"Dear daughter, The most successful people are those with many scars."
I have many scars. Some are visible, some are deep and buried within my heart.
The ones that hurt the most are the ones not visible.
Ever notice how after you get hurt, your skin heals up but leaves a shiny patch of skin?
I have a theory. Here’s what I think.
Everyone comes from a past. Some better than others.
Some people have had a wonderful childhood. A picket fence! A loving family of married parents and well groomed siblings. Childhood memories of holiday marches and festivals. Warm Christmas and delicious Thanksgivings. Funny times that made them topple over laughing from that thing their cousin did at the lake house. A camp memory of learning how to make knots and best friends. Some trophies on a shelf from sports and activities they excelled in. A room filled with home made quilts, photos and stuffed animals given by many ex partners and relatives.
They have those memories. Those sweet and awesome memories. Even that little scar from skinning their knee while learning how to ride a bike with their father for the first time. A scar on their side from doing ballet on the furniture and wobbling over.
You will have them too. Hold on to them. Pass them down to your children.
I have some memories too. Most of them I lock away, as to not share them with you, my child.
I do not want you to know the late nights I waited for the fights to stop. The Christmas Eve my tree came down with my drunk mother gripped tight on its straggly branches. The Christmas she lost twins, my almost half siblings. The Christmas she made me lose yours.
I have scars. Some others caused. Some I caused myself.
I made mistakes. I experienced loss. Pain. Its all part of growing. Its what I told myself happens to many people.
So "deal with it". Bury the memories. Hide the scars.
I’m writing you now to tell you something very important. Something vital to your existence.
Do not hide them.
I want you to promise me something. Roll those sleeves up. Rock your scars.
You will have some too because you are human. Do not be afraid or ashamed.
For the longest time I was. I was mortified to tell anyone what I went through. I may have not had it that bad. I have learned a lot from reading, daughter.
Remember to always educate yourself.
"Read about the great women in history who have scars. Its their war wounds. They show these scars off, these shiny parts of new skin. Skin that says, “I survived this”. -Jean Soto
You will make errors. But no matter how heart throbbing, you will survive them. And flourish.
Many women I look up to have scars. Pain and emotional scars from being victims of rape, abuse and torment. They are so brave.
They took those horrible memories and made them into something.
Like a craft. It is a craft to take something ugly and recreate something beautiful. That’s what you are to me.
The greatest women I aspire to be like are women like Maya Angelou. Strong, curious and independent. Not ignorant of their mistakes and proud of their scars. You will read about strong women. I want to inspire you too. I want to show you how to craft beauty.
You won’t ever have to hide any pain if you know how to put your emotions to use. You will be told to silence your emotions. To accept your positions in life. To not press forward or cause a scene. Do not listen. Push boundaries and you will be one of those exceptional people. The ones who are not perfect but know how to tactfully contribute to advocacy and human rights. That’s what I have decided to be. Its one of my many purposes. Some day it could be yours too.
Recently I was reunited with some memories that were not so bad. Old photos from my childhood, when I was just a baby. Photos of my parents dating. Of my mother pregnant with me. I have seen things I never did before. Never knew before.
I always thought I would never forgive or want to look back. I now have these memories I never experienced.
My mother’s grin. My father embracing her. There was a time when they were in love. Before I was born, a lot of great things happened between my parents. The trouble arose when I was less then three.
I used to be so angry about their divorce. My mother’s new marriage. Their drug abuse and alcoholic dependency. I blamed losing my childhood on their addictions. I still partially do. I have also realized that they both have their own scars. That smile my mother had in my father’s arms….I have never seen it. Ever. He produced that. And when they divorced, I am certain he took it away. They hide that truth. But I know it.
Its funny how scars can reveal themselves too. These memories of before me, now hurt me. I cannot process why I was born or why they got married. Yet every time I accomplish something amazing, exceed my own expectations or look into your eyes, I know why. Things just happen.
We do not choose in life who we are given to. We cannot have the ability to choose our parents or family. Not every family is perfect. Not every family is ideal. You will have a choice someday on how to start a family and with whom. Choose wisely.
I leave with you as few memories I have as possible. Although you are my child and we had a natural order of things, I opted for another life. We are able to make new memories without having to repeat my past.
But don’t be fooled. You cannot ignore your pain or scars. It can come creeping up on you years later in the most peculiar ways.
The best way to take on your past, present and future is to take it head on. Remember that no matter how bad life gets, there is always a way through it. If you know that, then you will move mountains.
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: email@example.com
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