'I can't walk down the street without getting abuse': Mum opens up about 'tattoo addiction'

A colourful mum has spoken out about her addiction to getting tattooed – not being able to go four days without getting a new one.

Melissa Sloan last month
Melissa Sloan last month

Melissa Sloan, of Powys in Wales but originally from Kidderminster, takes her tattoo gun with her everywhere she goes.

When she gets the itch, she gives herself some new ink.

The 26-year-old mother of seven received her first tattoo 20 years ago – a name of a loved one.

Now Melissa has too many to count, forgetting herself how many she has overall.

Melissa said: "I'm addicted, I can't stop now, it just adds on. This is like having a cigarette to me, I just need to get one.

"I just pick the designs and go and get them done, there's no real inspiration behind them, I just like the designs."

Melissa says she is laughed at when she walks into the supermarkets, with passers-by dodging her to "get away".

The mother has been called "Crayola" by strangers while walking with her children.

She said: "I just try to take no notice of the abuse, it might stop one day but I don't know. I go to the supermarket and I end up sitting in the car, you don't know whether people are judging you.

"Now and again it does break me down, especially when people come after my family and kids, these people have nothing better to do than sit on their phone and send abuse to people."

Since getting the tattoos Melissa has received online abuse from 'trolls' and bullies, now choosing to stay away from social media all together.

Melissa added: "I really can't go online anymore, I can't use social media, I'm frightened to go on Facebook, I just want to show people that I'm a nice person."

The Kidderminster-born mum started getting the tattoos to deal with childhood trauma and notes her mother as an inspiration for carrying on.

She said: "My mom never judged me, she always said carry on, she was really supportive of me and the tattoos. All she kept saying was 'enjoy your life and carry on'.

"These people want to break me down, they want to make me suicidal. I'm fighting back against it, no-one pushes me into a corner."

The tattoos give Melissa a sense of relief, a shield to hide behind.

She said: "It's a sense of relief when I put another one on. Those feelings go away for a bit then. I'd only be able to go for three or four days without getting a new one.

"Doing all this, I just want people to know that I am me. I just want to be Melissa. All I want to do is get out there and show people that I am a nice person, I have these tattoos, but I am a nice person.

"I just want to show people that you can do anything and be anything you want to be and not have to worry about what people think."

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