Annemarie made a video for you!
She also included her notes, but trust me: It’s worth your 4 minutes and 40 seconds to watch her in action. (And no, I’m not in the least bit biased…;-)
(If you can’t see it, click here to watch it directly on YouTube.)
Hey Tattuesday readers!
For those of you who don’t already know me, I’m Annemarie Gregory, daughter to Cheri Gregory, whose blog you are probably visiting – unless you were linked to this video by a friend, a colleague, or your own daughter.
My mother started this Tattuesday series while she was struggling to come to terms with my tattoos. I’ve already introduced myself; I suppose I should introduce the tattoos.
I have full sleeves – sea creatures and constellations – a phrase and a few birds by my collarbone, two tiny tattoos on my hands, wings tattooed above my ankles, a tattoo on my calf, a thigh tattoo, and a couple of ribcage tattoos. (I hope you won’t be offended if I don’t share those with you – we’d like to keep the blog series PG if at all possible!)
I am twenty-three years old, a senior at ___ University, expected to graduate in the spring with a BFA in Fine Arts (which at this point probably won’t surprise most of you).
So that’s a short introduction to my tattoos and myself. There are a few other things I’d like to go over.
First, I was raised in a supportive home with two wonderful, well-meaning (if at times misguided) parents who were raised by very conservative parents themselves.
Second – and I feel this is an important point – my tattoos were my choice. They have nothing to do with the way I was raised; they are also not a reflection on my parents or their poor parenting abilities. This is true of your son or your daughter, as well. I don’t care if they want to dye their hair blue or have a skull and crossbones tattooed across their back. Unless they get the ancient Chinese symbol for “screw you, Mom,” it’s absolutely not about you.
Third, this is an incredibly personal process for my mother, and it’s brave of her to share it. And as I have an immense amount of respect for my mother, I ask that you please continue to respect her, respect what she considers her struggle as well as her thought process.
That’s as much as I’m going to share at the moment. I’d love to go on, but I have a bad habit of talking too much because I like the attention (gee, I wonder where I got that from…Mom?)
Don’t worry, I’ll be back. So please, ask questions when you leave a comment. I’d like to answer as many as I can the next time I talk. It was good to meet all of you – please do continue to read and respond to the Tattuesday posts, as this is a growing experience for my mother and myself, and–although we may not necessarily agree with it or find it easy to accept–we welcome other opinions, perspective, and points of view that will help us continue to work through this together.
Oh, there is one other thing:
A little while ago, my mom forwarded me an Email which was originally from a daughter to her own mother. I believe she had forwarded another of the Tattuesday posts to her mom and, suffice to say, her mother did not respond well.
So, to the daughter, I’d like to say:
If you’re watching, please know that you can contact me. I’m going to give my mom my Email address to put up with this post*, so that if you want to write to me, you are absolutely welcome to do so. You can write to me to rant, to yell, to cry, to scream … we can get together and go out for ice cream. I’m good with that!
It’s important to me that you know that you’re not alone. You don’t have to do this alone. It’s difficult, and it’s allowed to be difficult. It’s allowed to hurt; it’s allowed to be hard. And I’m sorry that it is. I’m so sorry that your mother responded the way that she did.
Please remember that it’s not about you. It’s not a reflection on you or how much she loves you. It’s hard for her. And although my mother has been very brave and is starting to work through a lot of the struggle, it hasn’t been easy for us.
I’m really proud of you. I’m really proud of you for reaching out to your mom the way you did. That took a lot of courage, and you should be proud of yourself.
So just know that you’re not alone, that you have someone to talk to who’s been there. I’m sure you’re in a lot of pain; you don’t have to handle all this hurt on your own. If you need to, I’m here.
( *You can contact Annemarie via [email protected]; all Emails will be forwarded directly to her.)