{December 21, 2017}   Suspension Retreat

I wonder how I can start this without it sounding exactly the same as every other suspension writing I do. How do I make this different when all the same feelings happen every time? I wish I had had the time to write this sooner, the longer I leave this the harder it is to remember details that I wanted to mention. My memory frustrates me with things like this.  Of course I can remember the awkward moment I started to talk about my outdoor suspension.. to one of the people who helped facilitate but I can’t remember the really important things I wanted to mention.

The beginning is always the same. I walk up to the group of people outside and I am welcomed by smiles. The first feeling you get around these people is home. Its simple, we are a group of people who often don’t fit in. Or at least I feel like we are.. maybe these people do fit in and its just me that walks through life feeling like the outsider. But we are different, what we do is different. Most people can’t imagine what we do and the joy that it brings us. Most people don’t get it.. but we do and we band together as a family because what we share is intimate and special. We show a vulnerability to each other that you don’t see in many places. We laugh, we cry, we inspire, we teach and we are accepted. Just us, as ourselves with no need to put up walls to hide behind. I am more real around those people than I am at any other social situation, because I am just accepted for me. That is love, that is family. And some of these people I only ever see at these events but I am always welcomed by a smile, as if it was just yesterday that I saw them.

The first day that I was there, was the 2nd day for everyone else. I missed out on the hilarity of a group pull as well as other amazing things that happened the first night. When I arrive everyone is relaxing, some only just getting up to start the day. The suspensions were slow, not much happening for most of the day. But by the afternoon things were starting to happen again. I didn’t see much as I went down to the bridge to do my own suspension. Originally I wanted to do a coma with a forehead hook but when I heard that there was an outside point, I didn’t want to miss out on that chance. We could only do simple styles out there which meant for me a 2pt suicide. I hate suicides, everyone goes on about how great they are for movement and hell yes they are, but for me I just can’t last with them. I feel the muscles in my back pull right from the top of my butt and its that pull which I find hard to deal with. I switched to doing angels because I didn’t get that pull but found I still had great movement. But 2pt suicide it is and to be honest, it was the best suicide that I’ve done. I felt like I was up much faster than previously and I was able to breathe through things once I was up and start moving around pretty quick. I didn’t last all that long but I knew I wouldn’t. Its an amazing feeling to be outside in the sun, to feel the water on your feet and be weightless. To feel that tension on my skin which has grown almost comforting to me now. I don’t know how to describe how peaceful it was. No sound of cars, no buildings or screens. Just outside feeling the warmth of the sun, floating, moving, feeling water run along my toes as they dip into the stream. It was beautiful and I did this on my own. I normally have certain people for support but they weren’t there, I did have people that I know who were part of it. And I was very thankful that they were there but the ones who normally hold my hands or check the hooks and make me laugh, there weren’t around for this. This was mine, on my terms, just for me. That suspension was really the ultimate freedom and I will always cherish that feeling.


After that I was happy to watch people. I was happy to sit in my own little bubble and just be surrounded by these inspiring humans. At some point when I was making food, someone said something to me. Its one of those things that I wish I could remember because it struck me so deeply. I laughed it off a little but it was repeated, it was something about me being able to do incredible things or underestimating how amazing what I do is. I don’t remember and I probably have it all wrong but whatever it was it made me believe that maybe what I do is something worth watching. I often feel like my suspensions are pretty standard, nothing exciting for those involved. Mostly because I don’t think I suspend well and don’t see the other things I do to myself as that spectacular. I take ages to get up, I’m not up for long depending on the style and it seems like a big giant fuss for a few minutes of air time. Which shouldn’t matter at all because the fact I even attempt this stuff is something most people wouldn’t ever do. But my nature to compare myself to others is something I am still working on, so to hear what I did when I did, was very powerful to me.

I already know this is going to be very long but there are things I want to mentioned because they are important to me. The installation for one. That installation still plays in my mind because it was so, so haunting. Even watching the hooks being put in became a part of the whole thing for me. Mostly because I could feel her pain. I could tell by the noises she made which hooks she was okay with and which ones took all of her strength to get through. It was hard for me to listen to because it was the kind of moment where I just wanted to go and comfort her. It was agony to sit there in the back and not be able to help. That many hooks in that many places was fucking tough and I know full well that I would not have managed it. The rigging itself took forever but I was impatient because I was so exhausted. The rigging had to take that long because it needed to be perfect. And when things started it was so worth waiting for. The whole scene reminded me of a viking ritual. Sacrificing to a Valkyrie who sat there cross legged, hands above legs, black face, black hair and feathers, skin pulled in so many different directions and slowing spinning around. A couple in front of her, paying homage in a sadistic way. It fucked me up. I don’t think I have ever seen something so beautiful in such a dark way before. Since the retreat I have thought about that installation more than I have thought about the things that I did.

The next day things were very slow moving again. The night before was very long but the day was filled with more laughter, stories and some pulls. This was the day that the 2nd amazing thing was said to me.. but now I don’t remember what it was. At the time it struck something in me and I absorbed it and kept on to it. Whatever it was it affected me and I am thankful for it but I wish I could remember what was said.

Watching the 4 way throat pull was amazing. To cause vibrations on the string and watch the changes in people as they feel it. I did a pull later on in the day, I didn’t want to miss out on having a forehead hook and I was not disappointed. The centre of my chest really sucked but the forehead hook was magic. My friend and I spent most of the pull being complete dicks and laughing at absolutely anything. It was so much fun to be outside, around people I care about and just laughing. I was super fucking high in those moments and all simply from the chemicals in my body. The human body is an amazing thing.

I watched a couple suspend together. Legs intertwined so they were up close, sitting with knees up. Able to touch each other, talk to each other. It was beautiful to see that kind of closeness, for them to be going through it together. Suspensions like that are the ones that normally make me cry, they hit so deep within me. I see such beauty in what we do. To me it doesn’t look gory or fucked up, its just beautiful. To watch peoples faces as they find inner peace, or to hear the laughter and see the smiles as all those chemicals kick in and they fly round like an idiot. This is all magic to me.

