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Alopecia and Relationships Revisited

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful. ~Amy Bloom

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As a followup to my post Alopecia and Relationships – You Can Have Both published in 2013, I wanted to share an update with you. A revelation or a new direction in my relationship if you will.

Alopecia is Not the “In” Thing

During the time that I came along as a teenager being bald and beautiful wasn’t the “in” thing. Self esteem and hair loss didn’t mesh well  together so as alopecians, we tended to hide behind items within our comfort zones. In fact, if you will notice in the photo, the top of my head is a different shade from the rest of my body. The photographer inquired as to whether I wanted her to photoshop for consistency. Aside from the fee, I thought it best to leave things as is. My head from the forehead back is lighter than the rest of me signifying 40 years of hiding and it’s who I chose to be. It is also what I know I had to do in order to compete in a world where I could not take the chance that I wouldn’t get the job offer or have to deal with stares and whispers. Even today, while I am comfortable speaking about my experiences, you will not find me uncovered in public. At least not quite yet.

Alopecia and Relationships – All of Me

The good news is that despite everything I have endured, the one thing I know without a doubt is that alopecia does not mean that you won’t find love. I am a testament to that. In fact, the journey to a sustaining relationship has been the easiest and most rewarding of all.

Early on I failed to mention that even though I was settled down and married to someone that didn’t care about my hair loss, my brain would not allow me to walk around in his presence without some sort of covering. I couldn’t do it. It was a mental block. As the years rolled on it became a frequent conversation and a source of frustration for us both. My husband of 31 years could not figure out why I didn’t trust enough that our relationship could coexist with alopecia. I subconsciously felt that as long as he didn’t see me unveiled, then I was fine and/or I was in a safe place. I feared that would not be inadequate enough; not pretty enough; or worthy enough to show off.

In my quest to be that person that inspires, I could not possibly go before a photographer in the raw and blog about a topic as sensitive as this without concluding that I felt secure in my marriage enough to bare all in front of my husband. I called the photographer and informed her that my husband would be attending the photo session and that this was about to turn into one of the most special times of my life. She agreed and the picture in this post is just a sampling of the exhausting yet amazing day we had.

Don’t get me wrong, writing this post wasn’t easy but somehow I continue to find the strength to keep it moving. I certainly cannot turn back now.

Inspiring Others

Not too long ago, someone commented on my earlier relationship post and shared with me how much she admired me and my strength. She went on to say that it was very hard to find happiness as an alopecian. I wish her to know that it’s really not, you have to open yourself up and let it in. It’s a work in progress. It’s another ordinary day in a not so ordinary life.

Many Sides Of Frantastically Fran

While talking about alopecia has become a littler easier for me, I want you to know that I am very opinionated; love to stay up on the latest happenings; and occasionally I get a wild hair to talk about things that come to mind. I event rant every once in a while. I enjoy a good conversation about most things so give me a try sometime.

 

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