My scars at the beach
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My scars at the beach

This is a discussion on My scars at the beach within the Inspirational Quotes and Stories forums, part of the Inspiration category; History behind scars I had been hiding self inflicted scars on my thighs since I was 13 under boys swimming ...

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Old 07-28-12, 07:01 PM   #1
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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.

My decision
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
1. 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.
2. 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.

The Beach
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.

Conclusion
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.
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Old 07-28-12, 07:12 PM   #2
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Well done! Personally, I only have a couple that are barely visible unless I point them out (and I'm not wearing boxers) so it's not a problem for me but I have had a lot of friends whom it's a huge issue for.

I really like the conclusion - especially because you acknowledge that each situation is different. Yes, there are going to be people out there who give you a hard time for them - but not your friends who you know you can trust!

If they're striking, it's hard not to notice - I might have looked too, once or twice.. but I wouldn't have cared.
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Old 09-07-12, 08:06 PM   #3
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What a wonderful account! Thanks for sharing.

I've got scars on my back from whippings I got as a child. I used to talk about them. I've stopped doing that. It's not that I'm not aware of them, or not aware of the impact the whippings, the abuse had on me as a child. It's not a case of pretending it didn't happen. What it is, is a decision that I no longer let that define me as a person. I'm not a victim. I'm not a survivor. I'm just me now.

It sounds like you, too, are no longer defined by the scars.
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Old 09-29-12, 06:41 PM   #4
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Yay, another natural, real person!

I have tons of zits and pits in my face from past zits, and I unconsciously decided that it was normal, so that wasn't really an issue... then I got my first mental diagnosis and became awkward, because hell, mentally different people are not normal... I tried too hard to look and act normal... which looked really abnormal, not that normal or abnormal matters, but what did matter was that I looked like I wasn't comfortable with myself and my difference and so I've had social anxiety (diagnosed) ever since. It's mostly gone now, but it comes back periodically.


I loved your story anyway, HeresToTomorrow! It was entertaining, and the only way one can entertain me is by identifying with me! :)
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Old 10-20-12, 07:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing!

My arms are covered in scars and while i stopped self-harming years ago, I feel afraid to show my arms around anyone who doesn't already know about them.I hope to be more like you in the future, thanks for giving me some inspiration =)
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Old 10-29-12, 04:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-29-12, 05:55 PM   #7
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well done, and thanks for sharing that. I did the same thing, and it felt great.
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Old 11-22-12, 05:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing that. It has really helped me.
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Old 01-29-13, 11:53 AM   #9
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Great inspiring post!
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