Log for a Long Painful Journey - Denver, CO

Hello everyone! Let me introduce myself and my...

Hello everyone!

Let me introduce myself and my story firstly. My name is Cheng, originally from China and doing school in Colorado. At the end of September, I made a super big mistake which is getting a tattoo done. Seriously, I have been thinking about this tattoo design for around two years. As an international student, live by myself in a foreign country is tough. I felt life is just like feather, and what support you to move on is love and hope. This is the meaning behind this tattoo. Especially when I met my girlfriend this summer who is my 7 years old close friend. I have a stronger motivation to get the tattoo done. But just right after I finish my tattoo, every time I looked at the mirror, I just feel this is not my body and not me. Black ink let me feel cold and afraid of myself. During past 20 days, I cannot sleep, study, eat. The depression is killing me in slow motion.
I did lots of research, and pick a local clinic they are using RevLite and a 10 years experienced CLS will do the treatment for me.
My first treatment is Oct. 28th. I really need some support from friends. Feel really such a down time.

7 Comments

Thanks for you reply! How many treatments did you finish?
Hi Cheng, I just want to tell you I have felt similar feelings as you. Back in March I got a tattoo on my back (script). It was of a quote I really liked. I had regret once I took off the padding and saw one of the words was crooked. For months I was depressed. I didn't like to do any of the things I normally liked to do. I was a student at the time and I couldn't focus. I was missing school and everything. I even had to see a therapist to help me through. I had one laser session on just the crooked word and now I am thinking of starting on the whole thing. I just want you to know that time will help you. As time goes on you will feel less pain. It will also help you to have a plan in progress. You are attempting to remove your mistake now and that plan will help keep you in good spirits. I hope you pull through and are able to focus on the things in life that are of greater importance. It will happen. Angelo
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Thanks so much for your support. How is your treatment going?

Some thought

Ok, so today I screwed up my midterm test, depressed. In addition, since my depressed mood also affect my family and friend even girl friend. And just one moment, I felt like I kinda don't really hate that tattoo. Since really I like the hidden message behind it. Thinking back, probably nothing can change my mind to get it. Just after I screwed my midterm, and after a long sleep, I realized I think I can accept it. Although I hope I didn't make this decision. But I already did, and nothing can change. I know laser removal is a long painful process. I am quite emotional for sure, I don't know during this process, if I will be more depressed for example if the progress is not really good. If the result is not perfect. I am hesitating right now.

What do you think fellows? Need some comment!

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Anyway decision made

Oct 28th, 1st treatment, hope I can stay positive

13 Comments

Hi Cheng. Sorry to hear you're regretting your recent tattoo! As Wilks has said, you'll get a ton of support from everyone here. If you definitely go through with your decision to have your tattoo removed, please do keep coming back to update us. I'm not sure if Asian skin will be much different to white skin when having laser. It's usually black skin that causes problems as it's difficult for the laser to 'detect' where the ink is, and pigmentation problems can occur. As your tattoo is new and because the ink is black, you should be a great candidate for laser. Have a chat with your technician and see what they say!
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I don't know what came over me but I went with what the dude was saying (so unlike me !) and got an UGLY flower on my wrist it DOES not suit my little self as my wrists are so small and I have my cats name on arm in thick black looks so trashy
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Hey Chenwu, I have a 1.5" all black tattoo that I have been attempting to get rid of for almost 2 years now (come Dec). It is all outline and I have had 8 sessions so far. It has faded significantly but there is still a ghost shadow that remains. I even waited 4+ months in b/w some sessions for maximum healing time. The bottom line is, my tattoo was technically bad....shaky outline and poor design. I chose removal b/c of this. I have another tattoo that is really well done and looks technically beautiful, and I thought just for a moment about getting this one removed too.....BUT, after seeing my results from the laser and the time this whole thing is taking, I would never get my other tattoo removed. My skin is slightly discolored and I do not know if the ghost outline will ever be gone. I was treated w/ the Medlite C6 laser. I would advise you to really think about laser removal....your tattoo is beautifully done and it has special meaning to you. I am not trying to talk you out of laser, but just be forewarned: I am in my "final stages" of removal and am doubtful if I will see 100% clearing, and my skin color is slightly off. Just be forewarned that you may not have perfect results and your tattoo will probably not clear 100%. Anyone who wants to email me or add a comment can, but this is just my personal opinion. I truly wish someone would have told me this before I started removal, because it seems like I will have to get a cover up now, which is what I was trying to avoid with laser. Good luck on whatever you choose!
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Super touched inside

