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I Have Scars

I have not been kind to my body. There was a time when I would obsessively cut – more an OCD thing than wanting to feel pain.

The inside of my left wrist, well, sometimes it disgusts me. There are dozens of vertical lines, some more prominent than others because sometimes I cut deeper. Sometimes the blood wouldn’t stop. Sometimes I needed stitches and a round in┬áthe psych ward. When I run a fingertip across these lines the sensation is strange and I don’t like it. I’ve spent years hiding my wrist under large bracelets and watches and long sleeves.

But, that wasn’t enough – to scar the inside. No, of course not, I had to scar the outside so that no matter which way I place my hand, I am always ugly.

The scars on the back of my hand and wrist came along with anxiety and obsessive behaviors. I would simply scratch my skin to the point where it got raw. Once raw, I would notice the pain and realize what I had been unknowingly doing. Then I would stop.

To me, it looks like a bunch of cigarette burns. My mom says it looks like a grease burn. But yesterday, meaning no harm at all, someone told me it looked like my hand was cut off and reattached. That makes me both embarrassed and sad.

Now I work as a barista. I am not allowed to wear bracelets or watches. This was one of the biggest hurdles I had to jump in order to accept the job. I couldn’t imagine EVERYONE seeing my scars. To me they are glaring and ugly and say to everyone, “hey, something is really wrong with me.”

But what I try to remind myself is that these are battle scars from times when I was at war with myself. They left marks, but I survived.


(P.S. I took photos of my left hand but for some reason am having trouble uploading them. Will add them when I can to this post).

I Have Scars

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2016). I Have Scars. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from


Last updated: 14 May 2016
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