The past year has allowed me to become an advocate for cerebral palsy through my writing, becoming a better part of the community. Now I want to talk about the scars I have received over the years from surgeries and what those scars mean to me.
At first, I was very insecure about my scars. I used to be so afraid when I wore shorts because of what others may think. I don’t think anybody fully knows how I felt about myself at that time in my life. I would consider myself to be an emotional wreck. I never expressed it because I was always afraid to be a negative person, especially since I was always taught to be positive. Now that I’m older, I feel as if I need to express this so I can help other people with disabilities become accepting of their scars and willing to open up and tell people their stories.
Every time I used to look at my scars, I would be ashamed of them and thought of ways to cover them up. I hated the idea of wearing shorts . If it were up to me, I would be wearing long pants all the time — but since my mom dresses me, I didn’t feel like I had that option. I hated how every time people would look down at my legs they could see the scars I have on my hips, the one side of my leg, and on my hamstrings. I was embarrassed by my own body for years, when I shouldn’t have been. I should have been proud of those scars because it allows me to reflect on the journey I’ve been on for 22 years.
So what do my scars mean to me? Strength, courage, and pride. Those are things I never thought I would say about my scars, but I’m happy to say I’m now entirely comfortable in my own skin. Now, I am more than happy to wear shorts, as every time I look down at my scars, I’m so proud of myself — the journey I’ve been on and how far I have come.
My advice for anyone who is struggling with a disability, or anybody who has gone through surgery and is struggling to accept your scars: you are beautiful. Having a disability makes you more beautiful, and it makes you more unique. Remember that. And don’t ever be ashamed of the battles you’ve won that have left you with your scars. They are your prizes, your trophies, and don’t let anybody tell you differently.