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March 2011
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Jen [userpic]
To Write Love On Her Arms

I love tattoos. The bite of the needle, the depth of the lines, the bumps as the scabs heal, the feel of the shapes beneath my fingers, the colour of the ink as it is inserted beneath the skin,  the sting as it heals. The pain, the pleasure, the sheer joy it gives me.

I got my first tattoo when I was nineteen, the second at twenty-two, the third at twenty-three, and the fourth at twenty-six. There's a gap of at least a year between tattoos, I think it's because I always took the time to be sure of what I wanted and how I wanted it done. This was not one of those cases, this idea progressed pretty quickly. I had the idea while I was in California at the end of July. I wanted "Love" flanked by fleur des lis on the inside of my left arm.  I got my wish. Ish.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I was tattooed by a dude named Deacon who has been tattooing friends of mine for the past week and is staying with Xander and his roommates.  Sam's tattoos are beautiful and Xander's suit him pretty well.

In the end we chose not to go with the fleurs de lis because we couldn't get a proper stencil, I think that was fate. I now have "LOVE" written on my arm in red ink. Symbology, anyone?

I've been asked "Why love?", but the story is too long to tell when customers ask. I did it because of TWLOHA, and because of what I have been through.

I'll let Wikipedia give you a quick history lesson:

"TWLOHA was founded by Jamie Tworkowski in March 2006.[1] Prior to that, the seeds of the group were sown by a story written by Tworkowski, about 19-year-old Renee Yohe, who struggled with addiction, depression, self-injury, and attempted suicide. Tworkowski's story, written in February 2006, chronicles Yohe's life five days before she entered treatment. Unable to get Yohe checked into a treatment centre in the mean time, friends offered moral support.[6]

We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life. It is unspoken and there are only a few of us, but we will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.[6]

On the FAQ for TWLOHA's official website,[1] it stated that Renee has finished rehab and is currently going to school in Florida. It also states that she is healthy and sober, although she'll have to fight her addiction for the rest of her life.

In addition to the story, T-shirts were printed and sold in Orlando to fund Yohe's drug treatment, and a MySpace page was created to serve as home base for the project. Bands such as Anberlin and Switchfoot showed their support and began wearing the TWLOHA T-shirts right away, and TWLOHA's MySpace page began to receive messages and comments from young people struggling with the same issues that Yohe faced.[3] What began as an attempt to help one person in Orlando quickly generated wide interest – to date, TWLOHA has heard from young people in all 50 states as well as many from Canada, Mexico, Australia and the United Kingdom, "

I first saw the shirts in a Hot Topic in late 2007, I purchased my first in the summer of 2008, and a few months later I bought a second.  I can get behind TWLOHA because I have been there, I've seen the path to addiction and suicide and more self destruction. I've always been lucky enough to be pulled back from the edge of that abyss.  There are others who have not been so lucky.

I chose to have a permanent reminder that not matter how hard things may get, I no longer need to hurt myself. I find it kind of ironic that I chose to be cut in order to have said reminder.   Also kind of ironic: before I ever got my first tattoo, I wanted the Japanese character for "Love" on the back of my neck. That memory hit me pretty randomly yesterday and I couldn't help but laugh.

This has been my first real post in almost three months, and the bulk of it is about a tattoo. How very like me.

I did go to see Nick in Califronia at the end of July, and that was fantastic and amazing. I loved many many things about that trip, his former flatmate was a little scary with her Hummer. Amoeba music is amazing.  Haight Ashbury is ghetto as fuck and disappointing. The big thing at the back DOES look like a monster.

My mother is diabetic and I'm worried sick about her.

Sofi is two, talking like crazy and cute as a button. Konnor is almost six. Christ, where do the years go? He is also talking like crazy and cute as button, but he was being a little brat this weekend. I think he's jealous of Sofi and how their parents are still protective of her. He's also going through this weird phase where he's climbing into a high chair randomly during the day and eating in it at meal times.  Mike and Madi are apparently  broken up for good, and Mike's mother has kinda sorta left his dad. It's about fucking time that woman did something about the way he treats her.

Trent is fantastically well, he's going back to cosmetology school, and I think this time he'll really do it.

Crocostimpy Superbleeder and I have begun to strengthen our friendship and we're communicating better now. He had back surgery in May and had been pretty distant for a while, but things are getting back to normal.

I haven't had a haircut since 13 April. I'm kind of annoyed with my decision to grow my hair out, but dammit, I'm sticking to the plan.

Dexter is fucking crack. I've watched all of season one, about half of season two and tonight I finished reading the second book. I need the third! *twitch*

Wednesdays have become John/Jen and/or Xander night, which is rad as shit. Net week we may go see Inglorious Basterds and we'll watch Brad Pitt collect his scalps.

I think I'm actually done with this entry. This took about an hour. Crikey.

Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Stone Sour-Made of Scars

I'm glad to hear you're doing well and I miss you intensely and I think of you a lot. The years have flown by, but I'm glad that we are still friends.

Do you ever get to Milwaukee much, anymore? Where are you living now? I would love to make a trek to come see ya, even if you don't get here often.

Please keep in touch.