My First Scar

My First Scar

The one I can't remember may have hurt the most
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It’s a story my family constantly tells, my first scar. At the mere age of two, I wasn’t old enough to remember the event. It’s only their narrative now, this truth that I have come to know.

Was it exaggerated? Was the tale altered or redefined as it was told throughout the years? Passed through the generations, the oral traditions fall to me. A plotline fulfilled with me as the main character.

It was September 16th, 2000. The day of my dad’s thirty-sixth birthday and exactly one week after my second birthday.

My family and I attended a carnival at The American Legion Fairgrounds. The rides were bright, colorful, and shining in all their glory. Such large attractions are difficult to resist to those of any age, but to a two-year-old, they seemed to encompass the whole earth in their grandeur. Ferris wheels revolved on an endless loop, rollercoasters touched the limitless sky, and the funnel cakes were manna sent from the heavens.

We took a ride on the ginormous pink slide, my dad and I. The two birthday kids out on an adventure. Little did we know that not all journeys reach a wondrous destination.

A little girl smiling as she sits on her dad’s lap in a burlap sack, screaming with a quiet fear, the velocity as she goes increasing more rapidly than she’s ever known-- that girl knows nothing but happiness.

A twelve-year-old boy running around a fair without a care in the world, free reign from his parents, the wind in his hair and the world dancing around him-- that boy sees nothing but joy.

These two kids are ecstatic in themselves. The world is theirs to wander.

Until they collide.

That young boy wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing or where he was going. He stopped directly in front of the slide my dad and I were on. I imagine now the panic in Dad’s eyes as he did his best to slip his legs over mine, to save me from harm. He couldn’t.

The screams are what they remember most; they’re what I’m glad I’ve forgotten.

My family and I went to the hospital, and the hours of terror began. It seems less like a memory and more like a nightmare with each retelling. Were they truly in that waiting room for hours as I writhed in anguish? Did they truly sit there fruitlessly desiring to stifle my pain because a child shouldn’t know hurt like that at so young? Or did my screams alter their reality so that they couldn’t tell the difference between twenty minutes and an eternity?

We finally made it out of the waiting room and to the examination. X-rays were taken. My leg was fractured in two places in a ring that went in an almost perfect circle. The cast I got was purple. It was my favorite color.

They say I screamed for three days straight, but not much else is expected from a two-year-old who’s hurting. It was the first time I had experienced suffering, the first time I could remember nothing but how it felt to ache. My first scar is my greatest scar, but it’s something even less than a memory.

We’re told we’re supposed to learn from our scars, grow from them, heal from them and be healed by them. My family tells me that my scar has faded, and I have grown. They recall that it was September 16th, 2000, but I wouldn’t know. I am told I wore a purple cast, but I can’t be sure. The stories goes that it was the pinnacle of pain, but it could all be a lie. The history books proclaim that I broke that day, but even facts can be twisted. Maybe I never fell at all. Maybe such a pain never embraced me. Maybe I’m invincible.

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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