Scar Tissue That I’m Glad You Saw

 

It’s not a stretch to say that our bodies are a map of our lives: the stretch marks after that growth spurt in junior high, the highlights you got during last winter’s doldrums, the chewed off finger nails that mean you’ve met someone new. These ‘flaws’ help mark us as the fascinating, storied people that we are, don’t they?A story: when I was living in Taiwan, I briefly entertained the idea of getting a tattoo to represent my time there. I was particularly intrigued by the huge, traditional black tattoos favored by the constantly shirtless construction workers who tore up the street outside my flat. I’m not sure that I would have ever had the guts to get something that epic and intense drilled permanently into my body, but the point became mute six months before I left. While wearing a tiny half helmet, a dress and flip flops, I crashed my scooter, ripped myself up and created several scars that I will have for the rest of my life. Who needs a tattoo to help you remember an experience when you’ve got a wee slash across your chin and a discolored knee?

I was initially quite unhappy with these new additions to my body: I spent a lot of time blending concealer over the inch in my chin that had been stitched closed and dabbing whitening cream over the oddly darkened road-rash scar. But eventually, I came to see them a badges of my adventures. If I was ever feeling like a simpering wall-flower, I remembered that thread of scar tissue that crossed my chin and the fact that I was the sort of girl who was tough enough to drive fast through the streets of foreign countries. My scars remind me of who I am when I’m feeling adrift and unsure. The other ones I have?

The Mountain Biking ScarWait. Don’t be impressed. I hate mountain biking. It’s hard to go up and it’s scary going down. Eff that. I actually got this scar because I saw a baby horse in a field next to the bike trail, got off my bike to go talk to him and then fell into a bunch of thistles. The baby horse did not care. Jerk.The ‘Cigarette Burn’ ScarThis scar is not actually a cigarette burn. It’s actually the scar from getting a large mole removed. A mole that people constantly mistook for a wood tick. Hawt. Inexplicably, during college I took to telling people that this scar was from someone accidentally burning me with a cigarette at a party. So which is lamer? A woodtick-esque mole or a totally trashy cigarette scar? You be the judge.

The Former Piercing ScarsDidn’t we all pierce our belly buttons and noses at some point? Because they are the cutest and least painful? Like every other girl who ever liked Gwen Stefani or tried to rock man-pants, I at one point pierced my belly button and my nose. The belly button piercing met a bad end when I attempted to rock a belly chain, and then accidentally pulled out said chain when I went to pull up my sagging man pants. The nose ring was met with raised eyebrows from my first ‘real’ boss, so it became weekend-only wear and then, eventually, never-wear.These scars remind me of the camaraderie I felt with my friend as we stood in the vault of the hair salon where we worked, working up the nerve to pull the trigger on the peircing gun. We swore each other to secrecy and dabbed each other’s bellies with rubbing alcohol. We were like blood brothers. Except we had studs in our tummies.

What are the stories behind your scars? How do you feel about them?

17 Comments

George

Large ones on my arm, from BMXing when I was young and snapping my arm in half. And a few others from kitchen and cycling accidents. I'll get a few more before I'm old, I'm sure.

Like you, with these I've never felt the need for tattoos.

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Ms Constantine

I have a scar on my knee from when I was five and constantly fell over on the same spot.

And I have a faint star scar that I etched into the top of my wrist with a compass when I was at high school. lol.

So at the end of that post did you say that you and your friend pierced your belly buttons with a stud gun?!?! Crazy lady!

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Erin

I have a scar on my right temple from having a cyst removed. And I have four scars on my abdomen from having my gallbladder removed. Nice. I also have some lovely post-pregnancy stretch-marks, as well as some stretch marks from dance.

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Sarah Von Bargen

Magatha-May: Thanks so much! That's lovely!

Ms. Constantine: I know! I'm not sure I can recommend belly-button piercing with a piercing gun, but I was too young to go to a piercing shop at the time. Ridiculous!

