Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Child's Hair-- A HUGE Issue

When my oldest was in first grade, she decided she wanted a bob-type haircut.  She had long hair and wanted something different, so I took her for a haircut.  We stopped by NAM's house after, and my oldest was on cloud 9 and so happy with her new look.

NAM took one look at her and went apeshit.  She told me that I should have consulted her about getting my child's hair cut because "as many times as [I] have run a brush through her hair, [I] should have been asked before you did this."

My poor daughter's face showed that her little bubble of excitement had not only burst, but it had been shit on.

Fast forward 5 years--and we were living in GA.  My oldest put a spray in her hair that made it have a bit of a "summer glow" to it in the form of simple highlights.  She was 11, and all three of them were visiting my parents for a few weeks over the summer.  NAM asked my oldest if she put something in her hair to lighten it.  She became enraged when she found out what happened.

You see, to someone like her, hair is a big deal...even the hair on someone else's head.  She must be in control of it at all times, and should the owner of said hair decide to change it, then she must give her approval first.  It's really her hair, only it's on another person's head.  That's it.  That must be how it works.  The other person is very much like those foam heads that display wigs.  No person underneath at all.  Just a shape the hold the hairstyle.

I cut the bitch and the rest of the family out of our lives not too long after that.  I didn't find out about this little episode until a few months later when I promised my children they'd never have to go back.  They started unloading all kinds of stories that they'd been sworn to secrecy not to tell me.  Things like her hitting them, talking bad about me, etc.

Hair.  It's not like it grows back or anything...


Tundra Woman said...

Wow, sweetness. You keep bringing up topics that are so....."memory jarring" for me. I bet you were just horrified when the kids started telling you about all the crap your MNBitch pulled. And the HAIR issue-you're so right! I remember what she said to you to about your hair on Prom night. The picture you posted showed a stunning young woman with beautiful hair.
My Psychobitch was all OVER the hair/make-up thing as well. In the '60's the style was long, eye-brow grazing bangs. I always pushed my bangs up to the middle of my forehead-"Buster Brown Style"-when ever I was around her. She'd become ENRAGED about my hair. One night over dinner at the dining room table she was "prepared" to SHOW ME who was runnin' THIS adolescent's life: She leaned across the table, grabbed me by my bangs, pulled me off my chair to the floor and drug me out to the kitchen sink on my knees, kind of sliding along where she had a scissors waiting. She pulled me up from my knees by my bangs and cut them so short they stood straight up. She was screaming about how ugly I was, how I had "NO STYLE" etc. (Yeah, her "styles" were from the '30's and 40's)
You know how awful being an adolescent is under the best circumstances? I was absolutely humiliated having to go to school looking like that: Not only did the remaining hair stand up, but she had pulled out clumps as well. And the "comments" from the other kids...(sigh) A "Foam Head." Yep.
I bet your kids were so pleased they never had to deal with the "Grandparents" again!

Sweetness said...

That sounds absolutely horrible. I know exactly what you're talking about as far as being a teen and how much harder it is when you have a crazy mother riding your ass till it bleeds. They get so obsessed over the smallest things and act like you're trying to destroy them by doing something differently.

Scatha said...

My NM was always obsessed with my hair - of course when I didn't wear it the way she wanted.
When I did so - back in elementary school, in very weird-looking old fashioned pigtails - I was constantly ridiculed by my classmates, they called me names (you look like a goat), etc. I have always considered myself disgusting when I had to wear my hear the way she wanted. Whenever I tried to let my hair down - I liked it that way, and I had beautiful golden brown hair, she became furious and started pulling my hair, screaming in my face that I looked like a whore. I was still a child. As a result, after that incident, she always pulled my hair back so hard when making my hair (I wasn't allowed to do it on my own), that it hurt even after a day has passed.

Once, my grandma (father's mother) took me to the hairdresser, and she cut my long hair, to a stylish short one. I was 12. She was screaming at both of us and stopped talking to my grandmother for months, and called her irresponsible.

