So I went English Country Dancing with Jenny last night. It was a blast. I really love doing things with her, especially classy things, like dances from Jane Austen Novels. It was a great evening. Until it wasn’t.

When we were done dancing, one of the other gentlemen asked me about my scar. Now, as you can see in the picture below, this is a honking big scar. It is, of course, the scar from my self inflicted cut before my last hospital visit. It is bright, it is bold, and I knew someone was going to ask about it eventually.

Photo from my iPhone Subject: me

Photo from my iPhone Subject: me

I did not expect my reaction, however. I froze. I looked at Jenny, with a decidedly deer-in-the-headlights look, wondering what I should say. I said to him “Let’s just call it an accident.” I also never would have guessed his reaction. He insinuated that he thought Jenny did it for sexual reasons, which she immediately made clear was not the case. I think I left him pretty confused. Hell, I’m still confused.

I began to panic, and it occurred to me that, although I am happy to share my mental health issues with most people, obviously, I was not willing to go there with this man. I think I was afraid. It just doesn’t seem fair that I didn’t feel like I could be myself. But I could have been, and I should have been. I have made up my mind to always be honest about why I have that scar, and have encouraged Jenny to be open about it as well.

I plan on pulling that man aside sometime soon, and explaining where it came from, and why I was hesitant to talk about it. I’d like you all to remember something. Just because I am so open and honest for all of you, all that doesn’t mean shit unless I can be honest with myself, and those in my everyday life.

Remember that I’m not perfect, and I don’t have to be. By extension, you don’t have to be perfect either. Keep it honest, but also keep it positive. Carry on.

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  1. It’s very hard to talk to strangers without quite a bit of context. Perhaps you were having a good time and didin’t want to go into detail right at that moment. To be honest, a stranger, or someone you’ve just met should have the courtesy to waiti until they know you better to ask about body marks. Just sayin’.

    Don’t beat yourself up because of this. It happens.

    • I’m not going to beat myself up too much. I just like blanket policies. It’s easier to treat everyone the same, whether or not I know them. My biggest problem was that I hadn’t set up a blanket policy yet.

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  3. I can understand your reaction. It’s much easier to open up about mental health issues when we’re sitting at home with a shield of computer screen in between us and the other person. We have a chance to think about what we want to share and how we want to share it. It’s very different when we’re out somewhere and, completely out of the blue, we are asked a question about something as personal as a scar. I’m a strong believer in the blanket policy as well, but I always forget to “cover” something, so there is the inevitable deer-in-headlights moment from time to time. I agree with your notion to talk to the man about it in the near future. Good luck!

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