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Living With Scars, Both Inside and Out

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It all starts so innocently — the satisfaction of scratching a bug bite

The release of popping a pimple.

It starts small: broken skin from falling, a blister from running, a burn from the oven.

But then it takes on a life of its own.





It’s bloody sheets, stained clothes. It’s raw wounds. Red, swollen infected sores.


Sometimes it’s an urge so strong, a desire so intense.

“I must pick!”

Sometimes it’s subconscious — I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

“Why am I bleeding?”

The cycle continues.





It’s self-control during the day, and then bleeding all the way home because I just couldn’t wait .

It’s making up stories for the deep wounds: “

It’s a bug bite.”

“It’s from my skin peeling.”

“I fell.”

“I have a boo boo.”

When the reality is I pick. I cannot leave it alone.

I use tweezers and nail clippers. Scissors and bobby pins. Anything to remove the scab.

It’s trying to hide it: Make up. Band-Aid. Long pants. Long-sleeved shirt.

I hate that I can’t stop it.





It’s feeling ugly every day, covered in scars, head to toe. Anywhere I can reach.

Scars and more scars.

Causing tears and more tears.

It’s despising this part of me. I can’t imagine feeling beautiful, or anyone else thinking I am.

Looking in the mirror, I only see wounds — scars.

Looking at my heart I see the same.

It’s trying to heal both my body and heart.

It’s recognizing small victories, and taking one day at a time.

It’s hoping and praying that some day the scabbing, picking, bleeding and scaring will be healed.

Both inside and out.

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Originally published: October 28, 2016
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