I learnt the history of Skindependent, what it was born from, how it developed and changed and got better than the founder himself ever thought. It was interesting to hear the changes and to be able to pinpoint when I entered into this as well. I don’t even remember how on earth I heard about them to start with but my beginning was the scout hall.  Since that beginning I haven’t looked back. I have moved further and further forward and have been able to witness some of the changes that have happened over the years. It was something that started off so small and over time it grew and became so large that I think even he lost his way with it. The spark died out, it became routine and the life that he had put into it started to diminish. People get tired, people change the things that are important to them and people find new outlets and none of it is bad though it is hard to feel like you might be losing something which has been home for so many years. The formality of it all sucked the fun out but I know that this retreat did a lot of good. This isn’t the end of suspensions, it is only just the beginning of the next chapter. Where it goes from here, no clue. But I know things will happen because for the first time in a long time, I saw that fire back. It could take another year, it could take 5. But something will happen at some point because now there is purpose again, now it is fun and full of life again. So I’m not sad about the hiatus, I haven’t really lost the thing which saved my life.

I always talk about the emotions that this causes me. I’m an incredibly emotional person and right from the very start this has done something to me. I don’t need suspensions to survive anymore but for a long time I did. It was my outlet, it was how I healed myself, it was how I showed myself that I was not allowed to give up when the only thing I wanted to do was give up. It was my cure for depression when I was so desperate for something in my head to change. It was never about self harm, self hatred, I’ve never done this to mutilate myself. I do this because I don’t know where I would be if I had never found this group. When I say this saved my life, I mean it. There wasn’t a point where I actually wanted to die but there have been points in my life where I just didn’t know how to keep on existing. It hurt just to breathe, being crushed by this invisible weight on my chest day in day out. To not be able to think, to be sleeping too much or not being able to sleep at all. To feel like one day I would implode under all this pressure and simply not be there anymore.

Suspension showed me that I could keep going. That even though things hurt, at the end I would find peace. That not everything is permanent and those feelings won’t last forever. It gave me freedom and happiness on days where I didn’t know how to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It has dragged me out of very, very dark places. Suspensions are home to me. They show me I am strong, they show me I can keep going, they show me that giving up is not an option. They show me who I really am inside because when I take my feet of the ground, even for just a moment, that dark cloud over my head doesn’t hurt me anymore. That is everything for me. I don’t remember what its like to not have depression so I will walk the earth in order to find that one thing which takes that feeling away for a time. Words will never describe how thankful I am for the past 7 years of having suspensions in my life, for having those people in my life. We might not be close but those people mean everything to me.

And yes, I am covered in scars and yes this is probably bat shit crazy to 95% of the world but to that other 5% this is just us. This is who we are, this is how we live and breathe and keep going.

This is my home.












I want to start at the end… but then thats always where I want to start. I want to start with how it felt, what it meant, what I saw. I want words to tumble out like they always do and for it somehow to all make a cohesive story that makes sense. But then, my mind doesn’t really make much sense right now, so I will start at the beginning because at least then it might make some sort of story out of images that I’m trying to put into words.

Ah well, here goes nothing.

It was cold. Everyone who was there will know how cold it was. It figures that this last big event and the heater breaks down. I knew I would be in the afternoon so I wasn’t too worried about it. I never like suspending at this time of year because its always so cold though. I watched the days events unfold, I watched each persons journey. I watched their struggle, their determination, I watched them overcome their own fears and restrictions. For some it was only a moment off the ground but how long you are up, really doesn’t matter. Its how you got to that point that matters, its every sensation you feel, every pain and fear and every release of emotion. Getting off the ground, even for a single moment, is something to be celebrated.. going into that hall with just the notion of giving this a go is something to be celebrated. Getting those hooks under your skin, standing there and trying with everything you have, even if you don’t leave this earth, its still something that most people would never even try. I know that I beat myself up when I don’t get off the ground but give me some time afterwards and I know that the fact I even tried, is a big enough accomplishment. It takes time to see that though.

I knew that the day would be emotional for me. I had spent all week wanting to cry for no reason (thanks hormones!), so I knew that it wouldn’t take much to set me off. I was on pins and needles all day. Watching Mischief go up is what really set me off for the day though. It had been so long since she had suspended and so long since I had seen her in this place that it almost instantly brought me to tears. Watching how her and Eden interacted was magic. She didn’t have to say anything, hardly had to move a hand at all and he just knew to put more tension on. It was amazing to watch this connection so vividly. The connection between them really got to me, it was beautiful.  And when she left the ground, everything was peaceful. It was her moment, her happy place and it struck me so hard that I couldn’t help but cry. To see someone that content, that at home in the moment, how she was is why I love this so much. What suspensions do for people is so, so powerful. Unless you do it and see it, I don’t know if people would ever really get the magic behind it all.

I watched more amazing things. I was happy in my bubble watching people. It started getting late in the day and I knew that my anxiety about doing this suspension was only increasing by the minute. It didn’t really start hitting me that I was going to do this until I was watching Dolly get pierced. I knew I wouldn’t be long after her. I was watching her trying to get up. Impressed that she didn’t need someone to help her balance when she walked. I was told that I would be next. She is up and I have to move away to get ready. Now things hit home. I can’t stand and enjoy her ride like I did with Mischief because now I have to shut off. Now I have to figure out how the fuck I am going to do this.

Music so loud I drown out all my thoughts. I know that I will do this, I’m not afraid of the pain. I don’t know what I am afraid of but its not the pain or the sensation. I think I was afraid of letting go. There are jokes made as my skin is grabbed at, figuring out the best placement for the hooks. I smile but don’t say much. What is there to say? I’m on the verge of tears again and I have no idea why. The piercing isn’t as bad as when I get my back done. They seem to go in a little easier in comparison. The second one really sucked and oh look, I’m crying. It was weird because once that second hook was in, all the chatter in my head stopped. I haven’t been sleeping well lately because my brain doesn’t stop. I will lie in bed and think random things, not bad things but a constant chatter of unimportant shit. Everything stopped. I think I cried because having silence for the first time in what feels like forever, is a big relief. I tried to hold myself together but it didn’t really work. Cried as I was getting rigged up and had to take a moment just to breath in order to make it stop. I don’t know if it was fear about doing this suspension, being emotional all week and having a head which doesn’t shut the fuck up.. I don’t know what it was but just having those hooks in started this huge emotional purge. I don’t know what those emotions were but I feel like it was every emotion under the sun, just tumbling out all at once. Maybe I was more afraid of doing this style than I thought I was. I felt like I was crying for no real reason at all, it was just happening.

