Clearly I am not a Swimsuit Model
Show me a person who doesn't have a scar and I will show you a liar... and a mirror. Some scars are from accidents or being an idiot. Like getting hit in the head by a five year old with a baseball bat and a vendetta. I tried to get out of the way of the metal weapon being swung, but the scar on my eyebrow tells a different tale. It tells the same story as my sister and our cousins; one where I didn't move out of the way even though they repeatedly told me and then got cracked in my head. I like my version better. It doesn't make me seem like a moronic 7 year old with a listening deficiency and there's a bad guy and a damsel in distress.
Others are only on the inside. The ones you try to conceal, but always have a way of becoming exposed. Like a pimple on your chin, those are the worst. The scars that come from broken hearts, lost innocence, or trauma. My mother claims I have PTSD and that I should seek professional help to combat it. Unfortunately I, like many proud men and women who have fought for our country, believe that I can get through it alone. I have seen psychologists in the hospital and each one of them have given me a clean bill of health and left my hospital room. The last one let me pass even after I told him that if I didn't get a single room soon I was going to murder my roommate. He just told me not to tell anyone else that, smiled, and walked out. Luckily for us all, she left the next morning because I was NOT kidding. I had a plan and everything.
Then there are the scars that have the best stories. Whether they come from falling off a razor scooter, while outrunning a tornado or having four different PICC lines and you now have a weird square on your inner arm. My 14-inch stomach scar gets the most looks and stares. No one ever asks about it, but I can always see the questions and theories forming. Was it the worst c-section in all the land? Did she get stabbed by a lunatic wielding a machete? Is that what a failed tummy tuck looks like? I wish that strangers would ask, so I could tell them my story and my web address.
When I finally got put back together I wanted to take bikini picture to show my friends on Facebook my victory scars. Not only was I skinny, losing an organ really helps drop the lbs, but I had gotten my boobs done right before all my surgeries and had never been able to show them off. My mom did not like the idea of a picture. She said that my scar wasn't completely healed and I was still bruised. She made excuses for her real problem, which was with the scar. From the moment I had it she talked about making it disappear. She bought me all kinds of lotions, gels, and tape to help fade it. I used none of them. I loved my scars. It was a road map of what I had been through and where I never wanted to return.
I was 20 years old and had spent seven months hiding and waiting for the day I could run my hand down my stomach and not sob. The day I could take a shower and not have to clean off the organ protruding out of my taut tummy. I wanted to show people what I had been through. Mom wanted me to cover it up for the same reason. The scar reminded her of all the pain I had suffered, of what I had lost. Not being a mother, I thought she was just crazy and mean. But once it had healed and looked less like Dr. Frankenstein had used me as a bride, she accepted it and grew to love it. And as I grew up, I realized where she was coming from. I was never ashamed of my scars or telling my story, except for on dates or a one-night stand.
Honestly, there is no easy way to explain my story without it getting gross. And there is no way to go on a first date and try to order dinner without either lying or explaining a small portion of the story. No guy pretends he didn't just hear me have a lengthy conversation about gluten, dairy, fried food, and meat with the waiter. What he heard was me being high-maintenance and that is always a conversation. So, I tell them the smallest truth I can figure out and let them digest it. It works until the third date, when the top comes off and scars come out. But they are guys, so once my bra is off, the scars just fade away. And that is what all scars do. They fade away, no matter the battle or the struggle, time elapses and you heal.
My re-connection picture. April 2009. With my bag, hidden. January 2009.