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Skin squares

I remember when I first heard about scarification. It was through this site, bmezine.com. I was searching up tattoos on yahoo images, and then found something that looked like a tattoo of a three dimensional outline of the tattoo. Even though I did not necessarily care for the design, it intrigued me. After looking at it, I noticed something. There was no elaborate shading that made it look third dimensional. There was no ink whatsoever. It was a scar!

Once I saw this image, I had to see more. I read about it a bit and found the name of what this was called. Scarification. I had never heard of it before. I was born into a very old fashioned and conservative family, so body art is very taboo in my house. No matter how beautiful or talented any work is in this field, to my parents it is "disgusting" and "shows what kind of an IQ someone has". Because their interests completely reflect how well they do in other things... yup, that's it.  

I began to look into it a bit more and saw a few images on how it was done. After reading some things on it, it sounded excruciating. Some people told me "it's a masochist's dream" or "it's not worth the pain, its just a stupid scar". But not to me. I read that it is irreversible. To me, that shows dedication, something that means so much that the mind is 110% sure that it needs to be a part of the body. The pain is just the obstacle.  

I have learned allot in my life about pain and fears. And the most important lesson I have learned is before I die, everything I had grown to love will no longer be mine except my body and mind. A little pain to decorate the only thing I truly possess in this world is not a bad thing. And it most certainly does not reflect any type of ignorance. The day that a higher pain tolerance shows weakness and inefficiency is the day that broccoli causes lung cancer. So after thinking for a bit, I convinced myself that I WILL have gone through the scarification process at least once in my life before I die. However, I knew nothing about what to expect. 

What to feel, what to think, what to do, how I will react, all these things are all that kept me from getting it done. So I came to realization that I am the only person who can control how much pain I inflict onto myself. I decided to test it on myself to see how I handle it, and so I have a small idea of what to expect. I got all the tools ready. My lighter, my x-acto blade, some rubbing alcohol, and the napkins. Now, I SUGGEST NOBODY TRIES THIS THE WAY I DID! My process left me wide open for infections, thank God I did not get any. 

I went to the bathroom. This is the only place I can go to be alone considering my room does not have a lock. I sat down and cleaned my arm. I put the rubbing alcohol on a napkin and rubbed it all over the area on my forearm I was going to cut. I then heated up the blade, cleaned it, then put it in rubbing alcohol and dried it. I decided to do a square on my forearm about big enough to fit a pencil eraser. For some reason, I can tolerate pain better when I do not panic and stay calm. So as I cut the square, I see a bit of  blood come out. I was surprised because I did not feel a thing. 

I began to cut over the lines deeper, and sure enough still nothing. It was great. It just felt like a scratch. However, once it reached the point where I had to remove the skin, then I felt it. The bad part was, I could not use tweezers or anything to pull the skin because the spot was right where my other hand could not reach. So all I could do was cut underneath it, and push it up with the blade. It was not as painful as I thought it would be, but that is because I was moving so slow. After a while, there was allot of blood though. 

I am not saying the process was painless. But it most certainly was not the pain I had expected. It was more of a very uncomfortable, VERY stressful type of feeling. If you have ever had someone help you stretch, that is what I mean. Lay down on your back and have someone else put one of your feet on their shoulder and have you straighten out your knee. Then have them lift the foot as high as they can. If you are not flexible, it DOES hurt. This is the kind of pain I felt, but not the kind you normally feel from a cut. The burning and stinging feeling was not there the entire time. Every now and then it would string for a second, but thats it. However, I did get used to the uncomfortable pain that lasted the entire time. 

If there is anything I learned from doing this, it is that my flesh is on me MUCH stronger than I thought it would be. It is harder to cut underneath the skin than it is to cut outside. Once I saw the layer of flesh overlapping a good portion of the blade, I became excited. It was almost done. The pain was not as excruciating as I was told, but I WAS doing it to myself and like I said I can tolerate it much better when it is me doing it like I said earlier. Once I was finished, I took off the skin and had it sitting on top of the blade. It was very interesting to see the hole on my forearm. I had never seen that part of my skin before. Once I cleaned off the blood, it was a white-ish pink color with wet lumps.  

I looked at the flesh and did not want to just throw it away or flush it. Hell, my mother gave it to me! So I decided to take it a step further and swallow it. There was not much of a taste to it, but it was a different feeling knowing there was human flesh in my mouth. It took several weeks to heal, I did not exactly count. My friends reactions were all the same when I told them about it. First it was "ew! why?!" then when they found out I swallowed it, "you're fucking sick." That was about 90% of the reactions I got. But when my mother saw it, she asked immediately "what the hell is that!" If it was a design, it would have gone to hell. But since it slightly resembled a burn mark since the edges had not healed into perfect 90 degree angles, I said "oh I got some solder on it when I was fixing my radio." She bought it, and it was left at that. Now, it does not look like much, but it will always  be there. 

I see knowledge when I look at it. Something no human anatomy class could have taught me. Even though I am sure the full process will be much more painful than this, I still want to get it done. I am planning on have a tribal lizard on the left side of my left calf. There is a long story behind it, but it is something I never want to forget. Once again, I suggest that nobody does it the way I did it.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 27 Nov. 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: my+bathroom
Location: chatsworth%2C+california

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