I have a scar on my thumb from a surgery. I like to call it my Frankenstein scar because you see all the stitches that once held my skin together. If you put a fish head and tail on either end, it would look like that cartoon of an eaten fish carcass, with only the middle bones showing.

I’m convinced that they shouldn’t have pulled out those stitches. It wasn’t time yet. After the surgery, they took each side and pulled them together, making a long, thin meeting line. The needle went in one side and out the other smoothly, just like my grandmother used to do with a rip in my pants. The two pieces of skin literally held on by a thread. You’re supposed to leave the stitches in for at least 5 days. I don’t remember how long they were in for, but they weren’t ready to come out. You can tell by the scar.

I asked if stitches hurt when they come out. Everyone I talked to said no, that it’s a small pinch and then it’s over. Well, they lied. I could feel every tug, as if each stitch was holding on by to the skin it had grown so fond of.

Kind of like I did with you.

It wasn’t time. I held on longer than I probably should have because I couldn’t let go. You might as well have had to pry each and every finger away from you just to get me to let go. It felt like you did. And it felt worse than the stitches, being pulled away from you. But this scar is invisible. The only time it really shows in on a date, or in a new relationship. Old insecurities rear their ugly heads, whispering horrifying words in my ear.

“You’re not enough.”

“You’re boring.”

“He never loved you.”

Words that someone else had said. Words that he said. Words that were created in my own mind. Words that do more damage than any stitch ever could.

But damn am I thankful that it’s only the Frankenstein scar that shows on the outside. Could you imagine how ugly we’d all be if our other scars did, too?

skeleton fish museum fish bones
Photo by Skitterphoto on

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