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Deviant Behavior
29 January, 2002 :: 10:38 a.m.

And now, the long delayed third thing I wanted to write about several days ago when I opted for the topic of Skittles. My little bad habit I don't talk about. No, not masturbation. I don't consider that a habit or bad. I'm talking about...burning. Yes, that's right, self-injury. I don't cut, never been a big fan of that. I heat up objects such as paper clips and brand myself.

I don't really consider it a bad habit, not even a habit either I guess. Less frequent than masturbation and if that's not a habit, then branding myself isn't either I guess. More of a way to cope with stress.

My mind gets stuck sometimes. I get to thinking about something that bothers me and it just runs over and over in my head and I can't shake it. I try blasting music, watching tv, talking to people...I don't even try reading because I can't concentrate on what I'm reading...anyway, it just won't shut off, it's there. Don't ask me how, but one night walking home from work when I was working at McDonald's (yes, two large corporations I've worked for and both are shitty as hell), I took out my Zippo, which I had because I liked Zippo lighters... I didn't smoke at the time, heated it up and branded myself. Left a nifty little ring on my forearm and that brief moment of pain cleared my head. It was great. But that was the Summer of '95, which as anyone who knew me then can testify to, wasn't a good time for me. It was a time of me being steeped in depression all the time. I already had one Cure cd, but that was when that cd finally spoke to me and then I fell in love with them. Disintegration is one of the all-time great albums, Wish has some damn fine songs as do Head on the Door; Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me; Faith... I lived inside my head and inside of those songs. I wanted to stay inside of those songs forever. Eventually I snapped out of it with the help of Jeanine (I can't listen to Wendy Time w/o thinking of her...sad to say we lived that song, but it's what I needed). Most of the depressing songs on Wish have some personal meaning for me with someone I knew then. Anyway, I came out of it, but with quite a few scars on my arms. Then I stopped branding myself for quite a while. Then I would slip into funks and do it again, do it again...sorry, but maybe someone, somewhere read that and got it. Then I met Char and we started going out and she made it clear she didn't approve. I don't think I know anyone who would say they approve, but she made it clear that she wasn't going to let me deal with my problems that way. So I stopped for a good long while. In three years of dating her, I think I branded myself twice. I could be wrong, but that's all I remember. Very few times anyway. In the last year I added several new scars.

I usually keep them on my upper arms, mostly my upper left arm because, hey, I'm a righty (except for masturbation...weird, huh?) so it's easier that way. I've done several when I wasn't even upset about anything. It's not that big a deal. It's a brief rush and not much pain really. The pain is like a couple seconds, that's it. Keep it from getting infected and you're good to go. But I keep them out of plain sight because I've seen the look on most of my friends' faces the first time they see the scars. I explain and they all give me that same look of diapproval with maybe a little pity mixed in because, obviously, I must be fucked in the head to do it, right? "Normal" people don't brand themselves--but if they choose to get a tattoo, hey that's AOK. Then I read in a magazine like 2 years ago that some people are getting branded instead of tattoos. They pick out a design and pay someone to heat it up and brand them. So if you pay someone else to do it to you, that's alright (granted I'm sure the majority of society still wouldn't see it as "normal" or "ok," but it seems to have less social stigma. I'm what would be called a deviant. I do something that mainstream society disapproves of and they don't like that stuff being thrown in their faces. Granted, the way I started maybe wasn't good. There were probably more constructive ways I could have worked through problems, but when a thought is stuck on repeat in your head and you can't turn it off, you don't want to call and make an appointment with a shrink for a week later to have him or her help you deal. That's not really why I do it now though. It's more the rush of that couple seconds of pain.

At the end of December, pre-birthday fiasco, pre-Christmas even, I think, I took a paperclip, twisted it into the shape of a heart and branded it on my arm. I wasn't depressed. It's just there to serve as a reminder, love hurts. I'm not deterring myself from love, just reminding myself of the reality of where it usually leads. That doesn't mean I'm gonna sit out of the game; I still believe I can belt one out of the park or hit that three-point game winner. It's just there to remind me, take it slow and worry about each day as you face it. Em saw it and said something about me wearing my heart on my sleeve. I never really thought about it. That's a phrase I've heard hundreds of times but don't really understand. Where the hell did it come from? Not really important. I brand myself when the urge strikes because I can live with the stares of others when they see the scars...the people who deal with them and don't run off, they're okay in my book. I'm getting crazy tired so I'm going to end on that note even though I had more to say on the subject. I may add more thoughts on the subject another time. I haven't even read what's already here and I don't remember for sure. For the time being I'm falling asleep at the computer so I guess it's time to grab a few hours of sleep since whatever I get now is it for the day.

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