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Erin

Oh, Miss Sarah Von, don't even pretend this post isn't latently Harry-Potter-inspired!;) I've just started reading the books for the first time, too, buddy!

I have no cool scars. A little chicken pox scar that looks like a small Lego was pressed into my cheek. But I love my birthmark–it's cool to look at it and think about everything I've seen and been through in my life.

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Jaka Merriman

I love the miscellaneous scars that I (and other people have). It's absolutely a chronicle of my lifetime of adventure! Nothing awesome like mountain biking, though; although I do have one from when my brother scratched me at the age of 10. And I even have some that I can't explain!

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Renai

I have a huge scar on my knee from falling off my bike when I was ten. I hated it so much for so long- this year (I'm 24) is the first that I have actually worn shorts and skirts consistently. I have finally learned to love it. And I really do love it.

I have a scar above and below my lips from a drunk bike accident almost two years ago. I flipped my handlebars and stopped myself with my face πŸ™ I broke my two top front teeth then too, which caused me to get over any sort of scars or physical blemishes very quickly. My hands also have some interesting scars from that fall.

Other than that I have a lot of scars on my hands and arms from cooking, baking, and being a barista.

I'm also pretty well tattooed, so I guess that's got its own thing going πŸ™‚

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ChristaLouWho

My piercings are still piercings… luckily even real bosses in Austin seem to care more about the job being done than if I have purple hair or a loop in my nose.

I have small scars littering my face, most go unnoticed but carry their own stories – the gash missing from the bridge of my nose from last summer's water slide (I got a free margarita, wasn't complaining), the joker scar stretching from the right corner of my mouth, reminding me of what a hardass on the softball field I am…

The knee scars take the cake though. 4 surgeries in less than a decade – 3 ACL reconstructions, an MCL, an arthrosopy. They represent life-altering events, proof that at 23 I'll never be at my highest potential, and they testify for my hope, optimism and hard work to be as close to that potential as possible πŸ™‚

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Brittany

I have multiple scars on both of my knees from various bike accidents from when I was a kid.

Tons of scars on my legs from mosquito bites that I couldn't help but scratch and then turned into scabs that I accidentally scratched off.

I have two scars on my left elbow from when I was 6 and thought I was a monkey so naturally swinging from branches in the tree seemed like a good idea. But instead of swinging from the branches I jumped, missed and broke my arm and had to have surgery and two pins placed in it.

I also have 2 tattoos.

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Sal

I have a scar on my left ear from having a keloid removed, and a scar in the center of my right palm. The latter is from 8th grade bio class, from when I was trying to wedge glass tubing into a rubber stopper, broke it off, and jabbed it into my palm. I SWEAR it was hollow in there …

But my tattoos are my life-markers. I get a new one when a chapter has closed, or a new one opened.

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Helene

I am currently having a "scar" from my teen years removed. It will cost me more than $1200 and it is super super painful. I feel it's worth it though.

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Sarah-Rose and Craig

I've always loved scars! you wear the marks of your life.
I have a scar on my right palm from when I broke an antique chamber pot my mother had as a bird bath. I was small at the time. And a dent in my forehead from running into a door aged two. And I think my GHD hair straighteners burn will scar – a little equals sign on my collarbone and not really badass at all.
Oh. and a small scar on my belly button from when I pierced my own belly button with a needle. Unsurprisingly, it became infected.

And my favourite one of Craig's is on his collarbone where he was charged by a friend holding a super hot mince pie.

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alexandramwaters

Brazilian dog bites, a burning oven, hail storms, tattoos, bad luck broken mirrors, bicycle somersaults, beanie baby over-excitement which led to a tumble down wooden stairs, college hazing, rugby tumbles, a theatrical bow that ended in double digit stitches across my forehead, knees bashed from untied laces…

My dad always said injuries were a sign of too much fun. My body proves his words of wisdom.

What's the most fun memory seared in your skin?

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