Schema, perspective, experience, understanding…shit. WOW.
My younger son and I differ in so many beautiful ways, and also some difficult ones. Either way, he is a great teacher and reminder for me. When I broke up with Greg, he asked why I was ever even with Greg. Not because he doubted the goodness of Greg but because he saw how unlikely we were.
In the months leading up to the end of the relationship, I was meeting with a therapist several times a week and had begun working out daily at the gym which helped to shift my perspective. I had come to understand that I chose to marry the person I did because of how familiar the dynamic was. There was not connection, only familiarity, which was toxic and literally devastating, particularly once we had children– who would be affected and shaped by US.
Then, I chose Greg, because he was wholly unfamiliar in that I 100% knew he would not take from, lie to, punish, or betray me, ever. And I hated myself daily for not feeling entirely satisfied by this —as my old programming insisted that only an ungrateful piece of shit/defect would want or expect to have more.
Fortunately, I have a skillful and wise therapist who helped me to understand that I am allowed to want more than just kindness, trust, and honesty…that those are essentials yes. And also— I am allowed to want and pursue connection in the forms of shared curiosity, spiritual seeking, political and social alignment, intellectual endeavors, a love of the beach and books — not that I should seek someone identical but similar in some of these ways. Greg and I healed together in our seven years and STILL we both needed and deserved more than we could provide each other.
So, this week, I went for a haircut by a stylist who I now percieve as unwell. In my first 7 minutes in the chair, my hair was completely fucked up. The stylist whom we will call Baylor, repeatedly aggressively jerked my head and neck and told me to “fucking hold still”, raged about his ex wife being a “fucking cunt”, shared about his porn addiction, was sporting a nicotine patch, popped two Nicorette gums, took a pill, and vaped. When I asked him to be a little more gentle, he said he would be “if I would quit moving my goddamn head”. Then I asked, “but isn’t the customer always right?”, he said, “not when customer has a vagina like my fucking cunt ex wife”. to which I replied, “yeh but when she is paying you 80$ for your services shouldn’t you be nice?”. To which he replied, “if we are not dating and she is not putting out or paying my bills, no $80 is for haircut only”.
He went on, in great detail, about how he had visited a Swingers Club. And that he he keeps viagra on hand because sometimes his bipolar meds “fuck with his dick”. But even the viagra didn’t help him “to cum as the fat chick at the club blew him”.
All of this as he takes my precision bob hair cut which only needed a tune up – and shreds it to destruction. So after wrecking my hair and the soul raping, he demanded a hug before letting me out the door—literally got between the door and me. It was brutal and also a familiar dynamic with a person who sees them selves not as above the law, but actually AS THE LAW….And now I will likely get to pay a few hundred dollars to an uber pro stylist to fix me with a great pixie, which seems the only option. I became immediately unwelll once home and still have not yet recovered. My already dysregulated nervous system and body literally broke down under the strain of that.
After hearing only a fraction of the madness, my son asked “why did you not just leave?” Because this man had previously done a good job on my hair a year ago, I thought he would again. And apparently I still feel that in order for me to have anything I want, it must be both painful and costly. Sadly—It never even occurred to me to leave. I guess the growth here is that I did calmly articulate my desire to have him be more gentle. I said it out loud and without volume or profanity, and then when he did not, I paid him in full, overtipped, allowed him to hug me for far too long before leaving with 100$ less and my hair in shambles.
I have cried over how my hair looks, even more so for how far I have come in my healing journey and how far I have still before me–but also for having children who recognize their boundaries, rights, and worthiness. That is a miracle. I will continue learning, healing, and sharing— one day at a time.Much Love,
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