Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Assistance Distance

So every time I go to shave my legs, I notice this white scar on my knee. It isn't really noticeable or anything; it practically disappears when I stand up. I only really notice it when my knee is completely bent and my skin color is evened out from the hot shower water. A thin white scar, maybe two centimeters long, and for years I couldn't remember where the Hell it came from.

Seriously, it was a huge mystery. Because of it's size and intensity I always thought it was recent, maybe in the past five years or so. It's shaped liked all the other thin scars on my body, just maybe a little fatter, like a plumped worm. So its shape gave no clue as to where it came from. It looks like a cut, and it's kinda on the side, so there's no way it's one of the many scrapes I've had on my knee.

Then earlier today I remembered exactly where it came from. I can't believe I never connected my scar to that incident before. It's like the scar didn't show up for fifteen years or something.

See, my family was hanging out with Craig's family, and I was too young to be literate. This was during the time period that I decided that I wanted to live in my brother's room (while my brother was still there... I got bottom bunk). We were all at the beach. It was obviously a NorthWest beach, because of all the logs and because of the conifer trees. There was one log that we for some reason decided was a slide. Billy slid down it, Christina slid down it, Craig slid down it, and everyone had a great time with no trouble at all. I wanted to slide down it, too, even though I was "too little."

I couldn't get going like everyone else did. I'd scootch a little bit, but I wouldn't slide. I scootched a little more, and suddenly started screaming and crying and bleeding all over the place because there was this huge splinter sticking out of my knee. Mum and dad scooped me up, everyone got packed into the car, and our beach day was over. I remember taking a bath that night with Billy (because Billy was also too young to be literate), and mum pointed out that the splinter would need to come out soon as she shampoo'd my hair (I was also too young to wash myself). I looked down at my knee, which I was carefully keeping out of the water. It was dark blue and light green, and angry red where the peice of wood stuck out. It was a really big splinter. I said "No, it'll be fine."

Later that night, I was sitting on the bottom bunk of my brother's bed, and my dad had a pair of tweezers. He was going to pull splintzilla out of my knee. He gave it one tug, and I screamed as loud as I possibly could, crying all the way. Every time he'd give a little tug, I'd shreik. I don't remember it actually hurting, though, I just really didn't want to deal with it being pulled out of my knee. He got it out, and said that there might still be little splinters left in there. I cried and begged him not to do anythign about it, and he obliged. He put disinfectant on the wound, applied a bandage, and held me for a bit while I sniffled and sobbed. Then I went to bed.

Mystery of the scar: Solved.

I got hurt a lot in that time period of my life. That summer was particularly brutal. I think it was just because I was old enough to walk and talk, but not yet the master of my motor skills. But I also think there may have been something wrong with me, because I have very vivid memories of getting hurt and not feeling any pain. I essentially ripped all the skin off the front of my leg (with no scars, I might add) and I remember thinking, very clearly "It doesn't hurt, and I can't let anyone know about it." I tried to hide while my leg bled all over the place. What gave me the way was this uncontrollable urge to cry. I even tried not to cry, but it was a losing struggle. That same summer I sliced my thumb open with a metal knife. I didn't actually know I cut myself, but I had a feeling that I did. So I told myself that I was okay, took a deep breath, and looked at my hand. I remember the way the blood spiderwebbed across my hand made it hard for me to figure out where I had cut myself. I also had to taste the red stuff, because I thought it might have been ketchup. I didn't start crying until I confirmed I was actually hurt, and dad cleaned me up, put a bandage on it, and held me while I sniffled and sobbed. Then I ate dinner.

Nothing from back then left scars the way that splinter had, so it's really no wonder I had trouble connecting the scar to the splinter. But now I'm wondering if my pain receptors developed incorrectly, as it is a well-known fact that I have a high tolerance for pain.

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