Saturday, 1 June 2013

Sunshine and scars.

The power of a bit of sunshine is not to be underestimated. I think, really, I just was not made for Britain and her weather. I mean, alright, I'm so fair skinned that I make freshly fallen snow look grubby, and half my face is covered in freckles (it's quite ridiculous, the left side of my face is so covered in freckles that they're almost at the point of joining together to make me look tanned. The right side has put in a grade U effort to keep up and has a coupla token bits of pigmentation), but the general lack of sunlight makes me mardy as owt. Apparently, this has been the coldest spring for about a trillion years, and it's also been the worst spring for my mental state for about a trillion years, too. Like how I'm conveniently skating over the fact that it's now June, and I haven't had more than a few hours outside of hospital since last December, and the effect of that on my mental health? Shhh, let me talk about sunlight and blame the lack of it, ok?

Warm weather makes me panic, a little, though. It means not being able to hide my recently cultivated fat behind big jumpers, and it means having my self-harm scars out. I don't really mind having my scars out in hospital- my friends here understand better than anybody, the horrible things I have done to my shell, and what they mean to me. We all have different relationships to our scars, and I, arrogantly perhaps, think that I have one of the healthier attitudes. I'll neither go out of my way to display nor hide them, because they're no different, to me, to Chickenpox scars or the bruises left from dialysis, or, God, the spots on a leopard. They are what they are. They're not pretty, but neither are they ugly. They represent my survival, because had I not done the actions that created them, I'd very probably not be sitting here, tapping away, but they also, more superficially, show the pain I have gone through. Having all that pain out there kind of makes you vulnerable, maybe it looks as if you have a mental deficiency or weakness, I don't know. To me though, whilst the pain is self-evident, they will always, even when they're faded, white, and barely visible on my pale skin, be a sign of that survival. Only living skin scars; I am alive. I am alive and the scar tissue is deep and protective- it both shows my life force and strength, and puts it into context. I AM ALIVE.

Whilst I'm not ashamed of my scars, I know how society views self-harm. I sometimes feel like I'm being backed into a corner of shame, like that's the way people think I ought to feel. It's quite a self-centered thought, because I think it's far more likely people's eyes are drawn to the protective marks and then are drawn back to the offers on hair-dye in the local supermarket. Still though, there are always the glances and there are always people who will think that they should be covered, in shame and clothing, no matter what the weather. You know me though, I don't believe in hiding.

I am more careful with open wounds, though. You have to understand the difference between ambivalence to people seeing or not seeing my scars and the trend that exists of taking pictures of recent self harm, to be displayed on the internet. That, I don't like. That... that's for competition and I just can't verbalise how that gets to me. I'm more careful in covering open wounds (not that I have any right now- 3 and a half months gone since I hurt myself in a non ED way, waaahey :)), because I know how they can be triggering to others, and they make me feel a bit too vulnerable- like I'm being watched in a kind of I Know What You Did Last Summer sort of a way. But anyway, it shouldn't be about pride of what you've done to yourself, how you've harmed yourself; it should be pride that you're a survivor and indifference to society's judgment. I wish that I hadn't felt that I had to do the things that created the scars, but I don't regret the actions themselves, apart from when I look at the blemish-free skin of others. I look at my beautiful 11 year old cousin's hands, for example, and wish I was an artist so that I could paint them. How beautiful the fact is that they've never been down her throat, nor used to take out her anguish on her body.

Despite all this, I love the sunshine. It makes me happy. When you shut your eyes, in the sun, you could be any, beautiful, place. I know you can do that any time, but everything is more beautiful in the sun. Maybe even me, too.


  1. I know what you mean about the lack of sunshine - it's certainly getting me depressed!! However, I also share your opinion on this English weather allowing us to hide the bulges of fat that have developed over the winter months. Your attitude to your scars is also uplifting and I wish more people had that attitude as they're nothing to be ashamed of.
    Emily xxx

  2. Rebecca, you are beautiful... from the inside out... it is the only one that counts as it is the true beauty:)

    I am happy for you that you have not self harmed for awhile, as far as the old scars... who cares what other people think, you are a survivor... I adore your tenacity:)

    Launna xox