When I was 15, I went white-water rafting at camp down some really calm rapids. The tour guides practically promised us that we weren’t going to fall out of the raft. But of course, half way through, I was thrown from the boat and totally humiliated as I was hoisted back in. My knee was all bloody from hitting a rock, and to this day I have a scar on my left knee the size of a dime. I’m sure most of my friends don’t remember that white water rafting trip very well, but I remember in in astute detail because of that scar. The same goes for most scars, as I learned from a piece in the NY Times about how scars tell the stories of our lives. Some people even find their scars so meaningful that they have them made into jewelry. Since scars can hold such strong meaning, I’ve asked around for folks to share their scar stories. I guarantee that some of them will remind you of many of your own life experiences…
I have a scar on my toe that looks like kind of a slash across my foot. Its the only scar I have, because my dad built this monster swing/slide set out of wood. Anyways, I decided to go down it before it was ready, because it was my birthday. And a nail at the bottom went into my toe. I walked around clueless until someone screamed and informed me my foot was bleeding. To this day it reminds me that I should probably not always do what I want.
I have a scar on my left hand from when I was 5, before I was diagnosed with A.D.D. I decided to jump on a counter to get Oreos, but there was broken glass there and it went right through my hand. Since it was my nerve, I didn’t feel it and due to my severe A.D.D., I just proceeded to get the Oreos and eat them. Eventually my mom came in the room and screamed at the blood. She took me to the hospital where they had to give me Novocaine and perform surgery to get the glass out.
I used to horseback ride. During the summer when it was really hot, the leather chaps would rub against our skin when we wore shorts to ride—bad idea. One summer the leather literally rubbed a hole through my right leg. SO PAINFUL. Now there is a scar on my calf that looks like Florida and reminds me of stinky horses.
I have scars from chicken pox on my forehead and, for years, I would only get haircuts with bangs because I thought they were soo ugly and noticeable. Then I realized you can barely see them and no one cares anyway. Now I don’t take them into consideration when I get my hair cut. I think they have mostly faded, anyway.
I have a scar on my right knee from falling so many freaking times while trying to learn to ride a bike. From age 3 to 24, every few years I’d get on a kick that, “This time, I’m really mastering bike riding.” This was only truly accomplished a few years ago, but now I can ride with the best of them. So the scar represents a big challenge I overcame.
My kitty scratched my boob when I was a prepubescent lass of only 13 or 14 and left a scar across my nipple. Silly me, I must not have been wearing a bra at the time! I feel indifferent about the scar, though. It gives that particular breast character and it’s a conversation topic in the bedroom.
I have a scar from a medical device that was installed, then removed. The surgeon who initially put it in took great pains to keep the scar very small, but the surgeon that took it out butchered his work. It reminds me of how I persevered during a really difficult illness. And since most people can’t tell what it’s from, I like to think that they think I’m really hardcore, like a girly-girl who has war scars.
So what’s your scar story?