You almost certainly saw a semicolon tattoo at some point in your life. The semicolon represents an alternative to the full stop of a period; It connects two sentences into one coherent whole. Someone familiar with my writing would know I prefer the emdash for most of those situations—but that’s neither here, nor there. Far beyond a simple mark of grammar lovers, the semicolon tattoo represents something on a deep, emotional level. With this gallery of semicolon tattoo images, take a look at the different types of semicolon tattoos, their meanings, and how they tie people back into the fabric of time.
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Semicolon Tattoo Meaning
Unfortunately, many people in the world suffer from depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. As time goes on, this number keeps growing, though the causes still elude us. To deal with the constant suffering of day-to-day life, some turn to self-harm. Acts of self-harm include cutting skin open, poisoning the body, or any other method of intentionally damaging your body tissues. Non-physical types of self-harm include placing yourself into dangerous situations, rejecting something which would improve your quality of life, or cutting yourself off from the world around you.
So, how does this relate to semicolon tattoos, you ask? Victims of self-harm who receive no medical attention often move on to the final step of their journey: suicide. Rarely do people want to die, but often do they want to end the pain that their own mind cages them into. Those that do escape the cycle of self-harm felt that brush of death and remember it always. To situate themselves and their newfound lives, they request an artist to ink a semicolon tattoo.
These people nearly reached the end of their sentence, but instead of finishing it with a period (suicide), they continued on with a separate sentence, connected by a semicolon. Semicolon tattoos distinguish self-harm victims from their past and allow them to move forward in life.
Semicolon Tattoo Placement & Ideas
The semicolon tattoo meaning on a wrist brings a visual reminder of the past. Many survivors of self-harm carry scars on their wrists where they cut themselves to relieve stress and receive a boost of adrenaline. By placing a semicolon tattoo atop these visual scars, it shows that they reclaimed that part of their body. Along with that, should their determination slip, it reminds them never to return to that first sentence of their lives.
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A semicolon tattoo behind the ear represents much the same thing, albeit with a more internal struggle than external. On top of that, for people who dislike showing their past on their wrists, the behind the ear tattoo gives them a semblance of privacy.
A semicolon heart tattoo emphasizes the connection between life and the semicolon. The heart/semicolon meaning is that as their life goes on, so too does their heart beat, signifying that they are alive. Combining the semicolon tattoo with other symbols of life—such as phrases, birds, blooming flowers, fingerprints, and so on also show a dedication to your new life. However, a semi semicolon does the trick just fine, while maintaining a minimal look. Sometimes more is less!
Life with a Semicolon Tattoo
In sum, the semicolon tattoo helps give victims of self-harm a new start in life. Rather than ending their life or continuing to hurt themselves, they push forward and live optimistically. Sometimes, you see no scars or markings close to the semicolon tattoo. When you notice, remember that not all wounds appear on the skin. The trials and tribulations that people suffer on a daily basis go mostly unnoticed. The semicolon tattoo represents a bridge from suffering to enlightenment; People standing in solidarity with self-harm survivors and people who throw off their dark pasts all show off their semicolon tattoos with pride!
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