Growing Abuse

It started as a simple little comment: I wonder how long my hair would get if I stopped cutting it while I’m pregnant. What resulted was not simple.

I am and always have been a short hair kind of gal. I had long hair until I was 11 when I had it all cut off. I had my waist length hair cut to my shoulders.

hair 0It gradually got shorter until I settled on a cut that kept my hair off of my neck and out of my face. I was keeping a pixie cut before pixie cuts were cool.

I had had very short, short hair for about ten years when I got pregnant with my oldest child. One day I made an off-hand comment about how I heard that women’s hair grows like mad when they’re pregnant and wondered if mine would too.

It was two years before I was allowed to cut my hair again.

I set out to let my hair grow long, but then it was on my neck and I wasn’t sure I was sure I wanted long hair. I made an appointment to get it cut short again, and Donkey said make sure you don’t more than a half-inch taken off. When I came home, he was upset with me because I did have more than a half-inch taken off.

hair 1By the time we got married, my hair was to my shoulders. I didn’t really like my hair that long. I had always liked my bouncy curls, and they bounced less with longer hair. Much like I bounced less in an abusive relationship.

I started straightening my hair. Every day I would spend thirty minutes with a flatiron pulling the less than enthusiastic curls into bone straight strands. That was before I gave birth to my daughter, when I had thirty minutes in the morning to fix my much hated hair.

hair 2By the time I was six months pregnant with my second child, my hair was to the middle of my back, and that was with the curls. I almost always wore it up in a ponytail to keep it off of my neck, out of my eyes, and away from my daughter’s sticky fingers.

I was able to convince Donkey to let me cut my hair about two months before I gave birth to my son because it was long enough to donate and I could get a free hair cut for doing so, but I had to agree not to cut off more than was required for the donation.

He was willing to take the before picture but he refused to take the after picture. When I came home from the free hair cut, Donkey was upset because he thought I had had too much cut off. I had cut the exact number of inches necessary to donate my hair. By this time in the marriage, I knew better than to defy his orders. He let me know how bad my hair looked. I disagreed, but I didn’t tell him that.

I had to let it grow again, and I don’t have any pictures of that. I don’t like long hair. I don’t like that the curls get pulled out from the weight of long hair. I don’t like how long my face looks. I don’t like my neck getting hot.

hair 6When I left him I cut it short again, short like I like it short. It’s still short. I like my hair. I like it short, and I like the crazy curls. Cutting my hair the way I wanted it was one of the first things I did to feel good about myself after letting Donkey convince me I should feel bad about myself.

Now I get my hair cut as often as I want. Sometimes it’s after a month, sometimes after two. Sometimes I have them take an inch, sometimes two. I always feel good. I will never have long hair again.



  1. 😀 Here’s to crazy curls, freedom and feeling good!!!

    (raising my glass of tea though because of the lack of better.. but that shouldn’t spoil a thing 😉 )


    1. 🙂 Three cheers right back to ya. And raising a glass of tea is as good as a glass of anything else.

  2. “I was able to convince Donkey to let me cut my hair”

    GRRRRRRR. I hate that. It’s your head, you do what you like. (I had a relationship like that, too.)

    And by the way, you’re gorgeous!

    1. I used to think it was my own head, but he thought differently. Jerkmonger.
      And by the way, thank you.

  3. I am glad you can cut your hair the way that you like! Such a small thing. I am sure that the control issues your ex had were all fear based but it really makes me mad to think that he treated you that way. I am so glad you are not in that relationship anymore. Happy you had a great week with the kids and good to see you back writing! 🙂

    1. He was good at keeping me afraid of him. I still am to a degree, but it’s becoming less and less.
      Thank you for reading. I’m still catching up from last week. I can’t wait to see what gems you have to offer.

