History behind scars
I had been hiding self inflicted scars on my thighs since I was 13 under boys swimming shorts and girls board shorts. At 14, I was left with several bad scars on my upper thighs, thick ones with raised scar tissues. I was afraid of how others would react if they saw them, but mostly I was afraid of what the scars said about me. Everyone has their own issues but not everyone has to carry them around on their skin to be judged or misunderstood. And so it seemed the only solution was the discomfort of shorts on the beach or in the pool.
Then this summer I decided I had had enough of the shorts. There were plans to go to the beach with my brother and over a dozen of our friends, some old, some new, some we wouldn't have met till that day. As a common courtesy, I told my brother in advance that I would not be wearing my shorts over my bikini and on the day I didn't pack them.
I stripped down to my bikini with all the other girls and made two conscious decision
Not to make eye contact with anyone for a while. Not because I was ashamed or embarrassed but I didn't want to give the impression that I was being confrontational, like I was forcing them into having to act okay with my scars. And throughout the day when I sensed that someone was looking, I let them look.
Not to act like I had scars. I didn't keep touching them or trying to hide them in any way with my hands or anything. I made sure I didn't give people a queue to follow.
Honestly, I could not elaborate on how much the scars didn't matter to everyone's (including my) enjoyment of the day. No one treated my any different. No one acted any different around me. No one acted any different around my brother. No one asked about them or commented on them. I had a fucking amazing time at the beach.
In previous years I would spend the entire time at the beach or pool hating my shorts or resenting how my tan ended abruptly mid thigh or worrying that my shorts would slip up and accidentally show my scars when I didn't want them to. But this time I just threw myself into the deep end (no water pun intended), I had made the decision to wear what I wanted which meant that people could see my scars and no amount of acting awkward about it could have made them disappear.
I understand that not everyone with scars are the same. Personally, I felt that holding back my scars held me back. But we all have different backgrounds, we're all in different situations, we're not all surrounded by the same types of people.
- Assess your situation
- Do not under estimate the people around you
- Do not over estimate your problem
I tried keeping this in a short readable format so I may not have elaborated on some stuff you may want to know further about. Feel free to ask
for me to go into more detail about my experience on whatever because as someone who once looked for these answers but didn't really get what she wanted, I felt like this type of story is important to share. One of fear and courage, weakness and strength, hope and hopefully inspiring.