Yesterday I went to see my awesome friend Tiffany (tattoo artist, the one who saved my bacon out there on the streets). It was time to add some new work and I am now a proud canvas of hers lol…told her the next time I come in I’m letting her do anything she wants (as long as it’s not bleeding, dying or violent…she does really love zombies a heck of a lot. She’s pretty much covered in them now). Her eyes lit up when I said it…I wonder what she will do. I think I’ll give her my calf to play with…let her go nuts. I don’t even think I’ll get a stencil, I trust her so much. She drew up my last one and I fell in love with the very first draft.
You guys know about me and pain. She’s a constant companion of mine and although there seem to be limitless numbers of ways one can hurt, it’s the self-inflicted kind that soothes me the most somehow. I think it’s that I get to take control…I get to say *NOW* I will feel the pain; on my own schedule, in my own way. That false control gives me back something I’ve lost. I like to use tattoos as a cleansing ritual. You’ve got to be pretty tough to sit for a tattoo. The needles do not feel good, of course, and although the beginnings are easy (feels like a cat scratch) by the time the third layer of colour gets jammed in there your skin feels like it’s been grated off. It’s deep, hard pain…vibrates with the gun which causes more pain at times and it’s quite awful knowing it’s coming before it hits. I always look away from the needles…the sight of it is a bit too much…especially when it bleeds (which mine do not, much, thankfully).
When I was giving birth, the other greatest pain I’ve ever felt in life, I dissociated with ease. It was very easy to get lost in the pains ripping through my abdomen…I remember thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to cope, once, and then I was gone. I remember things like my foster mother shoving the damn oxygen mask in my face, bringing me back when I needed to stay away; the fetal heart monitor dropping and slowing…everyone in the room looked panicked for a moment and then the pediatric crash team flew through the doors (luckily his heart started up again on its own). I remember D trying to wake me up (he kept telling the nurses I had fallen asleep…they assured him I was just collecting my strength. Had I been able to fall asleep in the middle of childbirth with no pain meds??? lol…I don’t think anyone is quite that tired.
Through the tattoo I think of my skin opening up and letting out the pain that is inside. I imagine each pore as it’s punctured and watch, in my mind, as the black, dark poison oozes from the hole. I make it a release of some kind to let the pain have some sort of meaning. The tattoo itself is the prize for the bravery, but the memory and the test itself will always stay with you. It’s something you feel like you’ve earned….I think, is where the idea connects for me. Anyway, I got to do some of that, lying there, letting her zap me with her gun.
I feel free and clear of the cobwebs behind me now. I can love people and not be what they want at the same time. They can love me too, perfect or otherwise. I’m letting go of the old, bad habits and starting anew with fresher ideas. I’m still tired, I’m still exhausted and in pain, I still have a headache and my stomach is still killing me every time I so much as glance at food BUT…I don’t have to be lonely too. That’s just extra suffering piled on top of regular suffering. Not necessary. This all came so clear to me yesterday as I chatted with my friend. Nothing I’ve done or plan on doing will change the way Tiffany cares about me. I don’t have to see her every day to make sure she remembers me, I don’t have to call her and talk on the phone for hours at a time…I can be miserable and sad and little, lock myself away in my room for a good sulk. I can fuck up at work and say things I shouldn’t have and think things I should have done but didn’t…it makes no difference in the end. What counts is the love you gave, I think. I hope.
What counts, is love. *loves self* <—-it’s a good place to start. 😉