A couple of months back I decided to donate my hair, which at that time were pretty long. While having them cut, I saw that there was enough hair left to be tied up. I was basically scared that if they ended up too short , I would again have to go through my childhood/teenage trauma of being a girl trapped in the frame of a boy.I didn’t have the strength to face that shame again.
“Shame is something we learn ” they say. It’s true , we aren’t born with it , we learn to be ashamed, we pick it up from the people around us, from our experiences. I learned a lot of shame…….. no wonder I ended up beinging a timid , shy , nervous , strong inferiority complex girl.
I don’t know whether I would be over exaggerating if I said that my hair had a big impact in shaping my personality. Sounds stupid and trivial….. Ain’t it? But it did. Having a boy cut almost all through my childhood and entire teenage, had its own impact on me. I was like a girl trapped in the frame of a boy, as I said earlier. My attempts of trying to behave like a boy also failed. I was deemed an outcast ……not a girl , not a boy …..not even a transgender. Shame shame shame …….every where I looked I felt people were talking and laughing. I was a joke , a laughing stock.
Years later life brought me back to square one. A set of events left me upset. I looked in the mirror ……and I didn’t want to see the face I saw. So I decided to change it. The easiest way being…..chopping the hair. But …..that meant I would have to look like a boy again. Face the same shame all over again. Was I prepared to take it? Would i be able to handle it? …..I didn’t know. But I was upset and I wanted to vent it out by hurting myself……. hurting me where it would hurt the most.
With all the aprehensions I went ahead and got my hair cut. When I saw the mirror …..I saw a changed person. I was happy that I was hurt but was scared of the shame. I came home and looked into the mirror again ……and I felt blank.
Finally with a lot of courage (somewhere a boiling anger too) I walked amongst the people. The people……..the very people who spoke behind my back , the very people who crave for a reason to gossip (they must be happy I gave them another one), the very people who smile from their teeth, the very people who would never put themselves in your shoes, the very people who are waiting to judge and condemn……the very people who made me feel like a joke, a laughing stock again.
Many came inquiring why i took such an extreme step, others came and complimented me for the new look…..while many others mourned the loss of my hair. Was I going to get carried away by all this hypocrisy now?…….. I don’t think so.
Day after day I kept looking into the mirror. And somehow instead of feeling sad……I kept feeling happy. I digged through my confused mind, trying to figure out why after all the mess I still felt at peace.
Finally I got the answer…… I had shed my shame.
Yes. Little did I realise that my act of chopping my hair was like an act of rebellion. I didn’t only shed my hair…..I shed my shame too. And it felt good. To the world around I know I am a laughing stock …..maybe an entertainer. But now it didn’t matter ……because I shed the shame. There is a sense of freedom we feel when we let go off things we are scared to lose.
Now I am less ashamed of me. I realised that I could still stand up and face people with all my hopelessness. And finally what mattered most was not ……what they felt about me. But what I felt about myself.
I hope I keep believing in myself .I hope as the hair grows back , so does my faith in me. ……….As for now I can proudly look into the mirror and say that ……”I shed my shame”.