Are you a heathen like me?

How many of you out there would consider yourself to be a “heathen” or a “heretic” like myself? I was born and raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for 9 years, and had to go to mass every Sunday until I was about 17-18. I have NEVER believed in any god/gods are far back as I can remember. Have always been a fan of horror movies/literature or anything that mocks or ridicules religion. I’m 61 years old, have been with my devout christian wife for over 40 years, and have lived a pretty normal life. However, about 20+ years ago, I started getting tattooed, couldn’t really afford it until then, otherwise I would have started sooner. My first piece was something I’d thought about many times, and it was simply a headstone with the inscripition THE END on it. I’ve been going to the same artist for all of those 20+ years, he’s very talented, very cool to hang out with, and always knows what I want when I describe my ideas.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because ever since I started getting work done , I’ve decided to go out of my way(maybe I’m just nuts) to “collect” as many anti-religious or blashphemy based pieces of artwork.(quality tattoo work is artwork in my opinion) that I can. I have several Latin phrases on my arms and back, sevaral halloween themed pieces, and a few occult symbols to top things off. The reactions that I/we get in public(yes, my wife goes out in public with me, cool huh?) crack me up and make me smile. That’s hard to do right now, chronic pain has made the last 10 years not lot a lot of fun.That’s one of the reasons that I keep going back, when I get tattooed, it makes all of the other pain go away for a couple of days, it’s therapy for me.
Any way, I’ve been mumbling long enough, just wondering If any one else get’s the same pleasure that I do just by being myself.
mr. macabre.

If it’s therapeutic for you, like you described - good - and if you enjoy it :+1:

Myself - nah.

I got a nose piercing at age 40.

The only time I get in other people’s faces about religion is when they shove it in mine first - even on the forum, they’ll set the tone and I have no problems responding how I deem appropriate.

Have you tried acupuncture then? There is a multiple needle technique that relieved my chronic pain for up to 3 months…

@mr.macabre My sincere sympathies on your back pain. I have a chronic degenerative condition myself. Been there, done that, spent many days on my back unable to move.

Cool with the tats. I have many friends with them, and always refer to tattoos as art. Because they are.

Heathen, heretic, apostate, sinner, godless, etc, etc, etc… , it’s all the same thing; names the religious have invented for anyone who does not believe the shit they are shoveling.

I absolutely get the same pleasure out of just being myself. Never had a tattoo and never wanted one. On the other end… I will admit to being the first male in my high school to get his ear pearled. I wore it that way for about 5 years and one day just stopped, The scar is there if looked for but the hole is long gone.

Post some pics of the tatts. Good art work is always fun,

I am certainly a heathen, but judging from your posts thus far I doubt I’m “like you”.

Indeed I have found atheists to represent something a mixed bag, as you’d expect. Though most of the ones I’ve encountered, have in common the desire to reason rationally and think critically about all claims and ideas.

As soon as I get my first “I” phone, which our son(who owns an I.T. company) says will be next week, I’ll have him show me how to use it, and then I’ll send some photos. My wife isn’t sure how to do it with her old phone. She’s getting a new one also.

I have no problems with my back, I have osteo-arthritis in my knee’s, hips, hands, and my neck. To top it all off, I also have been diagnosed with “small-fiber idiopathic poly neuropathy” in both feet and my ankles. I have had to undergo 12 surgeries in the last 10 years and have been on permanent disability since july of 2015. This is probably one of the reasons why getting tattooed is like therapy for me. It helps me forget about all the other pain for 2 or 3 days. I’m going back for more on FEB.4th, I can’t wait.

I have talked to my doctor about it, I’ve tried just about everything else there is. But there are 2 problems with it, one, my doctor says at best, It’s only temporary, and two, our insurance won’t pay for it. Plus, I have so many issues(knees, hips, hands, and neck) that we wouldn’t know where to start. I’m also living on a fixed-income and we depend on my wife’s job for medical coverage. I also live on 8 different prescriptions, I’m pretty much “maxed-out” on those, so I just put a little money away every month and go back for more “therapy” every 3-4 months. I have to pay for it, but at least I get a cool piece of artwork for the rest of my life.

I’m very sorry to learn that. I also suffer from osteoarthritis in both knees. Right hand and elbow. Each feature is at the sight of some a past trauma. Although I have problems walking these day, yours seems far more severe.

“have been diagnosed with “small-fiber idiopathic poly neuropathy”

I had to look that up. All I understood of the description was ‘neuropathy’, which I understand as nerve pain. Sounds very nasty. Do you have diabetes? ( I have type 2)

The only thing I can do to help myself is to keep my weight down. This is hard for me. For pain, I sometimes take prescribed opioid pain killers. I prefer not to because they make me dopey. The doc says I will eventually need new knees. Not looking forward to that, even though my private health insurance will pay almost all of it.

