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. 

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