Teetering Between Complete Regret and Being Okay with It... Not Sure How to Proceed - Wisconsin, WI

I had a little teeny tiny black butterfly tattoo...

I had a little teeny tiny black butterfly tattoo on my wrist that I got in someone's garage when I was 16 that I didn't like very much and always associated with a not-so-great time period of my life so I decided to get it covered up. (Unfortunately I don't have a photo of this tattoo but it was a really basic, small clip-art looking butterfly and it was super faded). I chose a luna moth for the cover-up tattoo and had it done by a really good local tattoo artist who previously designed a big piece on my thigh that I absolutely love.

I wasn't super happy with the way the cover up turned out... it wasn't nearly as unique or awesome as the other tattoo he designed for me, but what bothered me the post was the placement. In order for it to fully cover the old tattoo, one of the moth's wings had to extend on to my palm. I didn't really think about the implications of this at the time, but the part that's on my palm faded really, really quickly and didn't stick like the rest of the tattoo. The guy that did it is highly regarded in the local tattoo community (so he knows his stuff), and I like him, but I really wish he would have mentioned this to me beforehand so we could have altered the design slightly so the whole thing fit on my wrist.

I took advantage of the complementary touch up a few months afterwards and he assured me that we would be able to get it to stick. It was incredibly painful and while the palm part stuck a little more, it still didn't stick completely, even though I took care of it super well afterwards.

I wasn't planning on getting it touched up again since it was so painful but over the next 6 months it faded a lot more on just that part. It started to bother me more and more and I became increasingly regretful about it as time passed. I became really, really depressed about it, as I know many of you can relate. I don't know why it bothered me so much, but it did. I have 6 other tattoos, a couple which I got right when I turned 18 that I'm not completely in love with, but none of them have ever bothered me like this one. I think the difference is that its on my wrist so I am looking at it literally all the time.

I decided to get a simple, but interesting, minimal black line tattoo on the other side of my wrist because I knew I'd like it and I hoped it would make me like the luna moth tattoo better. This idea kind of worked and I really liked the new tattoo but originally there was a gap between the new tattoo and the moth tattoo and they weren't intertwined at all, as I had originally hoped they would be. I went back to get a couple of the lines extended in hopes of connecting the tattoos a bit more and I decide to get the moth wing touched up one last time. I was hoping he would only touch up the wing that wore off because the rest of the tattoo looked just fine but he said it'd be better to re-do the whole thing (ouch!) I really hated the freshly touched-up bright bold moth tattoo more than ever and a one of the connecting segments lines that I had added isn't at exactly the right angle which drives me crazy. There is also a tiny black mark above the other wing from the needle (not sure if that was his fault or if it happened because I twitched) but he said it would fall out when the tattoo healed and it's still there.

In the back of my head I was pondering having the moth removed and then my boyfriend told me he liked the new tattoo but "could I just get the other one removed now?" He was joking but didn't know I was already pondering removal so it was not a good comment for him to make. Shortly afterwards, I started looking into tattoo removal procedures and prices and then I found this site!

Tattoo removal is out of the question for me right now because I don't have any extra money whatsoever at the moment so I've been trying really hard to be okay with the tattoo. Now that its healed, it doesn't bother me as much, but the wing part on my palm is already wearing off again and I'm worried it's going to keep wearing off more. Also, the line part that connects the new tattoo to the moth that isn't at the right angle still bothers me on a regular basis. I know its such a minor detail and it shouldn't bother me but for some reason it really does. I also realize that I would probably be 100% okay with this tattoo if it were anywhere else on my body where I wasn't seeing it all the time. I keep going back and forth between liking it and hating it but since there's really nothing I can do about it, I'm trying to learn to love it.

I recently read this awesome review from one of the users on here: https://www.realself.com/review/box-hill-australia-tattoo-removal-full-arm-tattoo-major-regret
and I was going to comment on it with my story but I don't think he uses this account anymore so I decided to just post my own story in full for whoever cares to read it. Reading what Lumiera wrote helped me a lot and I think he makes some really beautiful and very truthful points. I have bookmarked that page so I can be reminded of some of those things next time I feel down about my tattoo.

Recently I've been considering trying to have the two tattoos incorporated a bit more since I'm not crazy about the way they are kinda-sorta slightly connected right now and perhaps adding a cool black line flower on the part of my wrist that is still empty. I was originally thinking of going back to my regular tattoo artist for this, since he did the two existing parts, but he specializes in creepy animal heads and stuff and I feel like what I'm looking for in this instance is far from his speciality (although I will totally be going back to him for a stand-alone tattoo at some point in the future). I recently found another artist who is really great at incorporating geometric tattoos with flora/fauna who lives an hour and a half away, so I'm considering emailing her a photo and asking if she has any ideas for this. I don't know if its proper etiquette to ask one tattoo artist to alter/add to another artist's work, though. Does anyone know? I also feel like I would want to be really picky about it so that I would love this new part of it too. Since I really liked the new line tattoo (minus the current connecting area) I think I would be really happy if I added some more to the inside of my wrist, too. However, the other part of me thinks that I should just leave it how it is because I might risk messing it up more and liking it even less if I keep adding to it. My boyfriend isn't particularly fond of tattoos either so even though I'm leaning towards adding more, that makes my decision even harder.

I am also deciding if I want to get the moth tattoo touched up a third time or not. It has stuck more and more each time I've had it touched up, but only the first touch up was complimentary and the second one cost almost as much as the tattoo itself did. Part of me is hopeful that it will stick more this time, too, but the other part is worried that over time, its all going to wear off regardless. (Does anyone here have any experience with palm tattoos?) Also, if I do decide to get it removed in the future, I know its going to take a lot longer to remove it completely with that many layers of ink in my skin!

Sorry I know this post is super long and not 100% relevant to tattoo removal but this seems like a really great community of people, which is rare for the internet, and I wanted to get my thoughts out because it feels much better than keeping them all in my head. :) Thanks in advance for any advice/insight!
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