Good luck with your phone. My first phone cost me $80 . It could make and receive calls. It was for emergencies. Didn’t tell anyone my number for 5 years. Didn’t want to be that available. Today I have a Samsung Galaxy A50. Once it sunk in that it’s also is a pretty good camera as well as a computer, I began using it those ways.

Thanks for the response. I’m not diabetic, not even close, my DR. checks my blood twice a year, says that is all normal. My neuropathy(nerve damage) is called “idiopathic” because as the name implies, they don’t know the cause. I’ve had blood tests, biopsies, electrical & conductivity tests(4 times), but nothing shown to be the cause. There is no cure or treatment options other than pain-control, and the nerve damage is permanent, makes walking very difficult at times.
Don’t be to anxious about joint-replacement surgery, I’ve had 4 surgeries of my left knee, the last was a possible total-knee replacement. When they got in there, they elected to do a partial-replacement instead. That was a little over 2 years ago, the “new” half is better, the original part still gives me problems. If they give you the choice, go for the total, it will feel much better.

Mr Macabre. If inking helps, go for it.
I am also struggling with poor health which will never get better and will shorten my life but one thing I have taken from it is a freedom to be open and clear. I do not go out of my way to offend but I am less hesitant about speaking my mind.

Reading what you put, I did wonder why you became obsessed with marking yourself in ways to demonstrate your distance from the teachings of your childhood but it’s your skin and you have the right to do what you will. To hell with the opinion of others :grin:

Incidentally, I agree about tattoos being art. I have never had one and I recently decided to get something to remember my father but I am extremely hirsute and it would mean having a shaved patch, which might not look so cool. Ah well.


Thank you for the reassurance, appreciated.

Not reassurance, admiration. I like people who are unafraid to be an individual and refuse to follow the herd. We should all strive to be ourselves. To be a voice, not an echo repeating the agenda of others.

If you’re really going to do it, be sure to check the artist’s portfolio to see the quality of their work and ask them how long they’ve been tattooing. Don’t rush into anything. Since this will be your first, a word of advice, it is painful, and some areas hurt a lot more than others. If you’re looking for the least painful area, the outside of your upper arm(bicep) was the least for me. The best way to describe the pain is that it feels like one continuous bee-sting. After a while, the adrenaline kicks in and it’s not that bad. Just relax, don’t watch the needle as he’s doing it, just sit still and breath normally. Who knows, you might decide that you like it and go back for more.

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Thanks for the advice

I think you may be understating a little. Every place on the body hurts when tattooed. It’s agony on some places. EG I was in the army with a bloke who had a fly tattooed on his glans penis.

ME? I have just one rather small one. A souvenir of Singapore, New Year’s Eve 1969. Right upper arm.

Pissed as a newt ,I went to give a mate mortal support. On seeing his, I decided I wanted one the same. The tattooist began and I sobered up instantly. Because it fucking well hurt

Next morning, badly hung over, I took one look in the mirror and immediately regretted my decision. Have always been grateful that I have the amateurish mess high on my arm where it doesn’t show even with a T shirt.

Having said that, tattooing has improved a lot since then. Here many tattooists are talented artists, and produce beautiful work, from say Celtic knots to full back or sleeve irezumi.

I’ve always wanted a small Japanese dragon on my R forearm. Today I’m too much of a coward; my skin has become thinner and papery with age. I think having a tattoo there would be more pain than the desire justifies.

There are “tiny tattoos” also. My sis has a spider :spider: on her neck (not her in pic lol -but the area and size comparison)

She also has 2 or 3 others. They’re much larger. Back shoulder area and one on her underside…

Yeah, I see a lot of them on young women . Most small tattoos I’ve seen have been cartoon-like and lacking any artistic merit imo. Still don’t like tattoos on face neck and hands. Of course it’s none of my business, so I say nothing.

A friend’s daughter has the names of her two children tattooed across her back. Well done, but a bit maudlin for my taste.

As I stated earlier, I’m almost 62 , didn’t get started until 20+ years ago. Your skin does change as you get older, but I’ve been able to preserve my ink over the years by limiting my time in the sun(in wash. state?) and using Dove soap and moisturizing lotion twice a week. I agree, getting tattooed anywhere is painful, but some areas are considerably worse than others, especially the ribs and stomach, and the tops of your feet. Luckily, I found an incredibly talented tattoo artist the first time I had work done, and Brandon’s done everything for me, I won’t go anywhere else. I have between 125-150 hours of work done on me, my back is covered with a scene that took 2 1/2 years and about 40 hours, both arms are covered from the shoulder to the wrist(they’re not sleeves, just several pieces merged together), and several on my chest. I don’t think getting your kid’s names tattooed is maudlin, it’s cool. I have 3 memorial tattoos on my chest, one for when my mom died, one for our still-born granddaughter, and one for my older sister when she died suddenly last year. I also have 4 small Jack-o- lantern’s representing each of our 4 grandkids. I even had our oldest granddaughter Sadie write each of their names down, then Brandon copied them, shrank them down, and traced each one underneath each drawing. It’s my way of remembering them 'til the day I die.