What are your scars, and what meaning do they have?
1) Childhood scars: Here, on my knee, is the faded pad of tissue from taking a hard fall from my bike on pavement. I was small but tough. I was the kid who played football in the park on summer nights, hanging on like a Jack Russell from a larger kid who probably didn’t even feel me there. I never gave up.
2) Horse scars: Here, on the inside of my upper arm, is a long, thin scar acquired from being thrown by a bolting horse into a barbed wire fence. Her name was Chiquita, she was probably a TB cross, and I don’t think we knew much about her before buying her. She was a maniac, almost killed me, but I learned a lot about psychology, dominance, and overcoming fear. I don’t have any scars left by Salut, the worst of my “project” horses (in the days when I would ride anything). He was a 17-hand Thoroughbred stallion that had originally been intended for the racetrack. His elderly breeder died, and when I went to look at him the Mexican guys on the ranch had been having informal rodeos on him. It took three guys to saddle him, and he threw them off one by one until they tired him enough for one guy to ride him at a run arounnd the pen, whipping him back and forth with the reins. I bought him out of pity. Never expect a horse to feel gratitude. Although I was extremely careful around him, he moved like a striking snake: once he picked me up by the neck and shoulder, shook me like a rag, and threw me; the other time he managed to knock me down in the arena, and all I remember seeing is a vast, black horse belly over me as he reared and struck. If he wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be here writing this now.
3) Self-inflicted scars: I led a rather schizophrenic life during my teens. I was a fairly popular kid, had a lot of friends and a jock boyfriend, but I felt alone. I felt as though I was acting, always. I got almost straight A’s, did cheerleading and drama and played flute, and at night I would cut my arms over and over, as it was the only way to release some of the pain. God knows why I felt that I had so much pain inside me; I only know that I would never in a million years go back to being a kid. Never, if a fairy godmother offered it to me. Most of the thin, parallel scarring has faded, although the thick criss-cross pad of scarring on the wrists can still be seen. I look back at myself at fourteen, or sixteen, and it’s like looking at a stranger. I was a smart kid, a bookworm living in a small, redneck mountain town, and I was more alone than anyone else I’ve ever met. But no one else knew.
4) Stupid scars: Here, on the inside of my lower arm, is a dead white burn scar caused by scooping up a hot curling iron and standing frozen for a second or so…long enough to leave a scar that I’ll always carry with me. Why? Who knows…
5) Pregnancy scars: If you look at my skin, you can see that I’ve had a child. Pregnancy is very hard on the body, no matter how careful you are. These scars are worth everything, and I would never change how I got them. I’ll never do it again, you understand, but these scars were hardwon in the bearing of something beautiful. I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable about them, but no one has ever commented, and some lovers when questioned were honestly surprised, as they hadn’t noticed. For me, though, it’s something that will always make me shy on a first night.
What do your scars mean?