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The Symbolic Haircut of Freedom


LisaButterfly

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"If you cut your long hair you'll lose your strength like Samson in the Bible did!" A nutty leader within the church I was dragged to through my childhood and teens.

"The thing I love most about you is your long hair." A very nutty boyfriend.

"If you cut your hair short I'll leave you." boyfriend who turned out to be nuttier than a bucket of muesli.

Waking up to find that 'bucket of muesli boyfriend' had plaited my hair to the ironwork of the headboard again made me crave a short bob. 

I had hair that I could tuck into my jeans throughout my teens and 20s. It was part of my identity and I treasured it, but when it was used as a method of restraint during traumatic times it became a curse. 

After eight years of haunting my own house with the 'muesli bucket' whose cruelty brought me to this After Silence community, I finally realised I had a metaphorical intolerance to nuts and escaped in 2007.

My long locks followed me into the happy relationship I'm in now, and my dad asked my new husband to look after me at our wedding during his speech... "And always make sure she keeps her lovely long hair!" he bellowed, as our guests cheered and applauded. 

11 years later, I'm now in a place on this strange, rocky rollercoaster of recovery from my past where I can say, "There's a mind under this hair, and this mind matters."

"It's only hair! Don't write a blog entry about your hair!" I hear my mind say... but I have reasons (that are poignant to me) why a change would be therapeutic. 

As well as my long plaitable tresses triggering times of restraint, terror and control, my hair is one of the very few parts of my body that isn't affected by the connective tissue disorder I have. But, trying to manage multiple inches of tangles with arms that are affected by my condition causes problems. As part of my trauma therapy, I'm getting to know the shell I waddle around in as a good thing... one body part at a time. Learning to like, value and trust your body is challenging when everything hurts and limits you so much. So, I'm currently working on my hair because it doesn't hurt, it's easy to change to reflect the more confident me, it's going to be a delight when it doesn't become a trigger for emotional and physical pain, and it's also my protest against anyone who dares to dictate the length of it! 

On Saturday morning I went to my Covid-safe hair salon with a fierce 'f**k you long hair lovers!' level of confidence and left with a shoulder length bob that's impossible to plait... and I frickin' love it.

Something so insignificant in the whole scheme of things has marked a milestone of new-found emotional independence and adult bravery I should have known a long time ago. Embracing the bob on Saturday morning was my way of popping a Champaign cork while planting my flag in new ground, and it's my megaphone to announce my freedom.

And the fact that my split ends don't land in my dinner any more is an added bonus. 😉

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Great read. Change can be great and liberating.

I however am on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to hair. Always wore my hair short, have not had a cut in months. I love the new look and seems family likes it too.

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Thanks @Sobieski - I always value your support and what you write. 🙂 Really pleased you're enjoying your new look! You're right, change can be great and liberating. Thanks so much again. 

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Loving your writing. :)  If it's hair you wish to write about, then, so be it! There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to blogging - whatever's on the horizon is what we bloggers are likely to address - and today, it's hair.  It's all good, hun!

My deepest congratulations on this empowering change you've made for yourself!  Undoubtedly this isn't a decision you arrived at easily or lightly, but I'm glad you're happy with this decision.  

Enjoy the hair-free dinners! 😉

- Cap

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Thank you @Capulet ! I have indeed enjoyed the hair-free dinners! 😉 

While wearing my new bob, someone said, "Oh, you've lost your lovely long hair! What a shame!" So I stood as tall as I could and said, "Oh, just ignore the hair and focus on the fact my eyes are smiling, at last." I wanted to tell him to 'f**k off' but I thought a calmer response would be more appropriate. 😆 

 

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I also celebrate both your new bob and the freedom that it symbolizes to you. An external picture of all the internal freedom and healing your are experiencing. Love it.

There was a time in my life as I finished college that a new haircut and style symbolized a huge positive shift that happened inside my heart. It marked the beginning of truly caring for my body instead of horribly neglecting it because I felt so much like garbage inside. The freedom I felt with my new 'identity' was new for me but wonderful. Since that time, I've had a lot more shifts but I think I'll always remember that haircut. And I'm delighted you've found freedom in your new 'do as well.

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@Hope321 - thank you so much! You've validated the importance of that external change and how it reflects/symbolises what's felt inside. I love your words, they ring so true. 

I'm so pleased that you had that new haircut and style as you finished college! It's so lovely to read how it marked such an important beginning for you, and how your new 'do made you feel. I'm delighted too that you found that freedom through it as well. 

I wish you more positive shifts as you move forward on your path. Thanks so much again. 

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