I don’t quite get why people feel the need to ask the who/what/when/why of scars. Especially when there are a number of them, and let’s face it, aren’t my most attractive feature. I mean, I can kinda understand when there’s one recent wound, and people ask as a curiosity/sympathy/”are you okay” type thing. But when there’s a number of old scars…
A couple of OT friends noticed the scars on my legs and asked how I got them. I shrugged, said “I don’t know” and looked away. We then had a Counselling and Group Work tutorial in which our tutor briefly spoke about self harm, how it’s a way to cope and is not necessarily a suicide attempt. Straight after our tutorial one of the friends then asked me whether it’s from self harm. I ignored her and said nothing, while the other friend laughed and joked “We just had the tutorial so now you’re asking about self harm.”
Later on in the day my friend then took it upon herself to ask again, remarking that she doesn’t understand how I don’t know how I got them, that even if she fell, a person wouldn’t get that many scars. “Oh my gosh, why do you keep asking?” I asked in a light-heartedly exasperated way.
That night I received a text from my other friend which said that she thought it was quite immature for our two other friends to be joking about self harm like that, she noticed I looked uncomfortable and she was sorry I had to experience that. This is a friend who knows I have mental health issues so she could probably infer the scars are actually from self harm. I texted back that I appreciated her message and that I imagined our two friends joked about it because they didn’t realise what they were joking about was actually the truth.
Many of my scars have faded over the years and I’ve had a lot of time to get used to them so their questions about it don’t really bother me all that much as I just brush it off. I’m at the stage where though it’s not something I want to announce to everyone I know, it’s also not something I go to great lengths to hide any more. What I don’t understand though is why people are insistent on knowing how someone got their scars. I know what may seem obvious to me and others who have or know someone who has self harmed isn’t so obvious to them. But even if the scars aren’t from self harm, why do they probe so much curiosity? To me they’re just scars and not a big deal.