“It hurts until it doesn’t. You think what he did will break you, but it won’t. You may not sleep as well at night, but you will be fine. Numb. But numb and fine are the same.” – Mellie Grant, Scandal
I got my first tattoo when I was 21. It was arguably my most detailed, and it remains my favorite to this day. I’ll never forget the four and a half hours I spent straddling Kate Hellenbrand’s chair while she bore the three fairies into the small of my back. As it was my very first time, I was naturally nervous, so I asked her to just run the needle along my back, without any ink, so that I could get over the initial shock of pain. Obviously that pain never subsided, but it got to a point where my skin became numb, so that the sharp, stabbing pain became a dull, but incessant, drumming. After that I would tell people that getting a tattoo hurts, but it’s a good kind of pain because after a while you zone out and just coast along with it.
I suppose it had to happen eventually. I was a fool for thinking it would never happen, that by some great miracle, it would be able to sustain itself for at least a little while longer. But of course, with the way my luck goes, it had to happen during the most trying time of my life, a time when I was — and still am — struggling to deal with certain issues in my life. That said, it’s probably a good thing that it’s happening during the most trying time of my life, because there is no better time to deal with a new problem than when your entire being, your entire system, is already in defence mode from having to deal with all the other problems that have been tossed at you.
I don’t know why I thought I could contain it, why I thought that if I could control the situation somehow, things could remain exactly the way they were and I could continue to live in the blissful denial that this would eventually become somewhat of a bane. But everything happened in such quick succession, one after another, over the last couple of weeks that by the time the last hammer stroke fell, I could almost bypass all the emotions I usually feel and move straight into numbness.
So now here we are, completely caught up in this situation that has snowballed into something which I have absolutely no name for, and forced to roll with it until something happens that will either help us break free of it, or cause the snowball to crash and leave a trail of destruction in its wake. Either way, there is no getting out of it for me now, and still, the most twisted, corrupted fact remains: no matter how guilty, how horrified or how ashamed I am about everything, there is nowhere else I would rather be than here.