Ivybelle Talks about The Difference Between Tattoo’s And Self-Harm

 

“In case you didn’t know, dead people don’t bleed. If you can bleed-see it, feel it-then you know you’re alive. It’s irrefutable, undeniable proof. Sometimes I just need a little reminder.”  Amy Efaw, After

 

When I was younger I used to self-harm and I was addicted to it. I did it for many reason; to feel something when I was numb, to focus my pain on physical instead of emotional/mental, etc. I didn’t care if I lived or died and it became an addiction. It’s still something I struggle with- it’s a daily battle with myself. No, I don’t self-harm anymore and I’m proud of myself. I just keep trying to stay positive.
“I am a canvas of my experiences, my story is etched in lines and shading, and you can read it on my arms, my legs, my shoulders, and my stomach.” – Kat Von D
Ever since I was 11 years old I’ve wanted to get a tattoo. At 17 years old my dad paid for my very first tattoo, I was sooo happy. The first tattoo I got was a Treble Clef to symbolize my passion for music. Music has always been a huge part of my life and I’ve always wanted to be a musician. At 17 years old self-harming got worse and I was struggling. I wanted to be a musician but my dad wouldn’t allow me. I would listen to music all the time until my dad snapped at me because I was too obsessed with music, that’s all I ever did. Even though my dad didn’t want to help me with music, I was happy to get my tattoo because it was a reminder of who I am, who I was, who I will be and what I love.

The second tattoo I got was the words “Stay Strong” on my wrists to remind me to stay strong in hard moments. It’s also been a strong reminder to not self-harm.
I started to self-harm when I was 15,I would find different ways to harm myself… I had a lot of things going on and I didn’t know how to cope. After 3 years of therapy, I told myself I would get a tattoo and that was the tattoo I got. Originally I wanted something with “ stay strong” but I didn’t know what until I saw Demi Lovato with the tattoo on her wrists and I thought, “ wow! I want that!” and I did. A lot of people have asked me why I got that tattoo, to some people I tell the story but some are not aware.

The third tattoo that I have is a quote saying, “We accept the love we think we deserve”. I didn’t come up with that quote, I found it on Pintrest but I thought that it’s so true. I think everyone can relate to the idea of thinking that we either don’t deserve someone that treats us like a Queen/King. I got this because I, myself struggle with the idea of accepting the love I truly deserve. I always thought that I could only get a guy that thinks so little of me and takes me for granted. I never thought that I could get someone that treats me with respect, that doesn’t cheat, that loves me for me, that takes me out, etc.. Every morning I look in the mirror and say out loud the quote that I now have tattooed on me and it reminds me that I deserve someone loving and caring.

“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.”

                                                                  — Johnny Depp

 

Some people that know about my past have all asked me the same question. “Isn’t self-harming and getting tattoos the same thing?” “ You used to self-harm so really you’re just finding an excuse to harm yourself again”.
No, I am not doing it to self-harm. When I get a tattoo it has to have a meaning or a story to tell. However, when the urges do come back getting a tattoo seems like a good idea to me. Yes in a way I’m replacing one pain by another but at least instead of having scars I’m getting a tattoo that portraits a beautiful memory/reminder, every tattoo has a story. I can understand why people ask me those questions it can be confusing especially when they know my past.

I will admit, when I get my tattoos I love the feeling of getting them. There’s a part of me that feels relief and feels good when I feel the pain. However, there’s another part of me that is scared that I will fall back into that habit- that’s scared of facing my past again. I guess in a way I’m replacing one pain with another.
No, I do not get a tattoo to self-harm, I get a tattoo because I want one and/or I have a story to add. Yes I’m turning a battle scar into a beautiful picture.

If you do plan on getting tattoos please make sure you get one for the right reasons…

-Ivybelle-
Stay Strong. Stay beautiful. Stay you.
Keep fighting.
xx

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Lynn’s Views on Tattoos, Piercings, and Hair Colour

It really bewilders me that workplaces, schools, and even society in general would refuse people admittance to something solely based on something they decided to do to their looks. Even something as having a place that isn’t your earlobes pierced or having a small yet visible tattoo can cost people a job, education, or service. A person decided to change something about themselves to feel and/or look nice by their standards and, as long as it’s not offensive or going to actively cause an issue, I really see no problem with it. The story I’m about to tell may not fit in super cleanly with this, but I feel it’s…kind of related.

During the summer of last year, I dyed my hair bright pink. It was a drastic change and honestly I hardly recognized myself when we were finished. I loved it. I felt more confident with myself than I ever had before and all I did was change my hair color. But then I started worrying about getting a job. I didn’t have one at that point and I doubted anyone would take me in with my hair as it was. It left me having panic attacks about even applying for jobs at all. Even so, I still loved my hair and the me that went along with it and I wasn’t willing to change it back for some minimum wage job.

My point here is that I was so afraid of this stigma society’s enforced on anything “out of the ordinary” in the looks department that I literally had mental breakdowns. People get turned away for having nose rings or tongue piercings or visible tattoos. While the stigma seems to be slowly lifting, that doesn’t mean everything’s fixed. People still judge other people based solely on looks and it’s just downright silly.

Marie Talks: Tattoos and Piercings In Society

I remember growing up being told to not get tattoos, they’re ugly, dangerous, and makes you labeled a delinquent.  I remember being told not to get any visible piercings, nothing on my face or body, on my ears only. Even at the age of 12 I was when I saw a tattoo or piercing I thought was awesome I immediately thought of the potential implications and issues that could come with it later on I life.  I was taught from a young age that having tattoos, piercings, and unnaturally dyed hair made you basically unemployable, irresponsible, and ugly.

