Dreadlocks and my Social Anxiety Group Therapy
So I've been going to a therapy/class thingy that is done in a group and uses cognitive behavioral therapy as a base and is aimed specifically at helping social anxiety, something I've been dealing with for a long time.
When I was a child I was awkwardly shaped.
I was tall and gangly and my eyesight was quite poor and I had an overabundance of book-smarts.
This means I was terrible at sports, but great at math.
This means I wore ill fitting clothes and big, cola bottle bottom glasses.
This means I really did look and fit the part of the "nerd" or "geek" in class and for this I was bullied, relentlessly.
Now, I was shy, even then, and felt terrible about "rocking the boat" as it were and as such I rarely told on my tormentors, even after someone actually urinated on me I simply went to the washroom, stripped out of the urine soaked clothes, and calmly washed them and myself in the sink and then turned up to class wearing wet clothes (which I was instructed to remove and put on the radiator to dry, and so spent the next couple of classes in my underwear, to my tormentors' great delight).
I got teased for being bad at sports, for my straight A type grades, my height, my glasses, my awkward walk, my poorly fitted clothing, and just to top it off, I was teased for "being a boy".
Now, at the time, I didn't tell anyone I was a boy. In fact, I protested when I was called a boy.
Everyone I trusted told me I was a girl. It didn't "fit" but they said so so it had to be right.
I didn't "look" like a boy, so there was that too.
But never the less, I was teased for being a boy.
If they'd only known 'eh?
It's probable that my social anxiety is a consequence of this.
Possibly my depression as well.
My gender issues have caused me an added pain, probably because of this, as well as I felt, for a long time, that being a "boy" was a bad thing, and it took a LOT for me to accept myself before I could seek to correct my body.
I am working on facing this anxiety and dealing with it, learning to overcome it, control it, so that it does not control me.
Which brings me to the dreadlocks.
I've wanted dreads for the better part of 15 years but feared the reactions I would get from family and friends as well as society if I were to actually go ahead and dread my hair.
Last tuesday, urged by the therapist that leads the group sessions to "do" things that scare me, I stared, bit by bit, lock by lock, to dread my hair.
This meant I had to take my partially dreaded mess of a head to a couple of places and be seen with a pile of mess on my head.
Now, I know, I'm transitioning, why does this dreadlock business bother me so?
It's just one of these things I've had problems with in the past.
Whenever I wanted to do something "Unusual" with my hair and went ahead and did it, the level of bullying would soar.
When I dyed my hair the first time, I was beaten.
When I cut my hair and styled it so that it formed a spiral around my head, I was thrown in the snow and a lot of snow was packed down the neck of my clothes and someone even took a pair of scissors to my head and cut a chunk of hair out, leaving the style very much deformed... which made me so frustrated I shaved my head, and that's the week when I had rocks thrown at me.
Transition has given me the strength to work on my problems, to ask for help, to work on depression, anxiety, etcetera.
It's relieved a cause of stress so great that it's free'd up a lot of energy to put towards solving other causes of stress in my life.
My dreads are still messy and will take a while to finish forming into what they'll finally look like, but so far, I'm really happy with them. They are beautiful, and they fit my head.
Even my husband, who was "unconvinced about this whole dread business" has gone "your hair looks really good!" at me a couple timed thus far.
I've divided all the hair and started all the dreads.
It's an exhausting process to dread your own hair.
Arms over your head for hours at a time!
I'm in a world of pain today, as I try and finish some of the work needed on these things, but I'm actually kinda happy with even the pain!
It feels more "real" somehow, to be doing something that hurts, than doing something that doesn't provoke a physical reaction.
But then, that might be the fibro talking.
Anyway, just wanted to share.
"Those who can't approach discussion with a basic level of intelligence and maturity shouldn't expect to be taken seriously." ~ Qualia Soup