These 2 tattoos are both on my right arm. I got the first (pictured left) in 2014 from my ex who was a tattoo artist. I had wanted the tattoo (of Joan of Arc) for a year prior to meeting him. It's based off of a design by Angelique Houtkamp.

After my relationship deteriorated (I found out he had been cheating on me and that he was/is a current drug user/addict), people would tell me it must be 'hard' to have that tattoo. Having the tattoo never bothered me--I had wanted it since before I met him--but people's persistent projection of their own discomfort aggravated me. I love this tattoo. It's my favorite. It's an enormous battle scar from a toxic relationship where he consistently put my physical and mental health at risk.

So, a year after I got that tattoo (this past February), I got the one on the right (behind Joan basically). It's from a traditional Calabrese Women's Folk Song (my dad's side of the family is Calabrian). It translates to: 'If I see the devil I do not run.' It's a very apt tattoo to have on the other side of my Joan one. It reminds me that I did see the devil, and I didn't run. I faced horror. I survived it. 

Tattoos have always been healing for me. My strength and resilience is inwardly and outwardly apparent. I am grateful for my survival. 

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