Self-done collarbone cross
Like a lot of people on here, my first experiences with scarification were self-done, as a result of depression. I don't really consider most of them to be body modification, more like self-injury, and I don't even really like most of them, with a few notable exceptions like this one. Bear in mind, I don't recommend cutting yourself, especially not under such unsterile conditions. At the time, I didn't particularly care about my own safety, and was willing to do some pretty damn stupid things.
The only one of my scars that I really consider to be a body-mod came out of the period when I was cutting myself regularly for psychological reasons. Unlike most of them, however, I had a very specific desire to make this one, that was so strong and lengthy I eventually gave in despite my fear of it being seen. Thankfully I used a magic marker to check on the visibility of what I had in mind first, or I would've wound up with a big, hard-to-hide scar. I checked my marker sketch in the mirror and discovered it was impossible to hide under a shirt collar. I also think my first idea would have been less aesthetically pleasing, as it was too big and didn't fit in with that part of my body.
The scar is high on my chest, almost on my collarbone. It's centred under the hollow of my throat, half an inch or an inch below where the bone starts. It's a small Christian-style cross, one inch by half an inch, and sadly a little bit crooked. It's definitely not a religious statement, since I hadn't been Christian for several years before the first time I cut it. It's really more aesthetic. I like the look of it, especially where it is, in line with the long axis of my body with the crossbars mimicking my arms outspread, which is why I've never recut it into an equal-armed cross or something more in tune with my current religion. I also like the way the whiteness of it looks against my skin, which is already fairly pale.
I had to do it in front of a mirror, obviously, and I used an art knife. It was not especially deep, but I scar easily and I retraced it several times (I have to say, the feeling of cutting through scar tissue is extremely strange). I had to lean forward over the bathroom sink to see clearly, and I have a pretty amusing mental picture of myself leaning forward, one leg stuck out back for balance, staring fixedly at my collarbone with a look of comical concentration on my face ... I was probably sticking my tongue out the corner of my mouth. Definitely not the kind of atmosphere you'd want from a professional ... and I probably won't be doing any future scarifications on my own!
I don't think I gave it any special aftercare -- I probably taped a bandage over if it keep the blood off my clothes. It's been so long I honestly don't remember if I picked at the scab, but I probably did, though I do know I didn't rub anything in it. I didn't remove any skin; it was just a simple line cutting with a fairly thin knife. I like this about it -- I've never liked body-mods that were "filled in", especially tattoos ... I prefer just an outline or line drawing, and the tattoo I'm planning will definitely be only that.
I've had it mistaken for a suture mark from a mole removal, which makes me think that I'm the only one who notices the unevenness of the crossbars. It's a white, slightly raised scar like most of mine turn out, and I can feel it if I run my fingers across that area, which I sometimes do if I'm nervous or distracted. As far as I can tell (it's pretty small) I still have feeling in the scar, though cutting through it was a very different thing to the first time I did it -- the redoings didn't hurt as much, and the tissue seemed ... I can't think of a way to describe the way the knife moved through it, it was almost crunchy, definitely thicker than regular skin.
I'm thinking in a vague way about getting something to frame it, like the collarbone scrollwork I've seen here on the site. I like the idea of decorating that part of my body, especially the collarbone, which has always been one of my favourite parts of myself, but I want something more subtle and organic than a tattoo -- the nipple piercing I have planned will be enough contrast for me. I also want symmetry in my body-mods, and as this one is centred, something out on each side would be a good way to get more balance. My only concern about this is that all the pictures I've seen so far have been much angrier-looking and less subtle than I like -- hopefully this is just a matter of the scars being new, or of them being skin-removal scarifications, as I really like the thin, white appearance of my cross and would want to get something in that vein.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 July 2005