Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who's That Girl?

Well hello there. Been a long time since I posted over here, I know! I have been going through some major relationship issues as of late. It's only now that I realize, while I have been slackin' with Venus and Mars, it's probably the best place for me right now. But before we get into any of that, I have a little story I want to tell you. 

Once upon a time, in a land far away, just outside Detroit, I was a girl with a dream. I was a single mother with a 1 year old in tow. I knew I needed to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life and get started on it. 

I had always been immersed in the world of art, starting at a very young age. I was always drawing, and sometimes painting. I took many classes to fend off my feelings of insecurity, about the craft. But deep down I knew, no one can really make a career out of drawing. 

That was until I realized, I was in MI, and tattooing was legal there. I took the bull by the horns, walked into a studio and made fast friends with one of the old dogs of the tattoo world. I got an apprenticeship immediately. I never felt as “at home” as I did in the studio. It was a one man show, and the owner, Doc, ended up being the closest thing I had to a father... EVER! 

I wanted it so badly, that I worked 10 hours a day, six days a week there. The apprenticeship did not pay, so in order to support my daughter, I worked the graveyard shift at a gas station. I went on this way for months, exhausting myself. I ended up in the hospital at one point, but it did not slow me down. I was on my way to being a rock star of the tattoo world, and nothing ever tasted so sweet. 


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The Inner Demon

And then one day, I had to come back to the East Coast on short notice. Not long after that I met my, would be, husband. In the time that we dated, I purchase my own tattoo equipment, almost $4000 worth. I was determined to continue on my journey, and worked on myself and my friends. I occasionally made the trip back to see Doc, where we would spend the day in the studio working on my skills. I was getting good, and I was building a client list. People who only wanted to be tattooed by me. During that time, tattooing became legal here. But by the time I was ready to go back into that world, I was pregnant and engaged.  

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Irish and American Indian Heritage

We'll just skip right to the end of this story. Shortly after we were married, my husband informed me that he didn't want me to get any more tattoos, because he didn't want to be married to a 'biker bitch'. Oh and it wouldn't be good for our relationship, if I went to work in a studio. What he expressed was we were a young family, and I would be spending to much time away in the evenings. 

So I put my dream away. I put on my happy face, and calmed my inner wild child. I eventually took my tongue ring out, and tried harder to conform, to not rock the boat, to keep the peace. A fat lot of good it's done me. It's been 10 years since I walked into that studio. And everyone one around me is miserable, most of all me. 

I still dream, at night, about working in the studio. About getting the tattoos I worked out in my head all those years ago. Thinking about it now makes my heart feel like someone is squeezing it. 

About a month ago, after another screaming session with my husband, I sat and thought about my life. I spent a week seething with anger, waiting for him to say he was sorry, again. When I realized that this time, it was not coming, I started to think about what I want out of life. For the first time in a long time, I put everyone else on the back burner. I decided it was time to be a little selfish. 

With a little patience, I managed to work the barbell back into my tongue. It's my armor, it makes me feel like the tough girl I used to be. Before I settled for someone elses idea of what my life should be. 

It took him 2 days to notice, but when he finally did, I decided it was time to tell him. I am going to try to get back into the tattoo world . It's been 10 years, so I will need to re-apprentice. But I don't care. I need this so badly, I can manage to put everything aside, and focus on what I need to do to make this happen. 

He is not happy. I tried to explain it as nicely as I could, but the point was, he doesn't have a choice, or any say in the matter. I used to be a bad ass. I used to have the temper of a raging bull if you pushed me too far. I used to walk around, all my ink show, proud. I used to have a mouth worse than any drunkin' sailor. I used to be outgoing, and make fast friends. I was strong and confident and beautiful in my determination. I was on my way to being a rock star in the tattoo world. I am none of those things anymore. 

Somethings that have changed are for the best. My children don't need to hear my former foul mouth. And the chances of me ending up in jail, because I hit my husband with a vacuum while he screamed horrible names at me... slim to none! But I miss the person I used to be. I want to be that happy go lucky person. I want to look forward to getting up every morning. I want to hear peoples life stories, while they sit in my chair. I miss helping people heal part of their pain through a tattoo. I want back the excitement of planning a piece of meaningful art. To see it realized in their skin. To be humbled that they would wear my art, for the world to see.

