Tattoos and Their Emotional Roots

Tattoos and Their Emotional Roots

Want to hear the story of my first tattoo EVER? It’s a good one…..

When I was 18, I was in a committed relationship with my boyfriend. I guess back in those days I would call myself a mixture of uptight and free spirited, but still knew how to have fun. My boyfriend at the time leaned more towards me being on the uptight side and told me I would never in a MILLION, TRILLION YEARS get a tattoo. I believe he said, and I quote “You’re too much of a pussy”. Although I feel like he knew me very well, he didn’t know me THAT WELL. Because if you tell 18-year-old Justine she would be too scared to do something, 18 year old Justine will prove you wrong (one of the first signs of an ego-driven individual, SMDH).

Soooooo that weekend, while my boyfriend was at work, I drove myself to the tattoo shop, Fat Kat, without telling a single soul. At this point I had no idea what I was going to get. What I did know, was that in school, to prevent myself from a total ADHD meltdown, I would draw nautical stars all over my notebooks. To my young unconscious brain, that meant it must have SOME type of significance to me. While glancing around the samples at the tattoo shop, a standard tribal design caught my eye. “Yes. This will due. The nautical star will go in the middle, and the tribal symbols will go on the side. And I will put it on my lower back.” God bless my little naïve soul, as I had no idea this particular placement was called a ‘tramp stamp.’

I remember everyone in the tattoo shop being super cool as I was standing there in my bright over-sized red Old Navy fleece and dark bell-bottom jeans. The tattoo artist sketched a stencil for me and I was ready to go. Here’s the really STUPID thing about my tattoo; I knew it was crooked when he stenciled it onto my lower back. I just wanted to get the whole thing over with ASAP I didn’t care. SMDH. How you ever heard a more stupid tale of teenage rebellion (against her BOYFRIEND, no less)?

Tattoos hurt, I forgot about that

Let me tell you, IT HURT LIKE A BITCH. Tattoo pain is BEYOND painful. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t wait to prove to my boyfriend I was not a PUSSY after all.

That night my boyfriend and a few friends met at a bar. I didn’t know when or how to tell him. I believe a good half hour went by before I blurted it out. He didn’t believe me naturally, and I had to show the proof. I did it and my ego was stroked. Now what? It was on my body for EIGHT years after that, SEVEN years after we broke up. SMDH.

Two years ago I decided to get the tramp stamp tattoo covered up

Why? Deep, deep, DEEP emotional pain combined with my new love of spirituality and Buddhism seemed like the perfect opportunity to cover up that horrible faded thing on my back. So that’s exactly what I did. It was painful, long, and costly, but I love it.

Now that I finished that little backstory, what point am I trying to make? There’s obviously an ego lesson in all of this, but there’s also an underlying message here. That message is that tattoos are usually grown from an emotional root.

The ego may have driven me to get my first tattoo, but a deep broken spirit definitely inspired my next one. I mentioned that tattoo pain is brutal, but to be completely honest, it doesn’t even COMPARE to the emotional turmoil I have endured at that particular time in my life. It was almost like I feel like I needed to feel something more than emotional pain, and PHYSICAL PAIN was the answer.

Tattoos stem from emotional roots

Deep, huh? I bet you I’m not the only one that feels that way. I only have three tattoos, I can only imagine those with bodies completely covered. Tattoos are art, and every single one tells a story and portrays an emotion. It’s quite beautiful. It probably explains my attraction to tattooed people. Anything that can identify a highly sensitive person is always a good thing in my book…..