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Living in Rural Florida and Being Heavily Tattooed

I grew up in Indiana, about 20 minutes from Chicago. When I was younger I pretty much stayed in my little town in Indiana. But when I grew older, into my teens, I ventured to Chicago quite often, sometimes staying over night there with friends. When I turned 18 I moved out and went to live with my really good friend, Michelle, in Chicago in her small apartment. It was a hole in the wall, but she was smack dab in the center of everything it didn't matter. Besides the fact that we were hardly ever home. We were always out at a club called Medusa's, or checking out new stuff at The Alley, which was a punk store. I remember places there so vividly, it was a great time we spent there. I eventually hooked up with a man who would soon become my ex-husband, and moved to California. Ventura, CA to be exact. Then divorced him and moved to New York. Meet another man who I would soon call an ex there. Lived in New York for about 2 years. Loved it there as well, lots of people like me, lots of clubs. It was a great place to be. But I ended up moving back to Indiana because of my parents.

When I turned 18 I decided that body modification was what I was most interested in. Although I had started tattooing people at the age of 16. It was now legal for me to get whatever I wanted. And I went nuts! Today I am 33 years old and am pretty much covered in tattoo's. Both my arms are sleeved, My knuckles, Hands, Legs front and back, chest, and I have ventured into facial tattoo's. I have a chin tattoo as well as 3 large stars on my face.

I eventually ended up living in Florida. My father had been in a horrible car accident and broke his neck and my mother needed help with the bills and emotional help as well. So I moved down here. I lived with my parents for about 6 months in a small town in Florida. It was difficult at times dealing with people's reaction to me, but I managed. After 6 months I moved in with my brother, who's an ass to live with, thus not staying to long. I moved out and moved to a smaller town in Florida. I was fortunate in finding a job that let me have so many modifications.

That's when I met my husband. I ended up moving in with him in yet another smaller closed minded town in Florida, but it's nothing like it is now. He got a transfer to a large facility in a very small, very close minded town and I had no choice but to go with him.

Living in a small town is difficult. The majority of people who live in this town are farmers or migrant workers. People who have lived here their whole lives and have never left this town. So seeing me walk into a local store is a bit disturbing to them. When I first arrived here I got comments like, "I didn't know the circus was in town" or "What the fuck is that?" And these comments you'd think from younger less educated people, no your wrong. These comments were from older people, in their 60's and 70's. I was surprised I was getting this kind of reaction from people that old seeing as they might have enough sense to realize that their words were hurtful. I occasionally get screams from people who have never been in contact with someone like me, honest, they actually scream.

There's also the people who have to touch you to see if your real. I never understood this. They like to touch my ears and my arms to see if my tattoo's or piercing are real. I don't like it to be honest with you, but I accept it knowing that if I let them get to know me, I won't be such an outcast to them.

I didn't do this to myself to get starred at, or to cause such a ruffle in such a small town. I did this because it's my body and I think I'm more beautiful this way. Just as someone would choose to wear a certain dress or dye their hair a certain color. But in this town I feel isolation. I believe I'm the only one in this town who has gone to the extreme that I've gone to with my modifications and piercing. It's just amazing to me, with the internet, cable TV. and satellite television that these people have never met anyone or seen anyone like me.

There's a quote I'd like to end this with, it goes "Why do closed minded people always open their mouth?"

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 June 2005
in Culture

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Location: Florida

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