“Scar Tissue” #TBT

*Every Thursday, I will post a blog post from my tumblr about the beginning of my year in Brazil*

Originally published here September 2014. 

Keloids are scars that don’t know they’ve healed, therefore they keep growing and growing. Producing skin until the original wound is covered in a thick protruding smooth to the touch layer of skin. Keloids are usually found in people with a lot of melanin in their skin, it’s genetic. How your mom healed is how you heal. How your family copes is usually related to how you cope. I have come to Bahia to cope/heal. Hopefully end the healing process mentally and emotionally so that my body can catch up and stop producing keloids.

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My scars are along the top of my chest and some reach my navel. They started out as shaving bumps or pimples, generally gross but manageable bodily functions. They morphed into sources of shame and deep physical discomfort. The ones on my chest have actually grown more because I’ve had them “treated”. Halter tops are my go to top not only because they show of my shoulders but because I’m tired of watching people’s eyes dart between my eyes and my scars. I’m starting to think I will never be able to get rid of them. My last resort is to make peace with my body, the way it is, now. This is why I came to Bahia. 

About 4 months ago I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Media and Communication Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.Throughout those years I…

considered suicide seriously but choose anti depressants/fell in love and dealt with it being unreciprocated/began therapy/experienced the death of the person I gave my virginity to/continued acupuncture/cut off my dreadlocs/studied abroad/had a pregnancy scare/lost valuable friendships to acts I considered unforgivable

Luckily, I spent most of my time in college utilizing the free mental health services as well as continuing the acupuncture that I began in high school. College was the beginning of my commitment to healing. It was in college that I realized how I…

use “work” as a drug/am afraid of being abandoned so I never commit/do not have a strong spiritual foundation/view my art as a tool for attention and love/used my poetry as a means of distancing myself from romantic options/don’t trust 

It wasn’t until my last semester in college after I had studied abroad in Ecuador that I even realized the aforementioned about myself. I was seeing my acupuncturist weekly and we were doing really good work and I realized my own mind was the source of a lot of my pain. Sure things had happened to me, people lied and left but I made the choice everyday to ruminate and rehash those emotions. I was addicted to the drama of it all and it cost me time and energy. I was over it. I am over it. I’m ready to let go.

Brazil is a country I’ve been obsessed with since I saw the film “City of God” in middle school. My love grew as I learned how it’s home to the largest population of African descended people in the Americas but you could never tell that from mainstream media.  The “Black Power” movement here, just started in 1980. With a new rising middle class, primarily of black people and a booming film industry Brazil made sense as a my post college move.

Salvador, Bahia appealed to my budding spirituality. I’m looking for something a little less colonized to believe in. (No shade to Jesus) and Bahia is home to various practices like Orisha and Candomble. I know of many black folk who came to Bahia to get a healing. Maybe someone here can tell me what I need to do to accept myself scars and all.  

photo credit: Asia Jones

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