Embodied Heart

In Flux

I shaved my head! It was an impulsive action spurred on mostly by a need to follow through on the idea once it popped into my head (honestly, this is how I’ve made most of my boldest moves in life). It coincided with a decision to be a bit more public about my abuse story in another forum. Since that time, I’ve found it harder to concentrate and settle myself into deeper reflections in writing. The sharing and the shedding took a lot out of me, and I feel in the in-between of something. What the something is, I’m not quite sure.

Most of the feedback about my new look has been positive and I feel incredibly comfortable, actually more like myself, in how I’m styling my clothing and inhabiting my body. There is a looseness, though, to my sense of self. Something between possibility and loss that moves every time I think I’ve glimpsed it. My sexual orientation has been fluid for many years. I believed that my gender identity was very defined as a woman but now I’m not quite as certain. I don’t know if this is what is bubbling up or if there is another aspect of who I am that is disconnecting from a rigidity I didn’t know I possessed.

My nature is to want answers, to problem-solve, to analyze, and to arrive at an end point from which I can make decisions. Living in the in-between disquiets my energy and drains my spiritual focus. I’ve always been here, really, given that I have dissociative identity disorder, but I come across to most people as a highly driven, consistent and deliberate person. My physical appearance, with a buzzed haircut, is a better representation of the off-from-center way I see myself, but it hasn’t quelled the inner turmoil of struggling to definitively commit to one way of being in the world. Perhaps I don’t need to commit, perhaps being in flux is who I am.

If you care to share, I would be interested in hearing ways in which you’ve felt in-between two or more ways of existing. To what extent do you pressure yourself or yield to pressure from others in order to decide who you are? Have there been specific acts of self-expression, like my shaving my head, that destabilized rather than solidified your sense of self?

2 thoughts on “In Flux”

  1. Not sure if this qualifies except to make a statement that within this quiet, seemingly pleasing woman lies boldness, but since fall have added maroon/purple tinting to the grey areas. Not sure I’ve seen such color in anyone my age. It’s understated yet definitely noticeable. I have received many compliments from strangers. After a life-time of hiding, it is way of making my presence known.

  2. The fact that you cut/shaved off your hair after publically revealing your sexual abuse seems to me like an understandable response. Six years ago, I cut off most of my waist length hair (to above my shoulders) 2 days after I was raped. It’s actually a common sign of traumatic loss. Sometimes, taking control of what we CAN in our lives is very empowering during times when we don’t feel like we’re whole, or like our parts are not integrated in the way we want them to be. Maybe you’re taking steps to unveil who you are inside by cutting away extraneous things on the outside? A physical manifestation of your inner work?

    To answer your question, I can’t think of anything I’ve done physically that has destabilized my sense of self unless I count overeating and thus becoming obese. That wasn’t exactly a conscious choice, more like a compulsion/addiction. It’s something to think on, though. Getting both of my tattoos was very empowering.

    You’re not alone in your struggles with identity. Keep growing strong, lady. 🙂

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