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Embracing My Scars: A Celebration

Last Thanksgiving weekend marked the 20th Anniversary of my survival from a major car accident. In 1995, me and my family were headed back to East St. Louis from spending Thanksgiving with my aunt in Orlando. Me, my mom, my dad, and sister were riding through the mountains of middle Tennessee. It was a late night. I was asleep in the backseat. My sister and dad were sleep. And my mother was driving. Something happened with the car and I was ejected from the van, through the window, and across the highway.

I was told that I rolled down a steep hill and then started to climb back up. Due to the nature of the accident, I was statistically supposed to die. From my middle torso to my upper neck was all flesh. My skin had been peeled off of me. I don’t really remember much about the event, but I remember hearing parts and pieces. I didn’t see anything and I didn’t feel any pain.

I was helicoptered to the nearest Children’s Hospital in Tennessee. It was there when I came to. I had no head injuries. No deep cuts or punctures. The skin on my chest had been stapled back together. My eye had been stitched. My life was spared.

…this scar was a part of me. And that it represented a part of my story. I now embrace it fully.

When I got back home, I was so thankful and grateful to still be alive. But, now I had to deal with these scars. These ugly scars. My mom always told me that the scars were a reminder that God had a purpose for my life. I believed her, but it didn’t make the scars go away. I didn’t want the scars. I didn’t like the scars. None of my other classmates had scars. I was already different and now I have these ugly scars on me.

I used to be so embarra6E5A0281ssed and ashamed growing up. I never wanted to show the scar on my chest. I never took my shirt off while playing basketball. I always kept a shirt on when I went swimming. I didn’t want people to ask me about the scar. I didn’t want any sympathy and I didn’t want to explain. I just wanted to be normal just like everyone else.

I started to accept my scars more the older I got. It was almost a cool thing in high school and college. But I still wasn’t confident in showing it. It wasn’t until much later in life that I started to except that this thing happened to me. That this scar was a part of me. And that it represented a part of my story. I now embrace it fully. And I think it’s pretty dope, if I do say so myself. This photo shoot is a celebration of not only the 20th Anniversary of my survival, but the total acceptance of my scars.

I now look at my scars and see beauty where I once saw ugliness and deformity.

We all have scars that we hide. Scars that we don’t want anyone to see because we’re so ashamed and afraid. But, we have to not only accept them, but embrace those scars…because they are a part of our story. When you heal with your scars and share them, you can help someone else heal with their scars.

These are my scars.

All photography by Darius B Williams.

 

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There are 51 comments

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  1. Sabrina Stewart-Scott

    What a wonderful testimony, God definitely has a purpose for your life. I am so glad you are still here to show others how to persevere even after tragedy. I love you!!! ~Sabrina

  2. AZ

    Absolutely amazing.. I’ve always said I loved the scar on your face because it gave you something.. And now that I know the full story.. I’m even more inspired by you.. Plus them uncle shots are everything !

  3. Terel Key

    Wow! Man God totally had a plan for your life. I feel that you are living in that purpose right now. I’m blessed to be able read this and to know you. Your story will bring someone else out their embarrassment as well. Continue to touch lives my brother. Continue to do what God gifted you with. Much success to ya. {{~nods head~}}

  4. Jenee Carr

    Great Testimony! Very inspiring! I’m glad your life was spared because I would have never got a chance to meet a person as unique as you!

  5. Tiffe Graham

    B….. This is everything!!! I look forward to the day I can embrace my scars the way you are embracing yours. Some days are better than others but I’m getting there. Love you sooo much for this….this is everything!!!!

    • Eso Tolson

      Tiff!! Thank you for those words!! It wasn’t easy to get here!! But, it was necessary!! You’ll embrace your scars sooner than you think. Know your purpose and live it. Again, Thank you!!

  6. Onna

    Your story is inspiring and your strength is very admirable. I imagine the journey you’ve experienced helped to shape your creativity; gave you a tenacious and courageous spirit to push forward. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. I imagine you have already changed many lives by simply existing and being yourself. Keep being great!

    • Eso Tolson

      ONNA!! Thank you for that!! It wasn’t easy getting here, but very necessary!! This was a very humbling experience for me. I’m glad to share it with the world. Thank you again for the love!!

  7. Olivia

    I wish I had your confidence and strength. In ’84 I broke my leg in 3 places. Both fibula and tibia. I had to have pins to hold them together. Was in a bent leg cast for 6 months and had to learn to walk again. I have the ugliest of scars on my ankle. And because it is on my ankle I don’t wear shorts or dresses without boots. They swell and I don’t feel like answering the questions. I’m working on getting there though. Thanks for your story.

    • Eso Tolson

      It’s all a process!! I mean, it took me almost 20 years to fully embrace my scars. Revealing them doesn’t mean I’ll be walking around shirtless from now on. Lol. It was more of a celebration and acknowledgement that…you know…I’m aight with what happened and I embrace it. I just hope that I can inspire others in the process of learning to walk in my truth. Thank you for sharing!!

  8. Tundrea

    I can not thank you enough for sharing your truth with everyone.
    I can’t imagine a world without you, so I’m extra, EXTRA grateful that God spared your life. Love you, dear one!

  9. Edna Donald

    Brandon, this is very inspirational and I’ve always been curious about your story and I am glad you have shared your story with the world. I am so glad to know you and can not wait to see what you do in the next 20 years. Love you!!!

  10. Camille

    I love you, B and your testimony just gives me more insight into the beautiful soul you are. God saw fit to spare your life at a young age, because He knew that your life had a purpose that had not fulfilled yet. He put a gift inside of you that He wanted you to share with the world. You are destined for greatness. Those that care for and love you will be right here to celebrate with you when it fully manifests. Now, if I could only get you to respond to text messages…??

  11. Eso Tolson

    WOW!! Thank you those words, Camille!! I’m just walking in my truth in hope that others will walk in theirs. You know!? I’m still working on that text message thing, tho. Love me where I’m at!! LMBO!!!


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