Cutting to understand cutters
Don't reproduce what I've done. I did it to understand more about different things in life. I also look forward to be a body piercer, I have my first aid course and I've started an apprenticeship. I have basic courses on several medical related topics. PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS, IT'S NOT A GAME, IT'S YOUR LIFE THAT'S ON THE LINE!
In February I had an internship, sadly I had some problems with my coworkers. Most of them treated me like an outsider, and made me feel like shit. I could barely do anything else than sit down and watch. Gladly I had some friends around who helped me get trough these 3 weeks of hell.
One of them was also a BME addict and we oftenly checked on BME for such and such projects that would be interesting. We've spend hours on the site browsing for tattoos, piercings and scarification. We've also checked several different articles. Her favorite was "Lord of the Blade". She liked it because it was showing a face of cutting. I got interested in it too. First because it's well written and interesting, but also because it gave me an idea of what is cutting.
When my 3 weeks were over I moved back at my place. Even if I was away, one question remained in my mind, why is she cutting? Stupid question? I doubt, most of the people I showed my scars asked me the question "Why?" So it can't be that stupid. According to what I knew from piercings and tattoos, I had to try to really understand why people would cut them self. So I ordered a pack of scalpel from BMEshop.
A week later it was in. I took a day to settle down from the excitement, and the next day I took a peek at my new toys. I opened a #11 scalpel and tried to feel how sharp it was by running it perpendicularly to my thumb. I tried to cut with it trough some orange peel. I knew it was nothing like human skin but it was a first impression that I tried to get. I put the scalpel away in a sharp bin and waited for the right moment.
I was ok with the scalpel. I thought it was good to perform a skin removal and I decided to go for it. I got my environment sterile, like I learned from my piercer. And I was ready to cut, but cut what? I hopped on my computer and looked for something interesting. At first I liked 5 intercrossing circular barbells used on BME shirts. But I figured it was too complicated. Surfing trought pictures on yahoo, I somehow came across a trisquel: Interesting since I looked over the Celt tradition in my spiritual quest and it refers to the power of 3 goddesses. Murphy's Law says: Every solution brings a new problem. And so it was that night. I had a design, but how could I do a transfer? I knew my tattoo artist was using some goo to do his transfers (now I know it's mainly a mix of a green soap, alcohol, E vitamin, and he has some special transfer paper). So I tried the tattoo goo, sadly it didn't work at all. So I changed pens, maybe the ink wasn't good, yet with no result. I hopped on the net and looked for anything that could help me. And found interesting information: The alcohol in the goo helps to transfer the drawing. So on for the friction alcohol. It worked! Blurry, sure, but I had something to start with!
So I started once again and sterilized my work station as much as I could, and started my cutting. The burning sensation made me feel like I should stop right there, but I had to finish it. Every single strike, I felt several layers being cut apart. Each strike hurting more then the previous one. The thirty strikes design took about 35 minutes to get it done. My calf was burning so badly! I just felt like shit. And I thought I could do skin removal! Once it was over, I took a shower, letting the water flo to wash away the dried blood. I put a bandage and went to bed.
The next day really showed how uneven my work was. Many spots were too shallow, the skin healed overnight. So I took a new scalpel and to re-cut. This time it took about 15 minutes. To my relief, it was not as bad as the fist time around.
Third day: I still have some signs of shallow cuts, so I re-cut it. I told a friend on IAM about it. She tells me about irritation, and how to use a tooth brush and friction alcohol/peroxide on it. I put forward the peroxide brush on that night. It's not as painful as I thought it could be but not fun to do, either! I figured that if there was any infection, the peroxide should minimize it.
Fourth day: Cut again and the peroxide scrub. But the skin gets dry, so I put some Tattoo Goo. It helps for the dry skin of a tattoo, so why not for the scar?
Fifth day: re-cut, peroxide, Tattoo Goo. I'm hoping that I won't be stuck doing this everyday; even though it takes only 5 minutes, it's not that pleasant. I like the look of it when its flesh red, but it gets annoying to cut, and I'm running out of scalpels!
Sixth day: This is it. I get the scalpel out, and cut it over, and over again. I think I've run over the design 6 time or so. There was some bleeding before, but not like this time. I took some wipes and soak it in friction alcohol, and wiped the blood with it. If it kills cells, it shall kill some skin cells and help to scar, right?
I brush the scar about 3 times a day until the peroxide stops reacting (I believe it's about a week after the last cut). It's not the best looking scar I've seen but now I know why people cut themselves. The hormones going into your bloodstream give you a rush comparable to some drugs. I don't think that cutting is bad. I've learned that it can be addictive (on my seventh day I had a craving). I think that cutting problems away, like my friend did, is not the solution. Sure it helps to cope, but running away is never a solution, and hiding is not a solution, either. There is help out there, and don't be afraid to look for it! As I see it now, I don't think that cutting is bad; I did more cutting and I have plans to do some more. However, I plan what I'm doing, and I don't do it because I'm emotionally unbalanced, but because I think it can enhance my body.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 April 2005