i have to tell you something: i love my scars. i still keep them hidden from other people, my family especially, but when i'm home alone i wear short sleeves so i can stare at them and enjoy them. i love them and i want more. i feel like they are evidence: i want to show them to others so i can say "see, i've been through a war. just look at the scars, and look at me. i survived. it wasn't easy, but here i am" but the thing is, i don't expect anyone else will have that interpretation. perhaps they will think i am sick. maybe they will be grossed out. i don't know, and i kind of don't want to take the chance. so for now i cover up. i have scars from my first suicide attempt, when i was 16 (do the math, yes, that's 26 years ago). i have scars from when i was raped at knifepoint when i was 20. i have scars from surgery i had when i broke my ankle at 22. and i have many, many scars from all the cutting i did until from 14 to 29 - and which i started again 6 months ago. i want to write a poem to my scars, thanking them for keeping me alive. 'cos that's how it feels.