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Dealing With The Lose of a Newborn

I am not sure how this life would have turned out if giving up my dream had made a difference.  If my husband was not always angry and hateful.  It might have been worth our happiness then.  But that's not the way it turned out.  So... I am choosing my happiness over him.  When the girls go back to school in the Fall, I will begin the journey again.  And I will find happiness in the person I used to be, whether he stands beside me or not. 


Shelle Edit: Is there a way to make this work AND their relationship?  Is it fair? Is there a compromise? Or has Missy compromised enough?


Missy

20 comments:

615sWife said...

I just want to start by saying your tattoo's are amazing!!!
I am on the flip side of the story, and what I mean is for a long time I didnt support my husband job. He is a police officer and when we started down this road, I was trying everything in my power to stand in one spot! I hated the hrs, the late night calls, being called in on his days off! I HATED IT!! We had soooooooo many fights about his job. Because he was like a kid with a new toy, that is all he wanted to talk about! Then one night I went riding with him, and for someone who doesnt know what that is, I pretty much went to work with him, anyways that night was the most boring night of my life! I sat at the station because he arrested someone and he had to book him in and all the fun stuff, but I was watching him and he was happy! I wanted to cry because all I want for him is to be happy and it took me almost 2 years to see it. I felt bad for being such a bitch to him about what was making him happy.
So my advice is have your husband come with you one day so he can see you in all your glory and show him that you can still do what you love with out becoming a " biker bitch " if he truly loves you then once he sees how happy this makes you then he should support you. But Dont forget about your family, set rules for your self, what drove me crazy was all we did was talk about his job, so just dont forget at first he is not going to be happy about this and the last thing he is wanting to do is listen to you talk on and on about your clients or whatever. Also remember he may feel threaten by the old new you if that makes any sense, so try and be patient with him. I really hope you guys work this out and that he gets on board with out much a fight because in the end you both will be happy!!

Alex said...

Hi Missy;

I too like your work. I am tattooed as well, I actually have ten now; all from the same studio, four five from the owner, five from his newest tattooer who I adore. My husband is lucky, he likes my tattoos. He doesn't mind that I want more and more and more. He didn't mind all the piercings I had (six in total, only one of which was in my ear).

I'm 26yrs old and already at that point where I made the decision to put my children first, me second and everyone else comes after that. I was very tired of making everyone else happy first.

I applaud you in making that decision and returning to something that you love, that you are passionate about and that you are obviously talented at.

I am also a bitch at times. If my husband had said the same things to me as he did to you (that you mentioned), I would have left then and there. In my opinion, that is verbal abuse and I do not stand for crap like that. I did it once and it will never happen again.

I think you have compromised long enough. You deserve to be happy. If that shakes up his precious bubble that he tries to live in, too bad. He knew who you were when he married you. Marriage doesn't give a person the right to forcefully (and I believe that abuse of any kind is a forceful way to do this) change another person. To try and change someone because they're slobs is one thing. To try and change someone because of their sailor's mouth is one thing. To change someone because they don't fit in your (a general "your") perfect world is bullshit, disrespectful and can be hurtful (as you obviously see and feel).

I wish you luck and strength in re-entering the Tattooing World. If you continue to put your heart into it, it will show and you will build that fan base again in no time flat.

nitebyrd said...

Missy has compromised enough. MORE than enough. Girl, go and grab that dream by the throat!!! DO IT! You have to be happy in order to make others see the joy in life.

It's definitely YOUR turn!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Missy-

Hey girl. First of all I wanted to say how much I appreciate that you wrote this. I think many women have or are now right in the same predicament.

Here's my two cents.

I believe you are a passionate person. You need the kind of rise and euphoric feeling passion gives you. Before you met your husband, tattooing WAS that for you.

Then you met your husband and your passion became split and eventually transferred to him, enough so, that you gave up one for the other.

Then came kids-again a split of passion and maybe transfer (I can't be sure as I don't know your whole life). Your husband got use to and became comfortable with you that way.

Now you are at a point in your life where the passion has faded and you want that high again. So, like many of us, what has lain dormant wants to come back.

I applaud you for getting back in the game and doing what you love, but I also have to say, I feel for your husband.

Why should he not be a bit frustrated with you. You willing have been this other person for so long and now you want to up and change on him, which seems almost a rebellion against him. That would be hard for me to handle, I think for anyone to handle.

So as much as I am excited for you, I also don't blame him for his reaction. It's natural to feel the way he does.

