Scars and their struggles

The scar from the burn I received at age one, and the scar resulting from my surgery. Both scars have significantly faded over time.
The scar from the burn I received at age one, and the scar resulting from my surgery. Both scars have significantly faded over time.

Every scar has a story.

When I was only a year old, I pulled a curling iron off the bathroom counter and it landed on the top of my right hand. My hand has housed the gigantic scar for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I never paid any attention to the scar. It was so normal to me because I never saw my hand any other way. Sure, the other kids would point it out and ask me about it, but it didn’t phase me.

In kindergarten, I came down with a severe case of the chicken pox, which resulted in several deep scars scattered across my body. The largest one, above my left eyebrow, is constantly pointed out by others.

Five days before the first day of sophomore year, I had surgery on my right wrist. Being in a cast for the first month of school wasn’t much of an issue to me. It was not until the cast was removed that I realized how noticeable the scar was. It bothered me, and to this day, I always wear bracelets around my right wrist to hide it.

Aside from the occasional burn from a hair straightener or the trip-down-the-stairs rug burn, the scars with a deeper meaning have a greater impact on a person.

Everyone has scars. While size and severity may vary, everyone has a scar somewhere on their body; each one with its own, unique story.

Zipporah Foster, senior, shared her story with me. When she was nine months old, she rolled onto a wall heater and experienced severe burns on her left arm and face.

“My mom said that the doctor recommended reconstructive surgery, but because I was so young, she decided it wasn’t a good idea,” said Foster. “They said the scars would fade with time, and they did a little, but I still see them everyday.”

I have known Zipporah for almost all of high school and have never noticed these scars. It’s funny how we don’t see them, yet, as she pointed out, she sees them every day.

“In middle school, people used to tell me that I looked like a boy on one side of my face because of my scar. It got really hard to not care about it when people were constantly pointing it out to me.”

To this day, she is still insecure about the scar on her face. She used to cover it up with makeup, but eventually came to accept the scar as a part of her.

However, the scar on her hand and arm never seemed to bother her. She has always maintained a positive outlook about it. “When I was little, my scars helped me tell my left hand from my right.”

Why is it that we feel insecure about some scars, yet disregard others? We both agreed that it has something to do with self image. The scars that we think others can see cause us more anxiety than those we feel are less obvious.

She gave me an example of a TV show she watched about wedding dresses. The family of the bride-to-be, who had several tattoos on her body, asked her to cover the tattoos up for the wedding. The woman defended herself by saying that the tattoos are a part of her and make her unique.

“I don’t think we should be ashamed of our scars,” said Foster. “Just like tattoos, they are a part of us and define who we are.”

We have these scars for life. When our hands are photographed, whether it be for engagement photos or for holding our new born children, the scars will be there. Instead of hiding these blemishes, we should embrace them. After all, bigger scars make for better stories.


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