healing: the difference between wounds and scars

over the last month or so i’ve had two conversations with friends (jason and camilo) about healing, wounds, and scars. there’s a lot to unpack and i don’t totally remember which conversations i had with each of them but let me just get into the points:

first, opening up wounds so they can heal is a tricky thing. just like with actual bodies, if you open up a wound and don’t have the right skills and tools to handle what you find, you can actually cause more and new harm. healing work is serious and has to be handled with care. i think camilo was telling me about a situation where someone(s) was(were) retraumatized in a conversation that went too far about past hurts. so it’s possible.

and yet, for me, that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. it just means real care needs to be taken because it’s nontrivial work.

second, every wound can’t be healed. i’m positive that that’s a jason thought. he basically was saying in that moment that not everything is still an open wound. sometimes wounds just heal up and become scars.

and that’s that. they just are what they are.

now, we can choose to learn from our scars. the burn marks we have hopefully teach us lessons and maybe the scar tissue that prevents mobility reminds us not to overstretch next time. the scars can definitely be instructive but they can’t be removed.

knowing the difference between and old scar and a fresh wound does seem pretty important to me now that i’ve had these two conversations. especially because sometimes i think people (i know i have done this before) want to go back to their own or others’ past hurts and open them up. i have done that with the intention of healing but if it’s too far gone, it actually just creates a new wound. and that’s absolutely not helpful. and with some healing, if it’s too far out and the people involved in the harm aren’t around anymore, the steps that need to be taken to heal may not even be possible. that’s a clear case to me that the scar needs to form and moving on needs to occur. making sure things don’t heal wrongly is definitely something to watch out for, but the healing without a scar just isn’t possible in some circumstances.

v interesting.

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