Ideally it would be good to meet in the middle and take baby steps as you apprentice, but eventually, if he loves you, he'll see that this change isn't so bad, especially because it's your love and passion. Just remember he should still be a priority because when you said those "I do's" you made your choice for him to be a part of your life. So what you do does and will affect him.

Good luck girl!

Anonymous said...

I trust those of you who read this comment and know who I am won't out me.

I know EXACTLY what you're saying here. My dreams were different than yours, obviously, but I had them crushed by an overbearing, controlling man too. I suppressed my true self too. I allowed myself to be beaten down by vicious words and fucking "rules" made by someone who thought it was his right as man to be in charge.

And I recently started bucking the system and I'm dealing with the fallout. It's a long, hard road to get back to who I used to be, but I feel better about myself than I have in a long long time. I value myself for the first time in a long time. Good for you for doing the same. Good for you for remembering that you are important and your dreams are meaningful. Good for you for being just a little bit selfish. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I also wanted to say that, in my case at least, while I thought at first that I was doing the best thing I could for my children by staying and taking his shit to keep the peace because I didn't want to break up the family, I now realize how ridiculous that is.

Am I teaching my son it's okay to treat his wife that way? Am I teaching my daughter that it's okay to allow yourself to be demeaned and controlled by a man because he "loves" you?

I have to put a stop to that while they're still relatively young. I'd hate to see them walk this path. Hate it.

Good luck to you with whatever your future holds.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Hey anonymous-missy-

Here's my thing. I never think a person should stay in a relationship if someone is abusing them...ever.

Here's the thing...I'm not sure or really think that is what Missy is saying or the type of relationship she is in? I don't know, I didn't read that in her post, I read that he asked her to change and she did.

She lived this OTHER person and is now wanting to change.

You both are victims because you lied to him all of these years by not being true to yourself. In a way you allowed him to change you--unless of course he held a gun to your head.

What I mean is no one can really MAKE you do anything. If you really wanted to continue to be a tattoo artist and he asked you not to be, then at that point you should have told him to F off or compromise or something.

I do agree that you are allowed to be a bit selfish and do things for you.

But when you have a family you everything you do affects them for the good or for the bad.


I do support Missy in indulging herself to do what she loves and I would advise her to get out of a relationship that was at all physically abusive and extremely mentally abusive.

Missy doesn't seem the type to be walked on anyway.

But if the marriage is in a rough patch or if this is the one thing they argue about, then take just a little more time to work on it so your both pleased with the outcome.

Marriage is a union of two people...selfishness taken to an extreme is what makes a natural rift between two people unbearable.

Missy tell us. Is it to the point or extremem enough of a problem that you have to choose between marriage and tattooing. Because I didn't read that you were wanting to get out of your marriage...so maybe I'm WAY off.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read that she wants out either, but I did read that she became a different person because a man asked it of her. And I have a knee jerk reaction to that. Everything I see is colored through that lens, and it kills me when women give themselves up in a marriage. It kills me because I did it too.

I didn't mean to make my situation hers, or to imply that I see abuse here; I don't know the story obviously, but I do know that the control and the "rules" and the expectations can lead to abuse.

I'm not in a relationship that is what people imagine when they think of an abusive situation. He never gets physical with me. But there are times when, more often than not, I wish he would. Because having my face crushed would be over quicker and less painful than having my spirit crushed.

Again, not saying that I think Missy is being abused or that she should leave her marriage. I just hope that she finds herself again and if she can do that while staying married and having a good relationship then that is the best possible outcome.

But I would hate to see anyone have to walk in my shoes. That's why I speak up. I guess I should work on being more clear when trying to make my point.

wendy said...

That's a tough situation. I don't think anyone should have to GIVE UP their dreams. Maybe Modify them sometimes in order for "other" things to work or be in balance with.
Hubby should respect your dream......you don't have to work maybe as many hours?? It would still allow you to immerse yourself in the art you love so much .
Didn't he kinda get that when you first hooked up....that this was a big part of you.
I think sometimes people/couples KNOW these things about each other...but after getting married think they can CHANGE you somehow.
Not always a good idea.
I wish you the best.

(oh, and p.s. I have 2 tatoos)

Missy said...

OK, first of all, I didn't want to get into to what lead to my choice. But everyone's point is valid. I'm sorry I didn't give enough information.

I blogged a little while ago about what's going on here at home.

