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Why pay money when I can do it for free?

Just because I did it doesn't mean you have to! When I first heard of branding, I assumed it was only down to cows and other barn yard animals. I never thought that branding was actually applied to people, until I was searching through BME.
I normally only looked at the piercings and tattoo sections, since they were my main interests, but I decided to take a look at the scarification section to see what that was all about. I saw that there were many different kinds of scarification, such as cutting and branding. Which got me thinking. When I was younger, I used to cut myself; on my upper arms and legs etc..and I was considered a freak for it. Now, here are people paying someone to slice them up and it's considered a form of expression. I could help but be intrigued by branding. After reading a few of the experiences and looking at pictures, I decided I would do it on my own. Taking pointers from one of the entries (which I don't really advise, but I'm a dumbass anyway) I got everything I needed to do the branding and went on my merry way. I chose to do the design on the inside of my right ankle, where I figured no one would really notice. The design was the infinity symbol, which I've always wanted a tattoo of, but I figured this would be easier and cheaper and I wouldn't have to wait to get it. I used a safety pin, which I cleaned up and sterilized to the best of my ability beforehand, and a nearby candle. I heated up the pin and then placed it on my flesh. At first I didn't really notice anything, and then the burning kicked in. Yeouch, that smarts! I wasn't a stranger to inflicting pain upon myself, but this was a different kind of pain. In order to make sure I actually burned the skin, I had to hold the pin there for a few seconds. With cutting, it was just quick and painless (pretty much) but with branding, the pain lingered. I eventually grew used to it and it didn't hurt as much, but I would still have times where my foot couldn't stop twitching because of the pain. I did one of the loops first, then decided to take a break and watch the Osbournes. After the show I came back and preceeded to finish the rest of my design. After I finished I scrubbed it with a dry brush and dabbed it with some hydrogen peroxide. The pain after leaving it for a few hours is still lingering, but nothing that bad. The skin around it is very tender and it hurts to touch.
The method of aftercare I am going to use is the "leave it the hell alone" one. I might try a little more branding tomorrow to make sure I get a scar when it finally heals, but I'll see how it feels tomorrow before I cause anymore damage.
After telling an ex boyfriend what I did, he became concerned and wanted me to stop hurting myself. I sent him links to BME and told him that what I did wasn't so abnormal. He still doesn't understand why I did it. It's not like it was when I was cutting. I didn't do my branding to get out any anger or emotions. I just wanted to experience a different kind of pain with another form body modification. Just because I didn't get someone else to do it for me doesn't mean I'm weird or crazy. I just wanted to experience it for myself, by myself. I am hoping the results of my branding will be good, and I can hardly wait until it is fully healed.
I know that ignoring someone elses disclaimer and doing what they specifically said NOT to do was kind of stupid on my part, but I figured that since I have had previous experience with scarification (of sorts) I would expand my horizions and take matters into my own hands. Now, because I did it doesn't mean that you have to go out and do it. It would be wise to get a professional to do it if the design is complex and complicated. Mine was a simple infinity sign, nothing I couldn't handle. I think another thing to keep in mind is when you do scarification of any kind, put it in a spot that isn't that noticeable, because people will more often than not become concerned and think that you need to seek professional help. It's sad but true that we're still in an age where different forms of self expression aren't fully understood, but with that said, go on your merry way and do what you will. Your body is your canvas, and you are the artist.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 14 June 2003
in Scarification

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Artist: Me
Studio: My+Room
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