Other than the amount of pain this style causes me, the position I’m in makes it really hard to balance. I can’t walk this out like normal and keeping my balance in one place is impossible. I have to hold Toms hands because I feel so unsteady. It doesn’t take as long as I expected before I am on tip toes. Problem is, I don’t think I can get off the ground this way. I need something to push against. Cramp in both legs and I am back flat on the ground. I know that I will do this, I just have to figure out the best way to do it so I can keep my balance. The last time I did this, the person helping me stood with her back to me and I pushed on her shoulders. Tom is too tall so it won’t work that way again. Back up to where I was and I figure out that I need people either side of me. I don’t even care who at this point because I know I am so close to that moment. Mischief comes to the rescue and I have my arms around them both. Not exactly what I was planning but it will work. Change the song, find the right moment, wait for it. Its now or never.

I think that I always have a now or never moment. With chest its even more sudden because it fucking hurts. With other styles I find it more gradual but with my chest it was just all of a sudden this switch flips in my brain and I need up and I need up now. Having someone on either side meant that getting up was so much better than last time. I was up and blinded by pain. Then the strangest thing happened. I remember thinking that I want my arms off of them so its just me, wrapped up around myself. I remember willing my limbs to move but I was frozen. No matter how much my brain told my arms to move towards me, they wouldn’t. I remember the pain, flashing red across my eyes, hard to breathe, hard to focus. I remember time slowing down. You know when you watch a movie and they zoom in on the clock and the ticking starts to slow, slower, slower and then it just stops and time is frozen, then after a few moments it speeds up and up and goes back to normal again. That’s what it felt like for me. It felt like everything slowed down, everything faded around me and I could still feel everything but I was also numb to it. The world stopped for a moment and it was just me, hanging there. There wasn’t pain or emotion or anything. The world was dark and quiet, noises became muted and sensations were dulled. For me it felt like hours but in reality it would only have been a few seconds. Everything started to come right again, noises became louder, lights brighter, pain more intense and breathing hard again. Time went back to normal as if nothing had happened.

I wanted down again. I had had my moment and I was at peace. Part of me wanted to try and go up again, mostly because I wanted my arms to wrap around me so that that small amount of my weight wasn’t on people. I very nearly did but decided that this time it didn’t matter so much. I was tired, I wanted to retreat into myself and figure out what happened. It was weird because I was laying on the table, getting the hooks taken out and bandaged up. I’m told a story about a chest experience, and I don’t know why he was telling me but it was comforting to hear. I don’t know if he just felt compelled to tell me, or maybe he saw a small change in me when I was up. It was comforting though.  I’m shaking and my teeth are chattering but I already know that I will do a 2pt chest again. I don’t know when, when the time is right I will just know that that’s the style to do. But I will do it again. Every time I do it, I figure out an easier way of doing it.

A 2pt chest is unlike any other suspension. What I got from it is very different to what I get from any other style. This was very, very much about my head. So many of the styles I do is based on my body. To see what my body can do, what position I can be in, how I can make myself feel beautiful when in the air, or try something to prove to myself that my size won’t stop me from being in that position. But this, this is all about my head. This is to make all those self doubts, all the chatter, all those depressive thoughts that have been plaguing me for months, to make everything disappear. To find home within myself and feel peace within myself. To know that I can keep going, that I will do well. That the things that are hard in life won’t beat me.

Suspensions have changed my life drastically. I am not the same girl who started this journey. I have learnt so much about myself and what I am capable of because I have been given the tools to see it for myself. Suspensions have had the biggest impact on how I deal with my depression and how I deal with my self image. To know that I can put my body through this and come out the other side even better than before. Becoming part of this community changed my life. When this all started I was in a very dark place, with no way of seeing any light a head of me. These people helped me find some light in the darkness, helped me heal and helped me find the motivation to not give up when that was the only thing I wanted to do.

In a way, suspensions did save my life. It gave me a purpose when I couldn’t find one. It gave me mental clarity when nothing else worked. It gave me confidence when I felt stuck in a body which would stop me from doing anything. It gave me a group of people that accepted everyone for who they were and not how they looked or what they did.

Thank you for saving me.

I am sad about the hiatus but I am eternally grateful for having a 16yr olds wish granted.

I will never be the same again.









{January 30, 2017}   Rebirth

I feel like I haven’t really written about suspensions in a while. I never wrote about my pinup and I never wrote about my 2pt chest (which still saddens me because that was so so important and I should have written about it). I guess maybe it got to a point where I felt like I was always repeating myself. What else can I really say that I haven’t already said a thousand times? How can I describe the feelings and the emotions behind it, how can I make my journey different from all the others I have done now. I suppose that this time it is different though.. this time I wasn’t ready, I was unsure.

I entered into it because I was already having the day off because my girl was going to suspend. I thought I should use the day to the best I could by suspending as well. As it turns out my roster changed so it was my weekend off and she had to withdraw. It never really occurred to me that I was still going to suspend and that I had chosen to do a style which I have wanted to do for a few years. It got to the start of the week and I was kind of like “oh fuck, its this weekend”. I wasn’t prepared and there were several times I almost backed out. I didn’t know if now was the right time, did I really need this right now, was this the style I should do or should I change to something easier.. question after question and no real solution. I made up my mind and paid and didn’t back out. But I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t tell people I was doing it until the last minute and I didn’t even get my music sorted until the night before. I am  never that slack with preparing for suspension. I always have the music sorted at least a week before, I let people know and advertise the shit out of the event to try and get as many people as I can to come see some amazing things. But none of this happened and I was full of doubt.

