Morrigan

Mother hates my tattoos

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So I got another tattoo the other day. Seventh one, all of my tattoos can be covered for work and are beautiful and tasteful in my eyes. I love all of them. Mother saw the photo on facebook and wrote a couple of message to me, saying that she is in shock, trembling and doesn't want to live anymore, since I am mutilating the body she gave me and I must be psychically damaged if I do so. Also, she mentioned she would rather die before seeing yet another tattoo on me. I tried to explain my view on body art, that I actually quite like my body and love to get it decorated, but she wouldn't hear of it and requested that I promise I will not get any further tattoos until she dies, which, she emphasized, will be soon anyway (she does have some health issues now).

After days, I still can't believe this discussion really happened. In my eyes, my mother is manipulating and emotionally blackmailing me. I can't believe she would do this to me. Maybe I'm wrong or I don't have the right perspective?

I am 36, a mother myself. My husband and my 3 year old daughter love my tattoos.

I am independent of my mother, have my own life, carreer. I serve as Chief Legal Counsel for a major international holding operating in Central Eastern Europe.

Just needed to write this somewhere. Perhaps some of you have a similar experience and would like to share it.

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@Morrigan its all good - only your mother has any control over her emotional state and perspectives - I'm 45 and my father doesnt like my tattoos - though he wont say as much to me - you gotta live your life and do what works for you - partly i think there is a generational issue at play - if it was me - i'd be straight forward - 'mom i love you and you dont have to love my tattoos but your frustrations with what i do with body wont have any influence on what i will continue to do with my body' - end of story

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My parents don't like my tattoos, either, and my Mom (whom I love and adore completely) actually called me the other day after perusing my Instagram and seeing one of my new tattoos. I'm older than you are, @Morrigan, have multiple degrees, have a great job, and she was still critical of my tattoos and "disappointed" I'd gotten another one. I've lost count of how many I have, and I keep thinking she'll get used to the idea —apparently not. Just try not to worry and keep doing your own thing. She'll get over it (or at least get used to it).

Edited by oboogie

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@marley mission dude you are the epitome of zen. You always seem so even and calm. You should start teaching classes  

 

@Morrigan it's a bummer to read this. No matter how old we get, we always want to please our parents. It's pretty natural. I would try humor in this situation. Humor always seems to cut directly to the issue and disarm it a bit. I bet most of us here have parents that are not thrilled with our choices when it comes to tattoos. Some handle it better than others. All I know is that if you can manage to make her laugh, the subject will get easier. All the best to you and good luck. 

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@marley mission Yep. I think she knows I will do what I want with my body and I won't be asking for her approval. As a mom, I love my kid unconditionally and I respect her, even though she's a toddler now. And yes, while I consider myself quite open-minded, there are body modifications that I don't like and that I'd personally consider "too much" (horn implants, split tongue, doesn't really matter), but if my baby girl came home with a split tongue, the only thing I could ever tell her is that I don't like it but I will always be respectful if she is happy about whatever she does. I just was so sorry my mum couldn't do the same for me. I don't need her to agree with me or share my view. If she'd only respect my choices.

@SStu Fortunately not. She did mention the "don't you care how people will look at you?" thing. I don't really care about what people think/say and anyway, most of my friends and even colleagues at work like my tattoos. I've inspired more than one person to get inked :-) 

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Tell her that you love her and hug her when you can. Oh, and maybe not post any more photos. :)

Side note: None of my family approves of my ink. When my brother gets mad at me he calls me a "tattooed white trash whore". I, too, have multiple degrees and a great job. My strategy is to kill them with kindness. You most likely can't/won't change her mind but don't let that impact you being an awesome, loving daughter.

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49 minutes ago, Gingerninja said:

Tell her that you love her and hug her when you can. Oh, and maybe not post any more photos. :)

Side note: None of my family approves of my ink. When my brother gets mad at me he calls me a "tattooed white trash whore". I, too, have multiple degrees and a great job. My strategy is to kill them with kindness. You most likely can't/won't change her mind but don't let that impact you being an awesome, loving daughter.

Whaaaaat? You have the loveliest, friendliest face. I am mad at your brother for saying such awful things about you. I'm glad you kill them with kindness.

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I'm 61 - and got my first tattoo 4 months ago. My mom, who is 83, loves it. Go figure.

As much as we want to please our parents, in the end, we are wholly responsible for our own happiness. It seems that your husband is at peace with your choices and supportive. That is a sign of a very positive and healthy relationship. Your mom is clearly trying to bully you emotionally, to do as she wishes. It is a control issue. As you work though your reactions, though, only you can determine how much exerting your independence will impact the relationship with your mother and how comfortable you are with it. That, too, has an impact on your happiness. So, weigh it all out and do what makes you the most happy. No matter the choice, you will be doing what is right for you, not for her.

Just $.02 from one of the older crowd here.

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Thanks for the kind words! My brother is a more than a piece of work @oboogie. Our families never make it easy on us when they don't approve of the choices we make. You can choose your friends but not your family, right? My brother can pound dirt. My mom, I'll love to the end of her days regardless of her perspective. I would assert that having tattoo's have made me more empathic, kind and tolerant. Lessons a lot of people could use. I can't control them but I can control me.  

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4 hours ago, Morrigan said:

So I got another tattoo the other day. Seventh one, all of my tattoos can be covered for work and are beautiful and tasteful in my eyes. I love all of them. Mother saw the photo on facebook and wrote a couple of message to me, saying that she is in shock, trembling and doesn't want to live anymore, since I am mutilating the body she gave me and I must be psychically damaged if I do so. Also, she mentioned she would rather die before seeing yet another tattoo on me. I tried to explain my view on body art, that I actually quite like my body and love to get it decorated, but she wouldn't hear of it and requested that I promise I will not get any further tattoos until she dies, which, she emphasized, will be soon anyway (she does have some health issues now).

