Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Scar Project- In The Shape of a Heart
My second submission is from Heather H. at Gypsy Bitsy (thanks Heather!). During a conversation we had last month she mentioned a scar she's had for a few years, which has healed in the shape of a heart (the point is to the left and up a little in the photo). I like the sybolism of it. Here's her story..
"The incense stick was labeled 'Rain'. It smelled like wet pavement and pine trees, a thick aroma wafting through my bedroom. It wasn't supposed to be burning. It wasn't even supposed to be in the house. My parents' house.
No fire allowed behind closed doors, period. Father was adamant I'd burn the house down 'one of these days' with my collection of candles and incense--or I'll set off the smoke alarm, wake him up, can't I just knock it off?
I can't. I'm Seventeen. Hurtling like a star through an uncertain sky, burning bright with every emotion on the spectrum. So many colors at once that the world turns white--the tip of the incense stick touches my skin, the pain is there, but I only feel gravity. Relief. Release. A small amount of blood, the tissue turning to gum, and when I'm done, I know this won't be the end.
I've been cutting since middle school. This is my forth or fifth burn. The first in a prominent spot. Why should I cover it?--pretend to be fine?
I've set off an alarm. The bells are ringing, loud, but not so clear. "What happened?"
Father will insist I "see someone about that". He cannot say what exactly, will not specify. He will not look at it, will not look at me, for months. But I will see someone. A counselor. She will ask, "how did that make you feel". And I will say something snide. Flip my hair. I will not remember anything about those sessions except for the square of her office, the dead roses she kept in a vase, her Nordstrom Rack shoes with the barcode still on the bottom.
I see this woman as an obstacle to my freedom. Father says that if I see her once a week, I can see the boy that I'm in love with. After three months, this boy will ask me "what happened". He will be the first to love me, the first to give me permission to love myself, and he will kiss my scar as it's healing, and he will tell me "please don't hurt yourself anymore, you don't see it, but you're hurting me, too".
It's been about six years since the last time I hurt myself, but I still have the scars. This scar, the burn on my wrist, is something people see every day. Some people ask what it's from. Some people assume. But I rarely answer directly. I say, "oh, I burned myself a long time ago," and then I say, "but look how cool it is, it's healed into a heart".
This is a symbol of hope, a physical reminder that as resilient as the body is the soul is even more so.
Our scars are our stories, and our stories are what we make them."
I'm still looking for more submissions so if you have a scar and want to share your story please contact me.