In college, I have decided to dye my hair. She approved it as long as it was blonde (she dyed hers blonde as well). But I have realized, that I hated that color, and I went for black. And she made my life a living hell, where constant criticism was the best part.

When I have planned to buy my own apartment at the age of 24, she told me that with a hairstyle like that (it was black with red streaks, and everyone loved it on me, even my boss and colleagues), I don't deserve to live in my own apartment. And, as usual, that I looked like a whore, since only whores wear black or red. (she is all fluffy pink, all the time)

Nowadays, when I wear my hair in a ponytail for some reason (weather too hot, etc), and look in the mirror, I am disgusted of myself, and feel like throwing up.

Sweetness said...

Oh Honey! You are not alone. These monsters will make you question your sanity and hate yourself. It took me years before I could look in the mirror and not be disgusted with what I saw. I'd also say culture be damned if it forces you to stay near your abuser. Your mother does not deserve to even know you, much less to interact with you still. She wants you to hate yourself, and the more successful you are, the more she will try, unless she can take credit for your achievements. If not, you're just a whore or you're just trying to get attention ("showing your butt" as my NM would say). I hope some of my drivel helps.

Scatha said...

I simply love your blog. I can relate to it so much. Actually it was the one that motivated me to start my own on this topic. :)
And thank you for your supportive comment. It really helps to know I'm not alone.
I wish you strength and happiness

Anonymous said...

Its not only girls who face the wrath of the narcissist when it comes to hair. I was adopted at 13 to a narcissistic mother (odd how common this story is) and it was the late 80s and i was into rock and roll. I wanted a mullet with long hair in the back. Just before i moved in with them a dumb as a post hairdresser cut off half of the back and i had to go and get the rest cut off.

After i was adopted i managed to finally grow the back long. The narcissistic mother had a friend who was a hairdresser and she sent me there for a haircut, saying she had "some ideas" for my hair. Later on i learned that the goal was to get her to whack my long hair and cut it short beaver cleaver style.

Thank god the friend liked mullets and couldnt bring herself to butcher a teenage kids hairstyle. I only found out about the scheme years later.

When i got home and was quite happy with the haircut and thanked her for sending me to her friend (as it was not only left long but made into a perfect mullet by a mullet lover) she totally exploded into rage.

Of course at the time i had no idea what the proboem was, so she brought up crap from months prior and perceived wrongdoings that i had never heard before.

Insane, over the hair on some 14 year olds head.

Anonymous said...

Never thought of the hair as an issue. Mine took me for a haircut, my first at a hairdresser, age 9?Or so as she always hacked at it. By then it was long thick & lovely.
She sat talking Italian to the hairdresser so I couldn't understand. I walked out with it boy short - after it was down my back. I cried each time I washed it in the shower & wished I was bald. I then got comments like "let your brother carry that (to my younger sister - with long hair)
Argh... I bet she loved hearing that. That she didn't stick up for me & say anything later to make me feel better also makes sense. She enjoyed proving me ugly. She enjoyed taking my pretty hair from me & the control, power it gave her & punished me each time I looked in the mirror.

Anna Valerious said...

I'm like you 9/19 Anon: mine didn't allow long hair either. I went to a salon for the first time at 18 because she hacked it up herself until then. She claimed long hair got "stringy" and claimed that I would never brush it, so that's why I wasn't allowed to have it long. When she saw me admiring another girl with long hair, she would mock me sadistically. I do think you're right about the ugly factor. They want to steal any beauty away from you any way they can.

Anonymous said...

NM controlled my hair. She liked pigtails. I liked a pony tail. The thing was I never got to choose. Ever. It was always her. Now I know it was to disempower me. If I dared change it at school then she would look me in the eye and through pursed lips say disrespectful disobedient ungrateful. That night she would get father to cane - the rod of correction. Needless to say I just quietly disassociated myself from my I mean her hair.