"but why did you shave your head?"
By Sav Schlauderaff
this is the three year anniversary of me buzzing off all my hair
And with that, I suppose it’s the anniversary of my partner at the time breaking up with me because my newly shaved head and unshaven armpits were deemed “unattractive” and I unfuckable. Undesirable.
Shaving my head was a way of taking control over my body and what it looks like
Reclaiming it from too many partners who told me what to wear, that I needed to lose weight to gain weight, that I should be more “fill in the blank” around their friends, around their family, around their co-workers. That I needed to answer their call by the third ring. That we could only hang out on their time.
How quickly those first few weeks of fun, and being together for 3 days in a row turn into me desperately trying to make up for something someone else did to me.
Trying to become who they think I am.
Always walking on eggshells
It can become so easy to start to enjoy the instability
To want the fights
A distraction from past trauma
Trauma that is worse than the trauma I could create
The kind of trauma and fights you cry over not being able to forget
I have spent so many years of my life not feeling safe to talk about myself
So many years of people simultaneously interrogating me for their own trauma porn pleasure, and never actually trying to get to know me.
Too many years being the shoulder or lap to cry on. And never being given the time or space to do the same. Too many years of always being the good listener, and being yelled at for not “opening up” enough.
Too many years begging for them to love me
But did I ever really want that? Romantic love?
It’s so exhausting and consuming
And if you don’t give everything you’re apparently hiding secrets or not caring enough or a cheater
I’ve tried to reclaim that space and to set boundaries
To avoid the kinds of people who have hurt me in the past
Tried to re-write the rules, to not get emotionally invested.
But my heart always finds a way to break in the summertime
My body always finds a way to be picked apart, to be abused, to be violated
And what’s the alternative?
I’ve spent the last year avoiding any romantic or sexual interactions
And I’m not sure how much that has helped
Not sure if it has really given me the time and space to try and heal
Sometimes it just feels like I’m pushing everyone away
Because becoming sicker this past year has made me feel even less welcome in my own bodymind
I feel scared of myself
Scared of my pain
And just so fucking tired
Like all of this just never ends
If it isn’t someone else hurting me, it’s my own body hurting me
It can become so easy to think you have your shit together
To think that you’re healing and addressing your trauma and hanging out with your friends and life is fantastic
But bad habits sneak back in and my guard falls down
And then I realize it was all just an illusion anyway. A big lie I told myself
And it’s just so exhausting, especially when you realize there is no willful forgetting or an easy linear trajectory to follow.
You can’t actually protect yourself or predict who you can’t trust
People always feel so entitled to my time, my space, my body, my fucking hair
I just want it all gone.
I wish everything else was this easy.