Tattoos, like loved ones or treasured memories, are meant to stay with us forever. One woman’s story, though, challenges that notion with a shocking revelation claim.

In a TikTok video posted by Katherine (@katenacious), she revealed the reason behind the tattoo removal process she was chronicling: She got the tattoo with her mother, who she said she later learned was having an affair with her husband. Since it was posted on March 8, Katherine’s tattoo removal video has received 1.3 million likes and over 8,000 comments.

“Come with me to remove the tattoo I got matching with my mom before I found out she was sleeping with my husband,” she captioned the video.

Katherine, 27, told Newsweek about the realization, the fallout and the tattoo she is removing to recover from the betrayal. Newsweek was unable to reach out to Katherine’s mother or ex-husband to verify the details of the case or include their response.

Katherine's tattoo removal process
A video on TikTok of a woman’s tattoo removal process has captured the attention of millions. Katherine told Newsweek why she wanted the matching tattoo she got with her mother gone for good.

@katenacious/TikTok

In a series of videos Katherine posted late last year, she told the story of finding out about her mother and husband’s purported affair. It began, she said, with red flags about the way the two interacted, including her husband and mother sharing deep embraces when greeting each other and her husband getting her mother flowers for Valentine’s Day.

“But the biggest red flag is that on multiple occasions, with multiple witnesses, my mother and ex-husband would say, ‘You know, if Katherine and her dad were ever to tragically pass away simultaneously, we would totally end up together,'” she said in a video.

Katherine found out about the alleged affair in February 2022. She said her grandmother told her something was odd between Katherine’s mother and husband but urged her to wait to confront them.

“She encouraged me that the truth always comes to light,” Katherine said.

And it did, later that evening.

One night, when her husband was working later than usual, Katherine video-called to ask when he would be done with work. She noticed that he was in a different area than he claimed and that a woman’s voice was coming from the passenger’s seat.

Confrontations ensued, leading to an admission from the pair the next day, she said, and the dissolution of Katherine’s marriage and mother-daughter relationship.

Katherine said the journey since the discovery has been “emotionally draining.”

“Every idea I had of what a family was is gone,” she said. “I lost my mother, my father, my husband and two of my siblings as a result of this affair. My tribe is now very small and I’ve had to build my own family after losing the one I had.”

Yet, Katherine said she is resolute in building a new family and setting an example for her daughters.

“If I want my daughters to grow up to be strong, confident women, then I have to lead by example even if I’m faking it,” she said.

Amidst the chaos, Katherine embarked on the arduous journey of removing the tattoo she got with her mother: A heart with the words “You’ll be” written on the inside.

Despite initial expectations of an 18-month removal process, Katherine found herself two years in, with only half the tattoo removed. She said she is updating her followers on the removal after finding a lack of content about the process.

“The tattoo removal process has been a lot different than I expected it to be,” Katherine said. “There’s not a lot of information on social media about it. Most people only ever document the first-ever session and don’t really show any updates after that. It’s a much longer process.”

However, Katherine said she is keeping steadfast in her decision to undergo removal rather than opting for a cover-up.

“I want it gone from my body as if it was never there,” she said. “I don’t want to have something in its place that is still going to remind me of and make me think of my mother.”

After 12 removal sessions, she kept her resolve while walking into her latest appointment: “It’ll get worse before it gets better.”