Yesterday I took a self-care day because I wanted to create a loving memory on the sixth anniversary. I did a lot yesterday, which I’ll post tomorrow, but I want to write about my new tattoo first.
I hope you enjoyed my motley introduction. 🙂 I planned for tattoo #2 back in September and I shared the idea with my counselor. He thought it was a great idea, to create a loving memory in place of a painful memory; since a tattoo can be painful, I thought it was symbolic. It’s a pain I wanted and it’s erasing the pain that I didn’t want. Tattoos aren’t painful for me, but I thought it would be an act of love. Mitch thought that was resilient and sounded like such a great idea.
I made the appointment on 4 October and the receptionist was so nice. I explained to her that 7 November was a special day and if someone wouldn’t mind taking photos for a scrapbook. She was sweet and said, “that’s not a problem at all. We would love to take photos for you.” She booked me for Doug and Doug was in studio, so we talked about the design I wanted.
I’ve been listening to a lot of TED talks lately and one talk struck me; Andrew Solomon gave a talk called How Painful Moments Create Our Identities. He said that through our trials and tribulations, we forge meaning and quoted from 2 Corinthians, “for when I am weak, then I am strong.” I fell in love with the phrase and thought it was fitting. Doug and I picked a font, and the receptionist gave me an appointment card “for your [my] scrapbook.” I walked out of the shop feeling great and super excited for 7 November.
On 7 November before I was scheduled to get tattooed, I stopped at a convenience store across the street from Olde City Tattoo and fortunately they sold apple juice. Apple juice is good for the skin and as I was paying for the juice, I told the clerk I was getting a tattoo. She was tatted up and we chatted about ink and how addictive it is. She hoped I would come back after my appointment so she could see it.
On 7 November, at 12:30 in the afternoon, I met Doug and I was tattooed. When I walked in, the receptionist wasn’t there and I asked him about photos. He said that the other guy here might not be willing to do it, but later on he would ask. Doug brought me back, placed the temporary tattoo on my back and I looked in the mirror to see if I liked the placement. I did and we got started. Doug asked me what brought me in today and I told him, “today is a hard anniversary. I was assaulted six years ago and today I am creating a loving memory.” He thought that was a good idea and he asked his colleague to take pictures. Doug did add, “anytime you need a break, just let me know.” I know the spot where I got it can be painful and I guess that is why he suggested it. We did take breaks, not for the pain, but to get pictures. Jason, another artist in the studio, took the photos.
I liked Doug; not only was he a great artist, but he was friendly and was chatty as he tattooed me. We were listening to black metal, and we chatted about Mayhem, Watain, Cradle of Filth and then talked about travel. Tattoo #2, like Wraith, didn’t hurt and only took 30 minutes. I created a loving memory for the 7th and now I will look back on the day with loving kindness. I am super grateful for their kind gestures and I’m thinking about writing a thank you note to the studio for creating such a special day.
After, I went back to the convenience mart and the clerk was so happy that I came back. The store was empty and I lifted my shirt. It was covered and she asked if she could uncover it. I said, “sure, if you wouldn’t mind getting photos.” She handled everything with care and absolutely loved my tattoo. She wrapped me back up and gave me extra tape. We spent another 15 minutes chatting about her tattoos. The mailman that I saw while I was getting tattooed, walked in to deliver her mail. I said, “fancy seeing you again!” He smiled and exclaimed, “you were the one getting tattooed! It looked great!” He was a kind older gentleman and that made my afternoon. Talking to the clerk also made my afternoon. I wished her well and I just felt so joyful. It felt great sharing my art with others and in turn, they shared their art with me.
7 November 2019 was the best day ever!
4 thoughts on “To Write Love on Her Skin”
Hi, Jessica Marie!
“New Tattoo” is one of my favorite Mötley Crüe songs – badass without even trying very hard. I discovered it only a few years ago when I bought their Red, White & Crüe anthology. It’s the perfect song for this occasion. I am all verklempt reading about this bold act on your part. On a troubling, disturbing anniversary, you took control of the situation. You chose a slight amount of physical pain over what could have been a day of tremendous emotional pain. You conquered your fear, put the past where it belongs, in the past, and triumphed. I’m happy to see that the studio personnel took pictures as requested so that you can remember this experience and become empowered by it. The font is handsome and the message one that will inspire you the rest of your life. In short, you turned what could have been one of the worst days of your life into the very best. I applaud you, dear friend JM!
Thank you, Tom! 7 November 2019 was one of the best days of my life! The swelling finally went down and it looks like some scabs are forming. I have to wash and apply aquaphor, twice daily for two weeks. Once it heals, I hope to get some other photos.
I’m really thinking about writing a thank you letter to the shop.
Yes! You are so strong! I love that you decided to reframe your pain and create a happy empowering memory. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Alana. My tattoo has healed nicely and I can’t wait until summer to show it off some more. 🙂 My love spot.
I wrote about this day for my yearly newsletter and I decided that I’m sharing the day with some of my cousins. I decided that I don’t really want to hide my story anymore either; I shouldn’t be ashamed of what happened in 2013, it wasn’t my fault.