Dear Anonymous

Finally the sunshine!
After weeks of rain and dreary weather the sun is shining.
It is finally short sleeves season.

As I drive down the major roadways of Wilmington, windows down and music up, something caught my attention.

“I Saw the Light” as they say- or rather the light showed me…

At just the right angle, the sunshine made clear to me, even the most faded of scars on my arms.

I have many scars- Some visible- Some faded- Some covered by clothing.

This is the time of year when short sleeves are welcomed back into our wardrobes. It is also the time that I typically am asked, with such naivety, “What did you do to your arm?” or, “What happened to your arm?”  Oh that’s old I usually say or just a scratch.

But the light, today, showed perfectly every scar I had left on my arms.

It took me back a second. I did a double take. I became silent.

At first I thought Well, Sammy, you might as well prepare yourself for the questions. It is that time of year. Then a voice inside my head…

-A voice that is typically not heard- One that is typically overpowered by the nagging voice of self-hatred-

You should be proud,” that voice said to me. “You survived. You’ve gone through a lot of shit in your life and you are still here. You are still pushing.

Once I stopped driving, I returned my gaze to my arms. I kept examining them, sometimes recalling the incident that triggered that scar. Many that I remembered healed without a scar. I recently confessed to my dad how long I’ve been cutting myself.

He was shocked. “I had no idea,” he said.


Car in park, I couldn’t help but run my fingertips down my arm and count the scars. Five on my right arm. Twenty-seven on my left. The scars on my thighs are too numerous to count.

You can see them. I don’t pretend that others don’t notice. I know the looks and whispers.

Just remember, you– who snickers and mocks- we are not alone.  We are not “emo” or “goth” or “weirdos” or “attention whores.” We are humans. We have fought battles you couldn’t image. We know you see them. Ask about them is you want. Don’t turn away from us.

And, you- who is saddened, hurt, broken, numb- remember you are NOT alone. Those scars on your body- those are your battle scars. You are allowed to feel weak. You are not perfect. And, now, neither is your skin. You are human. You feel. You cope. That fact that you are still standing is proof you’re a fighter. You are one badass mofo. Look at the strong survivor that you are.

As I wrote in my personal monologue: “Perfect
The marks on my body,           I wear them with pride
They’re not a sign of weakness,          They’re proof I survived
That I thrive,          That I strive
To carry on,          Head held high

You are NOT alone. You ARE loved.