NOTE: This idea came to me last night as I was watching my boyfriend get his beautiful and elaborate tattoo finished up. I had pangs of jealousy at first, as I was sitting in the lobby blogging, but then excitement because I knew I had a few appointment dates coming up. I nodded and I put myself back into my place, LOL.
Are tattoos cheaper than therapy? In the long run, YES. Are they as effective at healing the trauma, though? You know, I think so, and here’s why…
First, they validate you YOU acknowledge that the trauma happened and you survived it! Congratulations, you are HARD CORE and an ardent survivor! I utilize mine as badges of honor for surviving DV, although I would have rather not had to go through two decades-long gambit. However, they are my badges of honor. I also serve as a walking billboard, which generates a lot of talk and awareness of DV. I approve of this message! Hahahahahaha <3
Next, they help you grieve, especially if there is loss. There is usually more loss there than you know, although not all trauma involves loss. I have a lot of survivor’s guilt, which is grieving the guilt and shame that I A.) feel because I let it go on so long, and B.) because I survived when so many victims, some that I have known, just don’t. Also, I lost a quarter of a century of my life and identity to my abuser. I grieve what could’ve been, although I’ll always be thankful I had my children! They are what make my “incarceration” worthwhile! Also, with my Mom’s passing, I am planning a memorial tattoo for her soon. Will it bring her back? NO. But it may serve as a milestone in my healing. Plus, I am SO aware of how much I look like her when I look in the mirror every morning. The older I get, the more so it is evident! It also helps others know I have survived a HUGE loss.
Tattoos also help you explore and express a creative side. Art and music tickle certain areas of the brain that make our critical-thinking selves more clever. And who doesn’t love some form of art? YOU are the canvas and you carry your gallery with you, wherever you go. Mine trigger fond memories, as well as serve as conversation pieces. Plus, I love telling them about the tattoo artists (who are also my friends) that made these masterpieces, hopefully gaining them more clientele. Tattoos are whimsical and fun, just like art should be!
Another benefit is the endorphins that kick in when the tattoo gun starts piercing. It does hurt at first, but then the endorphins kick in, much like when exercising or having sexual intercourse. They are our “feel good” chemicals. And don’t get me wrong, it’s the impact that oddly makes me feel better. Those of us who have experienced violent trauma — we KNOW pain. I feel like it serves as a reminder, but not in a triggering way. I think, “I’ve experienced far worse and this vibration makes me feel connected and validated, almost as if my true self is being sewn back together!”
I hope everyone enjoyed my TedTalk (just kidding, but I wouldn’t mind giving it).
Go get a tattoo. If you were needing permission, this is your sign! Love and light!
#inktherapy #dvawareness2022 #blogboost #tattoo #survivor