DISCLAIMER I wrote this with a few things and references that have nothing to do with modification. So all know, I am a story Teller in a way, and feel that sometimes, things need to be added to relate to some things, ideas, places, and time. That is just the way I think. **
How did it start? How did I come to the decision to become has my mother and father put it after I had done it "Another piece of Meat on a hook in a freezer?" I will be honest; it was not an easy decision. It is better to start where my obsession began with body modification.
When I first discovered BME, I was 20. I had just moved back to Florida after a hellish stay in Southern Ohio, and Southern Michigan for close to a year. That was back in the days when "freeq" was in the web address (Yes, I have been reading BME since then but I know of others that have been reading longer). Of course I had been looking into getting my first tattoo, and at that time, my second non gun piercing. I had already had my labret in place, and I was ready for more. While I looked at all the artistic talents of various artists, I came upon things that I had never seen before. My thoughts at the time were like this:
Tongue Splitting!? Scalping!? Superincision!? Teflon Implants!? AMPUTATIONS!!?
Of course now I see it all has a form of art, beauty, and happiness, especially after reading many experiences, looking for answers to the questions of "why?" I was mesmerized by all that I had read and seen. Granted, I would never even think of doing some of them. To my process of showing my heart, some of them I know for a fact are not part of my transformation. But I will never look down on them. I have major respect for anyone that takes the extra steps to modify themselves has they know they should, and see fit.
When I came upon the suspension section, I was in more familiar territory. I had seen them plenty of times on TV, with Eric (The Lizardman), and many others and in the Tattoo magazines that I had. I looked at the many pictures, and noticed that many looked more calm then I have ever seen. I was truly puzzled by this. I started to read experiences, and kept reading about spiritual experiences, and how life had seemed to make more sense to some. While almost all experiences did something for each different individual, the core experience was the same: it changed them in some way (Example: It had reviled something to them that they needed help on.). At the time, I had not planned at all on having one. I knew of no one that could help perform one, and besides, deep down inside I felt that I was not ready. I was not ready at that time, but I would someday.
It was a year after my discovery of BME. I was now a member of IAM, and had gotten to know many people. One of which was Bryan (IAM Name: The Eternal). I had been living with my girlfriend (of an off and on 5 years) for about 2 months now. A lot of things were going on. I was in the beginning stages of starting my own family, and everything was a mess. Going from Job to job due to a falling economy after 9/11, dealing with roommates, and me and Melissa were fighting quite often. Granted, the fighting is a normal thing between a man and a woman living together, but it was getting to the point where it was reminding me of my own parents, and what I wanted to avoid in a relationship with the person that I wanted to marry. I wanted Melissa to not know the life that I had.
Body modification wise, I had received my first tattoo. My ears were now retired due to a hatred of piercing guns. My Labret was ripped out in a mosh pit at a concert I attended. I had received my bridge piercing, only to have to retire it over getting a job. My Hair was now past my shoulders, a product of being to lazy a broke to get a haircut, and a want to grow it since I was 14. I had made plans to receive Teflon implants, only to cancel them after hearing what had happened in Bryan's experience. I had been to one BME BBQ, which had changed my life greatly.
Around this time, the Church of Body Modification was growing, and Bryan along with some owners of a shop called Needle Fetish, were hosting a church social in Jacksonville Florida. I wanted to go at first to support. But upon reading more into the event, I found out that rituals were going to take place. Play piercing, pullings, and: Suspensions. Upon reading that section, the small voice that is my spirit said "now is the time." I RSVPed has requested, and made plans, told both my jobs that I needed these 2 days off. I had to wait for 2 months to pass, being that it was now October, and the event was taking place on the 22nd of December.
Over these 2 months, I readied myself for what was to come. Me and Melissa Talked about it off and on, getting our selves ready for what was to come. Only twice did it turn into a shouting fight. She knew about the modification part of my being, but she never knew how deep it would, or could go. She struggled to understand why I wanted to "go thru" with it. When I told her that I was mostly doing it because of what my spirit had told me, she started to understand. She knew how seriously I take my beliefs, and said that if that was the case, then I needed to do it.