Thanks all your friendly comments, I really appreciate you. Best wishes for you. I will do a test spot this saturday to make sure, the reaction of asian skin type to the laser. I feel lot better these days, my family and girlfriend give me best support ever. I really want to share more about myself to you, why I am this hesitating, although this does relate to removal process. You can just read them as a short story to understand more about asian culture probably. Tattoo is partially acceptable in Asia, I think just because in old generation, it closely relates to gangster or something. My father is a professor in college, and mother works for government. They are really traditional parent, and love me very much. Since high school, I fell in love with rock music, especially some emotional genre. I also formed my own underground music band in college, last year my band (although I left, since I study abroad) even released our first album. From this you can see how much I love it, but not like normal rock band, I will connect then with anger and offensive emotion. Our songs are all about love and something. But affected by this type of culture, in past two years, I really want to get a new school style tattoo about love. For me, I am also a christian. I love people so much. I can be touched so easily by other people. Even after I got this tattoo done, I have no idea if it is allowed for christian to have a tattoo. On the other side, because of my parent and my girlfriend's family, I feel strongly shame about my tattoo. But sometime, I don't know why I will feel shame about it, since all it wants to express is about love, hope and life. That is why I am so hesitating about what should I do. And the laser removal technology in China is so horrible, makes me feel sometime hopeless to get rid of it. I will stay here at least two years, my plan is to trying get rid of it. If after two years, my tattoo cannot be completely gone, probably.... I will just have a couple small letters about love to cover it up as much as possible.
Anyway, I am just so touched by your comment, and want to share more story of me.

11 Comments

Glad to hear you are feeling better, please let us know how the test spot goes :)

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the placement and shape of the feathers is absolutely beautiful.
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Yes Rachel, I am starting to lose hope. I only just found this website at about my 5th session...and even then saw very few stories of successful removal in regards to what I was hoping to see. I was originally getting treated by technicians; however, the last 3 treatments I had I were done by an actual licensed Doctor b/c it DOES take proper skill by the right person...some technicians just have no clue what they are doing!!! Although I am now getting better results, I still don't know if it will ever really be gone. I do know that TIME is a larger factor than what many ppl make it out to be...in fact, my doctor will not take me if I do not wait a minimum of 4mo in b/w sessions. He could have easily tried to get me in for the money, but this guy seems to really care and I am very fortunate to have found him. I cannot tell you how many consultations/clinics I went to and ended up leaving thinking to myself "these ppl are just about the money and really have no clue". I honestly think everyone should wait months in b/w treatments, because our bodies do the majority of the work and the laser is very traumatic. Best of luck to you; I hope yr tattoo continues to fade as you wait...I know I am hoping the same for mine.

Ok, finally, I am hesitating again

first of all, share a link to you guys, http://www.smoothlaser.com/ltr_phcase.html and the machine they are using is RevLite.

The pictures looks very realistic. I think this type of discoloration should be expected by us asian especially. oneTime2many's comment although sounds harsh, I know, that is what I should concern, first of all, I don't hate the tattoo that much. Like what I said, the tattoo I have, it is really meaningful for me, that is my story, life is just like feather in the air, love from my family and hope from my faith support my life. secondly the reason I want to remove it, is not because of design or shape something, just because it is "tattoo", it just suddenly change me skin permanently so I don't feel really comfortable in this way, so called "permanently". Another reason I want to remove it is because the social pressure, I mean, someday I will become a dad, I will concern my daughter or son's perspective on me. But nowadays, actually young people, even in China such a traditional nation, more and more people are getting tattoo to express their faith, especially us generation. Some time I felt shame for myself by getting a tattoo is also just because the old generation. To sum up, I am hesitating again, or my emotion is kinda getting weird now. Once I think, I love this tattoo and meaning behind it, I don't feel anxiety anymore, just concern my future child little bit. But if I am thinking about laser removal, I will feel more nervous and even cannot stop smoking. In addition, I know I am taking risk.

