I’m opening up something deep and possibly? dark… I’m not lying by omission any longer. So you, dear reader and lovely lady, are the first to read. And by writing this, I’m encouraging the space to be created for questions.
I’m not hiding by omission anymore. It goes like this:
They — whomever “they” are — say, what happened here? and point to a place on my arm. I take an excess amount of time to turn my head, to slowly cut my eyes to that area of my body, as if I have no idea as to what on my arm they are referring to. As if I might see a spot spot of ketchup or misplaced toothpaste. I pause extra long and in that moment — my calculated pause — they, uncomfortable with the silence, continue: did your cat scratch you? The corners of my mouth lift, I laugh a little, I let them assume what they think they know… knowing they don’t really want the truth.
It’s like when someone asks, “how are you doing?”
Most people just want a pretty answer.
Not today, today we’ll go with a dose of the truth.
No, my cat did not scratch me — I haven’t had a cat since I was 12.
No, I did not get beat up driving a 4-wheeler through the woods.
I used to cut. I used to be a cutter.
I say “used to” as if its something a person doesn’t crave the moment they put the knife down. But I think maybe cutting is like overeating is like alcoholism is like is like compulsive shopping… I haven’t cut in over 7 years but I still have my cravings.
I quit because my boyfriend — my ex-husband — gave me the ultimatum.
It was springtime and I was in my 3rd or 4th semester of my 3rd or 4th college. I cut so deeply into my forearm my friend insisted on taking me to the ER; I don’t remember any of it and I don’t know how many stitches it took to sew me back together. I wore a armband when I first saw him, hoping he’d think I had a new style. He didn’t buy it.
He held my hand through the pain of getting the stitches out — why is cleaning up a mess always so much worse than creating the mess? – and gave me the ultimatum: either I stop cutting or he stops with me.
I chose him. And more than choosing him, I was choosing love and beauty and clarity and truth.
I took baby steps away from self harm; I threw all my kitchen knives away. I don’t even think I had butter knives for a few years.
It’s still a craving that comes once in a while — the sleek handle of the blade, the flash of metal, the splash of red and piercing pain. It’s so real, physical pain is. But emotional pain? Where does that show up? I think that’s why I cut the first time: I could point to it and say there, that’s where my pain is.
This is my body. These scars show a snapshot of my life. The pain of life is never enjoyable, but who would we be without our scars?
The important thing is that we take baby steps away from self harm. My self harm showed up physically, but a lot of self harm shows up emotionally or mentally. Not listening to our heart, to trusting our intuition, not taking care of ourselves when we’re feeling down. Or letting someone else say or do mean things to our person.
Yoga has been a HUGE help in taking baby steps toward self care, self love. And knowing that the hurt we feel inside can be identified and can be healed. From the inside, from the mat, off the mat.
My mom sent me a massage protocol yesterday, so that’s probably why I’m thinking about this today.
Massage Protocol for Scars
All scars on the body resonate together in one sheet of skin, include all of your scars – from your first scar (belly button) to the smallest arthroscopic surgical scar to acne scars.
A partial list of possible scars:
- Umbilicus scar from birth (belly button)
- Scars from trauma (cuts, wounds, severe bruises, fractures)
- Scars from surgical repair (knee surgery, episiotomy, etc)
- Scars from surgery (hernia, circumcision, appendectomy, etc)
- Scars from removal of skin growths (wart, mole, cyst, skin tag)
- Scars from illness or infection (acne, chicken pox)
- Past or present IUD
Massage an oil or cream into a scar. This gives you a chance to observe and address some of the negative thoughts and feelings associated with your particular scar – making peace with this area that was damaged and has been somewhat separated from your energy field. This can trigger a release of chronic emotional patters subtly but chronically associated with the scar interference field. The typical treatment schedule for massage is once a day for a month, but in some cases two weeks can suffice. After such treatment, the scar interference field often tests approximately 50-80 % improved.
The most clinically effective herbal cream is Pure Organic Shea Butter from Organic Essence. It can promote nerve tissue healing. Essential oils are also quite effective when massaged into scar interference fields. It is safest to dilute them with almond oil, olive oil, or shea butter. (Some essential oils such as oregano, cinnamon, thyme, tea tree and clove are microcidal and can reduce infection in focal infections.) Use good quality, pure oils such as Young Living, doTERRA and MiEssence oils.
Step 1: rub essential oils into scar
Step 2: massage Shea Butter into scar
Reference: Radical Medicine by Louisa Williams, MS, DC, ND