I had talked with Alva and Steve over the phone, and online, but not has much has I wanted to. It was hard to get ready for the Science and physical part of it, being that I was working all the time, and never had enough time to talk to anyone about these parts.
Physically, I was afraid that my skin would rip, which can happen, but rarely ever does. I knew that there were no long term effects from one, and that bleeding would most likely happen, but sometimes does not.
Spiritually, I was afraid that I would see something that I did not want too. I have been having nightmares on a regular basis since I was a kid, but lately they were getting worse. They were getting to the point that I could not sleep, and if I did sleep, I would sometimes scream awake. This of course was scaring Melissa, who had never heard of Dreamseeing before (for those that do not know, it is a belief that some people see the future in their dreams. It is called Dreamseeing. I have been told by many, including priests, Pastors, a Buddhist man, A Rabbi and complete strangers that I possess this gift. Yes, I do believe that I do, but I do not really talk about it to much, and most likely will not till I know that I can talk about it safely and comfortably). She was getting used to it, but still wanted me to know peace. I had meditated for hours at a time, when ever I could. I was getting ready for the whole experience.
Time went slowly. George Harrison, one of my Favorite Guitarists had passed away. The war on Terror was just really starting. My nightmares were less frequent, but still happening. Both my jobs were driving me up the wall and Melissa started her job only to be laid off 2 weeks later. Our relationship was doing well, but still had some rough spots. Then the 22nd came.
We had everything planned and packed. It would take little less then 6 hours to get there. The drive was hell, being that everyone and their mother was driving just to cut us off. Arrival time was 2 hours before we planned to arrive, even with the not so fun time of being lost to Jacksonville construction. Being the first ones there that did not work there, we had a great chance to ask questions. And believe me, I had quite a few.
Upon arrival, we met Alva (IAM member masteralva), owner of Needle Fetish. Boy was I intimidated. Urban camo pants, black shirt, knee high boots, and built like a bouncer. His aura said you can trust me, but his look said, don't mess with me. The man was a fun loving person, who knew what he was doing. I started asking questions, most about what I was about to go thru that day.
The first one that I asked towards the rig system. The main beam was anchored between to buildings. The entire pulley system was the type used on racing Yachts, and the ropes were used on them has well. The part used to hold the hooks was a big bat-like frame (later I found out that this was the same bat-frame that was used in various suspensions for the Genatorturers shows). I now knew that there was no chance for the house coming down.
After this show of the rig system, I asked about the cleanliness of the shop. Alva then ran down the entire process of sterilization. To be honest, I do not remember the entire conversation of that part. I do know that an autoclave was used, and that in my opinion, was the cleanest shop that I had seen to that date. I was greatly impressed!
I then asked to see the hooks that were going to be used. What was used were hooks that were designed by a member of IAM, Hooks (and to all that do not remember seeing his page, yes that was what he went by, that was his screen name). I was told the he designed the lovely items specifically for the suspension of humans.
After introducing many people to my wife, I met Steve (IAM member stainless) who was the other person to help to perform suspension. Steve himself has to be one of the most peaceful people that I have ever met. Just to see him walking down the street is peaceful in and of itself. To this day I have major respect for him.
Being the recipient of many different types of suspensions, I asked him all that I could remember to ask at that time, about the physical side about a suspension. Some I do not remember at this time. I learned that the piercing that was going to have to take place was going to be deeper the most other types of piercing are (example: a bridge or nape). Also, the skin would be twisted around just a bit during the piercing, to make the hanging more comfortable.
The skin it self is composed of many layers, which is the main reason that ripping does not happen too often. They are just has strong has well made leather straps. While there would be a slight separation of the skin from the muscle, it would not leave long term effects. We saw about 3 suspensions that day before it was my turn. When watching the different people perform, my spirit said to me "Yes, this is the day that you will see something." I could not wait to start the process.
When it was time, I took my shirt off, while I was sweating bullets. A few beads of sweat ran down my arm has I started to meditate (so all of you know, I am a Buddhist that believes in God and Jesus Christ. Yes, I know that it is weird, but I have never been happier!).I lay down on the chair, waiting to be pierced with what was to be 8 gauge needles. These were going to be the biggest needles that I had ever been pierced with.
