(Repost from 7/22 as I accidentally deleted it before… also, update follows)
I’m pretty much the queen of being matter-of-fact about difficult things. My alopecia is no exception. Maybe I always had a lot of other stuff going on, but I viewed it as one thing among many. I’ve probably been guilty of the kind of minimizing a lot of alopecians hate, of the “It’s just hair” variety.
In romantic relationships, though, I never put my money where my mouth was, preferring to leave things unsaid. I think my approach was not specific to this condition, but symptomatic of my wider unease with vulnerability - a distaste for being seen with frailties or in a state of disarray. In short, I was the textbook control freak who avoided intimacy.
I’ve been with my current boyfriend for three and a half years. We have an unconventional relationship in many respects. I won’t explore those respects in detail, except to say that they made it possible to avoid the alopecia discussion. I’ve looked fine for most of our relationship, but recently my efforts have become exhausting and (to me) unconvincing, and I’ve reached my breaking point.
Many would say, and I used to think, that coming out with the situation via email would be lame, akin to breaking up with someone via text message. But I am a writer first and foremost, and this afternoon I finally sent him a damn essay with jokes and visual aids. He’s an achingly literal and neurotic, but very sweet, guy who likes time to think about his reactions to things, to be eased into change, and presentation can be everything with him. Writing is good for this, and eliminates the need for awkward conversational segues.
Anyway… stay tuned.
Things could not have gone any better, given that his initial response in text, rather than any hint of withdrawal, was actually to proclaim his affection for me, and tell me he finds me beautiful, and all of this rather passionately I might add.
I debuted my current newbie everyday wig at a showing of Atomic Blonde last night (a week after the email reveal) and my beanie at bedtime. His behavior toward me did not change in the least - in fact it may have been even more adorable than usual - though he didn't ask me a single question, medical, aesthetic, or otherwise, until this morning over brunch, and then the question was, “So, do you feel more comfortable in it [points to his own head]?” Later on in the convo, which otherwise involved me trying to spill just the right amount of wig-related FYI’s to be informative and not tedious, I told him I might shave it all soon, and he said, “Go for it.”
The takeaway is, I don't think this boy cares that much what is on my head. Which is a strange feeling that probably means I'm in an awesome relationship.
I will say there's now a heady feeling of what I can only describe as carte blanche, and I totally feel like I could get heartily addicted to matching affordable wigs with all manner of make-ups and clothes now. The end.