We Were Meant To Feel Pain
The most commonly asked question that modified people get from the mostly non-modified public is: why?
I was sitting with one of my closest friends in the world last night, we were up all night attempting to finish an essay he had due the next day. We stopped to take a break from the massive amounts of writing he was doing--and I was helping with--and I took him to bmezine.com just to give him an insight as to the kinds of modification I am interested in, as well as a glance as to what the modification culture involves.
My dear friend is a devout Christian at heart and we have been extremely close friends for years and years. Though he is a very open-minded Christian (as open-minded as a devout Christian could be), he looked upon most of the pictures and rituals on BME as "not normal", "strange", and, my favorite, "these people need help". I was showing him, mostly to see him curl up into a fetal position in pain, various male genital piercings and some CBT, as well as eunuch and castration practices. I also showed him some female genital piercings I was interested in, which he took to with a better reaction, of course.
Then I showed him pictures of suspension and scarification. His immediate reaction was "why???". I gently explained that suspension is generally viewed as a very spiritual experience, and people do it for a variety of reasons. I mentioned an experience I had read, which had sparked my interest in getting suspended myself. He looked at me like I was nuts.
The scarification pictures were taken with a more subdued and concerned tone from him. As I have a history with self-injury (though that was years ago), he was concerned for my mental well-being. He explained that since we had dealt with something similar to this before, any good friend would ask just to be sure that I was ok before going through with such an extreme, and comparable, modification such as this.
After reassuring him that I was ok, and over that phase in my life, I told him that my interest in scarification runs deep in my history of SI. Back when I had no other way to deal with my pain, SI was my escape, yet I feared it at the same time. I would constantly wish and pray that I didn't have to turn to that to deal with life. To this day I get nervous if someone says the word "cut" or "wrist". It frightens me, and I am truly afraid of anything that I may have used in the past to satisfy my "escape".
Scarification is a way to embrace my fear and overcome it. If I can make something beautiful out of something that I once viewed as so ugly, and I can use the pain not in a way to deal with life, but instead in a way to experience and embrace my pain in relation to my life--and I can survive--then I can overcome my fear. This would be my way of healing my soul from the damage I did to it so long ago.
He seemed to understand, yet the spiritual aspect of all of this still eluded him. I tried to explain that people--for the most part--participate in any kind of body modification for the sake of feeling and embracing and accepting pain as a normal part of life. We feel pain for a reason; it makes us stronger human beings, and we learn a little more about ourselves each time we are pushed to a limit.
Suspension and scarifications are two limits that I would not mind pushing myself to. I have tattoos, and I have piercings, but the pain I have experienced from those are not remotely close to my emotional and physical "pain limit". I told my friend that to really understand myself, I need to see how far I can go--how much I can take--what I can do. This past year has been a rough one, lots of ups and downs, and it has made me realize that my emotional limits can take a lot more than I originally thought they could. I have no doubt that if I participate in suspension or get a scarification piece, I will surprise myself at how much pain I can survive.
So why would I need to go through it if I already know I'm going to survive it, overcome it? I need to prove it to myself. I need to feel that pain that tells me I am still a human being and I am meant to be feeling pain in one aspect or another. It is the reason humans feel pain, we are supposed to feel it in our lives. Why not embrace and accept it?
Though my dear Christian friend is still a little shaky at the photos of the more extreme modifications that I showed him, I believe he has a clearer understanding to the simple question "why?" now. Perhaps this will answer that "why?" question for others who are wondering the same thing while skimming through these pages on BME. Some of us may need help, and some of us may be strange and not normal, yet we accept pain and voluntarily go through it to make our spirits that much stronger.
Oh, and we never got the essay done.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Dec. 2005