Damned by a Tattoo

comments 2
the godless side / Uncategorized

I have worn eyeliner most days of my life for the past 15 years, and I started years before that (when I was somewhere between 3 and 7!) because of dance competitions and recitals.

Although I no longer feel dependent upon eye makeup due to development in my security in myself, I still prefer the way I look with it on.  Three problems with eyeliner:

Time.  Toddlers. Smudging.

As a mom of two babes and business owner, time is extremely precious.  I hate wasting it on making my eyeliner perfect.

My toddler imitates everything, EVERYTHING about me.  My shoes, my hair, my morning routine, my words, the way that I sit, what I eat and drink and do… It’s honestly adorable and incredibly heartwarming.  But every morning that she follows me into the bathroom and watches me paint my face, she cries in desperation to paint hers, too.  Sometimes I allow it and end up with a Picasso face for a daughter.  And sometimes she secretly grabs it anyway and I end up with abstract art all over our furniture.


Also, either my eyes produce extra oil or my eyelids just like to hug themselves a lot.  No matter what type of eyeliner I wear, at the end of the day it’s off the rims of my eyes and has seeped into the various creases of that thin skin above and below them.

So.  I decided to get “permanent cosmetics” in the form of eyeliner– an eye tattoo.  My appointment was set for yesterday, so I went.  I did it.  And I’m very happy with the results.

Like other beauty manipulations, this isn’t necessarily something I want to brag to the world about but would rather just go about my business looking hot 😉

But as I sat in the coffee shop next to the tattoo parlor, feeling the burn of excitement on my eye’s skin and waiting for my hubby to pick me up, I decided to text my parents.

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me.  It’s like I’m so desperate for intimacy — rather, ANY sort of deeper relationship with my parents — that I convince myself I live in this delusional world where I can actually tell my parents things going on in my life and receive something other than criticism or remorse.

So I did.  “I got my first tattoo 😉 ” I said to them both.  They would be two of the very few people that would know this little beauty secret of mine.

My dad responded first with a sad face emoticon.  “:(” My heart jumped into my throat for a moment because I truly had no idea he was against tattoos.  I tried to lighten the mood by texting back that it was just eyeliner that I would wear normally and would save me a lot of time and hassle.  No response.

My mother?  “Oh, no, Kimberly.  Why?  That breaks my heart again.”

Shocked again at the fact that I have been their child for 28 years and never knew of their disgust for tattoos, I sent her the same text I sent to my dad explaining it.

But the “that breaks my heart again.”  AGAIN??  As if this is on par with not believing in god anymore.  As if I’m always responsible for my parent’s feelings, especially their tragic heartache and despair.  I felt sick with flashbacks to my coming out as unbelieving a year and a half ago.

Her next text was her last to me, “I’m too shaken up to reply.”

Again.  Again there were no questions about me, how I felt, what it looked like.  Dialogue was completely cut off.  The relationship completely on halt.  Because my actions ruined it.

Except it wasn’t my actions.  It’s their fault.  Their pain is a result of misplaced identity and security.  And their expression of it to me in that way is doubly dysfunctional.

Although I know that, I wish I could say I felt that way.  I wish I could say I have a good enough head on my shoulders that I just shook off their negativity, their projection, their guilt-casting.  But I still carry the weight of feeling like all I do is I cause them deep pain, not only despite my efforts to be close to them and allow them into my life, but because of it.


The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.


  1. I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s like I’m so desperate for intimacy — rather, ANY sort of deeper relationship with my parents — that I convince myself I live in this delusional world where I can actually tell my parents things going on in my life and receive something other than criticism or remorse.

    I could have written this. I’ve gone through my entire life desperate like this. My problem is I kept “hoping” that things would change. They didn’t. And that fact has darn near made me delusional. It is exhausting. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you or me (though I reserve the right to change my mind about me) 🙂 . If anything our desire for intimate connection is at the core of our humanity. It is who we are. It’s normal and to be expected. When it is not there it hurts and I think our default is to blame ourselves. I stopped trying now. I’m 59. It still hurts but I don’t throw myself into that delusion you mentioned anymore. Not like I use too. And that hurts too because it doesn’t take care of that longing. It is still there.

    Such a cute pic of your daughter. Has she ever poked her eye? 🙂

    Curious. Will the tattoo eyeliner fade with time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • omg Zoe yes!! It really is comforting knowing I’m not the only one. I’m glad to know that you have been able to learn from your “delusion” but saddened to know the pain from that remains. It IS human to desire intimacy, especially with people as important to us as parents. It’s incredibly hurtful when I feel like I have no control over the pain they cause me.

      Ha and no, she hasn’t poked her eye — yet. 🙂 She gets into EVERYTHING! its hilarious and so much fun andSO much work!!!
      And yes, the eyeliner tat will fade with time. Most people have to have it redone between 2 and 15 years because the eyelid skin is so thin. But it’s already been worth it to me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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