Even when I got there I was in two minds. I was excited and wanted to do it, but I didn’t feel ready and I was worried if I would actually make it off the ground. This was so far out of my comfort zone that I really didn’t know what was about to happen. The first thing that threw me off was how low the hooks were going to be, I understood the placement and afterwards was pretty grateful for it but at the time it was unexpected. The more I do the more I struggle with the piercing.. I have so much scar tissue now that I really dread it. But because it was so low it was smooth sailing, probably one of the easiest times they have pierced me. Pop and the needle was through. Some pinching and moving and ready to go.

Because of the style I wanted rope around my legs. I’m fat so I was worried that once I was up I wouldn’t be able to grab my legs and curl up how I wanted to. Having my legs tied together was going to make it easier to grab them and hold them. Rope, rigging, lift off.

One of the most painful styles I have done. But I wonder how much of that was mental. It was hard to get into the right position to start with so that when I was lifted I would curl how I wanted. After tension and rearranging I managed to get my hands off that damn table and start curling. It became a little easier after that because I could feel myself shutting off more and more. The more I curled up the less I noticed anyone but myself. I think this was the first suspension where I didn’t share it with my support person. I completely shut off from everything around me. It was just me in that room, feeling pain like I had never felt it before, feeling fear which felt alien to me but feeling comforted by the feeling of curling more and more into myself. I started to panic that maybe this was a dumb fucking idea, everything hurt more, everything sucked, there was no way in hell I could do this. And then I heard this…

There goes my pain
There goes my chains
Did you see them falling
Because this feeling
There has no meaning
There goes the world
Off of my shoulders
There goes the world
Off of my back
There it goes

And I started to sing to myself, I started to feel the words and trust that I can actually do this. Slowly it started, further and further and the pain didn’t go away, the pain didn’t get easier but I wasn’t afraid of it anymore. It hurt like nothing else but its only pain, and pain is something I can overcome because I’ve done it a thousand times.. just keep breathing it out, cry it out. Eventually I lifted away and with leaving the ground everything poured out of me. I wasn’t sad or happy, I wasn’t one emotion but I was all of them. I don’t even know what really happen but all I know is that everything flowed out of me in a flood of tears. I opened my eyes because I wanted to see that I was really off the ground and to my surprise the table wasn’t even there anymore. I was curled up, holding my legs, feeling everything but feeling nothing. In between reality and a dream. And the room was empty, it was just me and even with music blaring in my ears, everything was quiet. Being in that position was the most peaceful feeling I’ve ever had. I was up a lot longer than I expected I could handle. All while this is happening, I’m still covered in pain. It ebbs and flows but it doesn’t leave me. I didn’t think I could stay up for as long as I did, I didn’t think I would be up long enough for them to move the table away… even if that was only for a moment. My perception of time changed. I came back down, everything crashing forward, everything still pouring out of me. I don’t know how long it took me to stop, how long I stayed in that position on the table pouring my heart and soul out.

I don’t remember much after that. I was completely with the planet but I was also very far gone. I was exhausted emotionally even though physically I was coping. I still don’t know what happened. I don’t know what came out of me or why. I didn’t know that a suspension could bring that level of emotion out of me. It was beautiful and raw but so difficult to be seen like that. To be so exposed and open for everyone to see and hear. I still find it difficult to think of how exposed I was in those moments.

Physically it was one of the most difficult styles I have tried but mentally it was one of the most healing. I do feel reborn, I do feel clean and new ready to start over. I’m still trying to piece myself back together. I still feel fragile but I’m healing.

Sometimes the things that you are the least ready for, are the things you need the most to happen. Words can’t describe my gratitude.

{January 30, 2017}   Suspended Beauty – 2015

Its strange the things that come to mind when I think of suspension. Something that can seem so brutal to others, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been able to see or even be apart of myself. Every aspect of it touches me. Every ritual, every smile, even down to the carefully laid out white tables full of trays and gloves. All of it becomes part of it and at the very centre of it you have this person dangling by hooks, surrounded by love. Its wonderful.

I walked into the hall and there was quiet chatter from the bystanders. There were three strong men in the centre of the room, hooks in chests, backs and legs. The team worked like a machine around them. One person holding the cross beam still, another set of people watching out for blood, another set pulling the lines through the hooks. It took a long time for everything to be perfect and even then they still went back to adjust and retie. All while these people buzzed around, these men stood still. They smiled at times but mostly they just concentrated and kept breathing. What they were about to do was no easy task and they knew it. You could see it in their faces, read it in their body language, if I had been closer I would have heard it in their voices.

When everything was ready the music changed and the lights went off. The only light was the spotlight in the centre shinning down on them. They rose up slowly. Perfectly still, perfectly connected, all in the same position standing upright. They paused for a moment, breathing, feeling, being. Soon they were slowly spinning around. It was something I don’t think I could ever forget. From the moment it started I couldn’t look away. Something about it sucked me in and even if the earth had opened up on itself around me, I would never have noticed. I couldn’t hear anything or see anything other than what was right in front of me. For some reason I started crying, I wasn’t happy or sad or anything. I was just in total awe of what was unfolding in front of me that I was completely overcome by emotion. There was nothing else in the room anymore, just these three men slowly turning around, suspended by hooks in their skin. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. It was powerful beyond measure.

Things didn’t end the way that was intended. Lights went on, crew rushed around with chairs and stools. Lines were cut and the men helped down. Once again we had that well oiled machine. Instructions given quickly and carried out without hesitation. What needed to be done was done and even though it looked like chaos it was so under control. What I saw only added to what I had just seen moments before. It added to how real and raw that kind of performance is. It showed how human those men were. For a long time I didn’t want to speak, I just wanted to watch these people run around and clean up and pack down and do what they had to do. I just wanted to sit there and soak everything in, I didn’t want to ever have to move because I was so afraid of losing that moment.

But it had to end, and I had to go. On the car ride back to His house, He was commenting so much on how well the crew did when things didn’t go to plan. How well the clean up was and this and that and I snapped at Him. I wasn’t dismissing that what He was talking about wasn’t important because it really was. But that’s not why I went to watch, that’s not what that was about and it wasn’t the part I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about those three men, hanging by their skin in the centre of the room and how it was the most amazing thing I had ever been able to watch unfold right in front of me.

