I developed AU at age 8, (after having AA for two years). My parents were ashamed and basically clueless about it. I wasn't allowed to eat at the dinner table without my wig on. Needless to say, I held on to that shame for many years. I always called my wigs my "hair" because I couldn't say the word "wig." It took me a long time to accept this disease; and myself along with it. The way they dealt with my disease really affected me- literally for decades of my life. I was wondering if anyone else's parents had a hard time dealing with this...to the point of being embaressed and ashamed.

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You're not alone with this one! My mother especially was ashamed of me because of my hair. She felt ripped off that she adopted this baby and once the one year warranty gave up, I lost my hair. Because of her poor attitude, I too was scarred for many years. It took many inspirational alopecians to make me accept myself and a few years thereafter to accept that I have alopecia. To this day I still blame things on my alopecia when I know I shouldn't. I make my own destiny, don't you?

There comes a time when you have to put your past behind you. For me, that meant leaving my mom behind, then getting her out of my head. I don't think about my past much, what good will it do me now anyways? Focus on your future and what needs to be done rather than the hurt you've had to deal with. You know you're strong, get out there and prove it! :)
Thanks for responding Carol. I've just often wondered if there were other parents like mine...even though it would make sense that mine weren't the only ones that, well, weren't very nice...I just never knew of any, never read of any..so thank you. My parents are both still in my life...to a certain degree..I've built walls, boundaries, if you will. Being comfortable enough to go without a wig has been a struggle. When I first moved in with my then- future husband, I actually wore a wig to bed!! Since then, I've graduated...now it's a do-rag...He thinks nothing of the alopecia, it's all me. For me, it's been like brushing my teeth, just a routine...but I've been thinking more about going in my yard with just a scarf..it's so hot in the summer..IIt's been 37 years of wig-wearing..
You must have some incredible patience! I wore my wig to bed for four years after meeting my husband because I felt he wasn't comfortable (he kinda wasn't too) and one day just said to hell with it all and went bald. I went postal if you will. I'm glad you've graduated to scarfs, wigs are nasty in this heat! One day when no one is home, run out into the backyard without your wig on and do two things. Sit in the sun and feel the nice warmth of the sun beaming down upon your head, don't get a sunburn though :)
Then, sit in the shade and embrace the cool breeze blowing over your head. You just may convince yourself that it is nice to wear nothing at all from time to time. Good luck! :)
I lost my hair at 15. When I was 17 (and contemplating suicide) I heard my parents say they should send me to a "good" college because no one would ever want to marry me. Needless to say, making peace with their comment has been an important step on my healing journey.
oh woo im sorry to every one whoes parents were ashamed or embaressed! that blows my mine my mom dad and brother were all there for me any way i needed them. i coved my blad spots for about 6 years and only let a few ppl know and then went i was ia 10 th grader in high school it was to much work to cover all the damn spots so i shaved my head i knew it was comming but my little bro (2 years younger) took it the hardest i almost think he cryed more than i did. but now not have any hair for about 6-7 years man i would not take it back for any thing. Truely sorry for every ones parents being ashamed or embaressed, you can come be my kid and i wouldnt be ashamed but i would make you get a job and pay some bill lol
Sorry in advance for taking up a whole page! I actaully have awesome parents!!! and two awesome sisters!!! My parents never for one moment ever made me feel ashamed or disappointed because of my alopecia. They totally emraced my baldness, and always tried to bring up the positive aspects of being bald. They would always make a big fuss whenever I got a new wig. I loved getting a new wig! Money was really tight back then so a new wig was a very special occasion. I still remember the excitement of taking that shiny new wig out of the netting and putting it on. My parents would give me compliments for days! I really didn't appreciate it back then, because I was sruggling so much. They would say stuff like, "oh, Sarah, you are so lucky that you can just take your hair off on a hot day! I wish I could do that!" or "I like the way you look bald." My dad was always there to give me a hug, and my mom was always there to listen when I had a bad day at school. I'm sure I tired the heck out of her, but she always listened. My parents also found me some good group counseling, and later on in my teen years, and very lovely and compassionate psychologist. My sister was so envious of my bald head that she cried for a whole day begging my mom to shave her head. She wanted to be bald like me. Of course I thought she was nuts! but secretly I was kinda flattered. She never did get her wish.
I feel for you all who didn't have very understanding families. I can't imagine what you have had to indure because of that, not to mention just surviving school and other social situations.

