Intended for mature audiences.
Recently, a conversation was brought to my attention. It followed along the lines of “Man A” assuming that I was raised as a Christian, with a housewife mother and a father who assumed the role of bread winner. It was also said that I must be forced into my manner of living and that I know of nothing else in my poor naive little life. I laugh at all of these assumptions because my life could be nothing more contradictory to these statements here.
My occupational history is something I don’t often talk about. But it is an experience that I thank daily. Without the experiences I gained in my early adult hood, I would give someone the right to call me a sheltered naive Christian. Although being called a sheltered naive Christian is something I wish I was at times. There’s something good about it.
I have always had a flair for the elaborate. I sum it up to the desire to fill the void of social inadequacies I had as a child. When I was younger, I did not have a care as to what type of attention I got. Good or bad, as long as people involved themselves with my existence, it satisfied me for the time being. As I got older, moved out of my Mother’s home and branched out into the world, It was evident my artistry skills could do something in the society which I chose to relate. I was a bitter person, my life experiences had hardened me far beyond what your average child experiences. That is what I am not here to talk about though. I am here to tell you that for five great years of my life, I was a tattoo artist, a nude model, and a satanist.
I have to smile a little when I think back to those times. After all I have an attachment to every part of my life. They all have fond memories. And I’m thankful I can pull all the great ones from the pile of garbage that are the rest. By this time, you may be looking back on my last paragraph wondering how exactly a satanist tattoo artist found the love of Christ and became a traditionalist house wife. If you find it in yourself to stick through this four part series, You’re going to figure out just how amazing God is, and how wrong being a traditionalist housewife isn’t.
I’m not here to say that being in the tattoo industry is bad, or sinful, or that being a feminist is wrong. I am simply here to disprove the theory that I was raised this way, and that I am incapable of seeing the world as it really is. Which is just a giant sphere God created and forced us to live and interact with people of all backgrounds, and beliefs.
My walk with God has brought me so far from who I used to be, but I still have 3 naked women tattooed permanently on my skin, and the word HATE under my breasts. I still curse, although I do my best to refrain. I still collect body art, drink too much wine and throw my weight around with men better than some. I have had dreads, shaved my head, allowed numerous people to see me naked and agreed with abortion. (Note Agreed. But this is not a debate on women’s choices to abort unborn children. So let’s not cover that topic.) I have had sexual relations with women. (Sorry Mom.) And attempted suicide numerous times.
It’s amazing how far my life has come. How beautiful everything is now, and just how much I love the idea of being married and potentially having children someday. I love the act of being obedient to my faith and seeing His blessings poured out bountifully despite all the horrible things I have said and done to people, and despite the fact to this day, and forever I will fall short. I have lost more friends than I have gained, and argue daily for the simple right to be a Christian Traditionalist and House Wife.
This is supposed to be about tattooing right? Well, Yes.
In 2009 I graduated Highschool. Barely might I add. I had been dating a man in the Military and we had been living together for quite some time prior. I had known I wanted to tattoo since my Freshman year. And now that I was done with school, the choice was made for me to start an apprenticeship.
Art was my way of expressing myself. But with being in the body modification industry, expressing yourself could reach new levels. They cared neither how I dressed, nor conducted myself as long as I brought in money. I started to decorate myself with every new thing that seemed to be a fad. By the end of year three, I had 36 piercings and multiple tattoos. One interesting fact about being a heavily modified individual is that you attract attention. I have been called disgusting in public, as well as beautiful, and even asked to model professionally, which I did for some time. I even had aspirations to join the Suicide Girls. I’m a little glad that nothing ever blossomed from that. I started a web show with a friend of mine, which you can still find on Youtube if you search ElleandL.
That is me, by the way. Cheers from a night I was probably high on some form of oral medication.
I started to allow the attention I garnered dictate who I was becoming. Young and impressionable, I never realized that these people were grooming me to become who they wanted versus who I was and am today. There is one thing that hasn’t and never will change and that is my love for animals. Being Vegan for over 10 years I had a favorite shirt that so bluntly said “Fuck Meat” on the front. To which I stopped wearing when I met my husband and discovered his family would not approve. I must have really loved him to care what his family thought. Truth was, I always cared what people thought, I was just surrounded by the wrong people.
Alright, getting back on track with tattooing- I started to move from relationship to relationship, and if that relationship didn’t fill a void in me, or match what my ideal of a free lifestyle was, I merely moved onto the next. I even had an extremely abusive alcoholic who I dated for 9 months. I left him when he went to jail and another man was quick enough to make me feel loved in his place. Everyone had always commended my pride, my natural leadership and the ability to take life by the horns and do what I wanted. Almost everything, including tattooing came easily to me. I always thought I was lucky, but now I know the enemy wanted me and was giving me pretty roses so I would keep saying yes to each negative choice in my life. I’m not saying tattooing was a negative choice. I love the industry, but it’s not for someone like myself who is at their core, a very delicate and loving individual.
While I was living out my illustrious rock star life as a tattoo artist, I was working six days a week, sometimes with 11-12 hour shifts.
But I was getting the attention I craved. I had too many friends to count, I could buy beer without being carded, and I was an independent woman living off her own paycheck. I got into drugs, sex and hating the world. But I had pleasures that kept me occupied from the growing pit of emptiness inside me.
We all go through stages in life, and I have an attachment and adoration for each step of my life. Especially being a writer, I love every aspect of myself because it lends experiences that I believe help me create wonderful characters. I can write from the perspective of a cross dresser, because I have had the desire to know what it was like to be a man or dress as a man. I can write the sex addicted tattoo artist, because I have been there too.
So why did I give up tattooing? Why did I surrender who I thought I was? Was it to appease more people, or was it because I was forced into a subservient lifestyle for love? I suppose you will have to read Part 2 if you are so curious.
XOXO Sweet Baby Cadillac.