About Scars

Most people are very uncomfortable around someone with obvious scars.  They stare at the person who has scars from surviving a house fire or they avoid even making simple eye contact with the person.  Some especially rude people ask this person what happened while wearing an expression of sheer disgust on their face.  Experiences like this make the person with the scars feel ashamed of how they look.  This sort of experience also can happen to someone who wears their scars inside as a result of surviving abuse.

So many people who live with ongoing mental health struggles such as Complex PTSD, PTSD, anxiety & depression as a result of being abused are shamed.  Some people mock these mental disorders while others deny their existence, which further contributes to the shame most abuse victims feel on some level for being abused.  This behavior is incredibly cruel but also foolish.

Everyone has scars to some degree.  Those scars shouldn’t be a source of shame.  Scars tell a story of things you have experienced.

Some scars show a woman has birthed healthy children.

Some scars show what happened to a soldier who bravely threw himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow soldiers.

Some scars show that a fireman was injured while rescuing someone from a burning building on the verge of collapse.

Some scars show the vet assistant’s job involves a lot more physical pain than most people think because scared animals scratch & bite.

Some scars even show that a person was abused by someone they thought they could trust, someone they thought loved them & would be good to them.

The one thing all scars have in common is that they tell a story of something that could have destroyed a person yet they didn’t.  They tell a story of survival, strength & bravery. 

If you have survived abuse & feel your story isn’t somehow good or worthy like the people in the examples I provided, I want you to know that you are wrong.  Having a mental disorder or even disorders doesn’t mean you are weak, stupid, or a failure.  Far from it!  It means you survived something that could have destroyed you.  Narcissists do their level best to destroy their victims in every possible way, yet you survived that!  Of course you have some issues as a result of the abuse, because that is only normal.  Rather than be ashamed of those issues, why not be proud of the fact you survived what many people don’t?  Then, as if surviving isn’t enough, here you are, not only coping with those issues but learning, growing, healing & helping others who have experienced what you have.  You should be so proud of yourself for how far you have come!! 

Rather than be ashamed of your scars & try to hide them, I would like to suggest that you to accept them without judgment as reminders of your strength & courage!  Hold your head high & be proud of the person you are!

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12 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health

12 responses to “About Scars

  1. Good advice, Cynthia. Keith

    Like

  2. Shocking to think they want to destroy me. Thank you for phrasing it that way. It is true. I do not understand their mindset. Perhaps I never will. But I do need to defend against it. .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this several hours ago, and I am still thinking about it. Your very wise posts often have that effect on me.

    You stated in this post that, when it comes to physical scars, “Some especially rude people ask this person what happened while wearing an expression of sheer disgust on their face.” Oh yes. I remember my rude, narcissistic mother doing that very thing.

    It happened when I was about 6 years old. We were in a medical clinic, walking down a hall past several exam rooms. We passed one room that had the door open. A very pretty teenage girl was sitting on the exam table, apparently waiting to see the doctor. Her legs and feet were bare. Her feet and ankles, up to mid calf on both of her legs, were severely scarred. Her feet and lower legs had obviously been badly burned at some time in the past. Her toes had all melted together. It was a very sad thing to see.

    My mother stopped in the doorway and loudly exclaimed: “Oh, how horrible! How do you stand it?” The poor girl did not say anything, but her face looked like she had just been slapped.

    “Some especially rude people…” Yes, indeed. That poor girl. I was only six, but I cringed inside when my mother did that.

    I especially like the way you ended this post, with the suggestion that we accept our scars as evidence of our strength and courage. That is excellent advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much! ❤

      That poor girl!! As if she wasn't already overly sensitive to her scars. 😦 At only 6 years old, you had a thousand times more sense & compassion than your grown mother. Very sad!

      Thank you. I know it's hard to think of our scars that way, especially on the bad days, but it is truly worth trying to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What you said here about me having more compassion when I was six, than my grown mother had — this reminds me of something you wrote in a post several days ago. The phrase “Hurting People Hurt People,” which is often said as a way of excusing abusers for their hurtful words and actions. I used to hear that phrase and think it must be true, that people hurt others because they were wounded. But after I read your take on it, I realized that the pain and abuse I have experienced, has given me a deeper empathy and compassion for other people. I don’t want to hurt other people, because I know how horrible it feels to be hurt.

        Why some people develop empathy from the experience of being wounded, while others don’t, is beyond my ability to understand.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I understand.. I thought the same way when I first heard that phrase. And sometimes, it is true.. some people are so wounded that they don’t know what to do. They simply lash out. My mother in-law was that way, I think. Hubby used to defend her treatment of me because her mother in-law was so awful to her. Well, my grandmother’s mother in-law was awful to her too but she became a very loving mother in-law! That was no excuse. It was their character I think that made one turn nasty & the other good.

          I think some people have a stronger character, others weaker. The weaker ones are the hurting people who hurt people. Not sure if that’s correct or not but it’s all I’ve ever come up with.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Your reasoning sounds good to me. One thing I cling to is the fact that our Creator God knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. There are several Bible verses that make this clear. He knows how capable and how culpable every person is, in every situation. His judgments are righteous and true.

            My mother puts on a great outward show. She goes to church, sings in the choir, and tries to get everybody ‘saved’. But in private… it’s a whole other story. I trust in the fact that God knows.

            Liked by 1 person

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