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Sometimes the truth hurts

It has been months now since my first branding. I have had a good deal of time to reflect on my experience and the impact my first brand has had on me. I can't even think of how to describe this experience in its spiritual aspect. I didn't think anything could top it either, but then I got by second brand...a full back piece, wings from shoulder blade to shoulder blade and all the way down to the small of my back.

I first learned about branding when I was 17. Being to young to get one, I watched my boyfriend go through the experience after much persuading by me. My boyfriend fits perfectly into the category of adrenaline junkie. He loves the endorphin rush accompanied by pain. After the initial shock of the pen, he laughed his way though the rest, literally.

My experience was quite different. About a month after my 18th birthday, it was my turn. I picked out a design, the Chinese symbol for immortal, and the placement, the small of my back. Then we set the day. When it finally arrived I wasn't a bit nervous. I had seen one brand, but I really didn't have any idea in mind of what to expect. I find that by not anticipating what is about to happen, I' m not let down or overwhelmed. No music accompanied my way into that elevated state of mind. Nothing prepared my body for the shock of the red hot pen on the soft skin of my back. I could feel the heat split open my skin, but never a drop of blood . I could smell my flesh singe and burn, but I could see nothing. I could hear Alva (Richcreek) talking me through the tough parts and knew that I would be able to make it 'til the end. The fill on my branding was the hardest. I cried, I'm willing to admit that, but it was a good cry. The kind of crying that lifts your soul and lets out all the hurt you've been hiding down in there.

Overall, it was a very uplifting experience. I was left with the weight removed from my shoulders and a feeling that I could do anything I wanted. I know that I can overcome any obstacle to reach my goals and every time I think of my branding I remember that triumph.

My second brand, however, was a very different experience. I'm two days into the healing process as I write this and everything is fresh in my mind. I've wanted to have wings extend down my back since I was 15. Of course, at that time I always imagined it would be a tattoo. Then one day at the shop (Needle Fetish), I was looking through a book I've looked through probably 100 times before. I saw a picture of some ritual scarification on a tribe in Africa, they were lined up with their backs to the camera and they had beautiful scars all over them and I wanted it. I wanted my whole back covered in it. I love my first branding so much, the thought of having that all over my back was overwhelming. Alva said that he would love to do it, and I had Nick Wagner draw up the design. The day the wings arrived at the shop I got them done. My first brand, which is about the size of my hand, took about 20 min. with the pen. The wings took about 30 min. with the electric thingy (I can't e ver remember the name) turned up high. I did the whole piece at one time. It was very intense. Alva, Steve Truitt, and my boyfriend were there with me, I don't think I could ask for a better group of people to share that with.

This time, I realized things about myself that weren't so positive, but I learned the truth. It seems like through that pain, the truth is the only thing that can surface. Some times the truth hurts and I actually think that is what made the tears come to my eyes more so than the actual physical pain. Where to go from here with that knowledge, I don't know. But at least I know what I'm working with now. Healing is making me very tired, I'm taking vitamins and eating well, but dealing with such immense healing and the thoughts running around in my head is a difficult mix. I still wouldn't trade my experiences with branding for the world. I feel like I owe Alva so much for taking me to these places and allowing me to experience them. I don't know if I could even trust another person enough to brand me. (It isn't like there are any other people really doing it in Jax. anyway)

I love branding, at this moment its my favorite kind body mod, I've yet to try cuttings, however I plan on it. It really is an empowering experience. I felt more bullet proof after my first branding than this last one, but the circumstances were different. I'm empowered in a more solemn kind of way now, with knowledge about myself. But every time a person tells me how crazy I had to be to get a branding , I triumph over them. I have mastered my body in a way they never can because their mind is too closed to do so. My branding reminds me of how unique I am and how much I can actually do. I was branded, if I can do that I can do anything. No modification has compared to my branding, and I think none ever will.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Nov. 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: Alva+Richcreek
Studio: Needle+Fetish
Location: Jax.+FL

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