When I was twelve my parents finally allowed me to get my ears pierced.  They are of the belief that piercing a child’s ears before they are old enough to make the decision themselves isn’t right.  Not for the reason of it “promotes body piercings”; but for the sheer fact that it is altering the child’s body without their consent. They waited until they felt I was mature enough to make a decision to put holes in my body for a pointless reason other than that it’s pretty.  They wanted to make sure I was old enough to make a well thought out decision myself when it came to my body, and take care of them on my own.  No parent is wrong in the decision of when to pierce their child’s ears, if to even do so at all.  However I feel my parents made the right decision for me, they instilled the belief that I should be the only one to decide what is done to my body from a very young age and promoted it with the decision of piercing my ears.

However they also instilled societies stand point on how tattoos and piercings were viewed.  Which as I stated previously meant no piercings anywhere besides my ears and definitely no tattoos. When I was sixteen I went and got my tragus pierced, the cartilage that protrudes out in front of the ear canal. Needless to say my parents had no idea I was going to get this done, and were furious when they found out.  See I went with the loop hole that it was part of my ear, whereas my mother saw it as part of the face. Now I expected this drama, and had also worries of my own.  I was worried about how society would view this piercing and what it may imply about me.  Down the road seven years later I’ve learnt the only troubles having my tragus pierced caused is the pain in the bottom that healing was, trying to not get snagged while getting my hair cut, and children love yanking on it. If I haven’t pointed it out people rarely even realize it is there.

As soon as my tragus was fully healed, which was six months later I decided that I wanted my tongue pierced.  I had always thought it looked pretty and I wanted it for that fact alone. So again off I went and got my tongue pierced.  I had doubts and almost chickened out last minute. I worried that it would tell society that I was promiscuous, or tell men I was easy. I worried what future employers would think and if it would make me unemployable.  What pushed me to actually walk in the room and let the lady covered in beautiful tattoos and piercings stick a needle through my tongue is the knowledge of why I was getting it. I remembered at the end of the day I liked how the piercing looks and I cannot let society dictate what decisions I make for my body. That my opinion the only one that truly mattered, because the piercing, and my body, are for me and me alone to decide what I do with. A week and a half later when my parents finally saw the piercing they were furious,  I disobeyed them,  I ruined my beautiful face,  and I made myself look unemployable.  To me the only one I really held dear to me was the fact that I went against my parents and did something they had strictly forbidden me from doing. I did not feel as though I ruined anything, nor was I unemployable. All that happened is I put a piece of jewelry in my body that I found esthetically pleasing to look at.

When I was eighteen I got my first tattoo, I’ll admit I was terrified.  I was getting my grandpa’s nickname on the back of my neck, three months after he had passed.  As I mentioned in my Grieving a Loved One blog, I hadn’t taken his passing very well. I thought maybe putting his nickname on my body would help me move past my loss and have a piece of his memory visibly with me at all times.  I had thought it out, he was a big part of making me who I am and I loved him dearly. I had wanted to put it somewhere I could see the reminder when I needed, however with not knowing what I wanted in my future and how the tattoo would affect my career I put it in a more hidden place. As I was getting ready to get it done I was worried that it would hurt and how my parents would react. In the end my mother was upset that I got the tattoo as she is not a fan, and that I hid this decision from her; however she was touched that what I had done was in memory of her father.

The next fall I approached my mom, I wanted a tattoo in memory of my grandma who I had lost three years prior.  She was iffy with the idea but agreed to allow me to get it done as it was something that meant a lot to me and I had clearly thought it out.  I got an angel holding three hearts (one for my mom and both her brothers) on my shoulder with her name and the words “first and foremost my heart and soul, forever and always my guardian angel” on my left shoulder blade.  I had chosen those words as much like my grandpa she had a large part of shaping me into the woman I am today and will forever be one of my closest relatives. As well as I used to always call her my guardian angel as she was always there for me and always seemed to know when I needed her.  I now despise the tattoo as some of the detail was horribly done and ruined it for me. I want to get that covered and put something new on my body for my grandmother when I can afford it.

My last tattoo I got just after my twenty-first birthday, is a black and grey tiger lily on my right shoulder blade.  I love it, it holds two different meanings to me and is absolutely beautiful. My original plan for the tattoo was for it to be in full colour and also have forget-me-not flowers and my daughter’s name; however with a lot of thought going into it I decided to leave out the extra details as I knew what the tattoo meant and didn’t feel as all the extra details were necessary. As I mentioned in my teen pregnancy blog I miscarried at sixteen and had kept it fairly secret. Therefore I didn’t want to put this extravagant display on my body for everyone to see. To me a tiger lily represents beauty, strength and resilience, which I thought was fitting to use in her memory.  Over time before I got that tattoo it also gained a second meaning.  It also became a personal reminder to always keep fighting my battle against bipolar type two.  It was a reminder that I can get past even the darkest times, that things get better. A reminder that I didn’t let the Sorrow of my miscarriage drown me, that I shouldn’t let anything else. To me this is my most powerful tattoo that serves as the biggest reminder to me that nothings worth giving up fighting over.

I do believe that tattoos and piercings make it harder to find a job, but as the years pass it is becoming easier to find jobs that allow piercings and tattoos. There is still a stigma attached to tattoos and piercings, although it is slowly losing its wide spread influence on society and more and more people are appreciating the beauty and self-expression, over the belief it makes you ugly or a delinquent.

My personal belief is that every tattoo you put on your body is a piece of artwork, and each one tells a story, holds a meaning.  As long as it means something to the person who put it on their body and/or they like it, that is all that matters. As for piercings as long as the person who has it likes it and it does not pose a health or safety risk to them, go for it.  Your body is your own, tattoo it, dress it, and pierce it as you wish. But remember tattoos are permanent, so think it through before you get it done.

Stay Beautiful. Stay You. Stay Unique Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx