How our pain is perceived by others, and how your perception is the only one that f*ckin' matters.
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I’ve written about hair before, and why wouldn’t I? I’m a human woman, there are stories to tell. This time it’s not so much about hair as it is about pain, but hair is certainly one of my most convenient vehicles for discussing the topic. It has to do with the things we learn about pain, and our own ability to bear it. If you’re the sort of kid who can’t bear the feeling of an adult tugging your strands into shape with their full strength, and you live in Texas, you get labeled “tender-headed,” and that ain’t good.
Tender-headed isn’t an adjective, it’s an insult. It means you can’t take physical pain, and your lack of ability here makes life more annoying for the adults around you. It’s a shaming tactic, meant to quiet your yelps and make you question your body’s own natural response to painful physical stimulation, so that you learn to lie and hide it. I swear 80s caregiving might as well have been done while juggling flaming swords, why the fuck not at this point.