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May 1, 2013
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At some point in my life I stopped posting pictures that included my left forearm. It wasn't one of those gradual things where eventually I noticed this to be the case and had to search my soul to figure out why.

I didn't need to figure it out. I knew. My left forearm is covered in scars, and scars are not acceptable anymore. I've grown up and left behind the things that made me sad -- or at least I've told myself that I have.

It could just be that I learned that sadness lasts forever when it's cut into your skin.

That's the thing about scars, though. If you're sad enough or angry enough or empty enough, you don't care about forever, until one day you're grown up and someone is looking at your wrist with a question in their eyes.

People keep saying that scars are beautiful in their own way, that they tell a story. Maybe that's true for others, but not for me. You can't tell a story from the lines of white tissue on my arm. Or maybe you can, and the story is as follows:

"Once upon a time there was a girl, and she was sad so she cut herself. Now her arm is scarred."

And that's the worst story I've ever heard.

Or maybe when they say that scars tell a story, they're referring to the stories we make up about them -- telling children that yes, a cat was very angry, or that my arm is the result of some childhood accident, so always listen to your mother!

I don't like those stories either, though.

Maybe the scars tell the stories that others invent about us. "Desperate for attention." "Chemically imbalanced." "Weirdo."

I guess at some point I started trying to forget. No pictures that include scars, then. Not even if I draw something cool on myself in a fit of boredom, or if I want to show off my new bracelet, or if a salamander crawls along my arm, along my scars, leaving tiny wet footprints. And if someone asks me about what the salamander looked like, I'll just have to try to bring to mind the translucent red skin and the minute movements of its chest as it breathed in and out.

Because if there was a picture of my arm, I'd feel compelled to tell a story about a girl who was sad, and who might even still be sad -- and if you're looking for an ending to that story, you'll just have to keep looking.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwellwornwings:
wellwornwings Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
i hide both arms in pictures.

and sadness does last forever when it's cut into your skin.
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:iconmsaon770:
msaon770 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  New member Professional Artist
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:iconyellowbird98:
YellowBird98 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Student General Artist
Wow
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:icongypsyribs:
gypsyribs Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm crying. You have no idea what this piece means to me. 
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:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Professional Writer
I can't tell if this is good or bad. I will just settle for thanking you for having read it.

Love.
Reply
:icongypsyribs:
gypsyribs Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
It's good, it is so very good. It hits home with me a lot. I get the impression we are very similar/have been through similar things. 

Xo
Reply
:iconbros-key:
Bros-Key Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So, I favorited most of your works. And it wasn't even a, "Hey, I should do this for the heck of it", it was genuine. I love your literature it's very inspiring, and if I ever make it back to school, then maybe I'll put my inspiration to use to some people who can pretend like they care. And maybe, just maybe, I can make them.
Reply
:iconstellevato:
Stellevato Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is hauntingly beautiful writing.
Reply
:iconlinney69:
Linney69 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"It could just be that I learned that sadness lasts forever when it's cut into your skin"

i have only done a purposeful cut once, and that was to put a stop to everything, i have lashed out a few times and still do when i get very upset or very angry, lashed out in ways that caused me to scab, not just in lines but any form of wound. but i am one of those that don't scar easily, but i will always be reminded every time i go over the little bumps on my skin that i know only i can feel.

i have things under control, which is a blessing - now.
Reply
:iconunholycookie:
unholycookie Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
This is painfully relatable.
Once a woman saw the scars on my shoulder, and hit me, and openly humiliated me for them in front of a lot of people.
I was already ashamed of them. I don't want pity. I don't want attention. They are not for you.
Reply
:icontmzerosix:
TMzerosix Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"You can't tell a story from the lines of white tissue on my arm. Or maybe you can, and the story is as follows:

"Once upon a time there was a girl, and she was sad so she cut herself. Now her arm is scarred."

