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Scarification, Is it just and art form?

Scarification, Is it just and art form?

At A Glance Author anonymous Contact [email protected]

The experience that I can remember

to be my first with scarification occurred in my grade 8 music class. I was sitting at my desk bored out of my mind and I found an old, rusty nail that had fallen on the floor. I picked it up, examined it, caressed it, then used it. I began to stroke it up and down my forearm watching it dance amongst the hair. Then I began to press a little harder and harder and harder until the girl sitting next to me screamed out loud because I was bleeding. The teacher made me go to the nurse and get a Band-Aid, and along the way I stared at what I had just done in complete amazement. This was my new friend, this was "cool". For as long as I can remember my parents have been against tattoos, claiming that if I ever got one I'd have to pay to get it removed. Six tattoos later I still have yet to visit a surgeon, but that's besides the point. Scarification served the same purpose, to me anyway. If I can't get a tattoo, I'll just cut a design into my body.

I only made straight cuts oddly enough and my cutting got to the point where I had to make excuses for it. "Oh, that. Uh I got it playing hockey" was the common response and it worked too, until I quit hockey. As time went on the excuses became less and less believable since the scars I made would never have been made from playing hockey. I actually quit playing hockey because of the scars that I had. I didn't want to have to face a bunch of ignorant assholes continually asking me what I had done to myself, with the common response being "Shit, you're psycho" Scarification had become a way of life for me. During school, after school, I would cut. It always made me feel better about the way my life was going. It helped me cope with the way I was feeling, no matter what it was. Depression, suicide, guilt, whatever.

Scarification was always there for me when I needed it. It also helped me "toughen up" whenever the occasion called for it. I used it to psyche myself up before playing football by cutting my self and continually chanting kill, kill, kill. However it got to the point where I would only cut to feel better,not because I was curious. After the death of a grandparent I cut a band into my right arm trying to prevent my self from crying over the loss. As the blood dripped down my arm I was reassured that everything was going to be OK. After getting into a fight with a sibling and after a few suicide attempts I branded both my right shoulder and arm with a blow torch and screwdriver, vowing to never again hurt a family member like the way I just did.

It was then when I realized what I had gotten myself into. I had fallen into a way of dealing with problems which was very self-destructive and unhealthy.I decided to tell my parents what I had been doing for the past 6 years (I opened up in my fifth year of high school) My parents of course didn't take this too well, but they were very supportive in helping me find different ways of coping. I went to group therapy sessions and realized that I was a self-injurer, using scarification as a method of coping similar to an alcoholic who drinks to help him with his problems. Scarification was just as addictive. How do you retrain yourself to cope with problems in a different way when the current way works so well? It's hard, very hard. 10 weeks in group therapy and I still have to fight back the urge to this day. The group sessions helped me realize that I was just passing off my self-injury as body art and failed to acknowledge the fact that I was harming myself. This brings me to the main point of this article. Scarification should be done to beautify your body and express yourself and for those reasons only. Not to be tough, not to help cope with pain. There are plenty of ways to cope with pain that are much healthier than cutting. You can go for a run, bike ride. You can paint, express yourself artistically, or just go scream somewhere(that works real good) just make sure that you're not harming your body as a means of feeling better. I'm not saying that scarification is bad, there are some very good artists out there who do good work, all I'm saying is that if you are considering scarification make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. You put yourself in great danger by cutting on your own and run the risk of infections, hospitalization and even death if you're not careful. So please if you're interested in scarification go see a professional who will do it in a safe atmosphere, and most importantly only do it for the right reasons.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 May 2000
in Scarification

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