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Engraving Symbolism into Flesh

    Throughout my entire life I have been shunned away from the normalcy of what you would call Society, so instead my life's path decided to take a twist onto a different road. Being brought up into a Catholic and Methodist family, I was taught that body modification was strictly out of the question. People with piercings other than their ears, and uniquely colored hair, were to be feared of and ignored. Being the rather artistic person that I have grown into, I wanted to create my own originality to express myself. At first my mother was very against the idea of allowing me to dye my hair red, which was naturally black.  Father was also against my yearnings to be different, calling things of the sort to be freakish and scary, and looked down upon.  

Eventually throughout the years I have managed to somewhat bend the rules in my household, I suppose my parents have decided to give way to my individuality. Dying my hair numerously I can just vaguely remember my natural color, but no matter to that as that is a different story. For the past couple of years I have been very attracted to body modifications, they are enticing to the eye and show beauty of the soul.

I was saddened by my family being so ignorant and arrogant, I guess religion wasn't really very big to me in my mind. I have my own beliefs, and hold onto them strongly. Yet still over the past couple of years I sunk into a strong depression, one I felt that I would never be able to climb up out of. Personal issues and a sad self confidence probably induced it, I still cannot figure out what my problems came from though, to this day. My mother noticed I seemed sulky, and with her intuition, she knew something was wrong with me. I was sent to two different psychologists for my depression, but neither of them could figure out my true in depth secret that I had been suicidal. I kept to myself, I guess I was stable enough to keep myself together and not have a nervous breakdown. I was put on two different medications, for being bipolar. That was not much help, as it only induced my suicidal tendencies even further.

Cutting has always been a bit of a ritual to me, at first I only did it wanting to kill myself, and rid the world of my sad and stupid life. Finding it hard to complete the plan, I gave up. But still, the feel of torn flesh was almost an addiction to me. I've had an obsession with vampires for an extreme number of years since my young childhood, so the sight of blood was really not a problem in my eye. The crimson color is beautiful to me, the fluidity is rather entertaining to my simple minded and easily amused nature. One day sitting at the computer I found myself here at this site, and was overwhelmed with joy. For many years I was taught that my tendencies were sinned upon, but now I found that there really are millions of other teenagers that I am able to relate to. I never had known that scarification was practiced in tribal rituals and ceremonies, also discovering I was sitting at this site for hours on end just to look at the beauty and awe of images of modification s.  

Doing a bit of research, and gaining a lot of well kept knowledge, I decided that I would like to try scarification on myself, to symbolize my pain and strength to keep living life. Symbolism has always been very special to me, I do not know why, maybe I never will. Learning that cutting yourself with safety pins and unsterilized sharp objects were clearly out of the picture due to complications and possibly disease, I bought a package of sterilized exacto knives, and hid them in a clean area of my room until night came. I pondered for hours what my scarification should be, and then I glimpsed at an Egyptian magazine underneath my bed. Picking it up there was a beautiful shape on the cover, an ahnk. It was shaped like a cross almost, but at the top above the intersection of lines there was a loose loop, instead of a straight vertical line. I drew it out on a piece of paper, and then for awhile I studied my body. I knew that mom and dad would freak out and possibly have a he art attack if they knew what I was up to, so of course it could not be in an obvious area. I was hot so I took off my shirt, and then I found my perfect placement. I tend not to wear low cut shirts, being of a tomboyish nature, and my chest right above my heart was a perfect sanctuary for my symbol. Between my breasts was not too cluttered with veins, knowing I really did not want to end up going to the hospital and such. My skin is extremely pale, so sightings of blue veins was particularly easy.  Studying my chest for awhile I decided now was the time to engrave, it was now or never. It was midnight and so I knew that my family was asleep, long gone in slumberland.  

Sneaking out, I tiptoed into the bathroom and gathered some gauze, surgical tape, and isopropyl alcohol that was unopened, cotton balls, and latex gloves. Mom used to be a nurse for awhile, so she had many left over supplies that were rarely used. I then ran back to my room, and swept everything off of my cluttered desk. I sterilized it all with a couple swabs of alcohol, and then lay out the equipment. Having a mirror in front of me was good, so I could see what I was doing.  Cleaning my chest with alcohol and antibacterial soap to rid it of an chances of infection, I then took a marker, and lightly drew out the design I wanted of the ahnk. It was in ancient lore, used to symbolize eternal life, or if upside down, eternal death. I gazed at it in the mirror, between my breast, and it was simply perfect. Grinning I then began to press the sterilized blade into my flesh, not even flinching at the pain. I rather like pain, it soothes my worst of memories. I watched the blade p lay against my skin, pulling at the skin, little beads of blood began to show. 

When finished I broke the blade and put it in a jar, and threw it away in a biohazard waste bin at the doctor office when I went in for my tetanus shot the following week. I changed the dressings twice daily, and vigorously cleaned the wounds with anti bacterial soap in the shower at night. The cuts were covered by scabs in a matter of days, and the pinkness around the edges began to fade quickly. In only two weeks, it was completely healed over and I needed not to wear a dressing over it anymore. I still cleaned it, being sure to keep it far away from chances of infection. Eventually the scabs tore away, revealing a nice thick pink scar in the shape of a tribalistic ahnk. All in all it is about three inches tall and an inch or two wide, and now a month later it has faded into a beautiful pale scar to symbolize what I've endured. I also have an anarchy symbol above my navel, and a row of thick white scars on my fore arm now, I guess the feeling of scarification really can b e addictive in a  way. I plan on getting my eyebrow and lip pierced, but that will sadly have to wait for a couple  of years. My body modifications have made me quite happy, they seem to take away my pain. 

I advise to anyone that reads this that I do know the complications of getting infections and the possibility of HIV or even AIDS, it is an extreme risk to take and you should take the strongest of precautions to lower the chances. If you are inexperienced I suggest you go to a very good and sterile piercing or tattoo parlor, I suggest that highly than what I did a month ago, but only I did that with the knowledge and precautions, and the fact it was impossible to have it done by a professional. Thank you for reading my experiences,  and I hope to anyone out there that read this or plans on body modifications, be careful!!!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Jan. 2003
in Scarification

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Artist: myself
Studio: definetly+not++a+studio
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