Carol, you have come such along way in your short life! I didn't know that you sruggled so much in the past. I was under the impression that you were always so comfortable w/ your alopecia. You have great courage and strength, and such honesty.

Lori D., Go for it!! It was just a year ago that I wouln't even go in my backyard bald. Now, not only do I go to my backyard bald, but I also started wearing a bandana to the gym. Sometimes I even change from wig to bandana in the locker room. It gets easier w/ time :-)

Tamgirl, Good for you!!! so you followed your heart, and you made peace w/ your dad. I'm sure you tought him so much more than he ever taught you. You are so inspiring!!

Cate, It just astounds me how fixated we are on appearances. It's not like you're terminally ill or anything! Trust me girlfriend, your parents were so wrong. I really don't think that men mind as much as we think they do. My husband was so ok w/ my bald head, even before I was. It was never really an issue for him. Just learn to forgive your parents completely. Holding on to bitterness is not a good thing.

You must have felt so helpless. I'm sorry that your parents chose to keep you in denial instead of aknowledging the obvious. Maybe they felt so helpless too. I can see that you have come a long way, and you are such a groovy chic. and a brainer to boot. One of my life's goals is to be a genius. I'm still working on it! lol! What's the secret?

You're too cute!!
Thank you for your kind comments. I certainly have come a long way and it's because of this experience that I want to help others. Hence the support group I started and the book I would like to write. I will have plenty of time in my near future to devote to fellow alopecians too which I am looking very forward to. So far most of the parents I've come across have had great attitudes towards their children with alopecia but I will be available for them if they ever need advice or help speaking with someone. Sometime one has to take the hard road in life and pave the way for others who follow.
Wow you are amazing! I'm sure you know this already. You are so lucky to have parents so in tune with you and your feelings! Hope I find as much security in the future! I am working towards it but finding road blocks at every turn...still looking though!!
Thank you all for your supportive responses. As always, this site leaves me feeling more "normal", and less alone. Know what I mean?
Oh wow, where do I begin?

To start with, I come from a family where my mother's side totally believes in image -- in other words, nothing is as important as the image you present to society. My grandmother was like that, my aunt is like that, my mom is especially like that too. So although everyone in my family has been accepting of my AA (especially since I was so young when it first came out), my mother and my grandmother drilled it into me that I needed to keep my head covered at all times when I left the house. So growing up, the actions and the words were two totally different things.

My father, on the other hand, was much more liberal-minded than the rest of the family. He didn't care one way or the other if I had hair down to my knees or if I was bald as an egg for the rest of my life -- all he cared about was whether or not I was comfortable with the situation. He was more the source of me being comfortable going out in public bare and natural, just as I am, and always asked me if I couldn't bear to look at myself in the mirror every day, how would I get others to treat me as I wanted? I won't lie to you -- my parents had many fights over how I should present myself to the public over the years, and even now, at 30 years old, my mother still insists that I keep my head covered at work, in the club, anywhere that is not amongst friends and family. She has told me that I should compromise and wear my rugs when I'm dating, but because I've always rebelled against that, I won't do it and I told her so.

There have been a couple of times when I have felt ashamed of having AA, and those times seem to come more and more frequently these days, but by and large, my mother's shame has been the catalyst that has made me into the fighter that I am today. My AA is the one area where we just have to agree to disagree. I won't fight my mother on her views and opinions; rather, I just let her say what she has to say, say "Ok Momma," and go ahead and do whatever it was I was planning on doing in the first place. Kinda Mommie Dearest-like, but whatever works.
That's interesting...I feel like that too. I see all the beautiful pics on this site and think how beautiful the bald women are but when I see myself with partial growth here and there, I really don't think I look attractive...face is ok, but the actual scalp...just don't think it's attractive. The growth I've had is spattered across the scalp, mostly around the sides and is very sparse...and I'm attached to it so I don't shave it off. I kinda laugh when I see myself in the mirror...I refer to my look as that of a crazy old man.
My heart goes out to you, in my opinion, thats no way for parents to treat a child. I was diagnosed when i was 7 and was completely bald by the time i was 13.

My parents were devestated, they cried alot, they wanted to help me but they couldnt. i couldnt say the words "bald" or "wig" either, and slept with a hat on most of the time. People dont realize how hard it is when youre a kid, especially a female at the time in your life when you go through all of the special changes.



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