So I Hacked My Hair Off Like a Crazy Person | #PTSDchat

So I Hacked My Hair Off Like a Crazy Person

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So I Hacked My Hair Off Like a Crazy Person

By: ARACHNE JERICHO

And by “crazy person” I mean “stereotypical crazy person in the media that cares not about reality or nuance”. Sometimes normal people just have a desire to cut their hair; mine came from that pit called PTSD.

It had been a while since the PTSD reared its ugly head. I was learning to live with my bipolar, discovering that I really could meditate after adding Abilify to my daily medication cocktail, and negotiating with work on accommodations for my condition.

And then the hot weekend started. There’s no air conditioning to be had in the Pacific Northwest, so I made do with sitting in front of a fan the entire weekend just about. But you see, at the right frequencies, fans can suddenly make noises that sound like the spinning, buzzng bombs of death that dropped into the Vietnam jungles. I have never heard them, but my father had, and he raged and lashed out when the fans triggered him.

As a result, I will often find myself listening and on edge for that one sudden change in speed or pitch that could result in my father rampaging through the apartment. I live in a house now, and it was still as though my father was with me in spirit the entire weekend.

After a while, it drove me crazy. The PTSD went from a gradual trigger to a full-out expression, stopped short of hallucinations or flashbacks by the Abilify, I think. I couldn’t stop it once it started, because it was so subtle I didn’t even realize it was there until it was too late.

When I described this to my bartender, I told him that while the Abilify modified my physical reactions (no more balling up and crying constantly, screaming, being entirely paralyzed by fear), it didn’t reduce the emotional impact of the PTSD. So I still end up off my rocker, so to speak.

Monday, I was so out of it that I didn’t even hear the pager go off (fortunately nothing bad happened). Things got so bad that suddenly my hair was triggering me—the hair that, before I left my parents, I had never cut, and which I’d neglected to cut for over a year. And so I did what seemed sensible at the time: I took the kitchen shears and chopped off as much of my hair as possible.

This reminds me of the time when Jeremy Brett chopped off his hair in a manic-depressive fit.

On Tuesday… I was still out of it, but I was determined to get my crazy hair trimmed properly so that people wouldn’t look at me and think “so crazy”, and thus I did so. Now I have a nice bob that is… well… nice. I think I’ll keep it, it’s so nice not to have hair so long to tie back, and showers are quite more pleasant these days.

I’m still struggling to make psychological ends meet. It’s frustrating that so small a thing as fan noise can trigger this kind of reaction from me.

And now I need to go somewhere to quietly freak out for a while.

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