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#1 of 9 Old 08-02-2007, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Every summer I have this sadness looking at my massacred arms and the 2 big scars across my chest, unable to wear skimpy tops to keep cool in the sun. Feeling like - why buy any clothes to make me feel pretty when my arms look this bad? I find it so hard to live with this, a permanent reminder of a horrible past, but there is nothing I can do Does anyone else cope with this? How do you manage????

Amanda treehugger.gif , UK Mum, married to airline pilot Davesurf.gif . Mum to Emily blahblah.gif (20), Jasmine  dust.gif(11) and Theo fencing.gif(7):

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#2 of 9 Old 08-02-2007, 07:31 PM
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I don't know what caused your scars, so I apologize if I'm mis-speaking here. I realize there are scars that are physical reminders of horrible events and that it can be very hard to get past such a thing.

I've got some scars that for a time I was very self-conscious about. Then I realized that I should wear them as a badge of honor and not try to cover them up. I survived. I persevered. I fought for my health and won. But in my case, those scars aren't that bad, so I don't get that many looks from people, so I can't really speak about that.

So I'll tell you a story about my DP. His abdomen is covered in large, scars of all sorts. Some are keloid. Some are actually big crevices. Many you can see staple marks. He is very self-conscious of them. To the point that I have to keep telling him that its ok to take off his shirt when we swim. So finally one day I convinced him to go swimming without his shirt. It was spontaneous and he hadn't brought a second shirt to put on after and needed to keep his shirt dry. We were with my family - he was meeting them for the first time. Afterwards several people asked me why I had such a tough time getting him to take his shirt off and swim. Nobody had even noticed the scars and they saw him for several hours. I guess I should say, that people did see the scars, they were probably at least minimally aware, but I specifically asked my sister about it and she just didn't get why anyone would think they were a big deal.

So if you are keeping covered for yourself because you don't like looking at the scars, do what you need to do, but if its for other people, well (&*# them. Whatever caused them, you survived. You are here and you have the right to enjoy yourself.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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#3 of 9 Old 08-02-2007, 07:34 PM
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I had a friend in college who was badly burned all over her body and she dressed very skimpily. I think it's a here I am world take me or leave me type of thing. Whether you cut yourself or someone else did - it's in the past. People can look and stare - but that's okay. Tina Fey - an actress who was (is?) on Saturday Night Live has a scar across her face - she can't hide it like you can with sleeves - she's still gorgeous. I think if you project an image that let's people know you're comfortable with yourself that's what they'll see - if you are ashamed - that's what they will see. My scars only show when I'm naked so I can't understand what you are going through - but I hope that one day you won't care what anyone thinks and be comfortable in your own skin. Come up with a short witty reply for anyone with questions. (I'd offer one - but I suck at those. - maybe - i was attacked by a bear) I know this is a Pollyanna reply - what I'm trying to say is that it's all in the attitude! First - you need to loose your feelings about your arms before you have the self confidence to wear what you want.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-02-2007, 10:03 PM
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I have some ugly scars. Most are in plain sight during the summer, though the worst one is "hidden" by my shirt most times. I don't deliberately hide any of them. They can evoke memories of pain, illness and worry if I focus - but, I rarely do.

If I see someone stare (even someone I don't expect to meet again), I'll bring it up and allow them to ask what questions they want. It's easier to move past once curiosity is settled. And, there is a lesson for others to take from explanation about one.

None of me is perfect - not my body, not my mind. I don't shoulder guilt or resent any of it. I'm grateful for all I have. Don't get me wrong - I spent my share of time and energy absorbed in self-pity. But, it got tedious and zapped my life of joy. I now see my scars as a testament to my determination to live life - a very positive association.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-02-2007, 11:13 PM
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I have a big ol' scar on the top of my right foot from a 4-wheeler accident many years ago (it tore part of my flesh off, and friction from the tires also gave me a third degree burn), and for a long time afterward I never, EVER took off my socks in front of other people-- I was so embarrassed and felt sure everyone would be disgusted-- revolted!-- by how I looked. But the years passed, and somehow along the way, my shame turned into full-fledged acceptance; there was no magical aha! moment, I just started thinking of it as (for better or worse) part of the landscape of my body. Really, it's gotten to the point that if a genie popped up and offered me free plastic surgery to 'fix' it, I'd say no; it's just such a part of me now. And these days I wear sandals all the time, or even go barefoot when I can! Considering that I also have callouses, flat feet, a big bunion and ugly, unpainted nails, this is no fashion statement-- it's just that life is too short to wear confining shoes. I say, if someone doesn't like it, they can just look somewhere else.

Anyway, if I can find peace about this, anyone can. Best of luck to you-- I hope you find a gorgeous top that makes you smile ever time you wear it!
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#6 of 9 Old 08-03-2007, 07:00 AM
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you are a brave survivor, you are a fighter, you are amazing and you survived, these are marks of your strength and bravery, these scars show that you survived and are hear to bear witness.

(i know because i bear scars from the past too, on the inside and out)
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#7 of 9 Old 08-03-2007, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by oliversmum2000 View Post
you are a brave survivor, you are a fighter, you are amazing and you survived, these are marks of your strength and bravery, these scars show that you survived and are hear to bear witness.

(i know because i bear scars from the past too, on the inside and out)
Yes, this.

As part of an effort to deal with my scars, I have some tattoos. They're not on (or even near) the scars, but they're part of my plan to claim my body as MINE.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-04-2007, 10:46 PM
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I have a scar from a brain surgery 3 years ago. It left me with 27 staples down the back of my skull and about half way down my neck. I am also going in for neck surgery in a few months that will be a front entry so I will have scar on the front of my neck in plain sight. Personally, I am proud of my scars. To me it represents something very hard in my life that I survived and I wear them almost like a badge of honor. It shows that I am strong and able bodied. I call them my "battle wounds" I have alot of people ask me why I wear my hair up in a pony tail b/c you can see my scar, I just tell them that I am proud of it. I went through a lot, a traumitizing experience in my life and survived....

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-04-2007, 11:28 PM
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