I've been pulling at my hair for an hour in that way that means I will cut it again today. I have Hair on repeat. Really if you think about it, Lady Gaga singing about hair is somewhat ironic. She wears wigs. As she says over and over, "I am my hair" she is saying that she is something that is external. She has so much control over who she is that she decides differently on a daily basis. Does that mean that people who have abrupt changes in their appearance are changing who they are?
This is all too angsty; I know. I love semi-colons. Damn you, commas. Jenny likes to remind me that the "rules of writing" were just randomly invented by some twat one day. Ok, that's not exactly what she says. But it is what I hear. It makes me smile every single time. Because if some twat just made it up one day I don't need to feel bound to it. I can do whatever I want. It's a fun kind of rebellion--normally invisible.
Along with my hair getting shorter I notice how my field of vision is shortening. I'm not responding to emails or text messages unless I have seen the person recently. Recently as in seeing them within the last month. People I haven't seen in many months... I don't know. I just never seem to remember when I am at the computer. Or it is something like right now where I am actively avoiding. I don't know why I am actively avoiding. I do. I don't want to say why I am actively avoiding.
I'm not at ease in my skin right now. I feel not-ok in a way that I can't ignore. I feel like a thousand monkeys are jumping on my chest. It hurts just behind my breastbone. Right now I don't feel like I can look people in the eye. I feel dirty. Small. Less than. It's not anyone else's fault. At this point in time I don't think there are very many people who know me even casually who think that of me. Not really. Sure, there are people who dislike me.
Outside of my family I don't actually believe that people wish me ill. And they all feel very guilty for wishing me ill.
I am trying to see my shaman on Thursday. Since our babysitter quit I'm not 100% sure that is going to happen. And I may have to reschedule with him because of a meeting in the city anyway. It feels kind of like the universe doesn't want me to see him. I want to see him.
I've got my bangs too high that I don't stand a chance. I think I need to ask my shaman to shave my head. There. That is the compulsive. Why don't I ask Noah? Why do I want to keep this away from him? Why is my shaman more appropriate?
Well didn't I just fucking load that question. What does ownership mean? I don't know. I really don't. I am very much like a wild animal. I run off and do things by myself sometimes. I can't accept having everything in my life have to come from Noah. Right now there is so very little in my life that isn't for him. That plays a part in why I was dating too, I think.
Noah doesn't have the same wounds in identity because of his appearance. I don't see the deep fractures in his soul from feeling bad about how he looks. My shaman has spent a fair bit of time being upset with his physical body. Even my use of male pronouns is part of that fight. I feel like it is a failure in me that I cannot default to gender neutral pronouns. They all feel wrong, false, not grammatical. Not allowed.
Does that mean that people who are not easily labeled by one of those correct pronouns do not exist? It certainly feels that way. I suppose that since the dominant name and label is generally male it is close enough. That is awkward to say and write about. I feel like I am jumping on the crazy train, but who am I kidding? I was already here.
I want to see my shaman. I want to talk to him about my shifting sense of self. I want to talk to him about feeling so very bad about existing. I don't have a church. I don't have a congregation. But I do have a shaman. I'm not sure how these things happen. How does a life get built, anyway?
The part of me that is fighting with my compulsion admits that I want to use sex to get close to my shaman. I want to feel connected with him. Given our history I know it wouldn't work in the way I wanted it to, anyway. We have an odd time connecting that way because we go at very different speeds. We are not a match or it never would have fallen off. But I feel like I should do it anyway. I love him so much. I feel like I have to earn the honor of his regard. I have to prove to him that I do want him. I do love him. There is nothing else I have to give that has any value or worth at all. Absolutely never is the pleasure of my company a possible exchange. I know there is no pleasure in my company. I am too mean. Too sharp. Too vicious and unpleasant.
I take comfort in getting to explain to him that I am not allowed to have sex with anyone else anymore. It's not my fault. I'm sorry I am changing the deal. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I will never meet that need again. Please, please don't reject me now. He won't. But I feel absolutely terrified anyway. Hell, he doesn't remember the last time we had sex. I was not pleased when I figured that out. Butthead. Apparently he doesn't value me based on the things I think he does. He doesn't even remember the parts that I think are the most important thing I have to give.
What the fuck is it that he is getting then? I need to ask. I need to go to him and talk to him about starting to dye my hair when I first started pulling away from my mom. The colors have gotten increasingly bolder and more odd and aggressive as I have felt angrier and angrier with my mother. The bleach is kind of a bitch though. I had a temper tantrum while trying to comb my hair one day because I couldn't get the knot out. I cut it out. I did a bad job. It was fun for several days to try to even it out and giggle because with the curls and the weird dye job (I think five colors in splotches) it really doesn't matter much if it is "even".
