I want to start off with a trigger warning: I am going to be discussing self-harm in this.
For a long time, the only way I knew how to cope with anything bad that happened to me was hurting myself. I don’t know why I started doing it, but at the time, I was 13, and I had stretch marks, and curly hair, and the boys laughed at me in the hall and would throw things at me when I walked past, and I felt like there was nothing else I could do.
Not long after, I started wearing sweaters in the summer, to hide my stomach, my stretch marks, my scars. I didn’t want the body I was in, I thought it was hideous, and that my inability to stop hurting myself was only making matters worse.
Looking back, I can’t believe how badly I treated my body. The scars that run down my arm could tell a thousand stories, but so could my stomach, my stretch marks, my hair. Although I wish I had never hurt myself to begin with, I can now look at the scars as a path of healing. Each day that they become less pink, less raised, is a day closer to my body forgiving me for what I did to it.
I see my scars not as something ugly, not always, but something that I fought, and won, against. They’re a part of me, just like my stomach and my hair, and I’m slowly learning to accept this fact. I’m coming to terms with my body not as just a vessel, a shell, but a part of me, something I need to respect. Just as I deserve respect, so does my body.