Branded – Part Two

As I said in my last post, today is the last day that I have to live with all of this.  Tomorrow, all of this is going to change – I’m no longer going to have to live with the ramifications of my branding, I’m no longer going to have to look at ‘whore’ carved into my leg, I’m no longer going to have to hate my body (or at least not quite as much) and this is all thanks to the wonderful Jennifer Kempton and all the other wonderful women at Survivor’s Ink.

Tomorrow I will be going to get my tattoo, covering my scarification, my branding.  For the first time in my life, I’m going to be able to look at my leg and not see the word ‘whore’.  I’m going to be able to look at my leg and not see what it was they made me be.

I don’t even really know how to feel about this.  Part of me is so excited and so hopeful that it’ll change so much for me.  That it’ll help me not hate my body quite as much.  That it’ll help me feel like my body is actually mine for a change.  That it’ll hide some of the more obvious and visible signs and reminders of my trauma.  That it’ll help me feel like I no longer belong to ‘them’.  I don’t know, I’m just rambling at this stage.

I have so many mixed emotions.

The thing is, this is a massive step in my healing journey and I’m starting to question if I’m ready for it.  I am, I know I am ready for it, but it’s also such a massive change.  I know it’s ‘just’ a tattoo, but it’s so much more than that, it’s something that I’ve wanted for so, so long but never really believed was possible for me.  I’m skint and I’m basically always going to be skint and paying for a tattoo is so far out of my budget, but then, this wonderful and amazing organisation is offering me the help and support to make it happen.

I haven’t really believed it was going to happen at all.  I’ve been talking to Jennifer and other people connected to Survivor’s Ink on and off for the last few months and I still just never believed it was actually going to happen.

Nice, positive, good, healing things don’t happen to me.  Let’s face it, I have terrible fucking luck and I was constantly waiting for there to be a problem or some reason why it wasn’t going to happen at every turn.  That’s part of the reason why it’s taken me so long to write these series of posts because, well, what was the point in getting my own hopes up when it still might just not happen?

That, of course, isn’t a reflection on Survivor’s Ink, I trust that they absolutely would keep their word and do whatever they could to help me, but as I said, good things just simply don’t happen for me and I just couldn’t let myself get my hopes up.

But now it’s here, now it’s happening, this time tomorrow I’ll be on my way to get my tattoo and for the first time in my life I’ll be able to look at my leg and not see the word ‘whore’ carved into it.

I know this is such a rambling post, but I haven’t even really had time to process how I feel about all of this because I just couldn’t let myself believe it was actually going to happen.  How are you supposed to emotionally process something if you don’t actually believe it’s going to happen?

On top of not really believing it’s going to happen, I’ve been so scared that it’s just not something that I deserve.

Other women had it worse than me.

It was never really meant to be a branding.

It’s so faded now compared to what it was, why am I even complaining?  It’s not as obvious or vivid or anything as a tattoo, it’s just an old faded scar.

I’m not worth this level of care or attention.

I’m not worth people spending money on me (especially not this much, omg).

I’ve self-harmed in the same place in the same way myself, so I’m just as responsible for it as they are.

More than any of the others, it’s been the stuff about how it’s so faded now compared to what it was.  I suppose you can barely even make out what it’s supposed to say any more, though I certainly can.  So many more women are having to live with so much more vivid reminders than me, yet for some reason I’ve been deemed worthy to get this help.  Surely I can live with a couple of faded scars?

But as I said in my last post, I’m not living with them, not properly.  The thing is, no matter how much they fade, no matter how obvious or not they are compared to what they used to be, they’re always going to be there.  I’m always going to be able to see them, I’m always going to be able to notice them, even if they’re not obvious to others at all.  I guess what really matters is the effect they have on me.  And I do know that even if they fade to the point where I’d need a magnifying glass and extremely good lighting to see them, they’re still going to have exactly the same effect on me and my mental health and my view of myself.  I need this gone.  I need to be able to start my life again.

And the thing is, I know this really will be a new start for me.  It’s come at the perfect time, at the time that I’m making so many other changes in my life (on which I’ll write about more in another post) and at a time where I can really start claiming my body and my life as my own.  It’s such an important and huge step for me and I think that right now I can never fully know just how much of a change this is going to be for me.  I can’t possibly know just how much it’s going to change my life for the better.

I know it seems like such a small, silly thing.  I mean, at the end of the day, I’m just getting a tattoo (my first, actually) and for most people that’s not a big deal at all, but for me, it means the entire world and I can’t possibly thank the amazing women at Survivor’s Ink and the amazing tattooist that is going to be doing the work enough.  I never expected nor felt I deserved an opportunity like this and it truly means the world that it’s actually happening.

I can’t say that I’m not scared or anxious about tomorrow, but I’m definitely excited too.  I can’t really put what I’m feeling into words, I don’t think I even really know what I’m feeling at all.  I’m just so… happy that this is finally happening and I’m so happy that I’m going to have the woman that I love right there with me, holding my hand (here’s to hoping this supposedly great dissociater and bearer of pain isn’t a total wuss when it comes to tattoos!).  I’m so happy and so grateful that this is finally happening.

This, right here, is my leg as it is.


Tomorrow, it’ll be something so entirely different, something that is me, something that is mine.  The start of something new.

Survivor’s Ink is truly an amazing organisation that provides so much help, support and relief to exited women.  Please support this amazing organisation and provide tattoos like mine by donating here.  And if you’re also an exited woman and want support, there’s an application form here.  They’re all truly so kind and so caring and I really do recommend getting in touch with them if you need.



2 thoughts on “Branded – Part Two

  1. It is hard to find what to say about the terrible things you describe on this blog, but I’ve read everything you’ve written. If I comment now, it’s to tell you that you most definitely deserve this, you deserve to heal, you deserve to have an amazing life and more and I hope you will get it. You have gone through so much, and I am so, so sorry. I hope this tattoo will help you leave what happened behind, you truly deserve it.

    Of course, I will definitely donate to this amazing organisation and pass the word around


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