She is my hair stylist, and has been for about four years. I am a creature of habit in some ways and I had gone to another woman for many years but sometimes she missed the mark, and one day a woman at work gave me the name of her stylist and I went to her, just to see what she could do with my hair, which is straight, but has a small wave at about neck length that curves under on one side, and over on the other, when my hair is short, and with the right shampoo it can get pretty wavy too. This woman who cuts my hair now is truly amazing at what she does. It isn’t just that she is good at cutting hair, she is also good at telling you what you need to do to make it look right for your face. She is an outstanding colorist too. I really love my bright copper red hair, and the artistic bleach blond highlights. It is artsy and fun and easy to take care of. I went in today to get my hair recolored. She has a lovely little boy, and her husband of a couple years recently adopted her son. She was telling me about the process and I knew some of her history, parallel in many ways to my own, but she said some things that really were so important to me. I don’t think it is right, really to tell her story but I will say a few brief things about my own life that she and I really connected on today.
So often people have said to me, why bother with your daughter’s father, he is a loser, let it go and move on. Those very words were echoed to me today, but instead of being from the side that is normally standing and speaking to me, I heard her thoughts as though they were my own. It is hard to understand that little glimmer of hope you have that the man who fathered your child will somehow step up some day and do what he couldn’t do in the first place. And it is so hard for people who were not in the relationship with that man, and who did not give birth to his child to understand that it is not that easy to just let go of it.
She also spoke of the deep betrayal that you feel as a woman and as a mother when that man does not stand by you as you expected them to. She said, no matter what it is a betrayal that you carry with you for ever, you heal from it, you get over it, but it is always there like a scar. The scar heals, it may stop hurting and you may not even notice it, but from time to time it is visible to you or to someone else and you carry it inside of you, just as you would carry a deep scar on your skin. She said to me, I don’t know how you bear it that TWO men have betrayed you in this way. I have never spoken to her about my thoughts on the betrayal. She knew it, because she knows my story. Because she knows her own.
It was interesting to have this conversation, and at the end of the appointment I hugged her and thanked her for sharing her story with me, and I told her, it feels validating to know that a woman, a mother who has gone through the same kind of abandonment situation with her child’s father, feels similar feelings to what I have over the years. I imagine it is a common feeling for women who have been in our situations. It also helped me to understand where some of my fear and some of my lack of trust comes from in the relationship I am in now. Being aware of the scars, may in some way help me to avoid the self sabotaging that I do to (falsely) protect myself from getting hurt, and why I look for trouble whether or not it is actually there.