And that's the worst story I've ever heard."

this might be the best set of words I've ever read.
Reply
:iconamayazero:
AmayaZero Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This, I hope you do not mind if I say that I Love You for writing it.
Reply
:iconprettycrazy:
PrettyCrazy Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
As to the literature itself: maybe the last line weakens the rest a bit, but other than that, I like this very much.
Reply
:iconmoment5:
moment5 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
lovely one
Reply
:iconcrookd-bullet:
crookd-bullet Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Your writing <3 :hug:
Reply
:iconangiebeagoodgirl:
Angiebeagoodgirl Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
tatooos are a great cover up but I would't. That was who you Were~ not who you Are. and like every good story the heroine must have a low point before the high.
Reply
:iconjustanecho94:
justanecho94 Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I love this. It is truly beautiful.
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner May 17, 2013   General Artist
all the hugs in the world for you, brave heart. :tighthug: :heart:
Reply
:iconakicat:
AkiCat Featured By Owner May 10, 2013
.....Or maybe I wish I have scars to warn the children of what lies in the future.

But that's just because I work with kids quite often, and will probably continue to do so. Right now, I'm still a kid myself, but I fear the day when I'll become just another adult with just another boring "I was a teen too, once" story.
Reply
:iconnochs:
nochs Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
very well written, that's beautiful
Reply
:icongoddessxofxlust:
goddessXofXlust Featured By Owner May 7, 2013
Kelsey, you're beautiful.
Reply
:iconsmilewithlove:
smilewithlove Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
you often write things that make my heart ache in the okay-ist way

this most certainly is one of those
Reply
:iconimapumpkinwhee:
imapumpkinwhee Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
God I love your work. You continue to be a huge inspiration for me.
Reply
:iconwaitingformilo:
WaitingForMilo Featured By Owner May 2, 2013
Thank you so much for sharing this! I means a lot for people like me who used to be a cutter to know that I am now alone. I get tense when people look at my hand or thighs or on my chest, all places where I have self-harm scars. Its very hard to explain to people what they are (as if it isn't obvious), but I am becoming more comfortable with them, I think in part because I read things like this and know I am not alone!
Reply
:iconaoliveranieves:
aoliveranieves Featured By Owner May 2, 2013
I missed your writing =)
Reply
:iconshedares:
SheDares Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautifully written... :hug:
Reply
:iconjustisover:
JustIsOver Featured By Owner May 2, 2013
You have such an incredible mastery over words, it's such a short piece but it evokes such powerful emotion. Incredible job.
Reply
:iconprojectilewordvomit:
projectilewordvomit Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Ow. This made me think of very, very sad things. Ow, ow, ow.

But I am glad of the lack of ending. Someone needs a lack of ending.
Reply
:iconfallingfaster-angel:
fallingfaster-angel Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My god... this is everything I feel. This makes me incredibly sad, but man, can I relate... you've still got that punch that makes my heart ache in a way I can appreciate cause I don't feel so lonely when I read your words.

