“Pain heals, Chicks dig scars”

Wouldn’t it be interesting if emotional scars left visible scars, too? When you met someone, they could see the number of scars, and wonder about them. Upon asking, they might find out that this scar, the small, barely visible one on your right forearm, was from Billy Tyler, the boy you had a crush on in 4th grade, who decided he liked your friend Jill better than you. And this one, this round-ish one on your ankle, was from your dad leaving when you were 11, promising he’d be back and never seeing him again. And this one, this jagged, ugly one on the back of your knee, crossing over the tendon, that one is from your first husband, from when he came home smelling of his secretary’s perfume and you finally put the pieces of the puzzle together. This scar here, the one that goes all the way across the back of your hand, that’s from the boss that made you work the weekend, even though your dog had just died. This one on your inner thigh, the one that looks like an X? That’s actually two, one from losing your virginity on prom night, the other, crossing over the first, from the abortion that followed.

Not all scars are emotional, of course. This one, the half-circle on your knee? That’s from when you fell on the half-buried coffee can in the field. Had to have a tetanus shot for that. The shot was worse than the cut itself.

There’s a scene in Chasing Amy, where Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) and Banky (Jason Lee) are comparing the scars they got during sexual exploits. I imagine, if our emotional scars were actually visible, that dates would go a lot like that. There are some emotional scars you can laugh over, now, now that the hurt is gone and you can see the humor. Getting past it doesn’t make the scar disappear, but it does help it fade.

If emotional scars left visible scars, a lot of us wouldn’t have much in the way of unscarred skin, I bet.

There’s a line in the movie The Replacements: “Pain heals, chicks dig scars, and glory lasts forever.” Well, I certainly agree with the “chicks dig scars” bit. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated with scars, especially scars on the head. My fascination began with Lamont who, in fifth grade, had a brain aneurism or something, and was left with an inch-long scar on the back of his head. Since he kept his hair clipped very short, you could see the scar. I found it…sexy. Yes, that’s right, in fifth grade, I found this scar sexy. How I knew what “sexy” was in the fifth grade, I don’t know.

I dated a guy in college that had a scar in his head, behind his left ear, from a bar fight, or so he said. I would just sit there and run my finger over the soft, hairless strip of skin. Again, very sexy. (Although, reading that, it sounds kind of…gross.)

The stories behind scars, that’s the interesting bit. If it’s a boring story, you might change it so it’s more interesting. That scar on your shoulder, the one you got in a car accident when you were 5? Boring. Instead, tell people you got in a fight at a biker bar. That? That’s not an appendectomy scar, that’s from when you were stabbed by a teenager doped up on meth. The scar that mars your eyebrow, the one you can’t remember how you got? Tell people it’s from your ex cutting you with a broken beer bottle. Or, be evasive and mysterious. “This scar on my lip? I got it when I was in the special forces. I really can’t talk about it. National security, you know.”

If you’re emotional scars were visible, what would they look like, and where would they be?

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10 responses to ““Pain heals, Chicks dig scars”

  1. I’ve always thought the same thing about scars. Touche.

  2. So many scars never heal, not completely. I wonder how many of us would walk the Earth with open wounds.

  3. interesting concept! i have no idea what my scars would look like…but probably would have one from my parents’ divorce, one from a broken engagement in college, ones for the unrealized crushes 🙂
    ps – i think scars are kind of sexy, too.

  4. Pingback: Scars: A Followup (postsecret of the week) « DelightfulEccentric

  5. My emotional scars would be on the back of my knee. Not invisible, but really only to be seen by those who choose to get close enough to even notice them.

    And, per your follow up post, I’d want them to look tough. I’d want them to tell a story of healing rather than indicate a wound that is easily reopened. A scar that says, “I survived, and there’s an interesting tale to tell about all that,” rather than, “Oh, yeah, I bruise easily.”

  6. Just stumbled onto your blog. This is a great post!

  7. I definitely will!

  8. I am currently writing a book about scars and the book will focus on what God has revealed to me about scars. In December of 2003, four days before Christmas, I was t-boned by a drunk driver hours before the close of a check point and had to be air lifted to a nearby trauma center. I suffered a fractured neck and pelvis and was hospitalized for three months. I had to learn to walk again and am still rehabilitating today. I believe that scars are great “conversation pieces.” I agree that if we could see emotional scars that life would be different and the healing process might take a little longer. This blog has helped me to understand more of what emotional scars would look like. Thank you.

    • delightfuleccentric

      Sounds like an interesting book! So glad you found my blog helpful. I’m actually going back through all my old posts and compiling my favorites, and this was definitely one of them.
      Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting! Best of luck to you in both the rehabilitation and the book!