Embarrassing Scars

Alicia Lee (@aliwine) 9 years, 9 months ago

So I feel really comfortable here- and I’m going to share one of my biggest regrets. Christmas Eve 2008 I was suffering from really bad postpartum depression, and was all alone with my son. Regrettably I cut my right arm “up the tracks”- I have come so far since then and am happier than I have ever been, but I still have this hideous scar. It’s white now, but it’s pretty obvious what I did and I can’t pass it off as “I broke my arm and got surgery” since it’s not a straight cut.

I am contemplating getting a tattoo to cover it up, it’s really embarrassing and I’ve had too many people ask what it’s from.. Most recently my son, which broke my heart.

I used to think I wanted to get “I love my self today” to cover it (like the Bif Naked song) but I feel like that’s still a reminder of what was.

Do I was just wondering if there is anyone else who has some sort of similar situation, and what you did to cope?

Cutting was a hard time in my life, I have other scars that I don’t mind at all- it’s just this one that I can’t bare to see.

August 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Brendan Barstow (182)C (@eyesopen) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

Does it not serve as a reminder of your victory over the depression? It seems like a tattoo on its own, a sort of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ visual because I’m sure you’ve grown mentally stronger and more resilient since that point in your life. Covering it with a tattoo of anything would probably just remind you of the scar itself. I can see how being asked about it often would get annoying and bring up negative emotions, but I’m not sure how to best deal with that issue.

Anonymous (512) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@aliwine, Wouldn’t a tattoo also incite conversation?

“That’s an interesting spot for a tattoo, why there?”


“What made you get a tattoo?”

Tattoos cost money and are virtually permanent. Scars fade over time, right?

Petergd (149) (@petergd) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

When I first read the title “Embarrassing Scars” something much different came to mind..But I like how @eyesopen, related your scars to a victory over depression. Perhaps try some Scar Gel to help heal your scars rather than a tattoo? It is a slow process, but the stuff actually works.

My embarrassing scar came from one of those styrofoam ‘cup of noodles’ soups. I was like 14 or 15 years old and I had just poured some boiling water into my cup and was eager to go outside where all my friends were hanging out. But a door was blocking my way and I had both my hands full (can’t remember what else I was carrying, but that’s irrelevant). I carefully tried to position the soup between my arms and my chest so I could lower my precious cargo down to the floor and free my hands so I could open the door. Bad idea. I spilled boiling water all over my chest and it left me with a scar that looked identical to the Famous Stars and Straps giant “F” logo in the middle of my chest. It is still there today, but has become pretty faint over the years of burn cream/scar gel.

Another embarrassing scar I acquired (more stupid than embarrassing) came from a scorching hot exhaust pipe from a dirt bike. I was in Mexico riding in the dunes and took a break for a minute and got off my bike. I leaned the bike that I had been riding for hours against my hip but because I was in the sand my bike shifted and the exhaust pipe connected with my leg and made a sizzling noise. Left me with a scar the size of a fist on the side of my calf…That one is staying with me for a while

cori (25) (@c0r1) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

i would definitely recommend a tattoo coverup! i used to cut my thighs constantly for a coping mechanism. i stopped after several years, but the scars remained and i was too embarrassed to ever wear shorts.
i recently got a thighpiece to cover them up, and they are hardly even noticeable anymore, except for the largest one, which would be impossible to cover up completely. i love to wear shorts now to share the beautiful art on my body.
you should be proud of your scars and overcoming obstacles in your life.

m jayne (46) (@mjayne) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@aliwine, I have all kinds of scars all over the place.

One of the kinds of scars I have are these little circular scars that look EXACTLY like track marks, even though they arent. I have them all over the place, especially in places with lots of close-to-the-surface veins which makes them look even more like track marks. You mentioned how you cant even claim that its surgery because the line isnt straight; well I cant even assert that my scars are from what they actually are from, and arent all from being a needle junkie. It is so bad, that one of my past friends families was convinced that I was a meth head and that they also could be from -bugs-. They were so sure that they all inspected me and conversed openly about it for like a week (while I was staying at a place they owned where they all were staying too at the time). They kept trying to work -the truth- out of me and sort of stage a mini-intervention and let me know that I was on a -bad path- and needed -help- and that they were always there to -help- me and all of that. . .which is all very nice and thoughtful and what not. . .except that their -evidence- of my drug problem was never anything to do with drugs.

So I can tell you it doesnt really matter a whole lot what they are ACTUALLY from, people will make their own judgements about you and bring up your scars regardless and it can get just as awkward and weird and embarrassing.

I dont think you should be embarrassed though. Your scar isnt some sign for the world that you gave up and all that. . .its a sign that your arm was all cut open at one point and healed that way. If you look at it as something to be embarrassed of then you are giving other people the right to treat it as such and look at it the same way.

