I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have scars. Ones that are very visible…ones that are emotional and a little harder to spot at first. But I have them…like most of us. I actually find the stories behind scars fascinating and appreciate those with them. Warriors have scars.
To look at me, this might surprise you. Sure, I put a big smile on my face and “clean up good”…but the scars, I carry them around with me always and I have many.
I could be embarrassed about them. The visible ones aren’t very pretty to look at. I could try to have them removed. But it’s the scars that made me who I am and, to me, even though all scars were painful at the time they occurred, I know they are beautiful in their own right.
My nose. When I was 8, I was a bat girl for my twin brother’s T-Ball team. I was hit full force during a practice swing right between the eyes. Long story short…it was a day I’ll never forget. It could have killed me, but it didn’t. Yes, have a permanent reminder with the bump on my nose. But it’s part of me and reminds me of my amazingly blessed childhood.
My knees. Very long story short. I’ve needed knee replacements most of my life. A disorder I was born with and exasperated by being double jointed, overall lack of coordination, and the dare devil in me. Between roller skating and being a dance team leader in school, I spent A LOT of time on crutches. I’ve lived with the pain for so long and learned to work with it that most days it doesn’t bother me. But my legs aren’t very pretty as a result because of the scars, stress veins , weak muscles and lack of tone. But I’d be completely lying if I said I LOVED to work out anyway.
My neck. An even longer story. I was sick all of my thirties. After I had my youngest of two kids, my dentist noticed a lump on my throat and told me to get it checked. I did, and was told nothing was wrong with me. 86 pounds and 16 months later…clearly something was. But I would endure another 10 years before the mass on my throat, and all of the health consequences to that could no longer be overlooked. In 2008 while having my thyroid (then the size of an orange) removed, I had every consequence happen to me. I came moments from dying of heart failure, loss of blood calcium, magnesium, potassium (BTW…apparently all important :/ ), had no voice for 9 weeks with little hope to ever regain it from my doctors, saw 8 specialists, had 2 blood tests taken every week and took 6 months to recover. As a consequence my neck skin is stretched too and I’d like to have that fixed. Maybe later this year. We’ll see.
My “turkey pop-up”. Two years after that ordeal I still hadn’t been able to get the weight back off to my normal size of 4 and another doctor informed me that I was now pre-Diabetic. Having a twin brother with type 1 since we were 6…I COULD NOT look him in the eye and allow that to happen. So because my body needed some help (along with other relationship reasons at the time), I decided to suck up my pride and go find a solution. I went with a Lapband because it’s reversible, and won’t impact my fragile nutrient intake from my Hoshimotos ordeal. It took me 4 years but I lost every one of those pounds and then some with a total weight loss of 98 pounds to date 7 years later. Yes, my marital grief has taken another 15 pounds off and 2 more dress sizes but it’s understandable I guess.
My tummy. As you can imagine, I’m not a big girl so my skin had to stretch to accommodate that sudden weight gain and gradual (thankfully) weight loss. I decided the next step in putting myself back together, was to get a tummy tuck in 2014. I was the worst case they had ever seen and I healed better than they ever imagined. Unfortunately, I am a fair girl too so the scar is very prominent. This doesn’t bother me…it’s bothered a few men (who even suggested more surgery to remove it) but honestly… I KNOW what I lived with before and I wear it with pride.
Soon my breasts. Now this may shock you…but I have tiny boobies and I love them. Sure, I’d love them a lot more if they didn’t dangle like cow utters when I bent over but still I like my little half-filled 32 B’s just fine thank you. I’ve decided that I will get them re-fluffed…FOR MYSELF. More scars…but what the hell my Mama approves.
My mind, my heart, my soul. I was married for 25 years before to a man that I loved but didn’t love me that way. A lot happened over those years and it left a lot of emotional scars…no joke. I don’t regret him, my babies, what I endured, the lessons learned, the self-growth, the pain and loneliness. I’m not bitter. He suffered too in his own ways, I know. I’m not holding a grudge and I think he’s finally happy now and I am sincerely happy for him. Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way…because I do love him. We will always have a special bond…we are family. He was the first call I made when I realized my second (seriously…I have to number them now…wth?) husband left me. The man that I THOUGHT did truly love me the way I always prayed for. These scars might be the hardest to overcome and by far the deepest. I thought that I had a life that I didn’t. Trusting myself, or someone else…well that is going to be a challenge but trusting I am (sure sometimes to a fault). I believe in love and marriage. My parents taught me that through their beautiful perfectly imperfect example. I’ll survive these scars as well and no, I don’t regret them either.
What I want is that person who will love ALL my scars. Sees the beauty in them. Won’t shame me for having them. Who won’t ask me to remove them. Who won’t think less of me because I got hurt in the first place or because I put myself in that situation to receive it. Who appreciates what they represent, what I’ve endured to earn them. And for the ones that can heal over better…help me do that. But before anyone else can…I MUST truly love them ALL myself.
Good news….is that I already DO.
~ Xo Nancy
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