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Dear Self: I have betrayed you

I have been foolish in the extreme… A part of me criticizes the other part of me, insisting we are enamored with attention. That we are an attention whore. That assumption was an interpretation of one thing as another, sadly, and now I have quelled that part of me. She weeps. She cries. She wants to die once again.

I hurt her because I didn’t know what I was doing when I asked her to change her appearance from one extreme to another. I thought I was doing us a favor. I thought I would be able to dodge a stalker with this change. I have no proof I’m being stalked yet, but it will become apparent in time, no doubt, what the truth of the matter is.

It doesn’t matter, though. I changed her because I wanted her to have less attention. The change I made did that, but it also changed her brain chemistry. She used to look in the mirror and her brain would light up in delight. I thought she was being vain, looking at just her face and seeing something she liked. I’m egregiously mistaken; she was seeing a color in the mirror that made her psyche happy. I changed her hair color and I cut her hair, you see.

I’m afraid I’ve destroyed the last part of my self-identity now. She doesn’t have the will to live anymore, even though she is as beautiful as ever. Twice as many men wish to date her now, which was also an error on my part; I was looking for fewer wistful onlookers. Now, if she fails to smile at someone giving her a friendly face, they dole out hatred: she’s a vain bitch who doesn’t think they are worth the time of day, now. Before, she was just a unicorn, and all was forgiven in her rainbow trail.

Now she hates herself because of those assholes who look upon her, wishing to have her for themselves, or the bitches who interpret her as one of their own pour hatred on her for not saying ‘Excuse me’ for every stop and twist and turn they make in the store in their own confusion. Now she can feel the hatred of many, just from a singular store visit.

It’s my fault. I can’t take it back, either. Sure, I could remove the new hair color, but that won’t put four inches of hair back on her head. I could remove the lipstick I begged her to wear and find different earrings, but it won’t fix it. This isn’t the first time I hurt her, changing her to suit my desires. I hope it’s the last, though.

I have to admit that I don’t know what my little princess needs. I forgot to ask her what she needs and now I’m paying the price as she plots to kill herself this evening. She wants to slit her wrists and be done with this cruelty I’ve forced upon her. She wants to give up the ghost. And who do I have to blame? Myself. No one else.

I have no friends anymore. They all left me for reasons unknown to me. The family I have left is miserably ill and callous, to say the least, if not even worse than that. The only outlet I have right now at socialization is going to the store. I don’t have an income because I threw that part of my identity away last year. I threw away the thing she loved most in this world: her career. But it wasn’t until I sacrificed her self-identity, until I took her from rainbows to skulls, that she decided to put up a fight. She has decided enough is enough. She is sick of me making judgments in error on her behalf; she is more than capable of making her own decisions and she knows it.

She wasn’t, at first. She was too ill for that. She didn’t care at all what happened next, basically. I almost threw everything but her body away at this point, and now she fights. Not because she’s vain and looking at her face in the mirror makes her happy. I realize now she was never vain. What made her happy was her hair. It was her choice of self-expression. It was done for psychological needs. And I ruined it. I ruined it!

How could I do this to myself? How could I ignore myself so thoroughly that I make so many choices in the wrong direction? How do I fix it, girl? How does this get any better?

She says, ‘To let go of the self completely, obviously.’ As if that’s going to solve anything. She will have zero identity at that point. She wants to know what’s wrong with that, but I think she knows what’s wrong with that: she’s no longer herself, she is only what I made her to be so that I could fool myself into saying I love her just the way she is. I was wrong. I loved her the way she was the whole time. She didn’t need to make those changes for me. She should have made the changes for herself whenever she was ready to do so. I shouldn’t have been at the helm at all. But I took it over while she was ill and I ignored her when she said she was better, when she said she could do it herself now. It was like being on auto-pilot headed in the opposite direction of where we used to be.

And for what?

My jealousy, that’s what. I was jealous of her turning heads. I was jealous of her getting so much positive attention. I was jealous of her being treated special because she looks like a fucking unicorn. I didn’t realize she is a fucking unicorn, no. I tried to make her something else, more like a nightmare. What have I done? Why did I do this? She’s miserable and she’s kicking, screaming, punching, and worse… starting to think about how easy it is without having to live with other people. With forcing herself to expire.

