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M.O.M. Assisted Suicide

"Love yourself, for if you don't, how can you expect anybody else to love you?" - Susan Lipsett and Liz Nelson "Love is not what we become, but what we already are." - Stephen Levine
"You can't describe the meaning of love. The answer lies within your heart" - L.P.

 I've put off writing this experience for quite a while now. It happened November 20th, 2004, but its taken me this long to sort through things and understand how I really feel about it. I am still at a loss for words, when I think about it I tremble and my teeth chatter while my hands go cold. I feel my heart  pumping madly even now as I write, and my hands are blocks of fumbling ice, which is not making it any easier to type this, let me tell you! 
 For starters let me explain something about my body. I know it very well. I know for instance that once when I was a child I snuck a razor in the bathroom and sliced my leg open, and then my thumb while trying to wash the blood off the blade. I snuck out of the house and threw up everywhere, and lied and said I wrecked my bike. I know that sometimes when I get a cat scratch, or cut myself doing the dishes that I get lightheaded, nauseas and faint. I've had to curl up on the floor from a scratch in order to make the nausea in my belly dissapear. I have also broken bones before and started to go into shock. I know these things about my body. I know how it reacts to certain situations, for example the teeth chattering when I'm excited or nervous.  
 I also know how my mind reacts to things, which I believe is totally seperate of my body, this may not be the case for everyone but I don't know how else to explain it. I stay calm inside, even laugh while my body is over reacting to some stimulus.  
 You see, I know and have known these things about my body, and myself; yet I still chose to go through with doing a suspension. 
  I had to prove that I was tough enough for it... at least I think thats what I was trying to prove to myself, to begin with. It was a self search that didn't start with the suspension, and didn't end with the suspension; but it was the suspension that defined it, it was the suspension that answered the questions.  
 I suppose I'll tell the story before I get into my feelings about it more and maybe you'll understand something strange about someone else when you have finished reading. Maybe you will have recognized something in me, that you see within yourself. Perhaps. Lets see. 
 The Virginia Suspension Social, in Richmond Virginia happened the same weekend as the Richmond Tattoo and Arts Festival (which is another story for another time). I planned to make it a double event weekend, I wanted to pack all the fun of a year into a 2 day weekend and I succeeded wonderfully in that respect. I planned on making the 1 and half hour drive with friends and meet my sister Beth at the hotel.  Unfortunatley, plans changed and I made the trip alone, though my sister still attended with me. 
 The event was thrown byWarner and Mighty_Mouse. I parked at the curb and watched as people wandered in from the night, all modded and amazing... and I felt suddenly out of place. This was my first BME event, I had only been on IAM for a few months, and hadn't met anyone yet. Did I actually believe I had the right to attend a community event? Well, I sucked it up and walked towards the door. I have to say the first Iam member I ever met wasMiZ C, who was standing outside with her husband, and she is a completely awsome person, if a little air headed. :) 
 We (my sister and I and the pizza we brought) ushered ourselves inside and put the pizza in the kitchen with the rest of the plethora and immediately went to the wall and sat. I met aqamarine who is also wallflower-ish believe it or not. 
 The suspension team began to set up, screwing large eye hooks into the beams of the ceiling, taking care to find the best location. Meanwhile the pizza we had brought was meeting its untimely death, amid whines of "I don't like pepperoni, give me another slice". 
 I wandered over to the M.O.M suspension team and gave them my name and let them know that I most likely wanted to go up, but wanted to watch a little while before making up my mind. That was fine with them; and it only took me a few minutes of watching Uberkitty swinging around before my mind was set to go up.  
 I want to add here an early apology if I forget/mangle/misname anyone or get confused from here on out. LIke I said, this was my first event and it was all so overwhelming and amazing to me. As far as the Suspension team, I beleive it was M.O.M doing most of the suspension work, with Cere from Rites of Passage, and Allen Falkner helping out. 
 Lets skip to me getting set up. First off was a terrible shoulder massage from Bruce (he really is lucky he didn't go into that line of work instead of piercing and all) and getting marked up and pinched to see if the hooks would be fine. I was going to do a 4 point suicide suspension.

