There is so much love in this world begging to be grabbed, nurtured, loved. Honesty. Raw beauty. When you say “here are my scars” and people say “oh my gosh, here are mine” I want to show some scars today. Scars show that you were hurt, but that you survived. Scars create the most beautiful people in the world. Stretch marks from pregnancy show that you are a mother, and they are the most beautiful scars in the world.
On my left wrist, I have a scar from cutting myself. It’s barely visible to anyone but me. When I am upset, when I am hurting, when I am thinking about everything that makes me miserable, I want to hurt myself immediately. I stare at my scar. That scar makes me feel awful for all the things I did to myself or someone did to me. All my life – “You are fat”, “you are not good enough”, “You won’t be __ until you are ___” So, I believed that. For the last two years, I have worked to overcome eating disorders, alcoholism, my fear of driving, and my fear of being alone.
In July, I covered up the scar on my wrist. I knew I wanted to use “Smile Now, Cry Later”, because I am absolutely in love with Marilyn Monroe. She is the most inspirational woman I have ever known, she is my muse, she is my mantra, she is my inspiration, she is everything I am scared to become, because we all know how Marilyn died. My comforter, my pillows, my walls in my bedroom are covered in Marilyn.
Jack Skellington and Sally. It sounds silly, right? Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite everything. It’s hard for me to open up about why I have those tattoos though. But when I do, people smile, people grin, and people open up more. I’m tired of being afraid to talk about my tattoos. I’ll talk to everyone I can about my tattoos.
Jack covers up where I cut, Sally is where I never cut. Jack reminds me to smile, Sally reminds me that it will be okay if I have to cry. Sometimes, I feel like the guy from Memento. When things go wrong, I tend to forget everything because I have PTSD. It’s why I got tattoos in the first place. So that I can stop forgetting. I wanted them on my wrist to stop forgetting that I can’t hurt myself anymore, and I cannot allow others to hurt me. It was the last fear I thought I had. Fear of needles.
Ah, but I was wrong, because fear of myself, fear of my past, fear of love are still there. So, then I look at my stretch marks. I gave birth to a baby girl when I was 19 with my best friend by my side telling nurses to shut up and telling me to push. It is not surprising to me that she’s a nurse now. I gave that beautiful angel up for adoption to two wonderful parents. I have also had 2 abortions. I have three amazing children. Lots of beautiful scars on this tummy. My three babies are the most wonderful gifts I have ever received. The daughter I gave up for adoption is the most beautiful gift I could have given, and my abortions are 2 choices I made that I believe were best for the situation I have. I always make the choices a mother must make, for better or for worse.
The women in my life are the ones who save my life every day, with every beat of my (seemingly always) broken heart. They pick up the pieces, they let me fall apart, they let me bleed all over creation if I need to, because they love me, and they see that I cannot live in fear, pain, and sadness. I fall in love with words, but I always forget action – from anyone around me including myself. I can say a million things, but all I wanted to do today was write about my tattoos.
The women in my life have built me up, held me up, raised me up, loved me up. The women in my life have given me every ounce of courage that I have, every ounce of beauty I feel, every ounce of love I possess, and that love pours out of me to my kids.
For every woman in my life, today I say – I will not be a woman who allows words, fists, and actions to hurt me. My scars are beautiful, your scars are beautiful. My heart was scarred and scared, and that has created a lot of pain and chaos for me and everyone I love. How can love exist in a scared, scarred heart? That’s not a scar I can show or a scar I will tolerate.
No More Fear.