by Lori Dwyer on February 9, 2012 · 27 comments

I guess you can tell, after yesterday’s post, that it’s been a bad kind of week…? I hate being hurt. I hate being lied to. I hate being talked about. I really, really hate people doing things because they think they know ‘what’s best for me’.

Honestly… no one knows what this is like. How can they possibly know what’s best for me, what I need, when they can’t understand where I’m at?

Once upon a time, in the before before the Purple Before, before children or any kind of being a grown up; I used to cut myself when things hurt. Sometimes I still feel the urge to do it now.

It’s the blood I think about, the redness of it, the shine; that’s what holds the appeal these days. It’s no longer the pain, I no longer crave the swelling hurt that makes me grit my teeth, the power I got from not crying out. I still craved that pain, right up until Tony died; and then that craving seemed insipid and teenage, the thought that the pain of a simple razor cut could even come close to comparing with the pain I was already in.

So it’s not the pain now, it’s the blood. I’m fairly psychologically aware, I know what that means. It means I’m screaming out for help, wanting some visual marker for the pain, something that people can’t run away from, something they can’t so easily ignore.

And, being the relatively crazy person that I am, this also occasionally manifests itself in the desire to shave my head.

Yep. Britney style.

You can poke fun at Britney Spears all you like, but I get this chick. I understand that desperation.

How many times can you scream? How hoarse can you make yourself, crying? How may pleading phone calls to people to who are sick are being your friends can you make?

How many times can you get pierced and tattooed before you realise no one is paying attention, before you realise that those markers just aren’t painful enough scars to effect the world, to make them stop and listen?

I have some strange fascination with women shaving their heads. It’s so anti-feminine and socially it draws gasps and assumptions of illness and rabid female hysteria, especially if it’s done for a reason other than altruism. Speaking, a bloggy friend of mine named Kim is The World’s Greatest Shave next month, and that’s awesome. Any support you can throw her way is muchly appreciated.

Bald women, they are beautiful. They have a certain majesty to them- they have to. You need a special kind of confidence to pull off being hairless, with every feature exposed.

Warrior women.

I don’t think I’m that confident. Maybe. Not this weekend, anyway.

But I’m certainly still thinking about it. I even did myself a mock up of how it might look…

… which was probably a bad idea. Had I not scared myself with that picture, I might have actually gone through with it.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

The Hesitant Housewife February 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I carry the scars from cutting. Your post is the first ever that I have read, that 'gets' it. Only a few of my friends know about my past life, about my scars, and they certainly don't get it, and I don't know how to explain it to them. I hope to one day have the courage to blog about my own years of self harm, and your post has shown me why I should. Because I want others to read what I write, and think, like I have tonight- Yes. Someone gets it.
Thnak you for sharing, as always xx


Shellye February 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Thank you for your explanation of the subject matter. Nobody ever thinks of celebs as people with feelings. They assume anything that a celeb does is all for a publicity stunt.

Meanwhile, I'm glad you didn't shave your head.


Dorothy Krajewski February 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

In the first two years of my recovery from my own tragedy, I had a desperate urge to get a tattoo. For the pain. For a visible, painful mark of the pain that my ex visited on me.

I don't have that urge. I think I am beginning to see that I am still whole. Undiminished. Tempered, like steel.

Hold on tight, Lori.


Maxabella February 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Cutting releases something inside that you just can't let out any other way. x


theKatieKitten February 10, 2012 at 1:43 am

Whoops, you look like your brother!


Melissa February 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Lori, I'm so sorry – it just seems like you don't have the support you need. You shouldn't have to shave your head to get people to support you. You very often say things like, " How may pleading phone calls to people to who are sick are being your friends can you make?"
Your friends shouldn't be sick of you or your grief.
I don't know if you are just venting here, or if you actually need to get yourself a sturdier support network – whichever is the case, I hope you're feeling better soon.
Lots of love.


Kelloggsville February 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I can only imagine that ripping your heart out and showing it all blood, sinew and gore would still not convey the hurt. How to externalise the inner pain? I'm guessing the people around 'know' your pain but can't come close to the true extent of it. I guess that's why support groups where people have had similar experiences work so well. Those people really 'know'. I think head shaving is shocking for society, I think it makes a statement or at least creates a reaction and that is what is needed, a reaction to the pain that others can't see. X


Kristie February 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm

As someone who started ripping her hair out to feel the pain the other week, I understand…

so much so much..


exumbrerum February 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Ditto with Anonymous – I totally think you could rock the no-hair. Appreciate your words. :)


Anonymous February 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I admire your bravery and honesty in talking about your pain and the lack of way to escape it. Perhaps it's not a lack of people to talk to but that even when you do talk to people you are left with the same pain. Unimaginable to those of us who haven't been there.
As to the hair … I think you could rock any haircut you wanted and for any reason.
Be gentle with yourself. There are people around that you know and that you don't who would be more than willing to listen, hoping to ease your burden at least a little.


Madam Bipolar February 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Britney is bipolar, so I so get her.
I am sorry to hear about the cutting. You are so amazing, girl. xxx


Samantha Mawdsley February 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I wish I lived nearer so I could be someone for you to talk to, cry to, scream & sit in silence with. I would do it for you, I honestly would.
I wish I had a magic wand… xx


Karen February 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I hear ya…
I shaved my head bald in April 2008 (for charity). I gave the money raised to a local Domestic Violence charity called T.E.S.S.A. I did it to gain a sense of closure and celebrate 10 years free of domestic violence. It was empowering, truly. I loved it and I was told I had a beautifully shaped head. I understand the need to do something, I do. xx


Keri February 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I shaved my head a year and a half ago. It was something that I had wanted to do since I was a teenager. At 26, I finally built up the courage to follow through with it. I loved it so much, I have kept it shaved since. I enjoyed the freedom and the balking of traditional ideals of femininity.

