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My first tattoos at 14 years old

       I understand that this story is to be about one mod only, however to me, these two small tattoos are one and the same only representing different aspects. I had always wanted tattoos and piercings since I was about 5. It has just always been something I wanted to be a part of my life and when I was 14 or 15 I jumped at the chance to have my friend Chris do it for me. 

Just to give you a little background, leading up to this point, I was staying in Orange County with a group of kids I had met through raving and selling drugs. I was actually from the Coronado/ Imperial Beach part of San Diego. I was homeless at the time, because my mom was an alcoholic and when I came back from the Behavioral Treatment center in Texas, my mom had immediately taken to doing the same thing she had done to me that got me sent there. She would get drunk, kick me out and then when my Dad found out he would make her call me in as a run-away.  

I'd also like to state that, I completely against getting non-professional work. Though it seems hypocritical, I am lucky in the fact that I got things that meant something to me and still have an immense meaning for me and that my friend used sterilized needles. However, I could've just as easily gotten something fucked up or just one of those tattoos that later on when it catches your eye all you think is "I'm fucking stuck with this." More importantly, I could've gotten serious infections. 

The first tattoo he did was over a scar. It is a backwards question mark on my right forearm. The tattoo itself is meant to be backwards. Previous to the treatment center... ages twelve and thirteen, I was extremely depressed and began cutting on my legs and when I moved to Hawaii to live with my stepmom, things only became worse for me emotionally. At one point I had pierced my arm with five safety pins (Again, referring back to the infection issue. It doesn't matter if you wash the needle in alcohol. My arm actually did become infected and I'm lucky it wasn't serious.) The last thing I ever did was carve the question mark into my forearm. I got it tattooed as a reminder that it will remain the last thing and a reminder of my strength at a young age because that strength is the reason I'm still alive. 

The other one is a small heart on the side of my right bicep. The heart is in memory of the summer I got it. It was the summer I started raving, a summer full of drugs, new people, new identities, newfound freedom, realization. I also almost died several times that summer. It was the summer of adventures. However, the heart also represented a part of me I was leaving behind. Up until that point I had been stuck on my lost childhood, the fact that was never able to be a kid. But that summer, I guess, I realized that the only way I could change what had been done was to decide what was to come.   

As for actually getting them, I have no suspenseful or built up story. I didn't decide to do it, and then change my mind and play tug-o-war in my mind until one side one. I wasn't nervous or scared. One day we were at the apartment in Costa Mesa and remembered that Chris had a tattoo gun and said, "Hey Chris, you wanna give me a tat?"

And he said "Ok, after we did a few lines."

They didn't hurt, especially not in comparison to anything I had done to myself and honestly, I couldn't imagine myself without them. They're a part of me and my soul. Like I said several times before, I understand how dumb I was, however, if you were where I was at that point... there was no such thing as logic, it was, do whatever you have to, to stay alive and try to have as much fun as you can when the chance came along, because it might be a while before that chance comes again. Sometimes I miss being able to live like that, but I realize, that I  am one of the few who had the chance to have that experience and be able to get out of it before I saw the darker side of it...

I don't regret my tattoos; just as I do not regret anything else I have seen or done. Regret is a waste of energy and you gain no wisdom from it. I have learned from my stupidity and now know the better ways of doing things and I just hope that others can learn from it as well. Before they go out and do something to their body that they'll regret. But I guess we all learn in our own ways and some people learn better walking head on into the lesson, than by heading it at a safe distance.

Well, hope you enjoyed reading. I'll definitely be posting more soon!


submitted by: Leilani Rose
on: 21 Dec. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Chris
Studio: No+studio%2C+just+the+equipment
Location: OC

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