Friday, June 6, 2014

Every Scar Has Its Own Story.

Whenever we embark on new paths and journeys in our lives, the words you’re bound to hear from loved ones with certainty are ‘experience’ and ‘exposure’ for it will all be new. I think those two should come with a warning and a manual on how to act when you are exposed to something you have never come across in your 20 something years!
My work has been a wealth of exposure when it comes to disabilities and the people involved but nothing could have prepared me for Mark! He walked into the office and I literally got chills. I was freaked out at first and didn’t know how to react! I couldn’t stop myself from staring whenever he looked elsewhere and my mind was ripe with questions.
Mark is really tall, dark and slightly bigger in build with a diploma in Accounting and Finance. At first sight you hardly notice the scars running down the left side of his head and face. There is nothing wrong with him until you notice the hands. They are both overran by scars with the right being amputated at the wrist. You only see what is supposedly a palm.
His left hand is there except that what would be the backs of his hand and palm are attached to each other. With his index and little fingers embedded into it leaving his palm facing out with three functioning fingers. The thumb, middle and ring fingers.
It struggled to keep my eyes off him as the chills and fear disappeared. The scars on his face and hands seem to be a result of probably childhood burns. I remember talking about it with my friend and we both concluded on it being caused by a callous person. Someone with a heart of stone. Naturally, I told mum and she said it could have been a burn accident caused by childhood curiosity and not necessarily a person.
There is a saying about situations bringing out either the best or worst in us?! This had the potential to bring out the worst in me due to it being the first time I came across someone like Mark. Despite my feelings, I managed to greet him back with some semblance of normalcy. He is quite a likable guy with confidence. His lack of self consciousness puts you at ease and before you know it, you hardly notice the hands and the scars on his face.
I never ask people what brought on the disability and scars because I find it personally intrusive. You tend to remind people of the darkest years in their lives and the hellish experiences if it pertains burn victims. Questions bring all those memories back and if the person never got over being disabled and learned to live with it, the bitterness of what they are rears itself in their words and expressions. Much as I would like to know what his scars have to say, I would never ask him something so personal and painful.
This is someone who life has dealt a great deal of cards and to see him be confident in himself and who he is, is quite remarkable - something I appreciate as a three legged hussy! It is rare to find a person living with disabilities as confident and assured in their own skin because of the childhood torments and society.

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