“I’m afraid I’ll make your hair fall out”


Finally. Finally the words came to me. I’m supposed to be something of a wordsmith; you’d think I’d be able to find them without it taking THIS long. But throw in emotional turmoil and endless triggering and I go mute.

I’m afraid I’ll make your hair fall out.

After what feels like endless needling at me by my family demanding to know if I was going to vote in the upcoming US elections and who I was going to vote for, I have silenced them with that simple line. Eight words to tell them I don’t agree with them, they won’t like what I have to say, and I’m afraid to discuss it any more – all without saying any of that outright. I received a ‘thanks for sharing that’ with no further tweaks to my emotional make-up.

Maybe now I’ll have peace. Maybe now they’ll stop asking me questions I feel are far too personal and intimate to ask, like how I’ll vote or how much money I have in my savings account.

Sad that I have to teach a bunch of people older and supposedly wiser than I how to maintain personal boundaries.

I’ve not managed to pick up fully with life yet. My plans are to jump into it today. The house needs cleaning, my language studies have been lagging, and I really have to make an appointment to get my hair taken care of. *sigh* Or I’ll try to take care of those things. Right now it all seems too much. Let me fall asleep inside in front of the tv.

Sleep has come back in my life with full force. What a month ago was a toss and turn activity is now a stone cold, completely out of it, can’t even hear the biggest thunderstorm that came thru Rotterdam this year because I was sleeping so hard. My body craves it like sugar. Sleep, rest, that heaviness over all my limbs as I slip away, into the grey. Let me sit too long right now and inevitably I’ll fall asleep.

I gots the tireds but no accompanying pain. I’ll take it.

The storm I slept through – and it WAS a doozie – took the temp here from 32 to 22 in a few short hours. It also acted as a massive bug zapper; on my walk yesterday along the lake there were no midges, no mosquitoes, no bugs at all, where once they thrived in the millions. A carpet of poplar leaves had fallen on the path. Fall came to the city overnight.

My over-active conscience (maybe it’s spastic) keeps giving me gip every once in a while over my walking out on language lessons. I’m applying balm: I’m losing nothing, I did okay, I’m not wrong for asking for what I feel I need. The last one is, of course, the toughest for me to accept. It goes against what I was taught. Not that I was ever told I was wrong for asking for what I need. No. But eyes were rolled, sighs were heard, and my requests were carried out with a good amount of unnecessary banging and thumping to make sure I understood it was a burden and I was the cause of all that misery.

I’ve never been able to shake that. It’s reflexive, like A is for Apple and B is for Ball.

Right. That’s an old scab. Let’s move on.

Sometimes, though – if we’re listening and open to it – the Universe gives us a little bit of encouragement. After feeling so lost trying to understand my ex-instructor, I had another clear as a bell Dutch language thing happen to me. It was simple, just a transaction at the store. But I caught it without thinking about it. As I walked out with my purchase, feeling pretty good that I’d understood what was said to me, I had that jolt of reassurance from myself: I can understand Dutch when people speak clearly. I’m not a moron or unteachable.

An evening of watching a couple of BBC shows I’d recorded gave me more comfort. I heard a wide range of English accents; some so thick that I wished there were subtitles on the screen because I’ll be damned if I could catch all that was said. If that happens in English, my native language, of course it will happen in another language. Of course there are a myriad of accents; some people will speak clearer than others.

Not understanding my ex-instructor isn’t my fault. It doesn’t point to a weakness of mine, other than the fact that I’m a new speaker and not comfortable with the language yet. That will come. And me pointing out my inability to understand his accent does not make me wrong. In any way. As a student I have an obligation to inform my teachers if I don’t understand what the fuck is going on. I did that. Case closed.

Feels strange to be listened to after having to fight to be heard for so long. Having the family back off – even for a short period. Stating my case clearly to my ex-instructor. They both heard me. They may not have wanted to hear what I said, but finally after saying things over and over, I got through. I’m not sure why it took so long in either case. I’m not sure why my family members don’t get my political leanings; I make no secret of my socialist ideals. I’m not sure why the other student was so bleeding surprised when I stood up to leave the other day. I said it wasn’t working for me several times.

Am I speaking in tongues? Is there some shortage occurring between my brain and my mouth that I’m not aware of? Do I think I say things like ‘this isn’t working for me’ but what actually comes out is ‘gumdrops are good’? Or is it just some game? Is it always up to me to find that perfect combination of words and timing to get other people to really listen?

Goddess, I’m gonna be picking up a lot of fallen hair….


2 thoughts on ““I’m afraid I’ll make your hair fall out”

  1. No shortage in your brain. If you can’t understand them because they mumble and speak too quietly, how do you think someone would feel trying to listen to English? With the different dialects and confusing rules. It’s not you. You are a student, learning, and in order to learn to have to hear AND process what is said. Can’t do one without the other. (Because assholes assume and all) Still proud you did what was right for you. It wasn’t easy (still self doubting based on past learned behaviors from the other post) but you are continuing to go forward and not let it stop you. That takes alot of strength 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ You're right. And I heard back from the director of the program. No blame on her side. She's going to try a couple different classes and see if she can get me in.


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