So I am hesitating again. I know if I post this in this community, it will become really frustrated. But this is some of my feeling. Still hesitating, and I will let you know my final decision. But anyway, even if I decide to not get lasered. I will keep continuing care about this community. Even after this short feeling, I have a strong motivation, to import some good machine back to my country and open a clinic to help people.

15 Comments

I am so glad that you are feeling supported and overall better...that is wonderful news! 

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Hey there, I wanted to add my 2 cents about your mixed feelings on your tattoo and potentially removing it. As you are very hesitant I wouldn't suggest starting the procedure until you are confident that removal is what you want to do. As you know, once you start the procedure there is no turning back. You mention that you love the meaning behind the tattoo, and I must say it is beautiful, but you are resistant to keeping it in fear of judgement by society, family, and future family/children. I respect that you feel that way, however, I think you may be fearing it a little to much, as you have mentioned tattoos are very accepted, and even in your home country where they were once forbidden  the culture is growing. There is nothing to be ashamed of for having, or even wanting a tattoo, especially one such as yours. Regarding being a future parent...well, I am a very respectable mother of 2 amazing teenage kids, I hold a high profile job and I sport tattoos. My husband is also tattooed and he is the most amazing father, tattoos don't define you as a parent. I am in the process of removing a tattoo, however, it's just because of unfortunate luck of bad art. What I am getting at, and to sum things up, don't feel as though you should remove your tattoo because of what others think of it, do what is right for you.  Thank you for connecting with us and sharing your thoughts, keep us posted on what you decide to do :) B11
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I agree with you blackberry11. My reasoning for removing my tattoo is just due to the design, placement and technical linework. I do think that tattoos are beautiful if they have meaning, are custom to be personal, and are executed well by the artist. There's always a transitional period when anything in life changes, and that includes ink. It may take time to get accustomed to this change, so yes, please don't rush the laser....

Final Decision Made

Hello folks, hope this could be my last post here. First of all, special thanks to oneTime2Man, blackberry11 (I believe you are the best mom ever), wilks1986 and Eva G. If without your support, I cannot even imagine what my life is going to be.

I think at the moment, I decide to cancel my treatments and do not remove my tatt. Like what I mentioned before, I like the meaning behind it, I believe that is beautiful, one more time, life is feather and what support it is love and hope (I believe that even deeply during this period, every time I saw your comment and support you gave). During this little period, I even give this tatt more meaning. Because my gf always says, she wants to be a fatty bird next life. I would say this two feather were just like a wing or something I can keep her warm and protect her. I thought this is beautiful.

The original worry about this tatt just it makes me kinda feel too special. Yea, culture shock as well. My love to rock music & skate board new school culture met my traditional Chinese culture. But I do believe I can conquer it, because of the meaning, yes, you are right, I have nothing to be ashamed. And I believe after this period and deep understanding about tatt, in the future, once I have child, I can educate him more about ink.

I really appreciate your help during my short journey! Hope the best wishes to all of you! If you need any support, just let me know.

13 Comments

Just checking in to see how you are doing and feeling with your tattoo. 
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I just began laser tattoo removal at a reputable place in Denver and couldn't be happier. If you choose to keep it dont think so much about it. It is one small facet of who you are. If you decide to have it lased off don't worry so much. Just make sure to be patient enough to find an honest reputable place that explains everything you need to know including realistic expectations. Nothings perfect.
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I am going through the same thing at the moment. I'm all depressed because of my new tattoo, I can't eat or sleep, but I want to love my new tattoo. This is hard. Laser removal is always on my mind, but the thought of it terrifies me
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