Is it better that everyone knows about your alopecia? :-|

I'm not sure about telling everone at school or not.I'm scared people might make fun and do things to make my wig fall off. There are some people who are really mean and had some suspicions before I got my wig. I'm not confident enough to tell anyone but my close friends.What do you think about this? If you are going through this situation maybe we could talk. Also if you know anything or have some helpful advice please reply to this discussion. Thanks from Kaiana,10.

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Hi Kaiana,
I went through this same thing...I lost all of my hair at age 8, (after having just a small bald spot for 2 years). I chose to hide the fact that I wore a wig. I never talked about it and I tried to keep it a secret. I think that because I kept it a secret, kids knew it was something that bothered me, so they were very mean. I think it is much better for your mental health to be open about it. I wish I was. Being afraid of people and hiding and being ashamed is no way to live. Sometimes I feel like my whole childhood was ruined because of my attitude towards it. It took me a long time to feel good about myself. I understand that it's a scary thing to share with people. But I'll tell you what, when I was in the eleventh grade and made cheerleading, I held a little meeting to tell all of the other cheerleaders about my wig and how I couldn't do certain flips because of it. I was so proud of myself for being brave that I know just doing that I got stronger. Good luck with it. When you're ready to, I think you should be open about it.
Hi Kaiana,

I totally understand why you would be afraid of telling everyone at school about your alopecia. I lost my own hair when I was 4 years old and with the exception of 7 semesters of high school (I think God was being extremely kind then to spare me the agony of AA and high school combined), I spent my entire school career enduring people making fun of me, taking off my wigs for sport, the whole nine yards. I tried my best not to let those people get the best of me, and my closest friends as well as my sister made it all worthwhile, because they were there to support me no matter what. However, the one thing that my parents also stressed to me no matter what is to never be afraid to defend yourself if necessary. If anyone tries to take your wig off or make it come off, then that is a violation of your personal space and you are totally within your rights to defend yourself by any means necessary to make them back off. I know Teacher Bogie and some others will object to that statement, but the reality is that bullying exists, and sometimes -- not often -- but sometimes parental involvement and turning the other cheek or having a witty comeback doesn't always work. (Just ask Ryan McDonald of Knoxville, TN.) My mama and my grandmama always told me when it comes to bullies, all it takes is to get rid of one and the rest will leave you alone. So my advice to you and your parents is this, from someone who has been there: If you feel comfortable telling everyone about your AA, then by all means let them know, and never be afraid or ashamed of it. If you want to do a question-and-answer session, or if your parents want to do one for the other parents, then that's great too. Always try to ignore the teasing and taunting if you can. There is a time and place for witty comebacks as well. But most importantly, remember your safety comes first. If someone invades your personal space or threatens you in any way, then you are perfectly within your rights to do whatever it takes to neutralize that threat -- so don't get into fights, but don't be afraid to finish one if it comes to that.

I hope that helps!!! =)
Hello, dear. I have been in your shoes and it isn't fun. I am 30 and have lived the majority of my life with AA. I have always worked so hard to hide it, but now as an adult I would say that my life would have been easier and more fun if I would have worked harder at being just myself. You are who you are, why hide that, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Believe that, carry it with you. The other girls are right, whatever bothers you the other kids will pick on that, but that is what they do to everyone.
I say where a wig but don't be secretive about it or just don't wear a wig.
Look up Olivia Rusk on You Tube and on Alopecia World. She is your age. She is amazing and she is becoming a celebrity because of her attitude toward her condition.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.
Carmen
thanx guys,

as kaiana has made the decision to get a freedom wig, this may give her the confidence to tell more people. she has an amazing group of friends who have been her rock at school, this means so much to myself and my husband. she will wear nothing to cover her head at home and has played in a club and school netball team this year. her alopecia hasn't held her back in this aspect, even tho one day at netball her bandana came off and she game running off the court!! she didn't want to go back on but we encouraged her to just get back out there and continue. no one said anything to her and other parents were so supportive of her for doing so (her team has made semi finals this weekend!)

we haven't encountered any real negative...... yet, but i'm sure that time will arrive and i will take with me the advice that has been given so far and go from there. i think it has been made easier for kaiana at school because i also work there, and kids may be afraid of the fact that if they are a bully, i will be there to "talk" to them! but next year she moves onto intermediate and i won't be there.
hi kaiana its jaymee, i think you should tell the othes whaen you get your freedom wig(but no pressure)because then there will be no suspitions and no one would be mean because you have me and all the girls and we would always stick up for you because we really do care and we wont to make sure you are not afraid,but if you do not want to i really do understand but i think you should
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo jaymee,10
I think everyone situation, culture and environment is different and therefore you have to follow your gut feeling. My daughter started middle school this year and has meet a bundle of friends, she wears her piece, and I dont feel like had she not worn it would she be welcomed the same way. Already the school year has been great but kids will be kids and they joke and tease but it it for other things besides her hair because no one knows, and she is one HAPPY child, and as long as she is happy I dont feel as if exposing her other wise should be done.
Kaiana,

I lost my hair at 4, now 50. I know you think that is old, but believe me, we all go through what you are going through. I found if I lied about it, the kids wanted to prove they were right, therefore it would be pulled off or made fun of. When I was 13 my dad gave me some of the best tough love a father could give. "The truth shall set you free." I know you are too young to understand that, but what that means for you and me? If we are honest and say, "Yes, I am bald and wear a wig," the less likely we will give the others control. Once I was truthful and didn't hide from it, I still had some that were mean, but the majority were cool about it. If you would like to read more or your mom is interested, please visit my site. www.iwearawig.com. Good luck little one. It only gets better, I promise! You are too beautiful to let anyone get you down.
Kaiana! Brave young lady that you are! Well, I'd love to tell you that every kid in school that you meet will care about you and accept you for who you are, regardless of your alopecia, but that's not true. The thing is though, as an adult now who had a really hard time in school being teased by other kids, some kids will treat you crummy because they are not comfortable with themselves. You can't change that, and you can't change them, but what I've learned is...you don't need to. That's not your purpose, and those types of people are going to always be there somewhere.

