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It doesn't always go as expected (when hooks are in your knees)

At the beginning of the month, I got an IM from solja.  He wanted to know who would be interested in attending a suspension, either to watch or to suspend.  I immediately fired back a response.  He just had to name a day and a time and I would be there, hopefully with hooks in my legs. 
So why a knee suspension?  I guess it's one of those things you can't explain.  I was just drawn to it and had wanted to do one ever since my toes touched down after my suicide suspension eight months ago. 
More messages were exchanged and I was all set for my four-point knee suspension less than two weeks later. 
The evening of September 9th came and I was as nervous as all get-out.  I was set to go fifth, so I spent my time moving about the room, flitting from the snack table to the suspension area.  All of the suiciders seemed to happy and comfortable, swinging about delightedly from the hooks ensconced in their backs. 
I had horrible visions of the one time I had seen knee suspensions attempted.  One girl hadn't been able to get off the ground and the other had only been able to take it for a few moments. 
Okay, okay, let's not think about that.  Let's think happy thoughts.  Remember how happy you were the last time you suspended?  Remember how it hurt, but then you got over it and it was great?  Yeah...let's think about that some more. 
Then it was time to throw the hooks.  I went into the piercing area and solja pinched the skin just above and to the side of my knees.  I tried to ignore the fact that just pinching it was hurting a bit.  It's okay, I was expecting pain. 
He marked me up and had me concentrate on breathing.  Deep breath in and the needle (holy cow did you see the size of that thing?!) would go through as I pushed the air out.  I closed my eyes as the needle was put to my skin but managed to open them before it had gone all the way through.  Watching it happen was actually kind of relaxing.  It did hurt, but not too badly and soon the sharp pains were replaced by a general throb.

iam members can click to enlarge

I got off of the table and walked around a bit bandy-legged, feeling the curious weight of the hooks in my legs.  It didn't feel bad, necessarily, though taking steps would jitter the hooks and that wasn't the most pleasant sensation in the world. 
Then it was time to hook me up.  I sat in a chair as solja threaded rope through the hooks' eyelets.  The least bit of pressure brought a stab of pain and had me worrying that this wasn't going to be nearly as easy or as fun as I'd hoped. 

We put some tension on the ropes and I was definitely feeling the sharp, hot pain.  I sat back in the chair and closed my eyes and tried to focus on breathing.  As soon as the pain dulled in the slightest, I asked for more tension and the process would repeat.  Pain, breathing, relaxing into it, more tension. 
I became a bit concerned about how I would get out of the chair and into the air.  Solja assured me that he had me and would help me lift up as smoothly as possible.   
I laid back and asked for more tension.  The pain was almost unbearable and the breathing was not helping to relax me.  I realized it was not going to get any better, I wasn't going to find a comfort zone.  There was no point to being in pain sitting in the chair when I could be in pain suspending.   
I asked to be brought up all the way.  I opened my eyes for a brief moment only to find where the ground was in order to push off of it with my hands.  I heard the crowd applaud, possibly as relieved as I was that I'd actually done it. 

I can't remember ever being in more pain.  I wasn't aware of anything around me.  No people, no music.  Just the breathing that I was trying desperately to control and the pain.  I lifted my arms to my head, hoping to...I'm not sure what.  To do anything I could to get through it, to find some comfort (or at least a respite). 
Then I heard solja say, "Bring her down." 
I thought maybe he noticed some expression on my face that suggested to him I was going to lose consciousness or perhaps would just be unable to take it any more.  I wanted to tell him, "No!  I'll be okay!  I'm going to get through this!" 
But his next words were, "The hook is tearing.  Bring her down." 
He told me to reach out my hand to ease myself down to the floor.  I opened my eyes for the first time since leaving that floor only thirty seconds, perhaps forty-five before.  I was disoriented, still hurting until all of the tension on my legs was finally slackened. 

