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First time

Be aware when reading this that the right words are always hard to find.

I had been interested in suspension for – well, I don't know how long, not knowing that anyone in Australia, let alone Melbourne was doing it. Then I stumbled across the ad on the Piercing Urge's website about "Foundation" an upcoming suspension event. So I contacted Peter thinking I'd go to watch to get an idea of what it was like. Contacting Peter wasn't as easy as I first thought – had to get an email address which I had been avoiding for some time, then I had to learn to use it! But hey, it worked.

"Do you want to go up?" was the response that arrived in my inbox. I sent another email back asking questions about hygiene procedures, then Peter told me to give him a call. Much easier to do! Though I had no real concerns about Peter's professionalism, and the health and safety standards, it is always good to hear it aloud. And it was on! I was to do what I thought would never happen, a four point suicide suspension, and in only one weeks time!

Peters advice on the phone was "try not to think about it" which I found surprisingly easy (I thought about it, but not constantly like I had expected to). At this stage I read a lot of positive and negative experiences about suspensions on BME, and spoke to my wife about possible risks of suspension. Being a health professional, she worried about everything from shock to blood spatter (all the physical stuff and not the mental stuff). However, though she is not heavily modified, she always supports me in all my modifications. This was no exception, and on the morning of the event, she was as nervous as I was but willing to be my support team.

On the ride to the venue my mind could not stop racing. This is when I really started to worry – what if I couldn't do it? What if I couldn't suspend? I was thinking about everything that I hadn't over the last week– what to expect when I get there, what the hell was this going to be like? When we got to the venue, I spoke to Peter and he asked if I was happy to go up first, which I was.

So up I go to get my hooks put in which I had been preparing for all week, thinking that this would be the hardest part. I got my hooks in fine and began to think that the hard part was over and that I could relax and look forward to the suspension. How wrong I was!

Once I got strung up, I felt tension in my skin, I remember imagining the skin of my back separating from the rest of me. Then I started to lift from the earth. This is what I should have prepared for. At this stage, my body and my mind had a huge argument. I had prepared for the hooks, but when it was time to get off the ground my mind began to say "what are you doing?". My mind was having difficulty letting my feet off the ground. Don't get me wrong – I never felt uncomfortable in the sense that I "I shouldn't be doing this", but at this one moment I felt that my body resisted. This argument between my head and my body went on for a while. I had my wife and Sarah, another foundation team member, giving me something to focus on. At this stage I must have looked like I wasn't breathing (maybe I wasn't?) then Peter told me to "Breathe". After a deep breath, I was able to tell myself that this was what I wanted to do and I needed to trust my mind and myself that this was right for me. My feet left the ground!

Even though I was off the ground for only a short while I felt – well nothing that I can put into words. It felt like something I've never felt or will never feel again (because no matter how many times I suspend, I will never get to suspend for the first time again).

My reasons for wanting to suspend? I'm not 100% sure. I didn't have a spiritual experience, I didn't have an out of body experience, nor did I have huge revelations about life. But I do see the world in a slightly different way. Since then I do know that I feel more confident about myself, and in trusting myself to find out what I can do.

Knowing what I know now and what to prepare for, I cannot wait to go up again, and hopefully will get some more time in the air. This was an experience that I highly recommend and will never forget. This is not something that is for everyone, but you will know if it is for you. Thanks to all involved for helping me achieve what I thought I never could.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 April 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Peter
Studio: Foundation
Location: Melbourne

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