  4. Isn’t it crazy the details of our lives they controlled. I realized one thing this past week that I didn’t even knew that my ex controlled, my gum chewing. I used to like to chew gum after eating, but my ex used to say that it looked like a cow chewing grass. So of course I stopped and it wasn’t until a friend of mine offered me gum after breakfast one day this past month when I started thinking about why did I say no. Controlled without even realizing it! So I told her that I had changed my mind and that I would love one.

    Great job in getting yourself back!

    1. Yay for taking the piece of gum. Some of the abuse and control just gets so ingrained that it becomes part of our normal. Sometimes it takes longer for some of it to surface so we can fight it and end it.

  5. I live the curls! I’m actually having my cousin cut my hair short today. I was growing it long at the request if JERK. It takes almost an hour to dry and straighten my hair, that’s too long. I’m gradually going back to my pixie that I’ve always had as well.

    1. Hooray for short hair! It’s so much easier to take care of, takes less time, less shampoo, less energy. It’s the awesomest if you ask me.

      1. It is. I feel so much better.

  6. Love your curly cues Melanie. It suits you.

    1. Thank you. I like being a curly haired nut.

      1. That you are. 😉

        1. And getting to be pretty damn proud of it.

  7. Wonderful freedom and you’re beautiful period! xo

    1. It’s like, “hello freedom, nice to meet you.”
      It’s the little things that work together to make the big things seem less daunting.

      1. i totally understand, the little things are actually huge! xo

  8. You look so cute with short hair! Why is it these assholes always insist on women having long hair? I just don’t get it – a woman who has hair that matches her face and personality is a happy, beautiful woman. Oh, wait, with happiness comes confidence and that leads to independent thinking…Nevermind 😦

    1. That made me laugh!

      1. It did me too. I love Sofia’s snark.

    2. Ha! You’re funny, but in all seriousness, you are right. Confidence and independence are the antidote to narcissistic control.
      Plus, I think it makes them feel more like the cavemen they are, like they could drag us by our hair while they club innocent animals along the way.

  9. You are beautiful no matter what your hair looks like Melanie!

    1. Thank you. This puts a smile on my face.

  10. Melanie, I don’t care how you style your hair. I just hope you are able to smile like you did in these photos. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

    1. Hair is hair right? What does it matter how it’s styled.
      And I am smiling. More now than I ever was then. Thanks for the hugs. {hugs} to you too.

  11. […] Melanie beat me to it today, but I’m still going to post it. I just got back from seeing my cousin, and she […]

  12. […] Melanie and I were having a conversation about the color red. Both of our exes considered red the color of a whore. […]

  13. Cheers to short hair !! During my 16 year career in the event industry I had blond hair. Most of my co-workers said I looked better as a blond. I hated being blond but every time I went to color it dark those words rang through my mind. Now I have short dark hair and I love it. I have to color it more often to hide the gray , but my dark hair is here to stay!! Your hair is adorable and I am jealous of your curls. 🙂

  14. You’re gorgeous and I love the hair!!

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you!

  15. Oh my gosh, Melanie! You are BEAUTIFUL! Absolutely gorgeous! Your strength, your intelligence, your humor, your beauty…….he had a prize he never deserved. What a jack ass!

    1. Thank you. You’re so sweet. This is such a feel good, pick me up comment.
      He never did deserve me. He stole me through lies and deception. He lost me because he took what didn’t belong to him. It’s taken a long time for me to see and feel this, and a lot of time and effort to work towards accepting compliments and shoving out his voice and replacing it with ones like yours. Thanks for the compliment and your kindness.

  16. I just got here, so I’m not quite clear on what’s going on, but I’m really glad this story at least is in the past tense, and Hell Yes and Go You for setting your appearance how you want it.
    Nothing looks better than conmfortable self-confidence anyway.

    1. Most of it is in the past tense. He still tries to be a controlling manipulator, but his grip is less tight.
      And, yes, comfortable self-confidence is much more attractive that fear and discomfort.

speak loudly, donkeys are sleeping

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