I had a little jaunt into town today, forgetting it was….*drumroll please* new iPhone release day so there were hundreds of people queuing outside the Apple store. They’re probably still there now. At least there is a Starbucks kiosk nearby for refreshments, as well as the shopping centre security guards (yes really) making sure all was kept amicable.
Anyway, on the bus journey back a young mum got on with a child in a buggy. She was caked in make-up, false eyelashes, the works and her skirt was so short that you could nearly see what she had for breakfast. Various people were looking and muttering to themselves and she was acting oblivious to it all. I recognised that stance; when you have a child who looks as if they shouldn’t be in a buggy you get the stares, the nudges and that’s when you “turn the other cheek” so to speak.
So, I felt like a kindred spirit.
And then she gave her child a drink, lifting her arms and that’s when her scars were obvious. Scars that you recognise if you know someone who used to self-harm. Scars that the sun won’t tan because they’re too deep, criss-crossing over her arms like someone had bound some beige wool over and over.
And you realise that all the make-up and the bravado is a mask and how much she had overcome to let the world see those scars.
I wanted to reach out, to say “it’s ok and well done” but that bravado meant I’d probably have got a mouthful back so I just thought it instead.