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It took suicide to understand.

IWASCURED, simple as that. I could have never fathomed such a simple statement could sum up such an intense collection of thoughts, emotions, and physical feelings. If you haven't picked it up yet I am talking about my first 4 point suicide suspension courtesy of Mike (iam:poisonouspennington) and Craig (iam:blinded_by_fire). Before I get into this anymore I may as well fully enthrall you with the story of me.

I am a 19 year old male living in Toronto, typical geeky student always searching for something more. I got through my first year of science studies at the University of Toronto and ended up feeling empty and uninspired. This, and a hefty debt, was the deciding factor against re-enrolling. As a whole I am quite the grateful person, I have a strong affinity for life, experiences, and just accepting things as they come. I was always amazed, and at times perplexed, by body modifications. Growing up in a typical Orthodox household led me to believe these acts were immoral and punishable by eternal damnation, I got over that and went for the gold. I would have never expected two years after my initial lobe piercing I would be suspending from four metal hooks and having one of the most cathartic and humbling experiences of my life.

Now, for the experience itself. I had been talking to a friend, who had suspended multiple times before, about suspensions. He referred me to a friend of his, Mike, who would be in charge of suspending me in no time. After speaking to Mike, and many others on BME, I decided on a four hook suicide suspension. The date was set for September 16th, 2006 in Barrie, Ontario. The ride up was bitter-sweet, I was in the company of good friends, but I was anxious the entire ride up. Barrie is a far drive from Toronto, enough time to mentally imagine hooks being ripped out of your back and emotionally experiencing the most excruciating pain of your life. Being a bigger guy was another fear I had, though logically I knew the hooks were capable of supporting my weight, mentally I was certain that they would give under my weight. Yeah, really pleasant thoughts all around. We were near the point of no return and decided to enjoy a last meal of sorts, stopping off a friendly restaurant for breakfast.

The eight of us were seated and began ordering. I was accompanied by three friends (a whole cheering squad), Mike, Craig, Matt, and Kenneth. This is when the reality of the situation hit me. I was scared. I didn't know these people that well and in all honesty was questioning my comfort level. I was surrounded by a group of people seemingly so confident, beautifully adorned and experienced. I couldn't help but feel slightly inadequate. This dissipated within moment as I realized these people were some of the most genuine and all around amazing guys I would ever meet. Their experiences, knowledge, and attitudes were later the very factors that allowed me to suspend. This breakfast allowed me to just relax, let go of most of my inhibitions and understand this is an experience and I am capable of crossing the line. We finished our meals and went to the prime location, a huge tree overlooking the waterfront and art sculptures and trees surrounding us. It was time and I was as ready as I would ever be.

The setup began; Mike managed to climb his way up the tree and began throwing down cords and the likes. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing and I felt slightly bad for not being able to do more, but it was my first time witnessing this all. All who were suspending were asked to fill out a waiver of sorts and get ready. Before anyone was hoisted up Mike gave me a talk that I needed, he explained the process, the probability of anything wrong happening, and what to expect with the experience. He worded it all in a manner that managed to comfort me beyond belief. I felt safe and no longer had that fear in the back of my mind, nagging, almost ensuring that the cords would rip, or worst – my skin would. Matt was the first to go up, he was opting for a 2 point suicide. On the side lines I was speaking to Kenneth and he blessed me with his outlook on this situation. He told me he went into his suspension without previously observing others and as a result it allowed him to experience it for himself. I took his advice and went for a walk. I returned prematurely, as Matt was being hoisted up, and watched in utter awe. The pain was present in his expression, but I could see him pushing and experiencing, and overcoming it all. I must have looked awestruck at that moment as Craig began explaining it all to me and told me that he would help me get up when my time came. I sat down, ate an orange, tried to meditate (in vain), and smoked a cigarette. I was up.

I opted to cut my shirt, as I am quite a bashful boy, instead of going up in my male topless glory. This wasn't an issue and Mike assured me it didn't pose any problems. The gentian violet was aligned on my back in a manner that balanced the weight and allowed for a comfortable lift. My mind was clear at this moment, I didn't know what to expect, or what was going to come from this all. I lay down and began my breathing. Mike called Craig over to help with my flesh clenching; I was told we were going for the in, out, in, out, in – pierce – out. It was happening and the breathing began, as my second to last exhale escaped me I just tuned out. I felt the needle pierce through each layer of flesh and I felt the rough exit. That was it? No, no. There has to be more to all this. The needles/hooking continued and I wasn't touched. It's hard to explain but I didn't quite feel that kick that I do from "regular" piercings, the issue may have been my expectations at that moment. Having read so heavily into this all I was waiting for an eye opening experience, filled with colour, joy, bliss, and much more instantaneously. Needless to say I experience that and more within minutes.

The rigging began, I was connected to the contraption that would be lifting me off the ground in a matter of minutes and I was quite scared. Craig stood in front of me guiding me along the way. I was to walk forwards, then back allowing the excess slack to be pulled leading to a gradual lift. At first I thought this would be a simple task, as the painful bit was over, I was quite misguided. I began walking forward and I felt the hooks for the first time. I felt the pressure, the tension, and the buildup of my flesh trying to accommodate for this force. It was utterly painful; I looked Craig in the eyes multiple times throughout this process and he just nodded with a look of comprehension on his face. Take your time, this is about you, you can do it, block out the pain, you are almost there. I felt a last pull, a rip almost, an excruciating sharp pain that almost engulfed my body. At that moment I just accepted it. I allowed it to just be what it was and stopped fighting it. The pain was running through me and just was. I was no longer aware of any of it, I didn't care. I was up. I had made it.

Before suspending someone had made a comment that the experience is impossible to describe unless you have been up. I couldn't grasp the notion of these profound emotions or feelings until this moment. I felt at ease with everyone and everything. I had an overwhelming drive to just accept what had happened and what was to happen. The pain that was so lucid, so vivid, only moments ago is not only no longer present, but not an issue at all. I felt the desire to cry, laugh, scream, and just be. I had a perma-grin on that would not come off for anything. After being up for what seemed like 20 minutes, more appropriately 5 or 6, I was brought down as I was on the verge of throwing up.

I drank water and just sat. I didn't feel the need to speak much, or say anything at all. I just smiled and it seemed as though everyone understood what I was feeling. The only qualitative means by which I can describe the experience is humbling and so pure. The emotions were so vivid and genuine, the pain was real but the outcome was so damn worth it.

Sadly a group of officers came by, accused us of sexual deviancy amongst other things (animal torture), and attempted to ruin the experience. Mike had suspended here before with no problem, an officer had come by and saw nothing wrong with the experience and told them to go ahead. This officer was quite rude, obnoxious, and in all honestly disorderly. She attempted to make up feel worthless, disgusting, and morally/ethically mutated. She left after calling in our names and realizing, gasp, none of us were criminals. Luckily she was not capable of ruining this experience at all.

I can't help but tell anyone who is interested in suspending to take the dive and go for it. The feeling is just so profound and changing, though overwhelming, absolutely divine. I felt the emotions running through me for weeks and still remember all that happened as though it was yesterday. I just really do need to thank Craig, Matt, Mike, and Kenneth for being there with me and allowing me to let go and just push my physical boundaries. Pain barriers are intense but overcoming this has only furthered my personal belief that pain is an illusion that one can contort and control in their own way. This experience was life changing and will never be forgotten. IWASCURED baby, IWASCURED.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Nov. 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Mike%2C+Craig.
Studio: IWASCURED
Location: Barrie%2C+Ontario.

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