Sunday, October 6, 2013


If you look at my face, I have a faint scar that crosses my forehead.  It doesn’t look like much, just a simple scar that goes across the right side of my forehead and then disappears along my brow-line.  The only hint as to the severity of the scar happens when I raise my eyebrows; my right eyebrow just doesn’t lift as high as the left one.
I got the scar on my forehead in an accident.  I was hit by an elderly driver while walking to work.  My head shattered the windshield and as a result, the flap of skin above my right eye was peeled down to the bone.  Thanks to the work of an excellent plastic surgeon, this injury looks like nothing more than an innocuous scar, one that merits only a passing notice, if at all.  For me, the only memory of this injury is the scar and the perpetual numbness of that area. 
I am twenty-eight years old.  I have been out of the Mormon Church for twelve years.  Most of the time, when I am going about my daily life, I don’t really think about the past much.  Time is the ultimate healer and for me, it has healed a lot.  Growing up Mormon is a hard burden to bear – I spent my childhood and teenage years feeling insufficient and fearing my doubts.  The process of leaving Mormonism, given the misconceptions surrounding people who leave, is also a hard burden to bear.  The experience has left its own kind of scar, one that is not visible.

I could get surgery to fix the scar on my forehead.  There isn’t much that can be done about the nerve damage but I could have the scar lightened, even removed.  But every time I think about the options, I find myself hesitating.  The truth is, scars are often a reminder of what we have survived.  I survived getting hit by a car.  I survived Mormonism.  And so I will wear these marks as a reminder of what I have survived. 

1 comment:

  1. You are beautiful to me! Your face, your mind, and your writing all show someone who lives life true to yourself, and loving to those around you!

    I do relate to the sense of having a part of yourself missing. I still can't feel my right foot and ankle, and while they work fine, the vast majority of the time, it still seems to be both there, and missing. I think life in general has some things that we can and can't fix, and choosing which to try to focus on, that is important.

    Whether a religion is a help in how you view the world, or if it impedes your view, finding a view that is beautiful and that leaves you feeling happy, isn't something that comes easily. We are all survivors in one sense or another.

    I would consider myself a survivor or Mormonism, but one who has decided to stay, at least for now. That you survived by leaving, is no less valuable. I would hope that most of us that have had difficult experiences with Mormon culture and doctrine, and who have survived to become our own people, can find ways to love and support each other, whether we are still members, on our way out, totally out, or somewhere in between.

    Whether our scars define us, or simply become an interesting story to share with those we trust, is what I hope for all survivors, whatever the trauma!


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