Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jagged Little Scars

I've had two surgeries in my life: my C-section, to deliver my daughter, and seven weeks after that, my gallbladder removed.

My C-section incision was a work of art. MY OBGYN's specialty is surgery, and it shows. My incision was flawless, perfectly straight, and staple-and-stitch-free. It was simply smoothed together with surgical glue. When I was in the hospital, nurses would ask to examine my incision, and I'd dutifully lift up my gown to show them. Many nurses would oohh and aahh over it, saying how good it looked. I would smile in pride over my OGBYN's handiwork.

The C-section scar healed beautifully. I forget that I have it, because it is so smooth that it just seamlessly blends into my skin. I never think about it.

My gallbladder, on the other hand, was removed laprascopically, and I feel that the surgeon did a hack job. I have four scars, and while they are small, they are jagged and stick up from the skin. They are a different color than the rest of my skin, and even when I tan, they do not. Lately, I have been considering taking those little sunshine stickers they force upon you at the tanning salon and placing them over the scars, just to bring a little sunshine into my life.

I equate my emotional heartbreaks to my scars. Most are like my C-section scars: they heal up smoothly, and you forget that they are even there, that the pain ever even happened. It's a distant, long-resolved memory that requires no further thought.

Others are like my gallbladder scars: noticeable, protruding pains. Jagged edges, as though they were left incomplete, not smoothed down to a vision of not being noticeable. Forever there, no matter what. And every time you look down, ever-present and always noticed.

The majority of the heartbreaks in my life have been the smooth-scar type. Sure, it hurts in the recovery period. But then as time goes on, the pain goes away and you forget that you ever even endured it, much less even notice the mark this left on you.

The jagged scars are the ones that you are forever marked with, the ones that never go away. The ones that you can brush against, and the memory of the pain will be back full-force. These are the ones that are the product of unfinished issues. I think that it's inevitable that anyone we have unfinished issues with will continue to pop up in our thoughts.

The question for me is always, how do you finish these unfinished issues, so you can forget that scar and let it blend in with your past? I don't know the answer to that one, but I wish I did.

I think there are only two people who have scarred me to the point that they still recur in my thoughts, as much as I wish they didn't. With one, I thought I resolved him, because I thought I felt it. In an instant, I sensed his presence, and with that, it felt as though my heart and soul imploded into each other. And then I felt relief. But just like a temporary pain reliever, the effect wore off, and I find myself irritating that scar more and more these days.

So, what's the answer? It's sure not Mederma, or Tylenol, or even time...

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