effects, normally nothing good.