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My mistake

I often do stupid things when I stop taking lithium and become manic, or hypo-manic. I had been at my friends all night, Cassie, Antonella and I were hanging out watching movies. Afterwards, Ant and I were driving around and I decided to get a tattoo at a shop my friend likes, since the shop I go to was closed and I thought it would be insulting to ask one of the artists there to do such a simple, stupid tattoo.

I took money out of the bank. $40 minimum. I figured they'd charge that. I wanted :-\ in arial rounded, type 60 on my left wrist. I ran into a friend I hadn't seen for ages and I was just rambling off and just generally being manic. Everyone else just thought I was really hyper, which I was, but I really shouldn't have been deciding to get a tattoo that night. Except you make dump decisions when you're manic. I've started taking my medication and keeping myself in control. I usually have someone with me if I'm going to do something and we play "Good idea? Bad idea?".

So, the guy doing my tattoo was a total asshole and treated us all like shit one night when we went in so my friend could see her friends. I was outside talking to another artist at the time. I should have walked away. He made fun of my design. Another reason to walk away. I walked in, he ran a razor over my wrist, made a comment about the scars I have from previous self mutilation, and how he see's these "dumb kids doing it all the time".

I was kinda pissed at this point, but didn't want to back out. He said, "you know what it feels like", put on headphones and started tattooing me, listening to his music, loud. I could hear it over the buzzing. I started to regret it right there and I watched as he scribbled, literally, the emoticon onto my body. He wrapped it, put a paper towel there, made a stupid comment about me slicing my wrists, and I gave him $40 and he left.

He did follow sterile technique, but for weeks afterwards I was panicking, I thought I had HIV since I got a cold (it was winter, mind you) and felt shitty. I made my doctor test me out of paranoia. That just ended up in more medication for me and a negative HIV test. I. Hated. the tattoo. It came out like shit. Faded, parts missing. It healed terribly and hurt badly. After a couple months with that shit on my wrist, I decided to have it removed.

Via strike branding.

I talked to Mike about it and he thought it would be a fun idea. A phone call to my friend to see if he had a blowtorch, during Criminology cracked the class up. (No, he didn't have a blowtorch, but we managed to use the one at the shop in Niagara Falls.)

Everybody wanted to see this. Obviously, I was burning a tattoo off. Mike had a sterilized piece of metal and after cleaning my wrist, NO alcohol, he tuned on the blowtorch and everyone watched the piece of metal turn red. He asked if I was ready and I said I was. I was pretty nervous. I've been branded before with a cautery pen and I've burned myself, so I knew it would hurt.

He touched the metal to my wrist and I had a third degree burn. I breathed myself through it and everybody was pretty amused. The longest line was the worst, it never got too terribly bad though. The smell was rather gross, especially for a vegetarian. We lit incense to kill the smell. Everything was fine, my wrist didn't really hurt until later. I ripped off the scabs until it bled. It was neat seeing me peel off my tattoo.

Over the next two weeks the pain varied. It would go off and on and at one time, it hurt to move my wrist. I would pick at the scabs all the time. As much as I could. I even scrubbed it with steel wool, which doesn't feel that great at all. I kept a trendy wristband around it, and the scabs would stick to it, so when I took the band off, scabs came off too. I kind of wanted it to scar, but I also wanted it to go away. I treated it with Webbers Vitamin E. Part of the \ on the :-\ face is still there, it needs to be "touched up" a bit.

What have I learned from this?

Don't get a random tattoo. Branding it off isn't the best idea other. It was a stupid decision to get the tattoo in the first place. I could have covered it up, but it would still have had that shape. That arm is so scarred it'll probably never be tattooable (my entire forearm, not just the spots on my wrist) so I'm stuck with the scarring.

Think before you ink.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 June 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: Mike
Studio: Artistic+Impressions
Location: Niagara+Falls%2C+ON+Canada

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