Tattoos can be symbols commemorating special moments, life events, and even relationships. However, when these things don't last forever, particularly relationships, that same tattoo can suddenly turn into a painful reminder of the past.
One woman named Brittany, featured in the BuzzFeed video above, speaks about her personal experience getting a tattoo that represents her partner of five years. She speaks of the ways the relationship was emotionally and sometimes physically abusive, and how her tattoo reminds her of this unhealthy past.
Brittany is now ready to start the next positive chapter of her life, and is doing it with a new tattoo.
With the help of Los Angeles-based tattoo artist Miryam Lumpini aka The Witchdoctor, Brittany is transforming her old tattoo, which says "Mamas" — a nickname her ex used to call her — into something totally different.
For her new tattoo, Brittany reflects on the difficulty of leaving her abusive relationship, but that now that she's done it, she is ready to completely move on.
"It took me awhile to build up the courage to leave, but I'm glad I did. It has been a long time coming, and I've been working hard just to move forward and not feel a certain way about my life anymore, and the things I've gone through. This will be the end of that."
"This will be the end of all of the physical, emotional, mental stress and worry. This will give me the freedom to be and live, and be worry-free."
In place of the "Mamas" tat, Brittany got a beautiful tiger with flowers and a butterfly. At the end of the video, she proudly says, "I'm not Mamas, I'm Brittany."
Tattoos can also be used to help heal and to empower people. Brittany's beautiful new tattoo is helping do just that. When she looks down, she doesn't see an unpleasant reminder of her past, she sees her future.