I have three scars that people can actually see. The first one is the most faded and sits just below my left thumb. I got it in grade five when I was trying to cut a cardboard box to make something for an assignment but the scissors slipped and blood went everywhere.
The second one is on my right knee. One day I was walking at school and tripped on a rock outside the classroom. I hadn’t even realized I had fallen until I was on the ground. I quickly jumped up and acted like nothing had happened but my sock was already covered in blood.
The last one is just above my right knee. I got it when I had come home one day and my dog was excited to see me. We hadn’t cut his nails so they were sharp. It was just a cut and it shouldn’t have scared but I forgot it was there and scratched it.
I only have three scars that anyone can see but I have a lot more that are just for me. These are the scars that litter my heart. I’ve been collecting them over the years but no one knows how many I hide.
Some of these scars I got when I was bullied. They called me ugly and fat and to this day, I still believe them. What the bullies don’t know is that they gave me an extra one. It was in grade seven that I realized that I wasn’t straight but I instantly pushed the thought to the back of my mind because I refused to give these girls another reason to make me hate my life. That scar started off as a scratch and it bled for two whole years before I was free and could start excepting my sexuality.
Another scar came when I was sitting on my bed one night. I didn’t know if I was straight, gay or somewhere in between. This was the first night I had realized that I am bi. But realizing it and accepting it are two very different things. I got the scar as I muffled my sobs into my pillow, knowing that I will always be different and I will never fit in.
I got one of my most recent scars at a family gathering. I’m one of the older cousins and no one in my family knows that I’m bisexual. I was in charge of looking after the little kids when one of them, the one that has always looked up to me and reminded me of how awesome I am, said to me that every gay person disgusts him. He is eleven. If he thinks that way, then how do his parents think?
I have so many more that I’m not willing to share. I will just have to remember that my heart is no longer the beauty that it used to be. But I also have to remember that my scars give it a new beauty, and with that beauty, comes the strength that I so desperately need.