Also, I've noticed you capitalized things.
Reply
:iconscarlet-obsession:
Scarlet-Obsession Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
This is such an amazing piece. I check in all the time to see if you've posted something new and it always makes such an impact on me when you do. Your writing connects with me in such a special way that no other writing I've ever read has been able to do. Thank you so much for inspiring me, connecting to me, and for giving me hope. I really hope you post again soon! <3 <3 <3
Reply
:iconsolider-1st:
SOLIDER-1st Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
I haven't not worn a hoodie in like 8 years.
Reply
:iconbringyourownbomb:
bringyourownbomb Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Student Writer
This is wonderful. Beautifully written.
I am glad, and yet also so very sad, there are other people out there that have to understand this as well. <3
Reply
:iconbwooooo:
Bwooooo Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Maybe some people cut themselves because of how the feel, but all the annoying pieces of shit I know cut themselves to post it on FB and earn sympathy "I'm so depressed" *picture of tiny cat-scratches on wrist*. I have people that diminish the severity of real sufferers by attention seeking.
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:iconbwooooo:
Bwooooo Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
hate*
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:iconshedares:
SheDares Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe it is a cry or help, rather than attention seeking? Sometimes words are not enough to express just how much you need it...
Reply
:iconbwooooo:
Bwooooo Featured By Owner May 2, 2013
Except I know the people I'm talking about, they aren't depressed they are attention seekers. They have nice families and easy lives, so they like to make up stupid problems, usually when they didn't get the newest Iphone or something. They will take pictures of themselves "crying", because when you're crying your 1st instinct is to find your phone and take a selfie, right? Then a flood of messages from their like-minded friends that usually go something like "so sorry ur feelin sad baby, luv u xoxo" or some crap. My Dad was depressed, he never talked about it, killed himself. They make me sick.
Reply
:iconshedares:
SheDares Featured By Owner May 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
People react differently to their problems. Some people lock it up and hide it, and some people are desperate for reassurance. Things like depression are not only caused by having a hard life. Hormonal and chemical imbalances can tip anyone over the edge, even the most level-headed of people... If you're struggling that badly, even the tiniest little things can set you off :hug:
Reply
:iconrustyhorse:
rustyhorse Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
The cutting, I think, bring what's in your mind into reality. I think it makes the inner pain worse. More real... I don't know. The wording is pretty. The message is different from what's usually on DeviantArt, which is good
Reply
:iconlordofstupidity:
LordofStupidity Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Why do people cut themselves anyway? I mean, most do it because they're feeling depressed, right? But wouldn't causing pain to yourself make you feel worse? Unless you're masochistic, but I think masochists like the pain they feel
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:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Professional Writer
I think for many people, the pain does NOT make them feel worse. That could be due to a variety of reasons. Like you said, maybe they enjoy the pain. Maybe they feel they deserve it, and the "punishment" offers relief. Maybe the act of causing pain relieves tension.
Reply
:iconlordofstupidity:
LordofStupidity Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Maybe... Why did you do it, if you don't mind me asking
Reply
:iconoenvy:
oEnvy Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Student General Artist
And, after cutting, it releases endorphins which relaxes you and makes you feel good.
Cutting turns into an addiction, and something that someone may start just to try out because they heard it worked for others- ends up being something they can't stop.
Reply
:iconsnake--bites:
Snake--Bites Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I can help answer too. Scientifically, it is actually proved that by bleeding, your body actually releases pain. Of course, this isn't a good means of releasing emotional or physical pain at all. But man people who resort to cutting tend to do it out of desperation, and as for me, it happens in sporadic moments, where I am way too angered or upset to think straight or with reason. That's why we cut. We know it's wrong. Yet, it makes us feel better in a way.
Reply
:iconlordofstupidity:
LordofStupidity Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Wow, I never knew that O.o Thanks, and I hope you stop cutting
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Professional Writer
Pain distracted me when I was spiraling down.
Reply
:iconlordofstupidity:
LordofStupidity Featured By Owner May 1, 2013
Oh, so pain was like your substitute for alcohol, assuming you were too young to drink when you were cutting?
Reply
:icongratte-ciel:
Gratte-Ciel Featured By Owner May 8, 2013   General Artist
This comes across as rather ignorant, in my opinion.
Reply
:iconjustanecho94:
justanecho94 Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Unfortunately, I disagree with you. Everyone who hasn't cut themselves at one point want to know why others do. Even myself, despite the fact that I did cut myself at one point in my life. It's confusing for some people. I have a full grasp as to the reason why I cut, yet I'm still completely confused as to why I had done it. Just allow people to ask their questions and try to figure out the answers that they get, and if they still don't understand, then they aren't ignorant, just innocent.
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:iconlordofstupidity:
LordofStupidity Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
I was just asking a question
Reply
:iconshedares:
SheDares Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I find cutting is a release, and often stops from doing things that are far more destructive and dangerous. If I'm in bad enough shape, it does not even hurt. It is pretty similar to the way people try and "drink their sorrows away" from what I understand. It is a coping mechanism.
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