Journey By Skin Removal
Thursday November 2, 2006 eleven fifteen pm, in a warm and supportive surrounding was the awsome begining of a powerful skin removal process that by a spontaneous sickining yet life changing realization at therapy that day-(in a co-created safe space revealing itself to and with an intuitive angel steeped with experience and love), alter my views on body modification for me and is helping me to release an abusive past that I unfortunately continue to live with, despising wrestling with visions and flashbacks that I don't want to see and feel anymore. Amazing to me is the way my modification changed forms and changed meanings and changed my way in life.
My very first tattoo slowly machined into my flesh by a sweet super young tattoo artist Kim Seigh in Cleveland Ohio, in a large and cold Flats warehouse next to the Cuyahoga river more than twenty-nine beautiful,colorful, fun and meaningful tattoos and more years than I can remember ago, was to diefy my dead parents Betty and Gus. They had died separatly, different years and under different circumstances but now were melding in my psyche and heart as one entity. At that time in my life, I would have done anything for them, this included to die with them, (warped confluent connection). I had no idea that by this inking of mine with Kim, I was permanatly (at least at that time) marking a repressed time bomb of memories of sexual abuse by both of them with this sun tattoo.
The sun design, about 5x5, consisted of a black outline and rays, rainbow colors in the center an ankh and male symbol and yin and yang completing the piece... the body of the sun was about to begin to be forever peeled/ skinned from my body.
Shawn is an amazing being, radical, musical, respectful ,gentle,and as omnipresent as any body modifier could be. His lovely assistant for this project, Teresa, an apprentice in another form of body modification was to use much gauze to blot my crimson life's essence as it flowed from the cuts he would make.
Gaining my focus, The Rev and I breathe together, he gives me time and cues to compose between the cuts. Shawn began as if it were a scarification making two deep passes around the sun, no pain just warmth and a scratching sound, being as the tattoo is on my deltoid by my left ear, and then divided the released orb of tissue into quarters by two more long cuts horizontal and vertical...the piece was set for the removal...
I have had professional scarification done before by David V.(three triangles) and Debra Addington(a jagged spiral). I am also a cutter. I began after my parents died and as others have confided to either feel my pain of loss ,grief, anger, depression, or to deaden my pain and in my case at times to punish or feel safe. This addiction though I do not condone it AT ALL, stopped me from ending my life many a times. Scarification and skin removal are very different for me from cutting.
Now began the removal part- impulsively and speedily,I wanted the whole sun done that night but The Rev said lets see how it goes as it WILL be intense--he has a clearly beautiful rectangular skin removal of his own but said the process challenged even his incredible limits.
On our breath he sliced under the first quarter peeling from the center to the wider areas, I was breathing so audibly and hard I was speechless to the intensity of the moments evolving... i could feel the back and forth motion of the scalpel separating my tissue as he was getting to the edge part of the quarter... Made me think of the sawing motion one does to carve the thanksgiving turkey breast and the juices as they flow...he continued moving quickly and steadley with teresa tight to his side-- she kept the blood from obscuring his vision of the piece, until I, with a final scream of anger and relief originating in my gutteral throat and the recesses of my body he was done with that quarter... I was spent and requested not to go on... dissapointed..."pussy" i thought of myself after surviving the sexual abuse by my folks and couldn't take the rest of this scarification/removal... but The Rev instructed me differently... he said I can look anyone in the eye and they will see my intensity and not think i am weak. The remains that are to be removed appear
foreign as the cuts dissecting it and the newly removed piece create a new design for which I am grateful.
Now as i look upon the cuts and beautiful pink granulation tissue I wish I had gone on... I did push my boundaries... patience in the journey... live in the moment and cherish every one...
submitted by: Bodmod
on: 22 Nov. 2006