There was a man that attended has well that I call Papa Bear. The man wore glasses, with a big old British Mustache. I saw a leader and peace in this man.
While they were prepping everything, I was breathing in and out while meditating. Melissa was there has well, holding on to my feet, getting ready for something that she really did not want to see. Then, it was time. Rather, I knew it was time. Everyone said that it had been close to 3 minutes since they were ready. It was agreed that the needles would pierce 2 at a time.
The line was set like this, with the sets going in the order shown:
1L 2L 2R 1R
1L 2L 2R 1R
I breathed in a deep breath, and then said "go". I breathed out has the first 2 went in(1L and 1R). Also at this point, about 3 people were holding me down, and the first 2 went in smoothly. I found out later, there were 3 people holding me down, 2 holding down while twisting and pinching the skin, and 2 piercing. That was 7 people. They said that my Body had tightened up more then they had ever seen someone tighten up before (I believe that this is really normal for me, being that I always do when I am about to get hurt. Kind of like building up a wall of steel, to make an example).
After about 2 minutes, we started on the second set. Again my body tightened up. But there was a slight problem with this set (refer to the 2nd set on the diagram) 2L went in just like it was supposed to. A little bit of trouble, but not much. 2R however, took an extra 10 to 15 seconds. I said "don't stop." This happens quite often. It was just the toughness that my skin had in that spot. After that was done, we took another 2 min, and then the hooks went in place of the needles. I laid there for a good 4 minutes, getting ready for what was about to happen, with Melissa rubbing my leg. She would not leave my side till I was ready to leave the room.
When I did leave the room, I just walked around a bit, getting used to the hooks in my back. When asked what type of song that I wanted to have while hanging, I said none. I really needed to concentrate. I came out thru the door way to the back, and there was dead silence. I am always nervous around dead silence. I took it in stride, and went to the position where they would connect the hooks to the Bat-frame. If you look closely in the pictures, you can see me looking, or trying to look like a Bad Ass while they were hooking me up.
It was time to start raising the rig. They went slowly at first, and stopped when it was at a slight tug. Upon which, was when I asked Papa Bear to come up front to hold my hands.
Melissa could barely move. Because at the time, I had started to bleed. I had felt the thread of a blood line going down my back, and someone saying "we have bleeder (I can never hear that line the same way to this day)!" I was holding Bears hands, and they were slowly bringing me up.
I will tell you all that are planning their first suspension; your body will struggle to stay on the ground. Your bodies instinct is to stay there, and doing its best to use the feet, will try to stay. Do all that you can to tell you body, your going up, and that's that.
All of a sudden, I heard Steve snap his fingers, and say "up. Quickly." Then, it was up I went. Then, a rush hit me. Some from pain, the other from the spirits that I now knew were around me. After about 15 seconds, I told Bear to let go.
The spirits stated talking to me in strange voices, in languages that I had never heard before. I knew instinctively that some of these languages were still in use, others dead for ages. Each Spirit was different in culture, in color, and every shape and size. All of a sudden, I saw how everything clicked into play. The spirits were showing me part of the trail that I was to follow. At the time I did not realize it, but part of it was that the Church of Body Modification (COBM) would not be part of the trail (I could list why, but that is for only me to know I was told by the Spirits). I found out my Dreamseeing had meaning, but was told that I should not focus on it, and make my own future. I saw that my personality of a child like personality, and view about life, would be used to help people in many different situations. Other parts showed that I would take a place in the modified community, and while I would not make has huge contributions has Shannon, Bryan, or The Lizard man, the contributions would be has valuable. Then I was shown a part that had wanted to know since I was 17.
I saw Melissa at my side, with children. I finally saw what I had been searching for years, and had felt in my heart. Melissa was my other half!
I am not too sure how much time had passed. I am not too sure, but I believe that all of that was reviled in quite a short amount of time, because I was so happy now, that I had to make some jokes.
