#295 Normally I don’t post tattoos this simple, but this woman’s story is too amazing not to share.
After putting the stencil on her arm and setting up my station, we sat down to begin her tattoo. It was her first and she was a little nervous. She said it was a present to herself for her 50th birthday. To distract her from her nervousness, I casually asked her about her mother. I wasn’t expecting much of a story; I figured her mother had recently passed and the tattoo was in memory of her. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as I asked “Is this in memorial for your mother?” she burst into tears.
I passed her a tissue and after a moment she said, “It might as well be.” She continued to tell me that her ‘Mom’ tattoo was not in memorial for her mother, but was in memorial of herself. She was a victim of violent domestic abuse for over 17 years. Her husband beat her almost daily and nearly killed her several times. She recalled to me times when he would hold a knife to her throat while she did the dishes, or how she woke up some nights being dragged out of bed by her hair because he had found dust on top of the ceiling fan. He often threatened to kill himself and to take her and their daughters along with him. Two years ago, she escaped with her life but in doing so, she was forced to leave behind her two daughters.
Technically, she shares joint custody of the girls with him, but because of his manipulative ways, she hardly gets to see them. Her tattoo is to express the pain she feels in her heart for having to sacrifice being with them everyday in order to live. “If I had not left, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not be alive right now. And neither would he or my two girls.”
She hugged me and said she would be back soon for more tattoos.