You said that you were suffering from postpartum depression right? I know people who have gone through postpartum psychosis. . .where they literally loose their marbles and -like the flick of a switch- go completely insane. Nobody Ive met who knows about it looks at them like it was their fault, or like it is something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by because the things that they did and the person they become werent really -them-. You didnt completely loose your shit and mentally check-out, but you probably werent -yourself- either. Im not saying that what you did doesnt matter or that you get a free pass or that you arent responsible and accountable for your actions. . .but what I am saying is that the -you- that did that wasnt really -you- and that who you are now shouldnt have to suffer and feel guilty and ashamed because of a challenge that came up in your life where you couldnt quite manage things. Just because you came across a situation where you struggled with yourself and your own body and mind were playing for the other team, doesnt make you a -bad person- or a weak person. Maybe you should have sought out more help or been more honest with others and yourself about how bad it really was. . .but the point is that it really was that fucking hard and you had a really difficult fight against it that has resulted in you actually winning.

If you wrestled a bear, and came out with a scar that almost killed you from blood loss when you got it, nobody would be looking at you as though you should be ashamed of yourself for not coming out unscathed, they would be amazed by you for coming out at all, period. Forget the scar, you owned that beast.

If you can learn to feel the same way about your scar -that your postpartum got one really good shot in- as most people would feel about the bear, then you can start to acknowledge that although you almost didnt make it and the fight was brutal as fuck, youre the one who came out alive.

People brag about scars from bears. Fuck. People brag about lost limbs, fingers, and toes! All you got was a scar. That makes you pretty badass.

Eric (1,819)M (@blankey) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@aliwine, Scars are sometimes the greatest reminders of a time of which one has had to dig deep and persevere. I too have a scar on my arm but due to a broken arm and surgery. I fell into a depression during that time and it completely changed me as who I am today, and for the better, mind you.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
― Khalil Gibran

“Scars are not injuries, Tanner Sack. A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.”
― China Miéville, The Scar

ursorad (0) (@ursorad) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

I also have a few nasty scars from my own quasi dark days. everyone goes through those, girl. We all deal with them differently. I was away from home for a long time, long story short, I did things I regret, namely the topic of the discussion. I got a tattoo of something that reminds me of home, it camouflaged my scar(s) quite nicely as well as giving me a feeling of love and security every time I look at it. Find an artist with experience tattooing scar tissue and then you can discuss your options. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling well now. I think that’s an excellent reason to transform your scar into something beautiful.

Alicia Lee (146) (@aliwine) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

Thanks everyone!! I think for now I won’t cover it. It does just get embarrassing now and then- especially since our arms are very visible.

@mjayne, I actually did get a lot of help. I went for a week of inpatient treatment and months of counseling and seeing a shrink. I was pretty much told “I deserved to be depressed” because I’ve been through a lot. It can be difficult to hold it all together after the shit keeps hitting the fan.

I think it also reminds me a lot of my custody battle with my son’s father. Long story short he wasn’t supportive then after I cut myself and admitted myself and CAS (CPS) was called on him for some things I said while in counseling he turned it all around on me. Took me to court, made me out to be unstable. Then when that didn’t work anymore made the courts decide he should get more time with my son because he lives at home with Mommy and Step Dad. He goes to school only part time and last time I check his grades sucked. Meanwhile I was going to college for Child Development (Early Childhood Education) and had been supporting myself since I was sixteen. (I was eighteen/nineteen/twenty when this all went down). There is a lot more, but I am not going to go on- no sense in making people dislike a stranger.

I am taking him back to court as soon as I can afford it. My son cries every time he goes back to see him. And “shuts down” when we “trade” him off- he hardly even talks and stares into space. I feel awful because I know how hard this is and it’s all my fault.

I will fix it though. He’s the most important thing to me.

And now… HE knows more about me than most people who know me in person do.

Webshea! (9) (@thelightofgod) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

All depends on the people that know .Seriously there are people that can deal with shit and people that can so your are part of the whole of us so I wont let you hang out to dry!This is what people need to realize!

Webshea! (9) (@thelightofgod) 9 years, 9 months ago ago


m jayne (46) (@mjayne) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@aliwine, Best of luck.

Hopefully your son grows up understanding just how insanely much you love him.

Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

That’s the thing, illnesses such as depression, and I personally have schizophrenia, have been considered a kind of taboo thing in the past. An image that has stuck, unfortunately, in our society. But it is by no means as bad as it was, education in various illnesses is becoming more common and people are much more understanding and sympathetic than ever in history now.
The fact you are at all embarassed shows you are stuck with the out dated culture of it being a “hush-hush” issue. You should consider looking into and understanding the illness, and it is not a bad idea to look into various other illnesses that medical science is trying to bring more awareness to, and therefore less fear and alienation.
Postpartum depression is one thing that is tragic and can effect any woman, so awareness and sympathy for it is far greater already than most other illnesses, unlike how schizophrenia and psychosis are viewed. If anyone is not a complete dumbass then they would know it is not your fault, that it is not shame and certainly you should not be persecuted. And if they are dumbass enough not to understand, then well they are dumbasses and not only does their opinion not matter but they can be seen as having their own sort of illness.

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