Biggest Mistake of my Life? - Boston, MA

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Hello everyone~ I've been lurking around for a...

Hello everyone~
I've been lurking around for a while now, just reading everyone's story and decided that maybe posting my own will help me out a little bit.. It will be nice to at least get all of this off my chest..

I'm 24 years old and have been a fan of tattoos for as long as I can remember, so of course when someone offered to get similar tattoo's I wasn't going to say no. (They were paying for it and I had been wanting another tattoo for about 5 years.. ) So, my boyfriend, his sister (my best friend) and I decided that we wanted to get this done, I got what was supposed to be a fox head with a rose and my boyfriend and his sister got a wolf's head and a rose. We went to a shop down the street from my house that has been in business for a really long time and I had friends who went to that shop multiple times.. Didn't think it would end up badly, but boy was I wrong.. We went in, showed the "tattoo artist" what we wanted and he said he would need a couple of minutes to sketch it up and he would get started, by this point we were full of adrenaline at the thought of getting a new tattoo.. My best friend went first ( wolf head and rose ) and her tattoo came out pretty decent.. She thought it was too dark but overall it did look like a wolf and a rose.. I was up next, I was getting it done on my inner forearm.. He didn't even shave my arm, didn't let me see if the stencil was positioned where I wanted it and didn't even ask me if I liked the size, just slapped on the stencil and got started on the tattoo, I should've said something but the tattoo artist was talking us up so much that I didn't even pay attention to what was going on at the time.. As he was doing the tattoo, I honestly didn't like it, I kept looking over to the picture I showed him of the fox head and I wanted and back at the tattoo-in progress and was reallyyyyyy regretting my decision because it wasn't coming out like the picture at all..

A little side note ; I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for a couple of years now but have just recently started taking medication for it since it was getting harder and harder to deal with.. So that being said, i'm already a very shy and quiet person.. I don't like confrontation and have a very hard time standing up for myself..

I let him finish the tattoo.. My best friend kept telling me how nice it looked and how she wished she had gotten the fox head instead of the wolf head, and at the point I was just very unexcited and drained from the whole experience. . My boyfriend got his tattoo done and we left the shop. As soon as we left the shop I started voicing my concerns to the people I was with.. They kinda' brushed me off and kept telling me I was just over-thinking it and wasn't used to the tattoo. ( I am a very big worry-wart and do have a tendency to over-think things, which is initially why I didn't say anything about not getting my arm shaved, not getting to see if I liked the placement of the stencil.. I figured each shop does things differently and that my anxiety was just getting to me. )

I wish I had given in to my gut feeling and not even let the guy start my tattoo after he placed the stencil without getting my approval of the placement.. That very night when we got home, I started comparing the picture I showed the "artist" and the tattoo on my arm, at home, my friends did notice the differences and how messed up my tattoo actually was.

After hours and hours of crying and reading Yelp reviews on different tattoo shops I decided to go to one of those places to see what advice they could give me and if a cover up was possible. I met a tattoo artist that seemed really chill and he advised me to use Neosporin on the tattoo to try to lighten it as much as possible until it is healed enough for a cover up..

I had done a ton of research on this tattoo artist, he had been in the Boston tattoo convention, he had been tattooing for over 15 years and has even owned his own shop at one point. He kept telling me he was going to give me a beautiful tattoo and that I had nothing to worry about.

Booked my first consult with him. - He wasn't at the shop for our appointment, he had to be called in, showed up an hour and a half later.. He apologized, said because he has PTSD he had a very hard time falling asleep that night because of all the noise in his neighborhood (He's a veteran ) . . He took a copy of my tattoo and I showed him reference pictures of blue jays and cherry blossoms that I wanted for my cover up. He said he would get started right away. . (The consultation lasted 10mins. .. ) Told us the cover up was going to cost around $1,000. . . He told us he wasn't going to make us leave a deposit since we had been waiting for him for so long . .

Booked my first session. . Got a text asking me if we could delay my appointment for an hour, I responded with "That's fine, if you're too busy today we could reschedule for a different day, no problem" . He didn't reply, so we left at what was supposed to be my appointment time, in case we ended up hitting traffic. . We showed up about 20 mins early to the time he had requested. . And he said that he needed a little bit more time to finish up his ideas . . I saw a blue jay picture on the computer monitor. . But whatever, he's a good tattoo artist, I thought he knew what he was doing. I told him that if he needed more time to do the drawing that we could go back a different day, that I didn't want anything rushed because I wanted it to be perfect, I hadn't been sleeping well, eating well, I had been crying a lot - the tattoo had turned into the biggest emotional baggage I had ever had to carry.. And the artist told me he could see how much it was effecting me and that he was going to give me something I would be proud to show off. ( I had been hiding the new tattoo from all my family, hard to do in the summer )

Fast forward to actually getting tattoo'd, he had drawn up 2 beautiful blue jays and told me that he had been drawing out ideas all day but he came up with the solution that 2 birds would cover my tattoo better than one. So I was okay with that, after all, he's the artist, I was trusting him. . . He said he would put the stencils on and then free- hand the cherry blossoms.

