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Examining the mind through open flesh

I remember a few years ago, the idea that cutting myself and bleeding everywhere was just a cool thing to do, I had no idea it would turn into such an addiction. My life has been shaped and torn by so many things, and without support from other people, I've learned how to live with interesting obsessions. There's been a few occasions where I regret some scars, mostly cause I didn't want them there, they were just a source of something else, a time I wish I could've skipped. Anyway, to move on.

About a year, or so, ago I was thinking of new ways to change my body without having to pay any money. I had found scalpels at the country store for around a dollar, and concluded that a cutting, or the like, would be perfect. As I said before, I had been doing cuttings for years as just a source of entertainment, or some excuse for machismo, so I knew what I was doing well enough. I started out with a few designs, nothing really appealing, more just a few lines here and there. I finally came up with a design that was to my liking, but only cause of the state of mind I was in, it looked to be a sort harikari scar, a line going up, the off to the side, but also having four more horizontal lines progressively getting smaller as they go down. The design was a bit hard to figure out, to make it look the way I wanted it, it would have to be wider than just a normal cut, and it was a bit more intricate than a normal cut. I figured out how to do a skin removal and decided to try it. I thought about practicing on something first, but what could I use, there's nothing quite like human skin. I had to do it first try.

The area I chose was the left side of my rib cage, I understand it's not the most pleasant of areas to cut or tattoo, but it's where I chose anyway. I prepared the area, shaving it first, making sure there were no little hairs that could be trouble, then I rubbed it down with alcohol and finally betadine. The pen I used was perfect, if seemed to write on skin just as easily as on paper, and it even washed off easily. I drew out the design, it was a bit hard, but with the help of a full mirror, it wasn't too difficult. I prepared all my equipment, scalpel out of the package, tweezers clean, lots of paper towels for clean up, and finally washing my hands. I was planning on using the mirror to look at my progress while doing it, but the lighting in that room was a bit off, so I just settled myself under the brightest overhead light in the house, in the living room. When I made the first cuts, it was a simple cut and wipe routine, but I knew that was going to be the easies t part. I cut out the design; two parallel lines a quarter of an inch apart, with an arrow type of shape at both ends. I made the first udder cut at the bottom of the design, below my stomach, above the belt line. I had no problem doing this, but the next step was different.

I had just wiped all the blood away when I realized how painful this was going to be. I made the under cut, and used the tweezers to pull the skin back, making another line for me to cut. It took about an hour to take the skin off that area alone, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and figured out how to do it right. I wiped the blood off and started cutting up the long line leading up my stomach. Cutting and pulling as I went further and further up. I snagged a follicle or two on the way up, and the sudden sharp pain made the rest of it seem so much easier.

I came to the corner of the design with glee seeing that I was slightly over halfway done. The cutting of the corner was a bit difficult, as I could not really get the right angle to cut perfectly, bowing my head to get a good look at the area was straining my neck as well. I managed to get the entire corner cut out. The cutting off to the side was the most painful, I noticed this doing the initial outline as well. Again I came across follicles that refused to budge; ripping them out was the easiest way to do it, but not quite fun either. As I passed about two and half inches under the nipple, the blood decided to start pouring out, the few paper towels I had already gone through were nothing compared to the next few. I edged closer and closer to the final cut, but it still seemed like days, actually taking several hours. The angle for the second arrow shape, I was at was not nearly the same angle I had for the first, making it more difficult, not to mention the posit ion on my ribs making it excruciating. I had all but one cut left, it seemed to take me forever to cut it, anticipation was making me hesitant. As I cut the last bit away, the releif I had as my skin snapped back was incredable, my body feeling now that the pain would cease, it sank back and left me breathless.

I chose not to finish right away, as I don't think my body could take more abuse like that. I cleaned up the wound, picked up my mess of bloody towels and excess skin, then sat down on the couch to watch a movie and relish in my accomplishments. I figured in the entirety of the cutting and pulling, it took 13 hours to finish.

It comes to mind everytime I take my shirt off, I think back to fun, and pain, of that night. I've added one more line since then, and I plan to finish the project, but circomstances have delayed it a bit. I think at that moment I realized it wasn't about looking cool or hardcore and even giving a shit what people may think of it, it's a personal acheivement, a mark of personality. I hate to be so cheesy, but it's the only way I can really express how impactful this type of thing can be.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 31 July 2002
in Scarification

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Artist: Myself
Studio: no+studio
Location: Oregon

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