Day 112 – Reliving Childhood Injury

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I’m taking a Journaling class at The Writing Salon. There’s about 12 students, all women. Frequently, we’ll be given a prompt and asked to write about it. We wrote one on childhood injury or illness. As we went around the room and shared our writing, I thought it would make for a really good This American Life story. I can almost hear Ira Glass’s narration. “In this week’s story, childhood injury or illness. In 12 acts.” Anyway, here’s my story.

I only know that I was severely burned as a young child from the scar on my leg. It goes from my left ankle to my knee. I also know the injury took place because of my mom’s story. I know the story in every detail but I’m almost certain it’s not part of my conscious memory.

I like to pretend the scar doesn’t exist. As though if I can no longer see the scar, others won’t either.

I can only remember three instances where I had to face this scar as an adult.

1. Telling my husband how I got the scar
2. Seeing it in our engagement photo
3. Kimmie asking me

When Kimmie asked “what happened to your leg,” it caught me off guard. You can see my scar… 

I didn’t truncate my story (as I normally do). I told the story as it was retold to me. The bursting radiator, the endless doctor visits, my mom asking the doctor “can you use my skin for the skin graft?”

What I don’t remember is the pain. The burn no longer hurts. It’s just a scar. And I remember Kimmie’s response – we all have scars. Wear it with pride. 

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photo credit: deeplifequotes via photopin cc

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