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Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010 in family, Me

I love asking people about their scars—their physical scars. I find it a good way to discover insights into their personalities and get a sense of their childhoods.

My scar stories

Scar and scab on kneeLike most kids I have one on my knee. It’s not from a single incident, but from repeatedly falling on a section of sidewalk uprooted by an old maple. I loved that section of sidewalk when I was a child. If you hooked your foot in it just right, fell, and then caught yourself before he were horizontal, it felt like flying. I loved that feeling. I just wasn’t very good at making the necessary calculations for success. Mostly I just took the risk and fell. I like this scar because it implies that I’m willing to take risks. And it’s also a reminder that the scars of even painful failures fade away.

As a teenager I leaped onto the top of a short wooden post. I felt like an owl landing on a branch, so I did it again and ended up with large bruises on my thighs. The incident was worthy of a scar, but I didn’t acquire one.

I have a scar on my arm that is also self-inflicted. I fought with my friend, Christine, in sewing class in 6th grade. She grabbed my scissors and I grabbed them back. She dug her nails into my arm to make me let go of my grasp. She won that fight. To get back at her, I kept picking the scab off my laceration and pointing out to her how she hurt me. I’m sure she no longer remembers the incident. I, however, have a scar. This scar reminds me that when trying to hurt others, sometimes you just hurt yourself.

I have one scar only my mother can see. When I was a toddler I fell out of the truck onto the sidewalk. I screamed and bled and probably threw a tantrum. Mom had to call her father to come help her with me. She didn’t take me to the doctor and felt tremendous guilt over that. So when she looks at my forehead she sees a scar. I remember being able to see it at one time, but I haven’t been able to locate it for years now. All that’s left is a feeling that I should always have bangs.

Scars of others

HabMoo has a scar to prove that he, too, was willing to take risks or that he was once dumb as a rock. As a child playing with a bow and arrows, he and a friend painted a target on a cardboard box. Then he crawled inside while his friend took aim. Hopefully he learned the importance of taking cover behind something stronger than the projectile coming your way. Evidence, however, shows he could use a second lesson.

A former partner had a scar where a German Shepherd tried to eat her head. It was a good metaphor about the parenting she experienced.

My mother has pencil lead in the middle of her palm given to her by a boy in school. I was also attacked with a pencil, but I dug all the graphite out. Consequently I can’t remember the name of my attacker. But I think it was a boy in my math class.

She also put her finger under the foot of a sewing machine and sent the needle through her finger. But somehow she escaped without a scar and only the memory of scaring her own mother.

Scars are part of our personal stories and prove that we can survive hurts. But I’m not ready to have jewelry made to commemorate it.

Do you have any good scars and stories to share?

  1. My best scar is also on my knee. I vividly remember getting it. My little sister and i were playing tag on our bikes down our gravel road (not a very smart idea) She cut me off and I fell and tore up my knee pretty bad. It bled like crazy! I remember grabbing some leaves and holding them to my knee as I tried to ride the 1/4 mile back home. Then I also picked it quite a bit and remember the scab at one spot getting ot about 1/4 of an inch thick. It was like Devil’s Tower on my knee. That kinda worried me so I stopped picking it.

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