This was the day after the fight

http://left-field-missy.blogspot.com/2010/06/no-subject.html

and this was 6 days after that

http://left-field-missy.blogspot.com/2010/06/saga-continues.html

To get straight to the point:
If giving up my dreams had produced a happy family, a content husband, a loving home, I would have no regrets. And I find my greatest joy when the people I love are happy. But I feel like I gave up so much, and got nothing in return. And not only me, but my girls.

Shelle, you know some of the crap I have been through in the last year. It is coming to an end. I have figured out the finer details of what will happen in the mean time. He will either have to go get on some kind of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety or he will have to go. It's as simple as that and I have told him as much.

Thanks for everyone's input. I really am enjoying the conversation.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Anonymous- "Again, not saying that I think Missy is being abused or that she should leave her marriage. I just hope that she finds herself again and if she can do that while staying married and having a good relationship then that is the best possible outcome." Okay we are both saying the same thing.

I hate that people change who they are because they are in a relationship also, I admit I did it also. I think everyone does it a little bit, even men. But again it's a choice, even though later on it may have been a bad one on our part because you shouldn't have to fully change for anybody and give up your true self. Again, if you play a role then you are lying to your spouse from the beginning anyway.

Your situation it seems is mental abuse and is even more serious then a physical abuse situation because it is harder to recognize and continues until you hardly recognize yourself.

I'm truly sorry for that. I have no idea who you are but that just sucks. And I'm glad you put your voice out there, that you are willing to say something and be of help. Some of the best ways to heal ones self IS to help others.

And you made your point well. Just sayin :)

Alex said...

"he didn't want to be married to a 'biker bitch'"

Being a tattooed woman, I find any man to refer to a woman as a "biker bitch" because they're tattooed is rude, disrespectful, hateful and yes, verbally abusive. Name calling IS verbal abuse.

Long ago were the days that tattoos were only on felons and motorcycle men/women.

Whether you (a general "you") like them or not, they are now considered art and even those who are higher up in the food chain have them.

Yes, when you marry someone, there is suppose to be compromise. That's the way life is. Rarely do people fall in love with and/or marry people who are exactly like them. However, when compromising is endangering who you are and what you believe in and care for, than it's NOT compromising.

T said...

Missy tried to do things differently - because she chose that... for her husband, for her child. It didn't work.

Now she is choosing to try something new (old) and doing that again for herself, and for her children (because ultimately - when a woman's happy... you know the drill)

Kudos to you. Life is quite a journey - and we're all finding our way. Sometimes it just seems unfair that we have all these little potholes, but they shape our personalities and make us stronger. Sounds like you're finally choosing YOU and it sounds like in order to be happy with you - the man is going to have to also find his inner peace!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Alex said, "However, when compromising is endangering who you are and what you believe in and care for, than it's NOT compromising."

See I don't think that is compromising either... that isn't even making a deal. That is choosing to give yourself up... cause ultimately you chose to.

I remember when I told my husband that I gave up a lot of who I was when I married him... I was really mad and we were fighting he said something that stuck with me, "Well you didn't do ME any favors! I didn't ask that of you! Had you been yourself from the start who knows if we would be standing here today arguing about it!--Plus, who says you're the only one that gave anything up? You ever think of that?"

I get that Missy's husband asked it of her. So she chose at that time to do that. And now she is asking something of him--which is understandable to a point for sure.

A compromise is two parties meeting in the middle to come to an agreement.

If you and what you believe in and care for are given up willingly or unwillingly then you made that choice and either you won or lost because of it... depends on the outcome as T. Said.

Missy's situation ... her husband has a problem and she has come to her conclusion to what will be best for her and her life. I get that and totally respect it.

Love ya girl!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Alex said, "However, when compromising is endangering who you are and what you believe in and care for, than it's NOT compromising."

See I don't think that is compromising either... that isn't even making a deal. That is choosing to give yourself up... cause ultimately you chose to.

I remember when I told my husband that I gave up a lot of who I was when I married him... I was really mad and we were fighting he said something that stuck with me, "Well you didn't do ME any favors! I didn't ask that of you! Had you been yourself from the start who knows if we would be standing here today arguing about it!--Plus, who says you're the only one that gave anything up? You ever think of that?"

I get that Missy's husband asked it of her. So she chose at that time to do that. And now she is asking something of him--which is understandable to a point for sure.

A compromise is two parties meeting in the middle to come to an agreement.

If you and what you believe in and care for are given up willingly or unwillingly then you made that choice and either you won or lost because of it... depends on the outcome as T. Said.