I realised that He didn’t understand what I saw. No one can really understand what suspensions are to me. What that performance meant to me and how deeply it got under my skin. Everyone has glimpses of it but I think you don’t ever really get it, unless you have done it. Even then, what you see is not what I see.

I wish someone could look inside my head, my heart, my fucking soul and truly understand the magic that I saw in that suspension. It is unlike anything else in the world and I am so glad that I got to see those three men become living art.

Everyone involved – Thank You.

Lately it’s felt like everything I have worked hard to keep, has been slowly slipping through my fingers. With every passing day more and more is lost, until I’m grasping at the last pieces. Hoping and praying that this will survive, because already we have faced so much. How could this finally break us? Without trust and connection, there is nothing left though.

I didn’t suspend in order to save a relationship. I suspended in order to save myself. Out of all of this mess, I have been breaking apart. Piece by piece I am broken and worn down. Few fragments are left over once the dust had settled. I suspend in order to find myself. To find that part inside of me that makes me so unlike anyone else around. My need to survive, to pull the broken parts back in and force them back into place. To take a stand and fight my way back, clawing and choking through darkness until I can breathe again. It’s my strength that has always set me apart from the rest because I never know it’s there until I need it the most. When I use it in order to keep myself alive when the thought of existing causes physical pain. I will never give up, not even when it feels like the best option. I do everything to survive and that makes me powerful.

At one of my suspensions, my mum watched. After I got back on the ground she hugged me crying. She told me to never say that I can’t do something because if I can do that, I can do anything. I can beat my depression. It’s a moment that has stayed with me ever since. And so in a way I have used suspensions as a way to heal myself when I don’t know how to find that strength. It shows me that I am powerful and that I can face anything, even when it hurts like hell. Through suspension I have gained confidence and determination. It makes me find that part inside to keep surviving when I feel so lost. Lately I have been very lost and I desperately needed to find myself again.

I wanted something that I knew I could do. I picked a style I have done a few times already. After my chest I needed something that I could walk into the hall, and have complete confidence that I would fly. I never doubted myself. I was ready days before it even happened. Even at the hall I didn’t get nervous until the first hooks where being put in and by that time there was no way I would even consider backing out. They hurt more than I remembered they would. Fear set in then. If i didn’t manage to get off the ground I don’t know how I would have handled it. I needed this so badly that I had so much riding on it. Not to mention the fact that I had finally managed to get my friend to the hall so he could watch. Something I’ve been trying to do for a long time because I know how much my friend wants to do it. I have to get off the ground, I have to fix me.

Getting off the ground wasn’t hard. I was so ready for it that it didn’t take nearly as long as it normally does. I needed His help to balance, I needed Him to silently push me to keep trying. In those moments I needed Him more than I have ever needed Him. He helped me walk and I settled into the music. I smiled a lot because I was happy. I was happy to be in this moment, feeling the sensations of the hooks, hearing the music and feeling His hands warm in mine. Soon it was lift off, my feet left the ground and there was only us. Me fighting to stay in control and ride out the waves, Him holding me and keeping me centred. There is only us in this moment.

Push me. Let me feel free. Let me feel everything wash away, wash clean. Let me rebuild myself. Becoming stronger with every swing and push. Let me find myself again after feeling so lost for so long. I swing and move and flex my body and sing to my music because there is no one left at all. I see faces and I laugh and I love this feeling and I never want it to end. I move around with my eyes closed and feel air rush past me. There is no better feeling than flying.

Slow down. I went so fast so quickly and now I just want to float above the ground. He holds me and I tell myself to wait until the song ends before coming down. Just float here with Him for a little while. Right now nothing else matters. This is us, how we should be. Finally starting to mend and connect and trust. This was never done to fix us but in a way it has. Now He sees all of me, now He watchs as I rebuild. Now He shares a sacred part of me and even if He doesn’t get it and its not His thing. He knows it changes me into a better me. The me He fell for at the beginning. Now I am myself again. I don’t know why it worked but it did. Without a connection what’s the point to it all? We had been losing ours, fearing for the worst. Now it is stronger than before, harder to break. We won’t break.

I touch the ground and He holds me up. I cry because I am the happiest I have been in such a long time. I don’t want to let Him go, I don’t want this moment to end. I’m scared that once it’s gone it won’t come back. That I imagined it all and everything is still so broken. It’s not though, we really are going to be okay.

Suspensions are about love.

{January 30, 2017}   Finding Home Again – 2014

Home is in the hall. Walking into a crowded space that is filled with smiles, applause and pride. Old friends and new and an atmosphere that is so electric that the scars on my back and knees tingle as people take flight, some for the first time and others for the hundredth. I feel their pain, their joy, I just feel.

An old post that didn’t make it on here for some reason.

This weekend was For the love of hooks event, it was a skindependant fundraiser that i am proud to say was apart of. I don’t know why flesh hook suspension have always interested me but since i was 16 i was in love and i wanted to do it. This time it was my second suspension and I won’t say it was easier than the first because i dont think it was, it just went smoother than the first and i was happier about this one.

Being suspended by your own skin is not easy. Not everyone can fathom why i do it, why i love it, why i find watching it one of the most beautiful things in the world. But that is sacred to me so it doesn’t really matter. The body amazes me, what we can put our body through, what we can over come by sheer will power, astounds me.

I was hung on saturday the 23rd of july 2011. I was surround by the most amazing people, i had dear friends there supporting me and others. I had the skindependant crew taking care of me each step of the way, and i had my partners there.

I had two hooks in my back and two in my knees, its called a 4pt lotus, though its not really a lotus since my legs arent crossed and the other lotus’ look way better. I had people wandering around me checking the rigging, i had a crew member holding my hand and giving me a step by step kind of what to expect thing from his own experience. There was people dancing around to music, and to no music, there was bromance moments, there was laughter and smiles. The atmosphere of these events blows me away.

Watching others endure the fight against themselves in those moments and then seeing their face when they win against it, its one of the most beautiful things ive ever seen. I find beauty in flesh hook suspensions and always have and always will.

