pencils have erasers. offices always have a stash of White-Out. computers have delete and backspace buttons. they even have infomercial-peddled, magical elixirs that rid you of crow’s feet, laugh lines, vericose veins, even the paint scratches on your car.
but some mistakes just aren’t erasable.
I was in a yoga class today, and it was toward the end of a nice hatha practice. we were in happy cow (if somebody could explain to me the reasoning behind the name of that pose, I would be much obliged) and folded over with our arms stretched out, palms on the floor. I turned my head to the left to rest my cheek on my knee, and found myself staring right at an arm covered in scars.
they’ve been there for over five years. I’m used to them. I know they’re there; it’s not like I was shocked and surprised to see them. but every now and then…looking at them is like a kick in the gut.
I still tread a fine line between being ashamed and simply being. I like to think that I’ve come to terms with my past, but when I catch somebody staring, I still have the urge to hide my arm, shift my legs, cover my torso. although I’m proud of all of the work I’ve done, proud as hell of the nearly five years I’ve gone without cutting…I’m still not completely comfortable with that part of my past. and I hate that. I hate that I’m ashamed of this–does being ashamed of my past mean I’m also ashamed of who I am now? because I sure as hell wouldn’t be the person I am now, good and bad parts alike, if it weren’t for everything that’s come before.
people have suggested vitamin E and mederma and even scar-removal surgery. and I’ve always adamantly refused. I feel like that’s giving in–people assume I hate my scars and would like to forget them, maybe they think I should be ashamed of them.
I know there’s no easy answer. maybe there’s no answer, period. I just know that, all of a sudden, shit out of the blue, I caught a glimpse of the same arm and the same scars I’ve been looking at for 5+ years and came a hair’s breadth away from bursting into tears.
there’s undeniable sadness in those scars. but undeniable triumph, as well. they’re a reminder of pain, but a reminder of strength, of putting up a damn good fight. I think that’s why I keep them around–those scars are a testament to not only how bad things got, but to how far I’ve come.
some mistakes can’t be erased and wiped away.
but maybe those mistakes, weren’t even mistakes in the first place.