Hair Obsession

January 9, 2011

My Borderline Ex is obsessed with her hair. If she’s not chopping it shorter, she’s dyeing it another color. When I met her she was a blonde. During one of our many conversations, I had casually mentioned to her how much I love redheads. It was never meant to be a request. I love blondes too. But she obliged nevertheless. It was at a time when she would do anything to please me. After our break up, she went from red head back to blonde. I suppose this was an act of defiance in her mind. But of course, the color of her hair was the least of my concerns.

She had a habit of drastically changing her look after each break up. I’m sure a lot of women do this. Even women who are not borderline personalities. It’s like an emotional cleansing, a symbolic way of breaking away from the past. But I think it has particular significance when you’re talking about a borderline. Especially one that has a history of mistaking superficial change with real change. Putting focus on her hair was just another way of taking the focus off her painful emotions.

My ex has always been obsessed with her looks, whether it’s her hair, her skin, her weight. It’s a self-esteem issue dating back to her childhood. She is constantly looking for ways to compensate for her feelings of inadequacy. Like all borderlines, she has high rejection-sensitivity.

Even when a borderline breaks up with someone, it still feels like you are rejecting them. They are breaking up with you because they’re sensing your rejection or perceived rejection. You’ll know this is true if they are the one being hostile. Pushing you out of their life is how they prevent rejection.

After my ex broke up with me, she went out of her way to beautify herself. She felt I had humiliated her and betrayed her trust by pointing out her BPD behavior. So she retaliated the only way she knew how. She wanted to send a message out that she was desirable. She was on a mission to make me jealous, to regain the power she once had over me. But rather than make changes to her character, she chose a more superficial change. If I did reject her at all, it was because of her abusive ways and not because of her looks. But her childish nature couldn’t see that. And her vindictive nature would not stand for it.

There’s nothing wrong with someone tending to his/her appearance. We all have a vain side. But it becomes troubling when you are dealing with an individual who has profound emotional issues. It’s troubling because instead of dealing with her issues, she keeps herself busy with activities that have nothing to do with getting better. The more troubled she was, the more she seemed to obsess about silly little things. One might think my ex is a bubble-headed barbie bimbo, but she’s not. She’s just someone who is going out of her way to avoid looking within. And what better way to do this than to obsess about one’s outer appearance.

She has proclaimed to the world that she has changed a lot in the last three months. I’m sorry but I have to call bullshit on that one. Because clearly she has not learned a thing. If anything she is deeper in denial. She is engaged in the same borderline behavior as before. If she thinks moving to LA and marrying someone she’s known for 3 months is change, she’s kidding herself. For the most dedicated borderline, it takes years of therapy before they are even able to breathe a little easier. She claims she has miraculously changed in a matter of months without therapy. Clearly, she’s delusional.

I suppose it does upset me that she spends her days engaging in nonsense. Because it makes me feel like she doesn’t care how much she has hurt me. But that’s how she deals with guilt. Because on some level, I think she does know how much pain she has caused others. But it’s easier for her to act like a brainless teeny-bopper than consider other people’s feelings. She is acting like a child who sticks her fingers in her ears and chants, “la la la la la”.

The day she owns up to her bad behavior is the day I will believe she has really changed.  Until then, I could really care less about her hair.

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