With my own suspension I got to a point where i doubted myself in a very big way. I was so damn close but i didn’t think I could go any further, I panicked inside because i wanted this so damn badly and was afraid my body was going to prevent me from finishing what I had started. My feet were off the ground and i felt like i was sitting on this weird angle, i was so close to being off that seat and i told them up and i was just about to stay stop but i shut my mouth and kept going til i was off that seat and in the air. I was so so lucky when it come to the music being played because i just sat there with my eyes closed singing to myself, calming myself.

Okay so the video is not the most flattering for my larger figure but hey, you get the picture. It was hard to try and have my head up, i was happy with it bowed down and eyes shut just feeling that i had won over my own mind and body. It took a long time to get in the air, and for others they are up within a couple of minutes. This is easier for some rather than others, and I do find this extremely hard to do. So i took my time and i got it in the end. I was in the air for about 6mins, some can easily do 15mins, but i got my 6 and that was all i wanted. I didn’t need more, i couldn’t do more but what i did was for me and no one else in those moments.

I am struggling with my depression severely at the moment, i am still feeling my body having withdrawls from my old anti depressants, its this odd almost dizzy feeling. I delt with that the entire day, i delt with it through my suspension. But if i could deal with it then, then my next flight is going to be even better.

I spent the whole day there, i didnt get to see maybe 3/4 suspensions of the whole day because i had been sitting on cold hard seats for hours and i needed to go to bed. I was stuffed. It took a hell of a lot out of my body and my mind, i was almost in tears so many times throughout the day because i was so proud of everyone who gave it a go, some succeeded and some didn’t But it didn’t matter because they did everything they could. And sometimes your body does fail you, this is not a natural thing for your body to go through. So by the time i got home i could hardly move, i wanted so so badly to be able to go to day 2 but i have been in bed all day. My muscles are finally forgiving me and i am able to get out of bed without johntys help.

This weekend empowered me in a way that i needed so badly. With everything that i deal with within myself, i needed that moment where i won against my body and mind and succeeded in what i wanted to do. And i did it, and i realize why everyone is so proud of me. I am proud of me, and if I can swing from hooks through my skin, then I can get through this black patch that i am going through.

For everyone who made the day what it was, i am thankful. For the crew who went around with vomit buckets, bandages, rigging, to simply making some one smile because they are nervous. They are all beautiful people who are passionate about what they do, and they have fun doing it. i was in such good hands, and so were the rest of those being suspended, I don’t think I would want any other crew doing this than these guys. I am so so glad that I got to be a part of this event, and I will be apart of more.

There is beauty in everything, and i find it in the strangest of places. Suspensions can only be described by me as beautiful, the people who do it and are part of it are all beautiful to me.


{June 3, 2013}   Suspension flop

Last weekend i did another suspension… or at least i tried to do one. I was ment to be doing a 6pt hammock, four in my knees, two in my back.. mimicking a hammock (get it?). The day wasn’t really going right for anyone from the start. One of our lovely regulars who had an epic one sorted for the day had to go home with her sick son. My poor wonderful Mischief, i know how much it would have sucked not being able to be there that day. To get to the hall and then have to go home again, but family comes first and we all understood that. So many people had pulled out for the day, so i got my mum to come down early so i could go up, so they could at least get someone up and get the day rolling until others arrived.

I was prepared, i was happy and excited and nervous and i was completely in the zone for it. But something happened and i didn’t end up flying at all. I ended up a crying emotional mess in front of everyone. So this is what i think happened… this is what i have been trying to get my head around all week so i could write something down. I have to write it down, this is part of it for me even if its taken me a lot longer to get here.. but i get here in the end.

What happened? I was cold, i couldn’t warm up all morning but i pushed this to the back of my mind because if i think i can do it, then il do it. They pierced my back and that was okay, didn’t seem to hurt as much as it usually does for some reason. Then my knees, this is where everything starts to fall apart. My second suspension i had hooks in my knees so i knew what it looked it, didn’t think it would bother me at all. Been there done that il be sweet. It hurt so much more than i thought it would, and i have always found the piercing one of the hardest bits because i find piercings in general hard i just suck it up because its all part of it and i want it. But it seriously freaking hurt, and then the way it looked. Oh my fucking god i have hooks sticking out of my knees, what the fuck am i doing! For some reason the sight of it really threw me, i couldn’t understand why it scared me but for some reason it did. I have seen suspensions over and over again now. I know what it looks like, i know what i look like, ive seen photos, videos of myself. For some reason it really did my head in. I shook it off, sucked it up, i’m fine, everythings fine this is going to be fun.

The rigging.

I don’t normally have a huge problem with getting rigged up but even having my back rigged and any slight tension or movement of the hooks hurt like hell. My body was so hypersensitive and then when it got to my knees the pain just got worse. I was terrified i wouldn’t be able to handle the lift. How can i handle the lift if i can’t even handle the rigging.. this is the easy bit. Thats the moment everything really turned to shit. I doubted myself and i have said that the only possible way i will ever get off the ground is if i don’t have a shred of doubt in my mind. I doubted myself and i knew i was doubting myself but i knew i was being stupid. I have done this before, its not that scary, its not that bad. Where is your fucking fight, where is your determination, where is that smile, that grin?

Its up to me now, the rigging is set and its up to me. The more tension on the hooks the more thoughts creep into my mind. There is no way the skin on your knees is going to be able to handle your weight, your too heavy for this style and its not going to work. Its going to rip to shreds, there is no way this is going to work. I tell myself to shut up because again im being stupid. I have to try this, i didn’t come here not to try. I know that with every suspension there is a risk of tearing, it may be a small risk but it is still a risk and i go into every single one knowing that risk. So why does it bother me today? Why is my weight all of a sudden a massive factor? I do this because its a place where my weight doesn’t matter, so why am i thinking these things now?