When I initially shaved my head, I shaved it down to the scalp – I do not recommend doing this, your scalp will be incredibly white and will burn easily in the sun. If you can, shave it to a number 3 razor – this will still be quite short, but will leave you with enough hair so your head won't burn immediately when you go outside.


Fiona February 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I feel that need. the cry out, the show of pain. this is what I'm feeling, please don't leave me. Please look afterme, they all say.


Fiona February 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I feel that need. the cry out, the show of pain. this is what I'm feeling, please don't leave me. Please look afterme, they all say.


UncleChilliMan February 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

(I should email this) Hey Lori. I was going to ask a stupid question (do you find daily blogging a good catharsis), but I answered my own question. I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a stalker now :) . Tinas (@onegreenbus/PhoenixArt on Redbubble) daughter (@flamingfledgling) & is also doing 'The Shave' for leukemia.
When Tina had her operation, the surgeons had only shaved the front half of her head. So after a couple of days, Tina & Her sister both shaved their heads completely. I jumped on the band-wagon a bit later. Of course, our reasons for shaving weren't so much cries for help, it was more a 'half a head of hair looks really weird'. Hugs & love Lori xx


reallyoutthere February 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hear the roar, you are that beautiful


Sarah February 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Dow hat you have to do chickadee xxx


Miss Pink February 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

Ok so I know this isn't supposed to be a funny post, but I laughed at your last sentance.
You have so many people listening, willing to be your sholder you are never alone. I see people offer to help you again and again all the time. You are not without help, without an ear to listen. I understand it's hard though. Hard to unload, to open yourself up to another person to trust.


Kimberley February 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

I'm sorry for the pain that inspiring you to want to shave your head. I can't imagine what it could be like.
Shave your head if you need to though. If you need that release. You know, it's just hair. It grows back. It feels liberating an amazing.
I've shaved my head at least 5 times, maybe more? Always because of overwhelming stress and pain, but never for a pain as great as yours. It's ok to do it if you want to. Your face is open, honest and beautiful, you don't need to hide behind your hair. You don't need to be patriarchy pretty because that kind of pretty fades anyway, the beauty under your hair won't fade if you shave it all off.


Kim (frog ponds rock) February 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

Thank you Lori, for the shout out. As for the cutting.My father was an alcoholic and As a teenager I used to cut myself because it was a form of control. I could control how deep the cut was, how much blood I lost. I could "control the pain" The teachers never noticed the bruises from my dad or turned a blind eye but they always noticed the cuts, and then believed my lies about barbed wire fences and whatever.
So I hear you missy. xx

And thanks again for the shout out. I am not going totally bald I am having a number 8 which is about an inch long. (eek)


flask February 9, 2012 at 8:51 am

i'm too heavy now to be bald. i need to lose about 40 pounds before that will be a cute look on me again.

someday, i hope….

meantime, here's my video of my hair growing back the first time i got it shaved.


Mary February 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Shaving my head was one of the most liberating things I have ever done. And I have kept it very short ever since ( as you have seen).

As someone else has alluded to – the European culture of wearing black – so that others know you are in mourning – is very culturally sane. The women and the men do it in Greece and are shown enormous respect during their period of mourning. I wish we had developed some of those same rituals (which must bring some comfort I think) here in Oz.

Love to you.


Eccles February 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I get it. I wish I had the courage to shave my head. I often look in the mirror & think about getting the cutters out & just shaving a strip straight down the middle of my head following the line of my forever parting. This photo of you, this is the first time in a year that you have shown the pain in your heart. Your eyes are full of it & I want to cry & hold you close to my heart.

I had a Harry Potter moment with my DD the other day. I wanted to take a bad memory out of her head & let it go on the wind. Have you read Harry Potter? There is a part where Dumbledore uses his wand to pull silver whisps of memories from his mind and place them into a bowl. "The Pensieve is an object used to review memories. It has the appearance of a shallow stone basin, into which are carved runes and strange symbols. It is filled with a silvery substance that appears to be a cloud-like liquid/gas; the collected memories of people who have siphoned their recollections into it."

I so want to do this for you!

Plant some lovely bright red flowers in your garden. Plant some lovely white daisies in your garden, they're very cheerful flowers. Find yourself a little spot in your garden, all the way down the back, where you can go & sit in the sun or shade & leave the sadness, the hurt, the anger, there. The wind will take it away.

I'm kinda pleased that your photo scared you, it means you are still "here", if you get my drift.

Take care you. I'm always here, so are lots of other people when you need us. (Isn't it wonderful how so many of us speak on behalf of us… gotta love that!)(X)


Toni February 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

Myself, I have a fascination with memento mori and the whole Victorian mourning culture.
It would be so much easier on us if there were established rituals and the formal black dress codes to follow.
I get the shaved head and I get why you want people to know — it's just too much pain for one person.


CourtneyB February 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

When your day is long and the night
The night is yours alone
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go
Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

Everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends.
Everybody hurts
Don't throw your hand. Oh, no
Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
(Hold on, hold on)

Everybody hurts
You are not alone

Love you Lori x o


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