I laid on the table with my head off one end and looked up in time to smile for Allen's camera, before the piercers descended on me with hooks and needles. I was pierced in tandem by Bruce and Shawn (lextalonis). Just for your curious mind, the hooks were at 8 gauge, while the needle was slightly smaller (say at 9) so that the hooks tapered in; this helped keep the piercing from bleeding as much. The piercings went great, they felt no worse than any other piercing and too soon I was done and slowly getting up from the table and wandering over to the rig.
I sat and tried to calm myself, my body was shaking, teeth were chattering and I was having trouble controlling my breath. I asked about passing out or going into shock and was given a glucose tablet to chew. I'd like to say that that solved it, but of course it didn't. The time came to be rigged up, I sat in a chair while the rope was being hooked onto my hooks. Allen (I called him Chuck all night, hope he didn't mind! Hey, it was on his nametag!) asked me if I had ever suspended before, I told him no I hadn't, and he told me that it was 98% mental. I felt mentally ready for it... but was I? I stood and the chair was moved and Allen took up some slack in the rope. I walked back and forth into it and started to get a bit scared as I came to tip toes. At this point I had Ana (from M.O.M) hold my hands as I walked into it more. The time came where my feet came off the ground. Words fail me here, but I felt....bliss. I felt proud of myself, I felt like I could fly. I wanted to raise my arms out from my shoulder blades but there was pressure across them and my arms wouldn't lift right. I felt no pain, though there was a slight burning sensation around one of the hooks, which was looked at and proclaimed fine, and it went away shortly after. Allen held my hand and pulled me out a few times before letting go and giving me a few pushes. I was truly flying! I tried to get myself going by pushing off the wall behind me but only managed to hit it a few times. I was in Joy... I can't explain it, its one of those feelings that you either understand what I'm talking about, or you will never understand it no matter what I say. Time seemed to stand still, time seemed to pour by me too quickly to understand, time seemed to have no meaning. And all too soon the wonder came to a stop, I started to feel very lightheaded and sick. I asked if I could stop swinging and vaguely remember Allen being like, "Of course" and stopping me. I think I hung there for a few seconds and then came down and was handed a bottle of water. From this point on I can't say enough about the suspension team and everyone associated with it that night. They worked together so smoothly (at least it seemed so to me) and they were so caring and nice and sweet, and calm. I had to sit down, I felt like there was cotton in my ears, and someone kept dimming the lights.Sound faded away and everything was dark but I could still feel myself sitting up, and the lights and sound would fade back in at times. I sat with my head down and breathed and told Allen everything I was feeling. I wasn't afraid, I wasn't nervous, I felt completely safe, but there went my body over reacting again. Had I jinxed myself by thinking that this could happen? Would it have happened if I had been more confidant? Probably so. Allen told me I was very close to passing out. It was a very strange feeling, and I made sure that everyone within earshot of me learned all about it. :) This part of my memory is a little difficult to recall, mostly I remember it in sensory fragments and sounds. I don't know how long I sat there, I think Allen held my hands, he is holding them in some pictures at least. I recall him telling me not to throw up on him. I started to feel very very very sick to my stomach, a familiar feeling to my body when it thought something was terribly wrong. A bag was held at my side in case I needed to throw up and a pink glove held some sort of rubbing alcohol under my nose (alcohol helps with nausea).
Well none of that helped me, and I do remember thinking, or perhaps saying, how embarrassing it would be to throw up in front of all these people, who at the time I was sure were thinking how big a wuss and dork I was being.
Well to get on with the tale, I needed to lie down. I felt my ropes being cut quickly and paper was laid on the floor and I was helped to lie on my back, yes on my back, on the hooks, I was nervous about that too, but hell, I felt pretty bad so I didn't care. My feet were propped up and (I can't remember her name! I'm so sorry!) a very pretty girl who was also a trained EMT came over and started wiping my face with a cool cloth. Even though they said I was ice cold to the touch I was sweating like crazy go nuts, and I felt as if I were burning up.
As soon as I laid down though, I started feeling better. My hearing came back, and my sight returned to normal. I know I was starting to go into shock for a while there; I couldn't feel my hands at all, and Allen rubbed them some and I messed with them until they felt fine again. I was also given another glucose tablet; and we joked about me choking on the huge thing and the EMT girl having to do mouth to mouth on me next. I felt quite the spectacle, but I also felt amazing, and at ease (mentally at least). Eventually I felt well enough to sit up, drink some water and then stand and wander off. I must have apologized 10 times for being such a hassle, but each time I was told it was nonsense. Besides, I gave the EMT girl some extra practice, and something to do. The rest of the night I mingled, watched others suspend and wished that I could go back up. I still had my hooks in, but I knew I had already exceeded the limits of my body. I just didn't want to take out the hooks, because that would signal the end of it all and I wasn't ready for that until the very end of the night. The night ended pretty much after the attempted scrotal suspension, which I know for a fact Allen took a butt-ton of pictures of, since I had the unfortunate luck to see them close up. As far as the hooks coming out, it felt great. They slid out easily, and my back was burped like a water bed, cleaned and band-aided. The next few days had me sore, and the sheets on that first morning were polka dotted with blood from the little round band-aids. I met some amazing people at this event, not only amazing because I admire them for what they do, but also amazing because they share my interests, all in varying degrees... it felt so freeing, and so overwhelming to be among them.
I still don't know if I fit in, but I felt more comfortable there than in any other 'party' setting I've ever been to.
As I said in the beginning of this, I have taken so long to write about this because I'm still analyzing how I felt, and how I feel. I learned so much more about myself from that experience, I"m still learning more. I used to hate myself, I spent so many years hating myself, my body, my mind... my being. I couldn't be completely happy ever because of the anger I held for who I was, and I still bear the scars of those feelings on my body, and I'll carry them all my life. What this suspension taught me I didn't realize until days later when I was driving alone, home from class. I was thinking to myself, thinking about the suspension, thinking about the Social, and about almost passing out and going into shock... and I said out loud, "I love myself now, I love who I am." After I said it I was so shocked, what had I just said?! I love myself now?? But it was true.
Thats what I have taken away from this experience. I learned to love who I am. That is what body modification has given me, thats what BME, and IAM have given me, something I couldn't learn on my own. .LOVE FOR ONES SELF.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 Dec. 2004
in Ritual

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Artist: M.O.M
Studio: Virginia+Suspension+Social
Location: Richmond+VA

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