Scar Tissue

The ring tone on my phone is the intro to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song, Scar Tissue. I love the first bars of music on this song, and I love the first line. That is all you hear:

Scar tissue that I wish you saw

I guess my ringer has been on a lot in the past week because I’ve heard questions about it several times. The reason it’s been able to stay as the ring tone for quite a long time?

I love openings to songs. I do. It’s like make it or break it with me.

And scar tissue that I wish you saw refers to me.

Every single person alive has experienced pain. There is no doubt about that. I wouldn’t deny that for one moment. I wouldn’t say that my pain has been any different, any less, any worse, any better, any stronger than anyone else’s.

I just know that I hide most of my scars. I don’t talk about them. I don’t refer to them. I let them heal, and I move on. Some I seek help to heal. Others I leave as open wounds and allow them to heal slowly.

Some are bruises. Some are deep lacerations that open up from time to time. Others are scrapes and scratches. Some of them heal quite beautifully and add an extra depth to my smile. Others may never heal. I have accepted that, and I have accepted that those are the ones that cloud that dark space in my eyes that some people can see.

Sometimes I wish people could see them. I suppose that would mean that sometimes I wish I showed them to people. I don’t wish it for any other reason than I think that if they could, they wouldn’t be so callous.

During my first month as a full-time teacher, I got into a discussion with a co-worker about “encouraging students to participate in pep rallies.” I would never do that, I said. We had a very lengthy discussion about what goes on outside our realm of school and how perhaps some students may have pain and situations so dark and deeply held outside of their school day that something so trivial as a pep rally is utterly ridiculous. My point was you never, ever know what people experience unless you are them.

Sometimes, yes, I wish people could see my scars, especially the open ones. Other times, I’m perfectly content in my facade. I am. It’s how I heal.

I write extensively. None of these things are bottled up. They are shared with people they need to be shared with. And the rest? The rest heal. And they form beautiful scars that make me just a little bit stronger than I thought I was.

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