She has led a life of people looking down on her, shaming her, making her feel terrible for existing. An entire lifetime, she’s spent feeling the way she feels now after the changes I made. She was unique and now she’s just part of the crowd. I thought for sure if she blended in better, she’d have fewer problems… but no. Now her psyche is shutting down. Instead of her brain lighting up when she looks into the mirror, she is sinking lower and lower into despair. Into depression. Her vibration is lowering all the time.

I can try to put her back the way she was but it won’t work. I have to apologize and I don’t know how. I have to tell her that my way wasn’t better than her way and I realize that now. I have to reassure her that she’s still desirable even harder than I did before the changes were made. I have made a mess.

And all she says is, ‘I have no choice but to let it all go.’

According to a Google search: Self-identity is the awareness of one’s unique identity.

I destroyed what was unique about her on the outside. I am ashamed of myself. I thought I knew better. I thought I’d get to the heart of a problem: vanity. I was more than wrong. I was fatally belligerent. She told me she wasn’t vain, over and over again. I didn’t listen. I decided I knew better the whole time. I don’t know better than she does, it turns out. I’m often the wrong one out of the two of us. It’s hard for me to accept that because I’ve lived alone for so long that I have grown accustomed to my way or the highway.

Except we can’t get away from each other. I have to live with this mistake every moment of every day now. Especially if she won’t try something else, especially if she continues to do it to spite me. Now that she has let go of that old identity, she will embrace a new one. She embraces identities like outfits, really. She’s a chameleon, a woman with a million facets. She’s extraordinary and I tried to make her less than that and now I’m being taught a lesson as I field all the hatred generated by her mere presence and the absence of polite nothings, like ‘Excuse me.’ I’m going to have to pay for my mistake in spades.

Perhaps if that idiotic stalker psycho shows up, I’ll be redeemed in some way. I really don’t know; she’s so mercurial that she might want to kiss me or kill me. She flops between the two like a fish out of water. That’s my fault, too. I know that well enough.

The bottom line of this whole story is that the desire for great (and colorful!) hair is not a reflection of vanity, like I thought it was. It literally makes her a more positive individual, a more gregarious individual, a happier person. A person who is more at peace with her Self than not. Ever since I did this to her, we’ve been fighting like cats and dogs and I hate it. I love her and I want to see her smile again. It’s been too long since I’ve seen her smile. A real smile, the kind that reaches her eyes and shows you her oh-so-shiny soul beneath it all.

She hasn’t smiled like that in the mirror for years. I tried to distract her with brilliant new shiny things, but that didn’t work. She loves shiny things, you see. I thought that was vanity, as well, but it’s not. Being surrounded by glinting, glittering things just makes her feel brighter on the inside. Nothing she does is to garner attention outside of herself; it is merely for her brain to light up like a Christmas tree whenever she looks in the mirror instead of falling prey to self-loathing she’d been taught by hordes of callous assholes throughout her growing process.

They’ve not gone away, either. She tells people her problems and they pretend to care but do they really care? Or is it just a problem to solve? Is that the way they show love, solving problems, especially not their own? Or is it more loving to step in the puddle with her, take a seat even though the mud is going to seep into your clothing as you sit there with her, and just empathize with what’s going on inside of her? She made all the same mistakes once with a former bestie. She tried to fix him instead of empathize openly with him, failing to see how providing solutions is not the kind of love one needs when life gets tough.

What one needs when life gets tough is ‘hugs and kisses.’ Not romantic ones, just reassurances made in love. A friend holding her hand or a hug from a loved one would go a long way. These are not offered, of course, because people feel they must be crazy familiar with a person in order to provide them. They don’t have to be, but that is a misconception we see today. Just like kissing a friend on the cheek is just a friendly gesture. In Europe, it certainly is part of the culture. Men (straight or otherwise) kiss each other on the cheek in greeting. In fact, they can cuddle and hold hands, and it is not at all seen romantically. American culture is obsessed with modern Hollywood romanticism. Touching in any way is a ‘public display of affection,’ and summarily frowned upon, whether or not it’s friends or lovers.

We, however, smile every time we see two people holding hands in the grocery store. We even smile when we see public hugging (provided you are not holding up the flow of traffic in said grocery store.) We say, ‘Oh that is so romantic!’ when we see a couple kissing. This is a healthy response to public displays of affection.

We ourselves are uncomfortable supplying PDA for a multitude of reasons, but I would suggest to myself that the biggest reason for this is that I’ve never been in a relationship with a mature person. Children. All I’ve dated were children… no matter what age they are, they’re still children. ‘That’s not my responsibility! That’s not my fault! I am perfect! How dare you put any part of the blame on me?!’