After days, I still can't believe this discussion really happened. In my eyes, my mother is manipulating and emotionally blackmailing me. I can't believe she would do this to me. Maybe I'm wrong or I don't have the right perspective?

I am 36, a mother myself. My husband and my 3 year old daughter love my tattoos.

I am independent of my mother, have my own life, carreer. I serve as Chief Legal Counsel for a major international holding operating in Central Eastern Europe.

Just needed to write this somewhere. Perhaps some of you have a similar experience and would like to share it.

every time i get a new tattoo my mum says she isn't going to talk to me ever again because she is too disappointed in me, so we agree to never speak again (this isn't an argument by the way). She always rings me a couple of days later too invite me for tea.

 

we must have bene through the exact same process at least 15 times.

 

At the end of the day its only because mothers care, they just have outdated views!

Edited by Transplant
spelling

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Friends are (insert appropriate word/phrase here such as God's, Buddah's, Life's, etc) way of apologizing for your family. @Gingerninja - you totally rock it. I love your confidence and your perspective.

 

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this anywhere before - and I do so now only for perspective - but I was very close to the point of impact of the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Several times that day I stared death in the eyes and won. Any time you can find yourself included in a Smithsonian Museum exhibition...and be alive to see it...is a positive outcome.That experience, and other close calls I had while in the Army, gave me a totally new perspective on life, on my priorities and on my approach to others. I don't let others control me - but I also am more attune to other points of view. I may not agree, but I am much more tolerant and open to considering those viewpoints. I can't make everyone happy...but I CAN make myself happy. Life is about choices - we make them every day. Not all are right or good but as long as we are willing to accept the consequences of those choices then, it seems to me, that it is a correct way to go.

Edited by Devious6

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On July 15, 2016 at 0:50 PM, Devious6 said:

Friends are (insert appropriate word/phrase here such as God's, Buddah's, Life's, etc) way of apologizing for your family. @Gingerninja - you totally rock it. I love your confidence and your perspective.

 

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this anywhere before - and I do so now only for perspective - but I was very close to the point of impact of the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Several times that day I stared death in the eyes and won. Any time you can find yourself included in a Smithsonian Museum exhibition...and be alive to see it...is a positive outcome.That experience, and other close calls I had while in the Army, gave me a totally new perspective on life, on my priorities and on my approach to others. I don't let others control me - but I also am more attune to other points of view. I may not agree, but I am much more tolerant and open to considering those viewpoints. I can't make everyone happy...but I CAN make myself happy. Life is about choices - we make them every day. Not all are right or good but as long as we are willing to accept the consequences of those choices then, it seems to me, that it is a correct way to go.

This is perfect. Thanks for sharing it. 

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On 15. 7. 2016 at 7:50 PM, Devious6 said:

Friends are (insert appropriate word/phrase here such as God's, Buddah's, Life's, etc) way of apologizing for your family. @Gingerninja - you totally rock it. I love your confidence and your perspective.

 

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this anywhere before - and I do so now only for perspective - but I was very close to the point of impact of the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Several times that day I stared death in the eyes and won. Any time you can find yourself included in a Smithsonian Museum exhibition...and be alive to see it...is a positive outcome.That experience, and other close calls I had while in the Army, gave me a totally new perspective on life, on my priorities and on my approach to others. I don't let others control me - but I also am more attune to other points of view. I may not agree, but I am much more tolerant and open to considering those viewpoints. I can't make everyone happy...but I CAN make myself happy. Life is about choices - we make them every day. Not all are right or good but as long as we are willing to accept the consequences of those choices then, it seems to me, that it is a correct way to go.

This is so true. Couldn't agree more.

I managed to calm down over the past couple of days and mother and I are talking normally now. I understand she's under much stress, having some health issues now and I do my best to support her. Looking back at our conversation over the new tattoo, I told her several times that I do understand and respect her opinion and we could have just closed the conversation there, but she kept repeating that she will die soon and that perhaps I can wait with further tattoos for when she's dead. This, for me, was a very low blow and I can't forget for now. 

Anyway - I do love my tattoos and definitely will get some more. While I'm really sorry for not being able to share this part of my life with my mother, she's not going to see any of these new tattoos.

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-I'm sorry there's friction in your life with your family over something you love. It's interesting...there seems to be a very visceral reaction in some parents with regard to the physical bodies of their children, and it has seemed to me at times that it can't always be explained by generational differences. My mother is just about as supportive as any parent can be of their child's tendency to explore fringe cultures; as long as I'm not hurting myself or anyone else, she's pretty much fine with whatever. And though she's always positive with the things she says about my tattoos, a few things she has said have led me to wonder if she didn't have some kind of emotional investment in my personal appearance re: inherited characteristics, or something. I remember telling her early on that my tattooer told me I have good skin for tattooing, and she made some offhand comment about how she hopes I appreciate that she gave it to me, which struck me as weird at the time -- obviously I am grateful that she gave me my skin! Haha. And grateful for everything else she's given me, too.

Maybe some parents can sense that the act of tattooing can be a radical act of self-ideation on the part of their children, and they feel weirded out and threatened by it, as though we're setting out to become different people all of a sudden, and they're afraid of losing the one they've spent so long loving. I don't know. I don't have kids and I can't really say. (In addition to all of the other reasons that parents can object, obviously.)

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