What I have found is the absolute truth in the world is this: The people who really love you and care about you could care less that you have alopecia. You are beautiful and wonderful to your close friends and family just as you are. The second, and most important truth is this: You must be who you are no matter what, love who you are no matter what, and good things will come to you.

So, that means - if you feel comfortable telling everyone about your alopecia, do it. If you are not comfortable telling them, then don't. What I have learned just recently (and I'm 33 yrs old!!) is that I've only felt comfortable telling people about my alopecia as my comfort level with myself grew. When I was still trying to accept myself, and accept that I had alopecia, I didn't feel as comfortable telling people. But, just three weeks ago I shocked myself and told some co-workers that I had only known for about a week, and it felt comfortable to me.

You are still growing (me too), and as you grow and become more comfortable with your alopecia and yourself, you'll figure out for yourself who you can trust with that knowledge. Just don't rush your own growing process - your feelings of wanting to tell only close friends is 100% normal, and that's precisely what I did when I learned I had alopecia. I didn't tell anyone, and wore a wig for several months to try and hide it. Now, I don't wear a wig anymore. But, this is all a part of the growing process, and that's a phase I had to go through to become the woman that I am now. Cherish your growth - the butterfly does, and if butterflies rushed through their own growth, they might never turn out to be as beautiful or as strong.

The best part of all of this anyway? I think life follows the 80/20 rule. 80% of the people you meet are going to be pretty OK or cool people, and they are going to accept you for who you are or just be indifferent, and the other 20% you probably won't want to bother with anyway. The key is to focus on that bountiful, wonderful 80%, and forget about the rest. Good luck Kaiana!
In my experiences meeting women all over the country..some who had AA since childhood and others as adults I can tell you that living in secrecy with the anxiety of "what if" is not a normal way to live. People who do that, especially young women, are shortchanging their lives.

It is this...no one ever regrets telling other people about having AA. They only wish they had done it sooner and normalized their lives.

When you have it in your mind that you want to be open and nonchalant about your condition, you'll be pleased and surprised to realize just how many opportunities arise where you can bring it up. The key is to take 100% control. FIRST decide that you deserve to live fully without anxiety and without secrecy and SECOND you take control of how and when you mention it.

When you're fully in control, the expectation of negativity doesn't exist. However, if you or your family live with trepidation and expect negativity around the next corner, you will encounter negativity.

In alopecia as in life, attitude is everything. Women especially are perceived as particularly attractive when they appear confident...and hair has nothing to do with it at all. I walk regularly through the most public of places like airports with my bald head....and total strangers gush nothing but admiration and compliments. When your core value is that it makes no difference what other people think and you have no interest in even surmising what they think, you're on your way to living a complete life.

You have choices: you can either live your life reactive to other people or you can live your life totally in charge. That's one of the key elements to Bald Girls Do Lunch that hugely differentiates it from any kind of old-style traditional support...the kind that makes people feel worse, not empowered. I not only promote endless choices in how women look day to day even hour to hour...I'm giving women the tools and strategies to quickly assess their personal options and refine their core values....that they deserve nothing less than to live a complete life devoid of secrecy or shame.
hi :D i think you should first get along with almost everyone, and then let them all know.
so that people dont find out at the wrong time and try to pull off your wig [which almost happened to me]
i always had social problems, HMM I WONDER IF ITS BECAUSE NO ONE LET ME PLAY OUTSIDE WITH MY FRIENDS.
and i dont usually talk to people at school. it is wayy outa my comfort zone.
and i dont smile at them.
i dont like them at all.
and then this dumb kid asked me if it was a wig when i was walking toward the bus.
shes a tattletale [or whatev it is] like the little kids in kindergarten. im in liek junior high now and she still does that.
i have know clue how she got this far in school.
im gonna just tell everyone shes deformed, like she said about me.

but i think its just scary what you're going thru.
you should be like
"i have alopecia, im bald, yes i have a wig, and i will laugh at you when you're old and bald"
even though that makes people mad, they might learn to not mess with you.
i talk really quiet at school, but if i can do it, you definately can.

hope you can have the best school year :D :D
and that u feel comfortable after a while with your wig and your selfff.
and that people dont annoy you because of it, because remember, if they make fun of you, they are insecure and they are jealous that they cant change their hair as much as you can change yours :D
- nessuh
In the past I have only told those whom I thought would not reject me, many times I have been right, but on occasion I have been wrong. I did not tell a single soul the first 10 yrs (other than family who knew) after it happened. The first person I did tell, I simply laid an article I had found in a magazine in front of her and told her, this is my medical issue if you care to read. Then walked away. After a few minutes she came to me crying, telling me she had no idea. That was over 20 yrs ago and she is one of my dearest friends to this date.
Hey everyone
thanks for the replys!
from Kaiana

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