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.