But I'm tired of going out in public and hearing the comments. I smile at the children who ask. I frown at the boys who snicker "clown". It's like fucking junior high all over again. I'm done. I'm not hunting. I'm done. I feel like that part of me is gone. I miss my hair. I miss being able to turn my head and get a curtain to hide behind. It was part of how I dealt with my vast discomfort in public. I lost my veil. I feel exposed in a way that feels deeply uncomfortable. I have nothing to hide behind except my eyelids. They do not feel like adequate cover.
I feel like me shaving my head will happen like all the cutting. In the bathroom by myself. I know my shaman doesn't keep up with my blog. He frankly tells me he doesn't have the time to read my ever-increasing flood. That's ok. It means I can talk about him all I want.
I feel like part of what is going on with the less-than is I feel so very weird about my place in the social hierarchy lately. I don't feel like I am behaving. I fit nowhere. It was a true thing I said when I told my therapist that the only way I will ever fit into a group is if I leave Noah and am a poor single mother. They just don't make groups for me any more.
What does that mean? I guess that means this is the American Dream then. Solitude. More of it. I don't understand why. I'm not sure where I got broke and I don't know how to fix it. I don't fit. I feel wrong. I feel like everything in me is wrong. I still feel bewildered by my lack of anger. I don't have that energy right now. Anger is normally a big spur to me getting off my fucking ass and getting shit done. It's one of the things I use to fuel my productivity and I don't care if that's healthy or not. Everyone dies, right? I could very carefully never ever use my body harshly. I don't think I would be very proud of my life.
What am I proud of? I kind of want to go ask my shaman to bait it out of me. He drives me insane. He says irritatingly true things. One right after another. It's hard to not hate him sometimes. I would ask him to take the last of this shame from me when he shaved my head. But I don't think I am going to ask. Because this is one of those things I have to do alone. He can't take shame from me. Not really.
Shame is something that I own all by myself. I have to learn to wear it or I have to take it off. I don't know how to take it off right now. I feel stuck. I feel too little and small. I haven't done anything to really be proud of. I have done things that other people do and I expect far more support for it. I am small and selfish and petty. I am weak. Really? Am I? Maybe. Yes? Of course?
I recently saw this picture, one of the canonical "starving children in Africa" pictures. I feel terrible describing it that way. But these pictures are used as bludgeoning tools. You can't ignore the fact that seriously, right this minute a small child is starving to death in another part of the world. While you wear big fur boots and lots of makeup and talk about how pathetic they are. It's kind of an American trope, this guilt.
If I ever feel bad for myself I am supposed to remind myself that I am at least not a starving child in Africa and go on about my life. Well doesn't that just support the status quo. I don't much like the status quo.
The thing about guilt and shame is they aren't useful. They are paralyzing. They rarely spur people to much action beyond denial.
When the children hiss hostile words at me I hear my mother telling me that all the people in the world think I look stupid. Everyone thinks I am ridiculous. Why? What have I done? Why is it ridiculous to play with your appearance? Why is it expected to be a set thing that doesn't modify as time goes by? Why can't I change? Why am I to be mocked?
But you know what? I'm a fucking grown up. My triggers are mine to manage. I am not going to get all the children in the world to stop making fun of me. They are little assholes. They can't help it. So are their parents.
I have a lot of interesting feelings emerging as my hair gets shorter and shorter. My mother liked my hair short. She wanted me to look like a boy. She commented openly on it. I'm really intrigued by how harsh my face appears with short hair. I'm not sure how I feel about that as a lifestyle choice going forward. I am going to have an interesting time as it grows out. I want my veil back. It's interesting knowing that if I want long hair going forward in my life I have to stop doing anything to it. I'm stuck with baking soda and vinegar for the rest of my life. I will have gorgeous hair again.
It's weird learning what self-care means. It's weird thinking about learning to take care of my body. It's weird learning what it means to be gentle with myself. It's happening in unexpected ways. I don't feel bad about the cutting. I hope I don't do it again because the marks aren't fading fast and I don't want my daughters to learn it as an appropriate coping mechanism. It means I need to figure out what to do. I don't know right now. So far the answer seems to be, "Don't hate yourself." I'm not sure what that actually means as something to teach my kids. How do I do that? For the love of shiny green apples, how can someone like me teach anything other than hating yourself?
I'm going to a homeschooling meet-up tomorrow with the kids. We will be doing Sharpie tie-dye. I won't shave my head before then. They deserve to know what they are getting into with our family. We are weird. Get used to it.