Missy's situation ... her husband has a problem and she has come to her conclusion to what will be best for her and her life. I get that and totally respect it.

Love ya girl!

handstowar said...

I love tattoos. I have 17 of them. I'm getting another one tomorrow.

Anyway, I can't believe that your husband wouldn't give you some sort of comprimise!? If tattooing is what you love and you feel as though its what you're called to do... then do IT! It's who you are! Your husband married you KNOWING you loved tattoo work! What he'll come to realize is if you start doing tattoos again and the outcome is that you're a much happier person... then HE WINS and YOU WIN! What you're wanting to do isn't illegal, it's not immoral... its tattoos!

Assure him it's not going to be your all consuming thing! Perhaps a good thing would not be to dive head first into it and be gone all hours of the day and night. Allow a few days or evenings a week to be gone and work on your art. What's it gonna hurt? If it works out, great! If it doesn't... no harm done.

Quite honestly... I freakin' hate dudes who have to CONTROL EVERYTHING. You have a right to do what you love. So go do it... and when you're done you can do some tattoos on me for free because I gave you so much "good" advice.

Also... you wouldn't happen to live in Oklahoma would you? It JUST got legalized her about two years ago and I know you mentioned earlier that it got legalized whereever you are now...

Joanna Cake said...

Life is too short to live with wankers who dont appreciate you. I spent 30 years compromising and it only got worse.

Do what you need to do now because people and things dont change... they just suck all the joy out of you.

One year on - new life, new flat, new business, new man.... NEW ME!

Or at least the Me I could have been three decades ago.

Be good to yourself x

Mrsblogalot said...

This was an amazing post!!!

Without sounding cliche but I can't help it...it's never too late to make yourself happy.

Sometimes cliches work ya know?

Best of luck on your journey. I see many smiles inside your heart for you.

Anonymous said...

I read the posts you linked to Missy. I feel for you in your difficult time. The choices you need to make are difficult.

My opinion is that this fighting isn't really about tattoos. It sounds to me like both of you are trying to get the other person's attention, and neither of you are succeeding. Me and my husband used to fight like this during the first few years. Couple's therapy helped us see that the fighting, threats, and screaming were just a way for us to let out frustration over the lack of attention to our needs we were getting. Now when my husband starts to get angry, I tell him "Baby, I know how frustrated you are right now and how you're trying to express yourself and I'm not quite getting the message." It helps us stay calm.

The real question I think is can you give this man compassion and empathy? Can you be the greater person? Do you want to? All throughout my man's struggle with depression (he was on med's for a while) I knew that deep down inside I could simply never meet a better man than him. That's why I stuck it out.

If you do stick it out, I strongly encourage you to seek help through counseling or through your church. We used to have those screaming fights, and we just haven't had one in over 3 years. It turns out that we just didn't know how to communicate AT ALL with each other!

I would also encourage you to remember that you are always giving people permission for the way they treat you. Now, I would simply not tolerate that kind of treatment in my relationship. Back then, we both knew that this fighting was wrong - we were always remoseful.

You may also want to study buddism a little bit. It focuses on giving up control over the things that you cannot control and accepting control over the things you can control. It sounds insanely simply when I type it, but its actually really hard to do! For example, it sounds like you feel that you handed over control for some period of your life to your husband, who you cannot control. You need to control the only thing you can control - your own life. Likewise, you can only control your behavior and words, not his.

As far as the biker bitch comment, it sounds like he was just lashing out and trying to get attention. I would have already forgiven my man - but then, I have a truly loving and wonderful human man - he has failings but I choose to accept them when we married (when we were 18!)

Sorry to write such a long comment but I truly empathize with your situation and have lots of advice as I can relate to that style of fighting. I hope it helps. Please stay true to your self and to your heart.

-Texan Girl

Anonymous said...

There is a fine line between compromising (in a marriage) & change. No one marries their identical twin. That would get boring. However, no one should be with a person who doesn't cherish who they truly are. As a woman who was suppressed in a violently abusive relationship for nearly 15 years, I make it a point to be myself with anyone I meet. If you can't love me, in spite of my "flaws" (for lack of a better word), then you can't truly love me at all. That goes both ways. If I meet a man that I think needs to change in any way, then I know that a relationship with him will not work. Its called "unconditional love" & it does exist. We have it for our children. We should have it with our mates.

WE BELONG