As women, we often compare ourselves to other women; either to those we know or women in the media. For me this resulted in a love – hate relationship with the mirror that began at a very early age.
Growing up I was very much a tom-boy. When I was 8, my brother, Wayne, who had cerebral palsy, died of pneumonia at age 12. I thought if I was more like a boy, I could soothe my father’s heartache by taking Wayne’s place. Maybe then Daddy wouldn’t drink so much and be mad all the time.
To further complicate things, a Playboy calendar hung in our family bathroom. So for 18 years I stood on the bathroom scales comparing myself to the ‘Bunny of the Month.” I was trying to be my daddy’s boy, but because I was a girl, I felt expected to grow up and become a magazine centerfold. That’s what daddy likes, isn’t it?
To get the love I so desperately needed and wasn’t getting from my father, I began acting out sexually with boys on the playground early in elementary. At the same time, I was sexually aroused by the calendar photos and began masturbating regularly. I was deeply conflicted and unknowingly stayed that way until I was almost 50 years old.
Don’t discount the power of pornography. The Playboy images forever changed me. In fact, I still remember many of the women, even details about the pictures. Because of this, unwanted same sex attraction has been an on going struggle for me in my 6 years of sexual sobriety.
It sounds silly, but I’m writing this blog after deciding to grow my hair out.
Those who know me, know my hair has been extremely short most of my life. In recent days, I’ve realized that as long as my hair remains ultra short, I continue to have butch tendencies that lead to wrong thoughts, which if continue unchecked, could develop into unhealthy and unwanted behavior.
Perhaps if I grow my hair out it will help me truly embrace my femininity… then the mirror can finally become my friend.