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Secret Scar

I was 20 when I did my first, and only, so far, scarification. At that time I didn't even know what I was doing, much less that it had a name or that other people did it. I was just doing it cause it felt right. I felt I needed to make a permanent mark to myself to show how far I had come, to show myself I had survived. The pain from the knife was nothing compared to the pain behind the symbol I was carving. In a way, the knife felt good against my skin, it felt almost natural.

No one knows about my scar. I assume my husband thinks its just a normal scar, not one I imposed on myself. In fact, I am pretty sure if I told him, he would think I was off my nut. So it remains to be my secret. No matter, the scar is only for me. My little reminder of what I survived. My scar is an intertwining of initials; the initials of those that caused me pain.

The first, and most important, initials I carved where those of my ex boyfriend. We had met at college. Both of us on our own for the first time. We lived on campus, as we were very far from the places we called home. When we met, I was attracted to him, not in the lusty sort of way, but more because he seemed like a wounded animal that needed help and care. I should have been cautious but I was young, I didn't know any better. And so our romance began, a long 2 and a half year relationship from hell.

The first few months together were pleasant as we learned more about each other and became closer. Not long after we started spending all of our time together, so much so that we stayed in each other's rooms. And perhaps it was after this that the ugliness started to rear its nasty head. He began talking down to me, saying that things were my fault if should anything occur that didn't please him. I think he admired me and hated me, although I am not sure why.

And then the real abuse began. He would hit me, push me, berate me, anything he could do to bring me down. But I stayed, I thought I loved him and I even believed I deserved what I was getting. He knew how to use words against me. And I, being brought up in a very sheltered environment, did not know what else to do. He had control over me because I let him.

I met his family, they were no different. They were nice one minute and belittling you the next. And my boyfriend saw it fit to tell me all the nasty things they would say behind my back, calling me a whore and much worse. It was hard to take in, these people seemed so nice, how could they talk so badly of me when all I did was take care of him and be helpful to the family when I could. But it was in my nature and upbringing to be courteous, despite the situation. Moreover, I think I was just in shock and could not find the words to say back in my defense.

After all that time, what finally made me leave him was because he was going to cheat on me. I always knew he had a major wandering eye and felt one day it would cause such a thing, so it wasn't a surprise. Thankfully I was smart enough to turn my back on him and not look back.

He hounded me after that, calling my home, my friends, my work, anyone that would put me on the line with him. He called constantly to the point that my work said that I was no longer allowed to take calls and kindly asked him never to call again. I was frightened. I knew what he was capable of when he was angry. And when he got word that I was being friendly with another man, he tracked him down too, calling him at work. I had no one to help me, no one to turn to. And as it was really getting out hand, I decided to move very far away.

I moved a few states away to live with my half brother. This turned out to be another bad experience. He held it against me that I was my father's favorite, and so he did not treat me with full kindness. And after coming out of such a terrible relationship, it was all I needed to really push me to the edge, literally. My thoughts turned dark and suicidal. Every window at least one floor up was a window of opportunity. I would lean out far, thinking if I drop now then I won't have to deal with the pain anymore. The pain of his words, his betrayal, his fists, and also the pain of the loneliness. I had no one on my side and I was far from home, in a place not my own.

I did finally go back home, and I survived. I rebuilt my self confidence, and my trust in people. I won't be the same after that but I know that I am capable of great strength to endure such abuse, and to pull myself out of it. And that is why I chose his initials to be the first of my scarification.

My scar is somewhat faded now, but I can still see it, make out the letters. And I remember each time when I look at it of my strength and my endurance, not of my pain. In my heart, I wear that scar with pride, although others would not understand it. It was my first rite of passage into adulthood. I may one day again make a new scar, perhaps next time it will be one of happiness and joy.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 July 2004
in Scarification

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