Carol Round on Scars: A Reminder of What We’ve Experienced

“So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ Thomas said to them, ‘Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe’”— John 20:25 (GNT).

Recently, I acquired eight new stitches, the result of skin cancer on my neck. Growing up a fair-skinned blonde with blue eyes, I sunburned easily. During my formative years in the 50s and 60s, sunscreen wasn’t widely promoted to prevent sunburns or skin damage.

The test results revealed it was Basal cell carcinoma, the most common but least dangerous form of skin cancer. Growing slowly, it usually appears on the head, neck, and upper torso areas.

Because it’s the second time I’ve had this type of cancer, I faithfully see my dermatologist each year for a full body check-up. The first time I had skin cancer, the spot removed only required butterfly bandages, no stitches. While I’ll have a scar this time, the eight stitches required are probably the least number I’ve ever needed.

The Physical Evidence

Seeing a new doctor requires us to give a medical history. I’ve had eleven surgeries in my lifetime. Because I have trouble recalling them all, I had to type a list and carry it in my wallet. Otherwise, I must count from head to toe to recall them all for the necessary paperwork.

Some haven’t left physical scars, like the removal of my tonsils. Others, like the time I was attacked by a neighbor’s dog, required 20 stitches in my right calf. It has left a prominent scar.

Not all wounds leave a scar, and all wounds are not necessarily physical, even though they are more obvious. We see someone on crutches and automatically know the person has been injured. But sometimes, we aren’t aware of another’s injuries. They’re not obvious, just as an emotional scar isn’t always evident.

The Emotional Evidence

As a former educator, I often had students who acted out in class. Many were suffering from emotional trauma at home. Even a lack of attention in a home can cause students to act out. They want attention because their emotional needs aren’t being met. Their acting out is a cry for help.

According to an “Austin Weekly” newspaper article, emotional pain is activated in the same area of the brain as when we feel physical pain. However, we react differently when we see a person experiencing physical versus emotional pain. Even if you’re experiencing severe emotional distress, no one asks if you need help or asks if you’re okay. Emotional pain doesn’t reveal itself in a cut, a bruise, or other physical injury.

A physical wound usually has a time frame for recovery. There is no physical bandage to help heal emotional pain. But scars, although unseen, still exist.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service