That stone floor was perhaps the most comfortable surface I've ever lain down on.  I sprawled out motionless.  Eyes closed, I listened to the flurry around me.  But at that moment, I was at total peace.  Part of me felt I should get out of the way so that the other suspendees could have a chance to go up.  But the larger part of me wanted to lie there forever, no longer hurting, floating above while anchored below. 
I came back around and opened my eyes to assess the situation.  I was lying in the opposite direction than I had been when I'd gone up, perhaps explaining the disorientation.  Blood trailed from the holes in my knees down my leg.  I wanted to see this tear that had cost me my moment to hang, but I couldn't make it out through the blood.  I could definitely still feel the hooks and they still hurt dully, but I was no longer in pain. 
Annetastic came over to remove the hooks.  I again thought that I should get out of the way, but no one seemed to mind if I stayed there. 
The hooks were removed and the blood was cleaned up and I could now see the tear.  Or tears, rather.  The top hole on the inside of the left leg had split to about 10 centimeters and would no doubt have split more if I hadn't been brought down.  The top hole on the inside of the right leg had torn about 15 centimeters and you could actually see fatty tissue poking through. 

I was cleaned up, had some water and walked over to the piercing area to be bandaged when I finally felt up to it. 
Anne did a great job of cleaning and bandaging me up.  There wasn't much that could be done for the tears, but plenty of gauze took care of the bleeding.  In the end, I'm probably going to end up with some obvious scars.  Seeing as I figure I've earned them and they'll only remind me of a time when I took on a personal challenge and did well in the face of it, I don't see myself having a problem with that. 
I watched another suspension but as it was crawling on towards 3:00 AM and I was pretty beat, I got going before the last few suspenders had gone up.  I was given a bottle of Techni-Care and some gauze so that I could take care of my wounds as best I could when I was at home. 
I got home around 3:30 and slept fitfully for a few hours.  When I examined my bandages upon waking up in the morning, I found them to be unsurprisingly bloody.  Cleaning the holes didn't sting nearly as much as I had been anticipating. 
I am walking around a bit like a saddle-sore cowboy, though.  As of this writing, the wounds are weeping a bit, but I'm trying my best to keep them clean and dry. 

As I was sprawled out on Anomaly's stone floor, I remember thinking it highly unlikely that I would ever try a knee suspension again.  The pain was just too great for me and I really didn't see the benefit.  I do think I would have been able to overcome it if I had enough time, but as there are so many other positions that are available, I don't see myself returning to this one any time soon.  Solja did suggest that I could try it as a six-point next time, and the more I think of it, the more I find myself considering that option for the future.  I was told that the skin around the knees is comparatively fragile and that tears aren't uncommon, but more hooks would help decrease the likelihood. 
I don't want to give the impression that I'm at all displeased with the outcome.  The tearing was unforeseen and out of my control.  I'm grateful that solja stopped it and saved my skin from further damage rather than letting it go on.  I'm happy that I made it up and was suspending in the air only by hooks in my knees, however brief the interim may have been.  And though I could not conquer it, I could face the pain and go on with my plans despite its best efforts to thwart me.  I think that if you can mentally bring yourself to push through intense pain like that, you can do almost anything. 
In conclusion, I want to thank everyone who made this possible to me.  Thanks to the people who attended and encouraged me just by being there.  Thanks to xposi-evanx for helping out with the preparation and piercing.  Thanks to SIN for taking pictures for me (many of the pictures used here come courtesy of him).  Thanks to silentwes for pulling me into the air and keeping the mood jovial.  And very special thanks to solja and annetastic for, along with everything else you did for me that night, providing me with the opportunity and creating such a positive environment for it to happen in.  You both went above-and-beyond your calls of duty to give me an unforgettable experience.

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submitted by: LotN
on: 12 Sept. 2007
in Ritual

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Artist: iam%3A+solja%3B+iam%3A+annetastic
Studio: Anomaly+%282%29
Location: Los+Angeles%2C+CA

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