So I got my hair done today. I didn’t feel like driving up to my usual stylist so I stopped in somewhere new. I really stopped just to make an appointment for another day, but they had one available today and I had someone to watch th Littles so I went for it.
Sitting in the chair as this stylist is going through my hair separating everything out for the foils she nonchalantly goes: “Oh, hey that’s a really cool scar you have there.” As she traces this massive line across my scalp. At first I had no idea what she was talking about. Nothing immediately popped to the forefront of my mind about that area of my head where I might have sustained any sort of injury. I did remember it being tender for a while and washing blood out of my hair, but I couldn’t immediately remember where I was aside from the shower or why.
It’s been bothering me all day having this clear and obvious reminder of something that happened but no real memory of what or why. So I sat there asking everyone I know if I mentioned any sort of head injury and digging through my archives looking for clues and then it hit me. All at once like a ton of bricks. I remember exactly what happened to cause the injury but I had no idea it was severe enough to leave a lasting scar so many years later.
It shook me up. It shook me up a lot. I’m still having a little trouble putting it into perspective especially since it’s something I’ve dealt with and pretty much put to rest. Or rather I thought I had dealt with and put to rest. Now, knowing, having this reminder forever hidden under my mane, is bringing up a lot of different feelings. It changes my perspective on what happened a little bit. Well, quite a lot actually.
I don’t have the emotional energy to deal with it right now, but at the same time I don’t want to repress it and have it coming back at me when I least expect it either.
During my second sexual assault, I had managed to squirm away from my attacker just enough that my head smashed into the bookshelf/headboard. Everything else about that night has faded basically into memory, which was fine. I remembered the bruises and the pain, but there wasn’t anything left as a physical reminder. Or at least I thought there wasn’t anything left. I mean it’s not visible to me so that’s at least one bonus, and no ones ever mentioned it to me before so it’s not like I have people asking me what happened all the time, and yet… It’s there.
I don’t like to think about that night at all. It was hell going through everything as part of my recovery, and I don’t want to dwell on it ever again. It happened, I repressed it; I dealt with it, it’s done. That’s how I want to deal with this, events prior, after, the entire nine yards. But when something like this comes up that reminds me of the attack itself, and especially a fucking SCAR, it really drives home how savage the attack really was. It wasn’t just a miscommunication, or rough sex, it was a brutal, violent attack.
My neck was twisted and my head was smashed up against the headboard long and hard enough to break the skin and leave a scar. My attacker could have killed me, and he never would have known what happened, because he had no idea what he was doing. Or, at least that’s what he claimed after the fact. I believe him. Not because I’m in denial about what happened, it’s forever more complicated than that, and I’m not going to get into it again. I believe that he wasn’t entirely aware of what was happening in that moment. How much he was aware of or how little I’ll never really know, but with one hundred percent certainty I can say he never set out to cause me irrevocable damage, physical or otherwise.
So, now that I’m faced yet again with the severity of what happened, and this knowledge of lasting physical damage that’s been hiding in plain sight the entire time, it knocks the wind out of me. In a physical as well as emotional sense. A lot of that is the PTSD reaction of panic and subsequent anxiety, racing heart, etc. It’s not just a memory, it’s like reliving the entire experience. At least this time I was able to primarily focus on the sensation of the head injury instead of reliving the entire event in a flash back.
It was so weird because as soon as she traced the scar with her comb immediately I got a surge of adrenaline. Some part of me knew immediately how I got the scar, but the larger part of me didn’t want to accept it as I spent the majority of the afternoon trying to think of any other possible reason, wishing, hoping, and praying there was another explaination, but the only thing that continues to come to mind is that night, my head against the board, the feeling of wet trickling through my hair afterwards, and the sting of my shampoo the days and weeks after.
I hate this. I hate that I’m here again, overwhelmed by those memories. My broken hand is throbbing, I’m still short of breath, and it absolutely 1000% sucks. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m not talking about ending my life, I have far to much to live for to give up on that. I just want to forget my past, and let it remain where it is. It’s over, it’s been years, an entire life time ago, why do I have to deal with it on a constant basis? Why can’t it just stay in the past? Why can’t my emotional scars be hidden like my physical one?