So, this one is going to be deep and if you don’t want to read about some harsh realities, I suggest you don’t continue reading.
The way we deal with pain varies from person to person. Some people have a high pain tolerance and others, not so much. But what about emotional pain? How do you deal with that? Do you have coping mechanisms in place that help you or do you just ride it out? For me, even though I have things in place that I know I need to do, like mindfulness, grounding, and making a phone call to get my mind onto a different subject, it doesn’t always work out that well.
I struggle with having to be in control of my pain, if emotionally I am in pain then I need to find a way to make that a physical pain. Emotional pain has no source and that’s what I struggle with. There is nothing saying, this pain is from my knee that I hurt when I fell or this pain is from my finger that I burnt on the pan I just got out of the oven, so I need to make it a pain that I have a reason to have.
What happens when I feel so empty and down and like nothing I do is right by anyone around me? I get a blade and mark my skin. My arms, my thighs, my calves, then I hide it by making sure I don’t wear shorts, I don’t get changed in front of anyone and I don’t slip up and say something. I stand in the shower and watch the blood roll down and drip into the plug hole. I feel so much relief watching my pain leave my body and disappear with the water.
Not many people get it and not many people can handle seeing it. In the last few years I have realized that getting a tattoo gives me the pain I need to feel and makes me feel the same relief and it’s leaving me with a beautiful piece of art instead of horrible scars. I’ve gone from having two to nineteen and each one has its own meaning. My favorite will always be my Granddads writing, bye bye for now. Coming a very close second is my parents favorite flowers, a peony rose for mum and a bird of paradise for dad.
Mums peony rose came just after I had received a phone call from her that no child ever wants to get, and no parent ever wants to make. The words ‘I have breast cancer’ cut me deeper than any blade ever could. I was at work; I was about to open the shop as I was there by myself and I dropped to the floor behind the counter and cried and cried and cried. They are the only words I can remember hearing, and I can still hear the crack in her voice as she said it. I hung up the phone and went into a panic attack. It was in that moment that I knew I couldn’t do anything to myself, so I called and booked in a tattoo.
When people ask me about them, I can see the judgement on their faces, I can hear it in their voice, and I don’t care. I don’t get them to please anyone other then myself. They quite literally save my life each time I get one. I know mum doesn’t like them, I know dad is judging the fact that I spend money on getting them instead of other things that he deems more important, but for me they are very important. I’m sure if they knew how much damage I could do to myself then they wouldn’t care quite so much.
The panic attacks get worse with each one and the numerous medications I’ve tried turn me into a zombie and I don’t like that feeling. I’m trying as hard as I can to keep everything together, but it seems the more I try the more things fall apart. I’ve refused going to the doctor about a few things I know I need to get checked, I’ve put myself and my needs way down the list of things to do because what I need isn’t as important as the things that others around me need. I’d rather deal with other people’s issues and problems before dealing with my own and it also gives me a break from my own thoughts. I’d rather help people succeed and reach their own goals or help pull them out of a slump than do that for myself.
On that note, I’m done. This has been enough thinking for one evening and it’s exhausting. Time for a cup of tea, some cream on my fresh tattoos and bed!