Telling The Truth About The Scars To Others

I cut myself fairly regularly from age 17 to 20 and consequently, my arms (especially my arms!) and thighs are covered in a wide multitude of VERY visible abnormal scars. Scars of which canNOT easily be blamed on my cats.
I am happy to say that I have not cut since May 2010. That last one, which resulted in stitches and a rather grotesque scar, fortunately can be easily hidden under a watch.

So this morning, I ran into a friend of mine. Really nice lady, with a rather spunky and overly twisted personality. She's twice my age, but that doesn't matter :P
We start yapping at one another... joking all the while and making each other laugh. Then she noticed the markings (it was 26 degrees celcius... tshirt weather), and exclaimed, "What happened to your arm?" (both arms are all slashed up, but she just saw the one... I think). "Cat scratches," I replied. "Seriously??" she says, looking alarmed. "Yup," was my reply. I guess I didn't seem convincing, because she gave me "that" look. There were a bunch of other people around, so I leaned in really close and mouthed that it wasn't the cats. The look she gave me after glancing at my arms again... could be best described as a rather shocked OMFG expression. No more words were exchanged after that...
I didn't get upset, but I did feel very uncomfortable after, as that is a part of my past that I would prefer to not ever think about.

There is another guy that I've befriended of whom I see around town regularly. He asked me what happened to my arms a while back. This guy, a gentleman in his late 40's, is a really friendly, non judgmental, and very soft-spoken fella with a pleasant demeanor. Though he asked me out of curiosity and concern, I just didn't have the will to tell the truth, nor did I feel comfortable saying so. Again, I told him it was the cats. Just like that friend that I mentioned above, he gave me "that" look, but did not press further.

My point is that I am having a really hard time telling others what really happened, and knowing that the truth behind the scars will understandably make many feel uneasy and uncomfortable. The nature of the scars (some keloids) along with their high visibility and telltale nature, make them difficult to hide in warm weather. That said, I have given up trying to hide them long ago, and therefore, with warmer weather and me in tshirts and shorts, they are out in the open and have a way of making others stare and ask questions.
ashleymay ashleymay
22-25, F
Sep 8, 2012