Still Floundering

It has been five years since I took off my headscarf. I don’t wear it anymore, but I did for about sixteen years.

I can’t stand my face without it or a turban. I wear neither, and I wish I did.

I hate my body. I miss covering it with shapeless oversized clothing. Form fitting clothes are very comfortable, easy to exercise in, but they are revealing. Everyone can see my issues.

I took a quick online test for body dysmorphic disorder and I scored just below- I probably don’t have it. I am currently working on processing trauma and I haven’t touched on how I loathe myself for being myself yet with my therapist.

When my hair gets longer and the wind blows it in my face it feels good, the sensation of wind is pleasurable after not feeling it for so long, but it also feels like it is an insect attacking me. It always gives me a start. I can’t get used to my own hair.

Last fall I shaved my head for my daughter when she got hers clipped short, so we could grow our hair out together. I thought it would force me to accept my face. Nope.


5 thoughts on “Still Floundering

  1. I’m sorry the embodiment stuff is still so hard. I don’t think it’s unusual for survivors of trauma like yours, though, even without all the additional complications a history with religious garb adds. When someone turns your body into a liability — into a mechanism for hurting you — how do you *not* respond by hating it?

    I am still working through making peace with my own body, with having to live inside it. But there was finally a moment last winter when I suddenly didn’t hate it like some alien THING anymore. When I could look in the mirror, and my face just looked like…a face.

    For what it’s worth, I am glad you wrote about this here, even if you haven’t gotten into it yet with your therapist.

  2. I don’t like how I look with the headscarf. I almost always go out with niqab as well and would be fine to lose it, except I feel like I look like an old lady when I only wear a scarf, but I don’t know that I could ever go without it either. I tried once where no one could see me and it felt so strange. Maybe you could get away with a hooded sweatshirt which allows you to have some cover when you want and put it down when you need to. Maybe it just takes time to learn a different normal from what you had to get used to.

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