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My self-done brand, one month and all is well

Since around this time last year I've had a fascination with brandings. the way the look, the rush of adrenaline described, and their primal origins. However, living in a rural area, I was shy

There is a something I must confess to those reading now, that I was a sexual abuse victim until I was 12 years old from when I was a small child. I won't go into irrelevant details. It's not a part of me anymore.

Yet, consequently I have never felt in control of my own body, having an essential tremor (shaking hands) doesn't help the feeling either. A brand seemed the perfect way to reclaim and purge my body for myself. Safer than self piercing and not triggering enough to bring back my old cutting habits. I also didn't want to go into cutting the design as people who saw it would assume I was going back there, and I wanted to distance myself from that habit.

It took a long time for me to move the process from fantasy to reality, the first step was finding a design, as I knew it would have to be something simple. After a while, and doing a project on the Illuminati, I came up with the idea of designing an ambigram of my name, Naomi. After spending a day doing so I carried it around in my pocket for a month or so, searching for a way to do this myself. I had just turned sixteen this July and going to have it done by a pro was out of the question. I had no money, no ID, and a professional scarification place would be awfully hard to find in England, especially the rural area I live in.

So, as I was reading BME I came across incense brands, why hadn't I thought of it before? 5p a stick, and it would raise no comment from my parents. I read every account I could, and wasn't too impressed, it sounded painful, and I had second thoughts.

However, one night, I sat up with my incense, drew the design on my hip with a ball point pen and began to burn. I got as far as the middle of the design when the adrenaline began to fade; but thanks to continuous applications of wet tissue to wipe the ash away from my skin the pain wasn't too bad. I'd read several ways of helping the scar be more pronounced but decided to leave it well alone.

The next night, I sat up and finished the design, the rush as I dotted the last I was amazing and I felt powerful in myself. I had done it, my body was mine and it said so. There was my name, readable both ways, seared into my flesh. I bandaged it that night and went to sleep.

The next morning, the only pain was like that of a bruise, and the design was looking good. I felt good every time I looked at it, but kept it hidden from my parents.

A month later, the scar has formed, I am lucky enough to have pale skin that scars easily, so I didn't have to irritate it very much, just give it a good scrub in the shower. While I don't have a huge raised scar, I am very pleased with the subtle lines I'm left with. I've got quite pale skin, so they're easy to see still. My body is mine now, and since my brand I've felt more empowered in myself, my body is my own. It was very painful, but I'm truly glad I did it.

If you are doing a brand yourself, please make sure you know the risks and how to look after it. Also it helps to be prepared with a good reason why you did it. Several people have seen it and asked why I'm self harming again, (which I'm pleased to say I'm not.)

In fact; I haven't felt the need to self harm in any way, shape or form since my brand. It has actually changed my life in a way one wouldn't think such a simple thing could. I read once that changing your physical self can change you emotionally, and I now believe this to be true. I feel more of an adult since I've had my brand, even though I know at sixteen most people still think of me as a child.

To me it was a two-fold thing: a celebration of my coming of age, and on that date, reclamation of what was taken from me. It was a really spiritual experience on some level, and on another it was a simple primal part of me inside. I'm not sure I will ever brand again, but if I do I hope I re-capture the feelings from this first time. My brand is very significant to me now, and I hope it always will be


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 Sept. 2006
in Scarification

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Artist: Myself
Studio: My+room
Location: England

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