"Anyone ever play Street Fighter 2? Look! I'm Dhalsim!" was one of them. I do not remember the other ones, but according to Bryan, I was hysterical up there. I looked around at what only I could see, and hear. I looked at all that were watching, has they looked at me.
Then Melissa came to me, and held my hands. She was looking at me with amazement, like I was a god of some type (no, I do not think that I am). I could not hold it in any longer. I had to say something. I had planned to say something romantic when I was going to propose. I wanted to say something unforgettable. I wanted a ring to, but the spirits and my heart said now is the time. So I gathered up courage, and had every word that I was going to say.
"Let's get married."
Doh'! I wanted to say so much more, but my heart would not let me think of the words. But she said with a tear in her eye "yes."
At that point in time, we were the only things in the world. Our slight problems with each other, where now, and forever since that point, gone. We now knew that our future had each other in it.
I believe it was about 5 to 7 minutes when I said, "Please put me down." Upon doing so, Melissa caught me. I could not move my legs. I was still in a state of spirituality, and could barely move. But what surprised me was that she held me. I was 165 lbs at the time, and Melissa was 119. She is about 5'3", and it felt odd, but comforting. I was wrapped in a blanket, with Melissa, while I just sat slumped over, catching my strength.
After about 2 minutes, we were led to a table that was still outside, and I laid down for about 5. They removed the hooks, and replaced them with quite a bit of gauze. It was actually the normal amount, meant to stop the bleeding that was happening from the stretching of the skin, and the separation of the skin from the muscle.
I started to cry then. I realized that all that time, I faced something that I was scared to do. I realized that I was scared of performing a suspension. Me and Melissa talked about things while I laid there. After about 10 minutes, was ready to walk again.
I was lead to a different room, where I was to be told about what to do afterwards. After checking my back, I was told to keep the gauze on for a good period of time for that day, and when I went to bed that night. I would be feeling a bit faint due to the loss of blood. Eating lots of Sugary foods, and Potassium would help rebuild the lost blood. There would be a feeling of "rice krispies" around the areas of the hook placement, due to air being in there, and that massaging of those areas should be done every so often.
I should note that after your first experience, take it a bit slow for about 5 hours. That time could be different for everyone, but do not over do it, because you body has had a bit of a disorienting experience then what it is used to.
The rest of the event had many more suspensions. Zaniness has well, has we all were just having so much fun!
After we got home the next day, Melissa said something to me that I will never forget: "I now fully understand why you did what you did yesterday. I am so happy that you're the man that I am going to marry." We are now happily wed, and it will be this way for the rest of eternity.
So all know, I have never been, nor will I ever be a member of the COBM. These are for my own reasons, and like I said above, I will not list them here, being has they are personal, and meant for me. That, and I do not want to start a debate over it.
Has far has what I saw and felt, you will NOT experience what I did. It is different for everyone, and no experience is the same in my opinion. What I saw and felt was meant for me. It was what I alone could see, and understand. It will be different for you if you decided to have your first, or you know that it is different because you have performed one.
If you are planning your first one, here is what I recommend you do. Remember and keep in mind that these were for my suspension, and keep in mind that they may be different for you:
1)Check out the Place where it is going to be preformed: Ask has many questions has possible, like the ones that I asked, and never be afraid to ask too many questions, being that you health is there hands. If they do not like the questions, they do not need to be the ones whole help you perform.
2)Be sure that you have Professionals that KNOW what they are doing there with you. If something should go wrong (heaven forbid. Not that something will, but there is that 0.01% chance), they will be there to help you.
3)Get ready mentally and physically, at least a month or 2 in advanced.
4)LISTEN to what the professionals have to say. All of it is important.
5)Do not be afraid to say that something is uncomfortable. If you feel that 15 seconds up is enough, it might be. Do not hold on for others sake, hold on for yours. This is you, and only you, for you.
Again, these are based off of what I experienced, and has I have said, it is different for everyone. I do not claim to be an expert, nor will I ever. I am a person that had one of the best moments of my life, and loves others to experience suspensions, tattoos, or any other form of modification.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 05 April 2003