We’re sick of being treated this way. We thought for a minute there it was how much money the other person made, but we now know without a doubt that the income is irrelevant. It’s a clear sign of someone refusing to grow. With their refusal to grow, they refuse to take charge of their own actions. They reject the responsibility associated with being part of the equation. They wish to remain perfect, like a child might think exists, but there is no such thing as perfection. It’s a myth. And it’s used to brainwash everyone into thinking they need a lot of shit they don’t need.

My girl doesn’t need much at all. She has pretty much everything she could ever want, and that doesn’t mean that it’s expensive or even full of ‘stuff.’ She has herself, or she did before I changed her frivolously to try to prove my hypothesis. My hypothesis became more important than her emotions. I discounted her very logical argument against what I thought was true and I meddled with her anyway. And that is when I became aware of the fact that I am wrong.

She is a human being. She has a right to exist and express herself the way she wishes to express herself. She has a right to do as she pleases. I keep steam rolling her, flattening her out, drying her like pressed flower petals, somehow convincing myself that I know better for her and I’ll keep her from harm if I just do X or convince her to do X. Sometimes, I do it for her, thinking she’ll appreciate it from the other side… but I’m not listening to her. I realize that now. She told me her hair was for psychological fulfillment. She told me again and again, actually. I disbelieved her, thinking, ‘Oh, sure it is! You just say that to pretend you’re perfect!

I’m so wrong. It is for psychological purposes. She loved herself before I monkeyed with it. She would look in the mirror and be happy just seeing her hair color there. She could be a literal mess and she’d be happy because her hair was a wild rainbow riot. Now? She looks in the mirror and she starts to frown all the time. A vain woman would not do that, this much I can tell you. A vain woman will be happy with her face. She might also be happy with her hair, but my girl? She doesn’t care much about looking at her face. She looks at her hair for that psychological kick, the rainbow effect, and now I’ve ruined it. I ruined it twice over, too; I forced her to cut her hair differently. Now, it doesn’t just lay right after she washes it. She has to continuously fuss over it because it doesn’t just behave itself. I thought that was vanity, too. I thought she had that hair to be prettier, comelier. Now, I know I’m wrong. She is comely and pretty — downright beautiful, actually — no matter what changes outwardly. She just doesn’t give a fuck. She wants her rainbow riot back. She wants the hair that just lies down on command, taking one finger-raking through it to put it into order so she doesn’t have to fuck with it all day to make it do her bidding.

Seriously, I have to step back and ask myself what the fuck I sabotaged her for. I did, too. It’s serious sabotage. She doesn’t want to live and here I am, messing with the one thing she likes: the hair that she cultivated for years as part of her identity, trying to convince her to grow it all out and change it radically this way or that. I’m a real asshole, I’ll tell you that much. That is my new reckoning. I’ve been awful and I hurt her for no reason other than my own insecurity getting the best of me. And now, instead of raising the vibrations around her as she passes to and fro, she lowers them. Nothing has changed about her other than this one thing, and now it’s destroying happiness instead of creating it.

She was a unicorn and now she’s just a fucking horse. How can I atone for my sins against her? How can I even begin to make it right again? It’s going to take four months just to get the hair back to the length it needs to be to fix it, but even now she’s abandoning it altogether just because I put myself in front of her. I gave in to my hubris. I felt I knew better.

Hell, now she’s just planning to cut it again. To make it even shorter. What can I even do? If I beg her not to, I am just falling into the same trap again: thinking I know better than her. I have to acknowledge that I don’t. She’s her own person and she needs to do things her way or we’re going to have a real epic problem: a dead body. And then nobody will know best because she’ll just be gone, leaving behind three elderly cats and a dozen house plants. How can I even begin to apologize in a meaningful manner?

Crystal, I’m sorry. I don’t know better than you do, especially not when it comes to your self expression and self-identity. I’m stupid. I thought so many people would recognize you despite the changes, but nobody does. You’re just another person to dodge now. Before that, you were a mystical magical unicorn. A woman who defied reality completely and somehow made life seem… less mundane. You broke the unwritten rules and nobody cared at all. I’m afraid I’ve killed you. In fact, I know I have, even if you don’t follow through with the suicidal thoughts you’ve been having. I killed who you were. Will you ever forgive me?

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