“I got this tattoo to symbolize that I had a very difficult time growing up and went through some very traumatic things. However, despite that, I have grown up to become a good person and to be successful.” by Vanessa

I grew up in a household with a single mother who suffered from bipolar disorder. She was improperly medicated until I was 18 and this resulted in years of emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse. I was always told I wasn’t worthy of good things and that I would be a failure at anything I tried. For years I struggled with severe depression and anxiety. I had many emotional problems, poor self-esteem and was self-destructive in my habits. Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and have begun healing from this but despite the challenges I have faced I have worked hard to achieve my goals. I went to college and became a nurse, learned to drive, excelled in my personal hobbies and had few friends but I became very close with them.

I had always found the lotus flower beautiful but when I read the symbolism behind a lotus tattoo it very deeply resonated with me. The lotus is born in muck. From the sludgy and murky waters the brilliant and beautiful lotus blossoms. It is a symbol of death and rebirth, enlightenment, and spiritual awakening. The lotus is a symbol of endurance. From the lotus, we learn to make the best of a less than ideal situation and rise above it. I may have grown up in a less than ideal and unhealthy environment but I have risen up from that to become the beautiful person I am today. I still struggle with my PTSD but I am on the road to recovery and taking it one day at a time. Every time I look at this tattoo I am reminded of where I came from and where I want to be. It is a lifelong reminder of my strength and I put it on my foot so it is easily visible. This tattoo was extremely painful, much more so than any of my others but it was certainly a spiritual experience testing my endurance through such physical pain. This tattoo means a lot to me and I truly believe that tattoos can be excellent therapy if it has deep, personal meaning to you.


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