Michelle Knight's Tattoos Tell Her Story in a Way Words Can't & It's Stunning (PHOTOS)

One of the women held captive for over a decade in a Cleveland house, Michelle Knight, is using her tattoos to share the story of her ordeal and eventual escape. Her vivid collection is growing, and more and more they are telling a new story about the woman she is becoming.


Knight has changed her name to Lillian Rose Lee. Flowers seem to hold special significance for her. Lilies are her favorite, but she chose roses to illustrate the five forced abortions she suffered in captivity, she recently told Newsweek.

A protection dragon covers Lee's wrist, including the scars that remain from her chains. She told People magazine in 2014, "When I did this one, it was hard to get [the colored ink] on there, so I told them not to be afraid to add pressure because I'm numb to pain. And when it got to here," she adds, meaning the chain-scarred area, "that was the only part that hurt because that's where the scars are."

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Chills. I can't even fathom everything this woman has been through. But when you hear something like that it gives you a hint to how deep it goes. She's numb to pain now -- maybe because nothing could be worse than what she's already survived. The pain of a tattoo needle (that dragon tattoo took six hours!) is pain she chooses, and that would make it feel different from pain forced on you.

And that the scars still hurt -- that's so symbolic, isn't it? I wonder if there will ever be at time when they don't. 

Looking at the photos Lee has been posting on Instagram, I'm in awe of the way she is taking back her body in such a creative, beautiful way. She is literally marking her body to make it her own again. Lately she's adding tattoos that express her love of music. "I'm planning for it to go up [my arm] and it's going to have a lily," she told People of the musical notes near her wrist. "It's telling the story of my love of music and me changing my name."

In this selfie you can see one of those roses marking an abortion, plus a cradled sleeping baby.


A photo posted by Michelle Knight Official Page (@imichelleknight) on

I love what she says in the caption for this one: "The tattoo has a great significance to me is telling everybody you can't turn back the hands of time but least you know you can try to strive to live your life without letting your heart be chained to your situation." I believe Lee really has unchained her heart. Her perspective is inspiring.

Lee has also told her story in her memoir, Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed. But her tattoos tell her story in a way that words can't, capturing her emotions and dreams in a beautifully evocative way.


Image via imichelleknight/Instagram

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