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Fawn Response

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

On a restless night last summer, I had a random thought that lead to the another healing journey discovery that I am a people pleaser, it comes from the trauma response known as fawning. The more I learn about my experiences with love through these eyes and this heart the more I become aware of how much I was giving up of myself. I was often, if not always led the way, I would find myself where I wasn't safe because I would trust (whomever) blindly and I would be taken advantage of. With good girl conditioning I had experienced as a preteen/teenager, I felt the obligation to make sure that the male is pleased. I felt shame and guilt for decades and I wanted to own my fawn response as my super power; that's why it's an emblem on my chest. My loving heart is much stronger than his dark, cruel, dead soul.

I can remember visiting one of his friends on John Street. I was feeling scared and I didn't ask Cody to take me home, I pretend to sleep in Cody's arms so I didn't have to be present with the two men - I could hear everything they talked about while they watched a movie. I hate that memory so much, I remember "sleeping" on him in several situations. I hate the knowing that I was deliberately​ disconnecting with him instead of being able to leave him. I know my body and my mind hated him - he was not a kind soul. I kept trying to save him. He would abuse and manipulate me and tell me it's love and I believed him. I was trying to teach him how to be sweet, gentle, kind and teach him love - but he would take my words and experiences to use them against me in the last weeks of our relationship. He knew bloody well that I would never tell on him, I did try. I called crime stoppers and reported the drug dealing from our last weekend together but I never said a word about the abuse. He knew no one would listen, he saw me be completely ignored in one household and treated like garbage at xmas '97 by the same household... he knew. I didn't.


Last October, I went for my first tattoo in my new city. I found Patayin Tattoo Co on Instagram and I was drawn to Jamie's artwork. Just as I was ready to reach out to her to discuss my tattoo idea and book my consultation appointment, I saw that she had shared a sternum tattoo she did in August and I knew she was my artist. The timing of the tattoo is to commemorate multiple events; most importantly, my anniversary with sobriety (October 16th) and my decision to legally change my name. Juniper is also a gift to myself for being brave enough to start again in a new community. I am still dealing with the same demons but there are more resources available in this community and I am starting to finally feel safe enough to express myself.

Mallory's tattoo wish list - Winter 2022

When I was discovering my tattoo esthetic last spring, I wrote my wish list and what they mean.

I love that all seven items on that list has been selected/done or a piece that I am planning in the near future. The sixth item to be complete will be my ninth tattoo.

In one month, I'm heading back to Patayin Tattoo Co. for my ninth tattoo. This tattoo is ultra special. It's a piece that was my very first ink dream. When this image was given to me in 1998, it was received at a time of great pain but I was being pulled towards something else.

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