It wasn’t my plan to share a video today but I struggled with what picture I was going to use for this blog post. I didn’t even have a title. I just have a story. You see, I wanted to share a picture of my son, a very particular image, but my son doesn’t do pictures. He hasn’t for years.
This story starts about ten years ago. My son had a myriad of medical problems. We had done our best to treat his symptoms holistically. However, we realized that it was no longer working. We went back for more testing and to try treating him with medication.
They put him on risperidone. What we didn’t know was that one of the side effects was rapid weight gain. Before his next appointment a month later, he’d put on something like twenty pounds. He was miserable. He cried because he was so hungry and he couldn’t stop eating. He cried because this tiny little boy was stretching out of his body.
The doctor’s solution was to balance it out with medication that took away his appetite. For years, he struggled with the medication and how it made him feel. He struggled with his weight and his health. As he got into high school, he found new methods for treating his various symptoms and was able to get off the risperidone.
He has since lost all that extra weight. He’s a healthy young man.
The other day, I was sitting in my chair and he came into the room. He was shirtless. Since he is so tall, I end up talking to his belly more than to his face when I am sitting down. His abdomen is etched with deep red stretch marks. Without thinking, I said that we could help him get rid of those scars if he would like to. What happened next has just about haunts me, he said “why would I want to get rid of them?” He went on to say that those scars were a part of him, a reminder of what he has been through.
I was proud of him at that moment and it passed as moments do.
Later, I was reading Daring Greatly and I kept thinking back to that moment. While I regret what I said – as his mother I should have been able to show him that I love him no matter what, I was so proud that he was able to teach me. He’s not ashamed of his scars. I’m not either, I just remember what it is like to feel so self-conscious about your body. I remember what it feels like to be afraid of being judged. I remember how hard it is to be that young. I remember because I still struggle. It’s so much less now but those memories are etched into my soul. They have become scars that I have forgotten to embrace as part of me.
I don’t have a spectacular ending to this story – I tried. There is no ending, at least not yet. I just wanted to share with you this amazing moment of wisdom. They say out of the mouth of babes but sometimes those babies are almost twenty years old. I hope you remember that your scars make you beautiful because they have made you you.