Tuesday, August 18, 2020

My Bangs / Those Hair Dangles

 I have worn my hair in the same way technically since elementary school. And by that I mean, I've had a few hair styles, lengths, but I always have bangs, and since middle school hair framing the front of my face. 

I remember being very difficult as a child whenever I was forced to get my hair cut because I would flip my shit if they cut my bangs wrong or didn't frame my face. No matter how many times I told them just my long hair DO NOT TOUCH my bangs they. always. fucking. touched. my. bangs. It's like no one cares what a child says if they disagree with the child. I didn't have enough words or understanding to be able to fully articulate why, just that they always cut them wrong and they were wrong and it was BAD. Out of sheer frustration and anger, I studied very carefully the one hairstylist that didn't piss me off, and learned how she cut my bangs. I bought my own hair scissors and have been doing the front part of my hair ever since. I don't get my hair cut professionally much anymore, maybe once every few years to take care of split ends but I take very good care of my hair. I dye my hair too much not to have learned how to keep it soft and healthy. 

The reason I need, NEED, my bangs is: I don't have a face.

I don't know what my face looks like. I've been trying for years to explain this but this is as best as I can do. I have partial face blindness. I have a really hard time recognizing people. After years of regularly seeing someone I can recognize them, and after a really long time of knowing them, I can hold an image of their face in my mind in memory. But I can never do my own. I just, don't have a face. I look in the mirror and I see a shape I am used to but once I leave the mirror I cannot hold that image. I know my hair though, and that familiar shape of hair mixed with a surprise of color is how I manage to get rid of the whooshy feeling when I look into a mirror. If I wear a headband and push all my hair back though, like for wearing a face mask, the whooshy feeling is there, at the edges of my thoughts. Luckily face masks are only for ten minutes and you don't need a mirror after application. But pictures of friends or selfies, I don't always recognize me. I usually get by this by remembering context and the other people in the photo, but mainly I can find me by my hair. My hair style is very unique from everyone around me, this has worked for years. 

My poor husband puts up with me so much. Because one of the Rules is: he has to give me multiple warnings when he gets a hair cut or shaves his head or changes his beard. Multiple warnings. He's come home from a haircut without proper warning and I've had a full on meltdown/panic attack each time. It terrifies the ever living shit out of me. I don't know why. Like, I know it's him because who else would be this tall man walking out of the garage but it's wrong. And wrong is bad and scary and it is no good. 

I had a rude roommate who loved to torture me. He would shave his head or beard without warning then walk around the living room a bunch to show it off because he knew it would freak me out because of the previous panic attacks. He'd go out of his way to make us see the new haircut. And I just had to stand there and silently take it or flee to my bedroom. If you ever criticized him or explain something to him he would insult you and then go loudly throw up a bunch in the bathroom. It was a very toxic situation that I am glad to be free of. 

So this is the best I can explain as to why I wear my bangs this way. I know it's confused/bothered people for years. I love my mom for defending me and just letting me be. This is going to be a common theme. Why it took so long to recognize the 'tism, because at home I was allowed to be. And it was really nice. 

Monday, August 10, 2020


 When I get really really really sad, I lose my words. This has happened all of my life. 

It's like a tar has attached itself to my jaw. I am unable to open my mouth. My thoughts continue, lots of sentences I want to say but I just don't. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. I can make noises if I push myself quite hard but, it makes me hurt inside when I do. 

It's never been a problem growing up, my family was wonderful. I was never pushed to talk, maybe it was a mix of my mom being just as depressed as I was, or me being known as 'quiet', but I don't think they even know. I was always allowed just to escape to my room or the office. 

During school it was an issue because kids and especially teachers, they can be really mean. When forced to speak I would echo someone else's words, usually a TV show. But these echoed words were just echos and not necessarily my thoughts. Sometimes I've said things that I actually completely disagree with. These incidents haunt me. But, the nice part about being an adult is that I have absolutely no contact with anyone from my past so it is easy to bury these memories. 

Work is actually a non-issue regarding this. I work for a company that is based on the internet so most of my communications are done via instant messenger. 

It happens a lot less now that I am older, I can recognize the taste of depression and work around it. My husband is the greatest person. He'll let me not speak, he'll let me make a noise or point, or use the limited sign language we know. (We have a goal to learn ASL). Other times, he recognizes when I am extremely sad and in my own way. Like, I can get fixated on one thought over and over and he can help un-stick the gears and move me to the next thought. Usually this is done by being silly, laying on the floor with me, tickles, or our ridiculous arguments.

Side note: ridiculous arguments are a good thing. Our relationship was founded on him being the only person that could keep up with me when arguing about silly things. I love logic, and thinking logically, and he can be so illogical and it makes both of us jump through hoops trying to win. It is utterly fabulous. 

Another side note: sometime I can text, sometimes I cannot. It can be really overwhelming to try and translate my thoughts into words. I think in pictures. 

I used to absolutely hate this about myself. I thought I was broken and worthless. I tried to hide it but that only made the problem worse. I don't mind it so much anymore. Now that I don't fight it, it actually really helps during the sad times. I'm not quite sure how to explain why, or what it does, but maybe one day I will. It just feels nicer to not talk than it does to force me to talk. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Something different! Again!

I've started and stopped blogging every few years or so here, and with each iteration I've changed the title. I like thinking back on these titles and realizing they summed up different phases of my life. 

The Ambiguous Anajo - An emotionally shut down teenager who was confused on why she didn't fit in with the rest of the world

The Animated Anajo - A young adult who found love and started to carve out her own place

Well, I can only remember those two. But, new phase, new title. 

This new title, it is just as significant as my previous titles, but a it has an extremely different emotional weight to it. And this new phase/direction, will have an extremely different emotional weight to it. 

There are words and thoughts that I have learned to never say out loud to people. But! That was because I thought I was wrong or broken and for the past 29 years I've been trying to hide the fact that I was broken. Now I know though. 

I am not broken. In fact, eighteen side commas later, I am incredibly average! In about the eight months since I started researching and 'embracing' this, I've seen complete strangers list out every single one of my 'bad thoughts' and my 'bad movements', and other complete strangers comment about their own. 

You hear about 'the wonders of the internet' and how good it is at connecting people. I've never been good at connecting to people. I had one best friend growing up, and as an adult I have less than ten people that I can share anything with. Honestly I never expected it to be so high, I am quite proud of myself. But, finding these strangers who share these weirdest aspects of my life, it's a feeling I've never felt before. I am not great at describing my feelings other than good, bad, angry, sad, happy. But this is one of those happy feelings with a hint of sad and a dash of anger. 

I am not broken. 

I am autistic.