I push everything away, i block everything out. I can do this, i am not too heavy, i am strong and confident and i know i can do this. Bit by bit i will fucking do this and its going to take a while but i know i can get there. I am not scared, i am fine. And bit by bit i get up, but the more i get up the more my lower back hurts. I can’t relax into this, i can’t find a position thats comfortable and my arms are killing me from holding my weight because i can’t not put weight on my arms, i can’t bring them up onto myself and just have my weight on the hooks. I can’t relax and the more tense i am the more it hurts and the more different areas of my body hurts in different positions. Up, down, up, down. Bring it all the way down because i need to stop for a moment and regroup. Try again, same problems. I can’t relax and no matter how much i tell myself that i can do this i can’t. I blurt out that i need it to stop. I didn’t think about saying it, i just said it. They asked if i wanted to do a suicide instead but i knew my head had already done too much damage and i wouldn’t have been able to get off the ground with that either so i said no.

I broke down. I was so emotionally and physically fucked that all i could do was cry. I tried to piece together in my head what had gone wrong and why i had said stop but my head was all fogged up and i couldn’t think. I shut down.. I was numb.

I didn’t tell any of the team what was going on in my head because i didn’t even really know what was going on in my head. One moment i was thinking no i can’t do it and the next i was overcoming it with yes i can do this, i will do this. This wasn’t something i could talk to them about or i would have at the time. This was internal and without a voice and its only now after so much time has gone passed that i can actually put a voice to what was going on in my head. This is not a reflection of the fantastic work that these guys do it was all me.

Thats why it sucks so much. Because i know i did it all to myself and i don’t know why or how. It just happened, for whatever reason my head went mental and i couldn’t stop it, no one could have stopped that. What sucks the most is my confidence took a hit. I am now concerned about my weight when suspensions where the one place where i wasn’t concerned about it. I don’t want to suspend again until i have lost 21kgs.. my goal is double digits and thats what i have to get down to before i will be happy to try it again. I am not afraid of doing suspensions and i will still do suspensions, its such a big part of who i am. But until i have lost more weight i won’t be doing them, because losing the weight is just going to make it easier to do them. It sucks but i don’t want to go into a suspension and freak out about being too heavy again. It was the most stupidest thing ever but for some reason it happened and i’m paying for it. So i’m taking it as a good indication that i need to start doing something more about it.

I love the team. Afterwards i got messages of love and support from them and it helped so much. To hear that i wasn’t the only one upset, that they were going through it with me helped. Because each and every one of them knows how hard what we do really is, and how much it sucks when someone can’t get off the ground. I will get off the ground again, i’m not scared that it will never happen again because it will, its just going to be a while before i do.

I’m upset because i did it to myself, and thats the hardest part of all of it. It happens to the best of us, we are not always going to make it off the ground. We are special because we go into a room with the intent of trying, and even just having that intent makes us different from the rest and i love that. I love this world and its not going to stop me, i just have to get over the fact i did it to myself because its hard knowing that.

Your mind is your own worst enemy as well as the greatest gift.


{February 12, 2013}   Suspension Reflection

I haven’t done a suspension since October last year, but its something that is on my mind several times a day despite how often i do them. From the start i knew they were something i would fall in love with, something i would cherish like a precious gift but what i didn’t know was how i would change as a person simply by doing them, and being part of the community we have here.

Confidence has been my biggest issue, my size has always effected me and in a world where appearance means so much.. i was never “hot stuff” to a shallow country. I count my blessings everyday that i know the people involved with Skindependent. Time and time again i get to be surrounded by people who really don’t give a shit about how you look. Not just the team, but the other people who suspend. In that hall, your gender, sexuality, political views, the way you dress, the way you adorn your body or your choice to not do.. none of it matters. You are a person in your entirety and you are welcomed with open arms for just being you. You become part of a greater family, a place where being yourself is encouraged and you aren’t judged on the things that we are judged on on an everyday basis. No one cares how much money you make, or any petty little thing like that because you are accepted for who you are. There are very few places that you can go, that everyone will applaud you, tell you that you did amazing, that you looked amazing and so happy.. complete strangers are awe-struck and they aren’t afraid to tell you so. You become friends with people from all walks of life and you learn to accept people as they are because nothing else really matters. In the short time ive been part of this community i have seen more beauty in the world than i ever noticed beforehand because i no longer see the world as it was.. i see it as it is in its entirety.

I breathe suspensions, i live suspensions everyday… each day there is a new post, a new video, a new picture.. of something beautiful and jaw-dropping. The more i do the more i love and the more i appreciate the dedication that goes in to organising these events. I see videos, or read blogs of people all around the world. And even if i have never met them, they become familiar to me, part of a greater family that i haven’t had the pleasure in meeting yet. I watch their struggles and their achievements and i glow with pride because i can feel what they feel, i know what its like because i’ve done it. I know the pain, the ache, the tug, the pull, the lift, the happiness, pride, achievement, glory of overcoming something and i also know the disappointment, the hurt and the drive to do better next time. I glow with pride because i know how much it means to get up, to be around the most beautiful people you have ever met, to learn, to grow and to be something more than you ever thought you could be. I glow with pride because even if i don’t know the person, i feel like i know them and i’m proud of what they do and who they are.

It doesn’t matter if its your first time or your hundredth, it doesn’t matter if i know you or not because i will cry tears of joy for you because suspensions are one of the most amazing things in the world to me and the people who are part of it make it that much more amazing for me. A million strangers in the world and i will pat you on the back and tell you how fantastic you did because its what i truly believe.

Being part of something that is so incredibly special, has made me a better person and i’ve learned to appreciate life and art and love in a way i never thought possible. Its not just the act of suspension that makes me do this time and time again but its the family that i have joined.

{October 28, 2012}   Last Sunday Sessions of 2012

Today was the last Sunday Sessions of 2012 and the whole day was amazing for me. It started off by me watching some very cool suspensions. My lovely Mischief as always blowing me away with her strength and beauty as well as watching someone’s second suspension which just happened to be back and chest!! The mans second suspension and already trying out a chest, i was completely in awe the whole time. And being able to watch someone else’s first time, giving them advice to try to help calm him down a little before he went to get pierced and watching him soar and be completely at peace once he was up, it was magic. I really love when a persons first time goes really well for them, because i know how hard it is and how hard it is when things don’t go the way you want them to.

