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Reclaiming

I’m a sexual assault survivor.

I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor.

I am a woman who has survived an abusive relationship.

I have self harm scars.

I have a fun cocktail or mental illnesses, including CPTSD, Anxiety, Depression, and an eating disorder.

I struggle to be in my body at times. There are times when I can’t be naked because the feeling of my flesh is so fucking terrible.

Last September, I went to Kansas City and got an impromptu tattoo on my arm. I was going to get a bumblebee but when flipping through the artist’s flash art, I saw this 1920s styled woman and she so clearly struck me as looking like one of my spirit guides (which I will go into in a future post, I’m sure). I needed her on my body, so I got a much larger, but gorgeous tattoo.

Angry Florence when you see her
Protective Florence as I see her

I love Florence and her stern beauty.

After I got my tattoo, I realized that I had inadvertently covered up my first scar from picking compulsively at my skin. I had dug a hole into my arm around the time of some childhood sexual abuse.

I burst into tears. I felt like I had suddenly reclaimed my body from my abuser. I was no longer connected to that scar, but instead had an image of a protective woman, instead of a repressed memory of an abusive woman.

My body is my own.

We are often told in christianity/purity culture that “your body is a temple.” I would say our bodies are alters. And creating a place of worship, divinity, and beauty is inherent to feeling at home. Putting powerful art on my body is HEALING. It is reclaiming the space that is mine. It is erasing the touch of abusers. And it makes my body into something I wanna look at.

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