Or perhaps, Signs of a Journey.
I've been considering my scars, again. The main ones run the length of my arm, on the pale flesh of my forearm, on the right side. In certain lights, at certain angles, the thinnest, thread-like scars, barely visible, further to the left than any of the others, can be seen.
I have burn scars on my shin, on both of my hands, and scars from cuts from my hips up over my stomach up to where my bra ends, as well as on my leg, but it is these scars on my arm that best represent, to me, the time of my self-harm.
I hate that term; "self-harm". It speaks nothing of the emotional intensity of the action, the convoluted depths of such a thing, but simplifies it to a point of such insignificance that I feel utterly ridiculous in saying that I once engaged in it. There's so much more.
I have approximately fifty-seven scars due to self-inflicted wounds. In those times, I'd been told that I would regret this later, this thing I was doing, if only for the scars that would be left. But even then, I knew this could not be so. They were a part of me, they were a sign of something. They symbolised something for me, a time, an emotion, a reflection of who I was at those moments. They told a sort of story, screamed something important and in need of remembrance, like any good tattoo. Scars have always fascinated me, on any person. They testify to something, and like as not, there are interesting stories attached; of childhood misadventure and impulsive attempts, of tragedy. These scars of mine are my sign of my self value and a time of darkness I went through, my "marks of madness", faded now, but still present, lingering. A madness that rears its head every so often, raging against its imprisonment, its abandonment in change for better things, a better way; beguiling and tempting, alluring. Desperate for a comeback.
My scars still itch and hurt occasionally, just a little. I take comfort from this, for this means that they are still healing; they will fade yet more in time, just as I am healing. It is a slow process, but I am learning my own value and it is an amazing, astounding thing. How do I explain just how I revel in this ongoing discovery that I am worth so much and have so much to give? It brings me to silence at times. I am loved and, more than that, I am loved for a reason. This love from others no longer bewilders me quite so much. There is a reason for my life; I am not just some sort of mistake on God's part, some mishap that defies my view of God's perfection, which struggles with my belief of every single person’s value. My friends are amazing and not somehow deluded, somehow believing a massive lie that I am actually worthy of their love. Are any of us worthy of love? Let’s face it; we’re all pretty fucked up, in some way. The wonder of it all is that in spite of this, we are loved. It is in being loved that we become worthy of it. On our own, I do not think that many of us are deserving of being loved. Really. But we are loved. And that makes us worthy of it, for it is so. What a confusing concept, but I believe it, and I love what it means.
I began to ramble, didn’t I? It was bound to happen.
I love how my scars signify the self hatred that was once there. For, in that they are scars, that they are not fresh injuries, not growing in number, they are a sign of my growing beyond that, to embracing something brighter, something, as I said, that is better. Far better. They are a sign that what was once all too present, overshadowing, is now in the past. It doesn’t attempt to hide what has been, but shows forth the reality that this thing, this time did exist. It acknowledges that, but points to something else. A new chapter.
It is worth remembering, where I was in contrast to where I have reached, and I can look back to that past self and tell her that she was right, that this was merely a storm which would pass, that she would get through it and emerge stronger for it, that that faint spark in the darkness was really a light shining, sunlight that she would reach.
My scars tell a story, that what I felt was real and true and it shouldn’t be played down; it was big and it mattered and it is something that will remain a part of me, but in a good way, for I’ve learned from it all. And I love that.