Kayla, Long Reach HS, Class of 2021
Kayla shares the scars she has acquired as a result of accidents and as a result of a battle with depression.
I have a lot of things I like about myself.
For one, I like my hair! It’s super bouncy, colorful, and I find it shows my personality rather well. I like the muscles I’ve acquired over the years I’ve spent flip-flopping from one activity to the other. From being the number one defense player on my soccer team, to the fastest swimmer in my group of friends, I’ve always been proud of my strong calves.
But, what I’m proud of the most is something I keep hidden. All my accomplishments and stories hidden from view under layers of fabric, cotton, or polyester. What I’m talking about are my scars.
You may be thinking “What? Why would anyone be proud of that?” And first off, I’d ask you to not judge me, thank you, but I find that being proud of your scars allows you to open up more conversation. I remember, during one of the showings of Mary Poppins, I was sitting in the band room during intermission, asking my friends about theirs. “Oh well, I fell off my bike and onto a stick” and “I suplexed my neighbor’s dog and it bit my ankle”. Or something along those lines, I forgot.
The point is though, I learned new things about my friends through simply asking them about the history of their scar.
You know, fun fact about myself, I have about 40 scars.
Yeah, well, at least those are the physical ones, but I do have to congratulate myself.
It’s not often you see somebody closing a car door and slicing their leg open, so at least I have a “gift” to remember that.
But on a more serious note, not all of my scars have an amazing story. In fact, I have a set of identical scars going across my shins. The story behind that involving my dog wrapping her leash around my legs, and bolting in the opposite direction. I got a friendly nickname by my sister after the fact. Yeah she called me “San Andreas” because apparently my fall was a 8.9 on the Richter scale. Well jokes on her, I don’t know what that means so it can’t affect me.
Transitioning upwards toward my arms, (which combined have 20 scars, mind you), I surprisingly don’t have much to say. I mean, I have a gross scar on my right index finger. I was in…8th grade? Yeah, I was in Mrs. Reid’s science class, period 5, and I had gotten a cut on my finger. It was probably from grating cheese wrong or something, but I was messing with the loose skin to freak out my friends. Well, we were working with batteries that day, and I decided
“Hey you know what’s a smart idea? Connecting the tiny battery cable to the piece of loose skin on my finger.” Well, my friend yanked the cable off my finger and ripped a big piece of skin off. Not so smart in hindsight.
I guess to finish, I can talk about the small scars on my hand, and long parallel lines on my forearm. I said to my friends, I went to my cousin’s house and was hanging out with their cat. Which is weird because I’m allergic to cat dander, but continuing, the cat bit me and took chunks out of my hand. It hurt so bad, I had to have it wrapped for days.
But, that’s just what I say to my friends. I mean, the real story hurts more than what happened in my fake one.
Truth be told, I’ve never said this to anyone. I was ashamed of what had happened. The truth is, I got diagnosed with depression, and I had gotten super wrapped up in my feelings.
I mean, sure it’s one thing to be like “Oh man! I didn’t turn in that assignment! I’m so worthless!” but it’s another thing to feel like you actually are. When you’re depressed, it’s hard to put into words how sad you feel. You feel as if you’re sinking in cement. It slowly envelops you and you can feel the bitter taste start to enter your mouth and sit in your lungs, weighing you down farther than you thought you could go. It feels like there’s somebody squeezing your heart, adding more and more pressure until you feel the strings rip and tear and pull until you can no longer feel anything except for the emptiness around you.
I don’t remember what had happened to make me do it, but I felt so empty inside.
I didn’t feel it. I had numbed my hand with ice. I took out one of the knives from my mom’s knife block; a voice in the back of my head reminding me, “you’re so worthless. You think anybody gives a crap about you? Oh my god! You’re so pathetic! Maybe if you cut deeper nobody will have to deal with your stupid, incessant, whining!”
These hurtful things dug deeper in my mind and nested. A poisonous mentality hatching and burrowing it’s toxic thoughts further into my brain. Later on that day, I grabbed scissors and the damage I had done couldn’t be fixed.
As sad as that tale is, it serves a lesson. In fact, my whole story is a lesson. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your past. It took me so long to be able to write this because I thought that I would be to scared to tell anyone, but it’s important that I do. I have had struggles, I have experienced sadness, I have fallen into the pits of depression, but what’s important is that I’m still alive to tell my story.
I wear my scars proudly because those are things that happened to me in the past.
That’s no longer who I am, so I’m not afraid to say my story anymore. I find that, sometimes, exposing yourself is good. It helps you move on when you have the weight off your chest.
I hope that, no matter how gruesome, sad, or painful your history may be, you’ll find the strength to let go…like me.
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