This is really stupid...but its me

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
This is really stupid...but its me
16
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 8:16pm

My hair....rules my life....I am super down and depressed today because it LOOKED GOOD...and I didn't see my boyfriend.

Missy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-21-2008
Mon, 04-27-2009 - 2:05pm

Random question... how long is your hair?

~ Rain   
       
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Mon, 04-27-2009 - 7:22pm

Nothing is going to save me from this...except Acceptance......I won't cut it off and donate it....its not that long and the shorter it gets...the worse it is to handle.


My sister and my neice give their locks up to donations....so I feel like WE have that covered.


I just have to accept it...and since I'm 45....I don't think that will happen anytime soon.

Missy
Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Mon, 04-27-2009 - 11:36pm

Hi Missy - I'm new here and I hope you don't me jumping in.

I have always hated my hair. It's curly and I have always wanted it straight, a clear grass is greener issue. Is your hair wavy or curly? I ask because you said it is unruly and I don't feel like girls with straight hair have issues like I have with mine :) Anyway, it looks like my second daughter is going to have hair like mine and that has inspired me to learn to love my hair - with some hope it will keep her from a life of hating hers.

I recently read a book titled "Curly Gurl" or something like that (it covers hair with any wave). They have a website and somewhere (I can't recall) I found a list of salons that are certified to cut hair like mine. I've gone once and it was a hair cut like no other - they actually spent an hour cutting my hair! I've also been much better about letting it go natural which keeps me from fighting with it so much and keeps me hating it so much too.

You said you have been in therapy for 3 years - is it not helping? That's a long time. Do you know what therapy philosophy your therapist follows? It might be good to ask, it might not be the right approach for you. I think it sounds like you are focused on the wrong thing. Your focus is your hair with the idea that having good hair days will solve the self esteem issue. But here it is a great hair day and you are absolutely miserable! Clearly good hair days are not the key to success. Also focusing on your hair might be keeping your focus away from the real source of the issue. Do you have any insight after so much therapy *why* it is you have low self esteem?

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Tue, 04-28-2009 - 5:18am

That was a great point - Good hair day - bad day still.


Yes, I have the insight to my underlying problem....a primary caregiver of mine was very critical, overbearing

Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 04-28-2009 - 6:25am

Wow, you have been through and survived a lot! I don't know if this is going to make any sense and I could be totally off base but it feels to me like looking perfect is a way to punish yourself and specifically you punish your hair the most because it gives you so much trouble. You won't go out unless you've sufficiently beat your real self into submission and it has complied. Once your ideal self has appeared on the outside you are free to leave the house. Like what used to be covered up with alcohol is now covered up with make-up and hair products (a lot less destructive but less effective at dulling that pain too).

It seems that the focus on appearance is a way to avoid the feeling of nervousness rather than deal with it head on. Like if you had a gaping wound and put a decorative gauze pad on it rather than giving it medical attention. It looks prettier but you are still wounded under there.

You said your caregiver in childhood and your ex were overbearing, very critical and manipulative - which sounds to me like your morning routine! Don't you think? What could be meaner than isolating yourself from everyone unless you are the picture of perfection?

By now you might think I'm nuts or maybe you've already looked at it this way and it didn't help - but if you are willing to answer I have a couple questions. The nervousness - in therapy have you gone through the process of where it is in your body and addressing it at the source? Also if you went out of the house not looking perfect, what would happen? Is it true that you really look perfect every time - or is this a way of setting the bar so high you will always have something to beat yourself up about? Do you ever try looking in the mirror and telling yourself you look good enough and think positive thoughts rather then overly critical thoughts? Do you think all this perfectionism keeps the world from seeing the real you?

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Tue, 04-28-2009 - 9:07pm

you said - Once your ideal self has appeared on the outside you are free to leave the house. Like what used to be covered up with alcohol is now covered up with make-up and hair products (a lot less destructive but less effective at dulling that pain too).

Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 04-28-2009 - 9:46pm
I still will wake up and do it again tomorrow....until I get sick of all the effort - I guess.



Effort is a good word. It sounds like so much effort. Do you get much of a chance to relax and not worry about your appearance? How does that feel (you don't have to answer if you aren't interested in continuing the dialogue).

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 4:59am

No I thought about that yesterday....I'm always complaining that I am running around and not relaxing.


And I thought...if I wasn't spending so much time worrying about what I looked like....I could relax more...but right now...I can't relax unless I feel I look good.


Catch 22

Missy
Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 11:33am

But even when you feel good you can't always relax, right? Like having a perfect hair day but being depressed because the one person you want to see you as perfect isn't around that day.

Have you ever thought of this as your new addiction? Or has your therapist looked at this as an obsessive-compulsive issue? I don't know that it's either but it's something to at least rule out. And not that you'd want to ever stop caring about your appearance, because that is a necessary part of caring for yourself and is generally a healthy thing to do - but how you look is causing you a great deal of distress. Even when you spend hours on it sometimes it's not enough. Even when you look perfect it's not enough. Will it ever be enough?

I don't think anything you are experiencing is silly. I think you want what everyone wants - to be loved and accepted. That is so important to all of us, I know it's important to me and I know I haven't always felt that - I've certainly spent my share of years trying to convince myself it was true but doubting it every step of the way. This is the way you are going about getting love and acceptance.

I'm going to make a wild guess that you will stop the lengthy rituals and excess spending on your appearance when you truly feel you can love and accept yourself (you on the inside not you on the outside) and when you truly feel loved and accepted by others (who you are not what you look like). It's like that little girl inside you who didn't get what she needed is still trying to be better and better until finally she'll be deserving of love and acceptance, but like being on a stationary bike in a race, you are never getting closer to the goal. The problem is the you are looking at the wrong goal. Looking perfect won't ever lead to love and acceptance, because nobody who loves and accepts you will care about you looking perfect. In fact, someone who truly loves and accepts you might be troubled by your need to look perfect.

So to change the conversation around a bit - I know a lot about your outward appearance, what are you like on the inside? What are your obsessive criticisms about that part of yourself? Do you put as much effort into make those as perfect as possible too?

Oh and if I'm off base with any of this you can tell me to take a flying leap any time! I'm hoping that I can be helpful in some way but we don't really know each other so I could very easily be off base with anything I come up with.

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 11:57am
Oh and another question if you don't mind - in what ways was your primary caregiver overly critical and if you could have chosen someone different, what would your ideal primary caregiver have been like?

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



Photobucket
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

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