I was nervous, i was fine when i was distracted but my last suspension was very disappointing for me. I was disappointed with myself and so i wanted this to one to go okay so i could get my confidence back and know that i really can do this. After watching some of the mornings suspensions and getting more and more nervous about my own, we went off to have lunch and pick up my friend. After i ate i felt sick, i was really anxious and scatterbrained, not thinking properly at all and this made me worry if i was even going to be able to get through the piercing side of it. By the time I got back to the hall I was feeling okay again, I didn’t feel sick anymore and I was very determined again. I got plugged in, focused on my music while they massaged and pulled at my skin. Figuring out were to place the hooks and then having to wipe away the marks and do it again. The only thing i hated about this part is my feet were getting sore from trying to hold still for so long.. i don’t mind waiting. I would much rather they were completely happy with where the hooks were to be placed and have it take a while, than for them to rush through it and not feel confident. I trust these people and waiting doesn’t bother me.. just my feet did lol.

It was strange because while i was waiting, i wasn’t nervous anymore, i wasn’t scared. I was just focused, happy within myself, happy to be there, be around those people and happy that it was finally my turn again. I knew that i could do it, that everything would be fine this time around. I swear that it doesn’t matter how many times people suspend you will still get a little nervous when it comes down to it, but i wasn’t.. i was completely okay this time. Usually when they pierce me they do it one at a time, this time they did two at a time and it was actually a hell of a lot easier.. it still hurt of course but it felt like only three hooks and not six. Then its time to get rigged up. The way they rigged was a little different this time, they got the first two done and then put heaps of tension on while they did the others. I was already flying in my head, i could almost feel my feet leave the ground and i would grin in between random pain faces as they adjusted things.

Having a lot of tension on the hooks actually made the whole thing a lot easier, my body was already used to a lot of tension before i even started my wee back and forth dance. Suddenly its time, its up to me. I walk and pull and then tell them to pull on the rope more and i walk and pull more. And then i bloody well get cramp in my foot! I just laughed about it, it happened to Mischief last time so she knew how annoying it was. I keep going and soon i’m off the ground. I smile and laugh and swing a little but then i start feeling lightheaded. I don’t want to come down yet, i’m not finished! I have to, i feel like i’m going to pass out and i need to be on the ground if i do. I’m back on the ground and i have some juice, laugh and smile some more. Start to feel less foggy and i know i’m not finished yet. I’m going to go back up again. I think maybe I rushed a little the first time, and so I try to slow down a bit. But i can’t slow down, the more i pull and tug the faster i walk, the easier it is. Its funny because all while i’m doing this there are a lot of people watching, but in those moments i see no one. There is me, just me, i can feel the others around me but my focus is all on myself. I look at people without really seeing them and so i stare at a spot on the floor instead. I’m so damn determined, i’m not giving up. I’m putting my foot down and i’m going to do this, i will get back up again. I’m almost up and  i walk back and forth and tell them to take me all the way up. As the rope is pulled and i’m slowly lifted i keep walking back and forth and with one last effort and push off of Mischief’s hands.. i’m up. I grin, i laugh, i giggle, i spin around and swing. I have my eyes closed for a lot of it, i just focus on the swing and the music, i sing along to myself and then smile and laugh more. Sometimes i look around, and i can finally see everyone else, i can see everyone smiling back at me. I feel completely at peace inside, that the world around me is perfect again. That in these moments everything is perfect, everything is fun and happy and loving and i can’t help but smile and laugh. I don’t know how long i was up, i don’t know how high up i was or how much i swung around but i don’t care either. Because i did it. I got up, i got up twice and i managed to stay up without that awful shock taking over everything. The suspension before this didn’t go well and i was scared i wouldn’t be able to get off the ground again, i got off the ground and in the end it was honestly my best suspension so far. I have never been that completely ecstatic from a suspension. I have been happy from suspensions, i have felt perfect from them but this time everything was just that much more. It ment that much more to me. Its hard to describe how perfect and wonderful this really was for me, i can’t even get the words out to begin to try and explain how magical this suspension truly was. Being in the air, spinning and swinging and feeling free, and then opening my eyes and seeing how happy everyone else was just by watching me, having them share my completely happiness.. that is what magic is to me. The room was electrified and connected and i can understand why people have done suspensions to feel closer to God. I’m not religious and so the only way i can describe it is magic, something that you feel in the air and in your heart and you can almost see it but not quite. Its more than just the chemicals your body produces to protect you but i don’t know what it is. Energy i guess, energy i believe in but magic is my word for it, my own personal magic.

My muscles start to hurt and i know that i’m ready to come down, i’m happy to come down. My mum comes over to me, she hugs me and tells me how much she loves me, that i amaze her and that i am such a strong person. We both stand there crying, and hugging each other. The adrenaline is wearing off and i’m starting to think a little clearer again. We laugh and cry more, set off other people in the room. It was a very, very emotional moment for everyone, it was beautiful. I stand there talking and laughing more with people while they get sorted out so the hooks can be removed. Then i lay back down on the table and just lay there in quiet reflection as the crew remove the hooks and bandage me up. I can hardly feel the hooks being removed, it doesn’t hurt and i just close my eyes and breathe. I did it, and i’m so happy.

I’m quiet the rest of the afternoon, i’m tired and my muscles hurt. I keep smiling to myself as i remember everything, going over and over again in my mind. I’m still in quiet reflection now, hours later and I will be for days to come. Its the people that surround me that make me able to do this. I said to my mum when i was 16 that one day i would do flesh hook suspensions, and i was lucky enough to find an amazing group of people who help me time and time again to do this. Having a supportive and loving crew helping me every step of the way, watching me grow and change and growing and changing with me… to me this is very special. I won’t ever be able to thank these people enough for what it is they give to me. Suspensions are a powerful thing and i love that there is a community of people who share it with me, that I have an amazing crew like Skindependent and the help of people from Suspended inTension (another amazing crew), an amazing friend Mischief, and my beautiful mum, all supporting me and helping me do what i do. I love this, and i’m so proud of everyone who was involved today. I can’t wait until the next Sunday Sessions in 2013.

For those who read this, there are probably spelling errors and it may seem a bit disjointed in places but i’m still flying inside right now 🙂

et cetera