the scars you can't see - Dr. Kelly A. James
15494
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the scars you can’t see

the scars you can’t see

When people look at me, they probably see someone that is educated, smart, successful, and confident. All of these are true, but what they do not see are the scars. Not scars on my body, but in my body. Sure, I have physical scars on my body; one on my shin when I fell on a rusty nail, a scar on my pointer finger where I gouged an inch of skin away, and scars from surgeon’s with multiple surgeries – some elective, others not elective, but necessary to remove the cancer.

The scars that other people do not see are the scars inside me – the emotional scars. Scars so deep even a body scan does not show them. Being born to a mother who was incapable of bonding with her infant. The scars of having a narcissistic father uninterested in his children. Scars left by parents who were too interested in their own lives that they did not notice the changes in me when my brother started sexually abusing me. The scars left from the feelings of inferiority, worthlessness, and rejection. The scars left from an emotionally vacant husband who turned physically abusive.

These are the scars that others judge us by, through not understanding why those of us scared act the way we do, why we have trouble trusting people, why we have limited social groups. These are the scars that rarely receive understanding, or empathy.

Now, I do not share my scars for empathy, sympathy, or understanding as I have worked to address my scars, healed the scars left unseen. These scars no longer hurt me. But, there are many people walking around with these unseen scars. We bump into them on the street, in the elevators, and in the workplace. They have behaviors and interactions that may seem odd, so people do not understand.

I understand. I understand the emotional unseen scars. I also understand the process of healing these scars, so they no longer are felt. When the events that left the scars happened, or are happening, everything a person is seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling are stored with those events. Those senses get triggered resulting in behaviors that the individual has a hard time understanding. The individual may get angry, may be depressed and withdrawn, have nightmares or flashbacks, or may feel the need to run away. It may feel hopeless. There is hope. There is hope not only for healing the emotional unseen scars. There is hope in living the life you want. Being free of the scars that other’s cannot see.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is a type of therapy that effectively heals the unseen scars. EMDR takes the emotional pain away from the scars, so the scars no longer have any power in your life.