Monday, September 28, 2009

The scar

I'm in a hotel in San Francisco, alone. I'm here for work. I am not having fun. Major problems with my project at the airport. Back at it tomorrow for another long day.

I wrote the post below a few weeks ago but never posted it. Tonight, after removing my makeup, and staring at myself in the mirror, I could see the scar is really noticeable. It's because I'm tired and stressed. But when I smile, the scar disappears.

Yesterday's pictures are there now, not sure why they weren't there yesterday. You can see the hooker shoes that I don't own anymore. And yes, I actually wore them a couple of times. Sometimes I'm stupid like that.


The Scar

There's a scar on my lower lip. It's just a little vertical mark that crosses my lower lip line. It's not really noticeable to most people. When I get really tired, it becomes more pronounced.

The scar is a reminder of a very bad time in my life. I was 22 and had fallen in love with a man 16 years older than me. He was a "recovering" alcoholic. I moved from Alaska to Oregon with him for what became the worst three months of my life. I had dropped out of my junior year of college to go live with him. I worked a menial job while he stayed drunk. I didn't have any friends or family in Oregon. I was alone, with my alcoholic boyfriend.

One day he hocked my TV and stereo to get money to buy alcohol. These were things I had brought with me from Alaska. Then he stole a check out of my checkbook and cashed it at a bar, forging my name on it. It was for $50.00, which left me with almost nothing in my checking account. I had to go through my coat pockets to find 35 cents for bus fare so I could go to work. I still didn't leave. I thought I could save him. It was a very dark time in my life.

One night we had an argument and he threw his dinner plate at me. It hit me in the face and cut my lower lip, leaving me with the scar that is still there to this day, some 32 years later. After this happened, I realized I couldn't save him. I realized he was a lost cause, and for my own safety and sanity, I had to get out.

I called my mom and was on a plane back to Alaska the next day. I left everything I owned and didn't even give notice on my job. I didn't even call them to tell them I was leaving, I just left.

I never spoke to my boyfriend again. He came back to Fairbanks but I refused to talk to him. He went to see my mother and said he was leaving Alaska for good. He gave my mother a letter to give to me. I remember it was in a very thick envelope. I never opened it. Instead, I stood at the kitchen sink and burned it.

Why am I telling you about this? Because whenever I look at that scar on my lip, like tonight, I remember that horrible time in my life. I remember being scared and feeling hopeless, but I also remember pulling myself out of that horrible mess I had made of my life.

It's like gaining 100 pounds. I remember feeling scared and hopeless then too. It seemed so insurmountable to lose 100 pounds. I felt trapped. The difference between the alcoholic boyfriend and me gaining the 100 pounds is this time it was me abusing my body. It was me beating myself up, being cruel to myself. I was making a mockery of my life. I would say horrible, cruel things to myself. I would call myself a fat ass, a fat pig, stupid and ugly. All the awful things that a mean alcoholic might say to me.

Just like I wouldn't let my alcoholic boyfriend ruin my life, I decided to not let me ruin my life with my weight. It's strange how when I look at that scar that this is what I think about. I don't really think of him, but I think of the situation, how similar it was to what I did to myself.

It makes me feel a bit sad that I was so cruel to myself, but it also makes me feel strong and invincible now. I'm reminded I'm capable of anything. Surviving an abusive relationship or losing a lot of weight. In a way, they're a lot alike, it's just that in the latter case, the abuser was me.

Who would have thought that a tiny little scar would have so much meaning behind it?


Lia said...

Wow. That is a really intense experience. It is amazing the things love, or infatuation, can get us into. I'm SO glad you got out of that relationship though. A lot of people never do. You were smart. It is also a good analogy to treating yourself unfairly. You're being smart again and helping yourself. :)

Helen said...

Girl you can do this... You loved yourself enough to get out of that and now you're loving yourself to your ultimate goal. Keep smiling :-)

(Because you asked - my birthday is March 2. I lurked for a long time before I started writing the blog.)

Roxie said...

Very powerful and moving post, Diana. Sometimes we really don't know our own strength - our own abilities to overcome difficulties - even if some were self-inflicted. Very inspirational story.

Sandra said...

Thanks for Sharing Diana!

antgirl said...

Fantastic post. I hearing about you discovering your power.

I have a scar on my lower lip, too. Right in the middle. It's from a kickball accident though.