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My self-branding

When I was just a child, I was diagnosed with cancer. Well, surgery left me with an extremely interesting scar. The cancer is gone (remission for 20 years! :o) ) but the scar still remains. The scar itself starts between my shoulder blades and winds around my side ending right over my heart. I spent years trying to hide this scar.. in locker rooms, at slumber parties, swimming. If seen, the scar attracted curious stares and often looks of pity... and I still can't decide which was worse.

As I grew the scar grew also.. and, so did my self-confidence and awareness. Slowly, it grew into something that I was proud of. It went from being a scar to a personal trophy. It became a constant reminder of a couple different things. First, my body's ability to heal itself and second, the fact that I beat a disease that so many people don't. (My love to those fighting the disease and their friends and family... never, ever lose hope.) I went from being someone who was embaressed by being different to someone who was proud and honored to be. Now, although it's still something very personal, I'm never hesitant to show someone my scar. I considered having it tattooed... little foot prints leading from the back to the front with an "X" directly over my heart, like a treasure map... but, I've decided that it's beautiful just the way it is.

That leads me to story of my brand. A few years ago, I became fascinated by the body's ability to heal itself. I think it's an amazing thing that no one will ever truly understand. But, then I knew nothing of branding as body modification. I knew that some of my friends had their sissy tests with lit cigarettes and such.. but, none of that interested me. I wanted something that represented who I am. So, I decided that I would brand myself.

One evening, I finally had the house to myself and I began preparing. I used some type of metal (I have no idea what kind) to make the actual brand. I knew nothing of professional sterilization so I put it in a pan of boiling water and then in alcohol. I used a pair of pliars to hold it over a candle and then went directly to my skin. I chose to put it directly behind my ankle on the inside of my left leg.. right over my achilles tendon.

The first shot of pain was definitely the most severe. It shot directly up my leg. But then, it turned into this tingly sensation that spread over most of the left side of my body. Two more strikes and I would be done. The second strike wasn't nearly as painful (pheromones are wonderful things :o) ) and the third even less. Unfortunately, they also didn't lead to that tingly sensation... I wanted to feel that again.

For the next few days, I kept my burn covered and kept using Betadine. It healed rather quickly. Watching it heal just reaffirmed everything I had been feeling. It left me not a three-dimensional scar but a discoloration... but, that's on the outside. Inside, it left more than I can ever explain.. and I'm not so sure that I would want to explain if I could.

I chose to scar my body, not because I hate it but because I love it. The experience helped me to connect to myself and it reminded me who I am and what I'm capable of. I would never hurt myself in a way that I didn't think I could handle, as part of a game or any reason other than one that is truly personal. However, I realize that the reason for doing something like this are as individual as the person and the scar it leaves.

So, for all of you who would call me a deviant or a freak... try to remember that you know nothing of me other than what I let you know. You know nothing of my thoughts, feelings and reasons for choosing to scar my body. And, until you choose to accept me and my choices, you will never know. While you may not care, I know that you will miss the oppurtunity to know many, many wonderful people who, themselves, have the power to change your life. Peace to you all.



submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Aug. 1997
in Scarification

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