After doing the birds, he would turn my arm a couple of times, tilt his head and then doodle a flower on my arm.. Now at this point I've realized that he hadn't planned out my whole tattoo and that he was just winging the rest of the cover up.. After 2 and a half hours of work, he told me that basically the cover up process was finished and that for my second session he would get the colors and the flowers done.

A little after a week, I started to get pretty antsy about how the rest of the cover up was going to look, since there was still a good amount of the old tattoo showing. I was curious about the placement of the flowers. So we contacted the artist and asked if he could draw up a quick rough sketch of where the flowers were going to go, he said "sure" and told us to stop by the shop so he could check on my healing progress.

We show up to the shop at the appointment time, he's not there. Apparently it's his day off, we call him - no answer. Another tattoo artist that was there noticed who we were ( like mentioned before, there had been a couple of times that we showed up to our appointment and he wasn't there. . we let her know what the situation was, how I was getting anxious about not knowing how the rest of the cover up was going to go and just wanted to get a rough draft of some sort - She said she didn't understand why he didn't draw out the whole stencil to begin with because when it comes to cover ups the artist should have the whole thing mapped out because cover-ups are not an easy thing to do and are very easy to mess up. . The manager of the shop called our artist and told him to give us a call back. .

Tattoo artist calls us back and goes " You didn't think you were getting tattoo'd today did you?" I told him we only showed up because he told us to go, we wouldn't have gone in unless told to. ( I had the texts to prove it too. ) And he asked what was up, and I repeated the whole wanting a rough draft of some sort to see where he was going to place the flowers on the cover up" he told me he wasn't going to sit there and draw for 4 hours that he wasn't going to charge me only so I would feel better about my tattoo, that the birds were going to be blue and that the flowers were going to be pink and that was it. I told him I wasn't concerned with the colors ( afterall I was the one who showed him references of the things I wanted so I knew what colors were going to be used, I said I was worried about the placement of the flowers. . and he told me that he only needed to add about 3 large more flowers to finish the tattoo and that I was just over-thinking everything and he said, " you know I'm a good tattoo artist, what, are you worried that I'm not going to give you something better than that crap you have on your arm?"

At this point, I was already choked up, ready to burst into tears - I emotionally shut down and just kept saying okay to anything else he said to me on the phone. We left the shop once I got off the phone with him. While waiting for him to call us back we found out that we weren't the first client that he hasn't kept his appointment times with, that he was like that with all his clients. .

After getting home we got a text from him saying that he heard we didn't like the tattoo and that I had nothing to be worried about that he was going to make it beautiful. . and that he would draw on my arm before tattooing and make sure I was okay with it.

Now at this point I was already trying to decide on whether or not I should just go to a different tattoo artist, but let's be honest, it was going to be hell finding someone willing to touch another artist's work, and on top of that, it would be like doing a cover up over a cover up. . So I decided to just reply to the text asking when I could go in the finish the tattoo.

Last session booked- showed up for my appointment and guess who wasn't there? Yup, he wasn't in. The apprentice at the shop called him and he said he was on his way. The apprentice also told me that if he were in my shoes he would've went to another artist to get it finished because enough was enough. After 30 mins of waiting I was already asking if they knew of a tattoo shop that would help me out because I didn't want the guy doing my tattoo anymore, if he wasn't going to give me the time of day, it was going to show in the work that he wasn't into the tattoo - and I was still upset about how rude he had been to me on the phone.

One of the tattoo artists from the shop that had been there to greet me for all of the appointments I had there, told me she would finish my tattoo because she was tired of seeing me there waiting for the other guy to show up. I had checked out her work ( the shop had just updated their website after my first session) and she actually specialized in birds and floral work so I was super excited about having her finish it.

Booked my appointment, - showed up. Was great to get to an appointment and actually have the artist be there. She told me she didn't wanna fill my arm with too much stuff, that she just wanted to give me a finished piece.. She took about 30 mins to draw on my arm with a Sharpie, telling me along the way that she can't really see where he was going with what he had done on my arm so far but she would do everything she could to make it look good, she didn't wanna over-complicate things because it already looked super dark and clustered.

Tattoo was finished.
This all took place within 2 months. After the tattoo was finished, I was so emotionally drained that I thought I was just hating the tattoo because of everything that had happened. But it's been about a month since the tattoo has been finished and now everytime I look at it I almost burst into tears, it may not be the ugliest tattoo, some people may not find it ugly at all, but I hate it, I want it gone, I wish I could rip it off my arm. I've been dealing with regret, self-hate for not making different choices . . I don't go out anymore unless I absolutely have to..

I don't know when I'll have enough money to start my laser treatment since getting the cover up already put me in a bad financial place..

If you've stuck by to read the whole thing and have any advice on what type of laser I should look into once I have the money to start treatment, any advice on how to deal with this stress/depression that this whole thing has caused - i'd really appreciate it.. .
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