Body art can tell personal stories. When linked to a difficult or traumatic life, it can even restore one’s sense of well-being. As director of a community health center for twenty-seven years and as a nurse practitioner for over forty years, Donna Torrisi became fascinated with the stories behind her patients’ tattoos. When she began to ask her female patients about their markings, themes of trauma, pain, and loss emerged, and it became clear that the art indelibly marked on their bodies had played a part in their healing and redemption.
The women featured in Tattoo Monologues demonstrate vulnerability and courage as they share both their personal tattoo narratives and photos of the images on their bodies. These women represent diverse cultures, ethnicities, and professional contexts, but they are united by their use of tattoos as a tool for processing traumatic life experiences. The images, stories, emotions, and journeys in this book collectively tell a compelling story. A story of skin and ink. A story of trauma and adversity. A story of courage and resilience.