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my first self-done piece

I decided about a month ago that I wanted to do a scarification piece to resemble a time in my life. The last few years have been rough for me, I've had to deal with some things I wont go into, but I've had to deal with them on my own, which eventually led to self-harm, and I wanted something that related to my self-harming days, but was not actually directly self-harming.

First I had to decide what it was that I wanted to put on my body, it was a tough decision as due to it being a scarification it would be there for a long while, maybe even there for life, so it needed to be important. Eventually I decided on a piece that used both my hands, but could be passed off as accidental (as my parents wouldn't be too stoked if they found out I done it, they don't even know i used to self harm). The piece would be a long vertical line on my left hand (to resemble the path I had taken, steep, erratic and long) and a shorter horizontal line on my right hand (to resemble the path I am on now, smoother, more orientated but ultimately shorter as I only turned things round recently).

Once I had decided upon the piece I wanted I needed to find

a) an instrument to do it with

b) a place to do it

c) a way to pass it off while I aggravated it.

All three problems came together at once really. The solution to (a) was fairly simple, I had two choices, one was a piece of scrap metal I had found at school, though I eventually dismissed this as the risk of infection was high, or a sharp pin I acquired from my part-time job, which I eventually used, because it was cleaner, easier to hide and generally more hand-friendly.

The solution to (b) was also not too hard as there is a period of time between me getting in from sixth form, and going to work where I can have some time to myself, even though there are others in the house - they just tend to leave me be so I can wind down and chill out.

The solution to (c) was slightly more difficult. Eventually I got round it by wearing gloves a lot (its winter right now) and wearing long sleeve tops so I can pull the sleeves over my hands, and if asked about them I just say I done them at work (as i have to occasionally handle sharp objects).

Now down to the actual scarification itself.

I sat down in my bathroom with my instrument, a bottle of water (in case I felt ill), a cloth and a tube of antiseptic cream, and I was sitting next to the sink.

I traced the lines onto my hands to get them exactly where I wanted them and when I was happy, took the instrument to my hand and prepared myself for the pain, which in fact I didn't feel.

It may have been due to an incredible adrenaline rush I had, or mainly because I wanted it so bad that i didn't feel it.

Anyways, after the first cut, I put some of the antiseptic cream on it and proceeded to dent in the other hand, which I did in the same way.

Once I had repeated the process on my left hand I started to carve out the dent into a deeper niche, which hurt a little more, but again, not really that bad at all, and this time I drew blood, and a fair amount of it, so I wiped it off with the cloth and then put some cream on it, to kill any bacteria that could cause any infection. I then did the same on my right hand.

I looked at my hands and decided they needed one more cut each to get them to the way I wanted them. So I took the instrument to my hand for a final time and tugged away like I had before, only this time it hurt a lot more, maybe due to the fact it was flesh, rather than actual hardened skin. Anyway, yet again I repeated the cloth and cream process on the hand, and then exactly the same on the other, I then poured the water over them and re-creamed them just to kill anything that may have decided to lurk in there.

A couple of days later they scabbed over and I knew I had to aggravate it to get what I wanted. So every time it has scabbed over since I have pulled and scratched and done everything possible to aggravate it and now its looking pretty good, a little reddish and sore still but otherwise it looks good and I am very happy with it.

I love it because it represents something only I and the other person involved knows about, but only I know what my piece means, and how far I've come, and I'm glad I have something that I can have to treasure the fact that I did it my way, forever.

Just a word of warning. This is not the way to scar yourself, I've been lucky that it hasn't gotten infected and that's a risk I took, so be sure that if you are considering doing it then do it cleanly and safely.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Dec. 2006
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: my+room%2Fbathrrom
Location: ipswich%2C+england

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