So, I just got my hair cut short.
I noticed that whenever I cut my hair short I am usually getting ready to make a big life decision or I’ve gone through a big life change.
A friend of mine calls me “symbolic”. He says everything I do or say has some sort of deeper meaning to it– and I suppose he could be right when I think about the last time I cut off so much hair.
The last time I cut off as much hair as I have today was three years ago.
I totally went overboard. But, I don’t regret it at all.
Someone very close to me in my life at the time was very controlling– controlling of who I talked to, what I ate, what I wore, and most obsessively controlling about the length of my hair. I had to have long hair.
At the time, I was separating myself from this person more and more, but wanted to have one final test to see if this person really did care about me and was worth the time to salvage what little of a relationship we still had.
So, I cut off all of my hair and I asked him if he still loved me like I loved him.
And he told me that I was ugly and that he hated me for cutting my hair.
This was the beginning of second semester of my first year of college. I had just turned eighteen. And honestly, in my youth and ignorance, I thought that this person just a month prior was going to be my life partner. I had spent two-and-a-half years of my life cultivating a relationship with someone who would decide to hate me over a hair cut.
And that was stupid.
So, I broke up with him the next day and didn’t look back.
Now, I didn’t cut my hair this time because I am going through something life changing. I mean, I am with my decision to not go to Japan, but honestly, it isn’t the reason I am cutting my hair. I cut my hair simply because I didn’t like my bangs.
cutting my hair reminded me that although I am out of that controlling and (if we’re going to get real here) abusive relationship, some people aren’t.
Some people don’t feel free to say how they feel in their own home. Some people are physically forced to do things they don’t want to do. Some people put their friends under fake names like “Mom” so that they can talk to people they don’t feel safe to talk to openly. Some people can’t even talk to their families at all.
After that relationship, I got into a friendship that turned even worse than that one. It is so easy to fall into a pattern of abusive relationships and feel like that is normal.
But, it isn’t.
It may be common to fall into that sort of relationship again and again. That happened to me. However, that should not be your normal and there is help available.
First, there are some questions to ask yourself about your situation or the situation of someone you love.
- Do you feel afraid of this person?
- Do you avoid certain topics out of fear of angering this person?
- Do you feel like you are crazy?
- Do you feel helpless or numb?
- Does this person blame you for their behavior?
- Does this person act extremely jealous or possessive?
- Does this person want to control where you go, what you do, or who you talk to?
- Does this person go through your personal belongings without asking?
- Does this person hold money, time, or past decisions over your head?
There are many more questions and more information at this link.
This link focuses on domestic abuse, but this can happen through any sort of relationship– to men, women, or children.
If you or a loved one needs help they can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You can also send texts to 1-800-787-3224. By clicking on the link you can also chat. There is help for LGBTQIA abuse as well.
An international help site is here. Again, it has a lot of female-only language, but this can happen to men or women.
A note to those affected:
Remember that you are not alone, that it is okay to love the person who hurt you, that there is life after that relationship ends (I know how easily abusive relationships can make you feel like you have no one else to turn to), and that you really do deserve a better life.
No matter what you have been told before, you deserve to be loved and cared for in a healthy way and it is no help to the other person by rewarding their unhealthy behavior either.
You are not alone. There is help. There are people who understand. There is life– a better life after all of this. I encourage you to do all you can to reach that life safely and I am wishing the best for you.