Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Are you a chemo patient?"

The answer is no. I'm not a chemo patient. I look it, I know. I realize that women without hair are automatically thought to have cancer, but I don't.

Today in the grocery store I was asked if I was a chemo patient. Just standing there in front of ground beef  cooler a woman asked if I had cancer. Like we had known one another for years. It's always an awkward situation. I get defensive and they feel bad trying to correct their nosiness saying something along the lines of "well it looks good on you," but not sure what that even means. 

The woman today told me she was about to go through chemo and that hair was the single most important thing a woman had. Hair could change it at any time to express ourselves or change our mood. And I know I should have felt concerned for her in this scary time, but all I could think was "yep, you're so right and I don't have that."

It would be nice to go one day without getting that question. It would be nice to have hair. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A week later

So a week has gone by and I'm feeling pretty good. Like any normal week my strange hair style was brought up, but instead of getting annoyed or frustrated I went "yea, it's pretty cool." Talk about total turn around for me. From before going "uh, yea...." and not even acting like the comment was being made to acting like maybe it's not so bad after all. I know how I feel about my appearance will take some time to overcome but this is a step in the right direction. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

A challenge for the week

I'm going to work on not being so sensitive. I know that I chose to go without a wig and that I'm no good at opening up about my trich; so I contradict myself in a way. I want to tell others about trich but at the same time I don't. This weeks challenge is to not take comments about strange hairstyles personal and to not be so sensitive. 

I can do this. It can be done, because after all "the single greatest power in the world today is the power to change." It might take some time but I can change my own views about trichotillomania and how I feel about myself. 


It starts today. I accept the challenge.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If you only had a brain...that had a decent filtering system.

While watching Project Runway tonight I comment was made, by a guy friend, about designer Andy Souths' hair or rather the lack there of. What does it matter? Who honestly gives a fuck if he wants to wear his hair like that!? It's his choice after all. If you don't like it fine; you don't have to cut your like that. But don't go talking about how bad/dumb/or ridiculous his hair looks when mine looks almost identical to that. I don't go around saying "you aren't cute" or "you should think about losing weight."  That's mean it would hurt your feelings, just the way what you said about Andy's hair hurt my feelings. It might not have been directed to me but I felt the sting. If my friend had chose to filter his comment I wouldn't be typing up this blog post and Project Runway could have been enjoyed in peace.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So very mad

I'm mad.
I'm mad that I'm judged by the lack of hair on my head.
I'm mad that I let what other people think about my appearance upset me so.
I'm mad that I let it have so much control over my life.
I'm mad that it has power over my ability to get close to people.
I'm mad at God (if there is a God) for allowing this to happen.
I'm mad that I'm terrified to have children because I don't want for them to have this horrible condition.
I'm mad that hair matters so much in society.
I'm mad that I cringe at my reflection.
I'm mad that when I hear someone say "you are pretty" that in the back of my mind a voice says "lies, lies, lies."
I'm mad at doctors and pharmaceutical companies don't recognize Trichotillomania as real medical condition.
I'm mad that I can't wear cute hair accessories. 
I'm mad that I'm ashamed of myself.
I'm mad that I have no control over this condition. 
I'm mad that I may never be considered beautiful. 
I'm mad that I may never overcome Trichotillomania.
I'm mad that I have a hard time talking about it.
I'm mad that it has to matter so much to others.
I'm mad that it matters to much to me.
I'm mad that I have a hard time being idle without doing severe damage to my appearance.
I'm mad that when I dream I have beautiful hair and when I wake up it's not there.
I'm mad that I feel like my Trich is a burden to others.
I'm mad that strangers feel they have the right to ask me about it or try to touch my head.
I'm mad that commericals for hair products bring me down a knotch.
I'm mad that I can't see myself as others see me.
I'm mad that I'm mad and I'm so very mad.

And I'm tired of being mad. I'm tired of having this anger and this frustration. I'm just tired.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My poor fingers

Sometimes I wish I was an avid needle-pointer or seamstress that did all her own stitching by hand. At least if that were the case I would have a different excuse for why the tips of my fingers are sore and often callused. I can often gauge how bad the trich is at a time by the status of my fingers. Sore and callused often means it's not going so well. When the calluses start to come off I know that I've been able to somewhat control the amount of pulling. I even paint my nails, not necessarily because I want to wear the latest nail color, but because my thumb nails will show chips or cracks from the strain of pulling. I hate chips and cracks so it makes me conscious not to put my hands near my head. 


I recently discovered a ring that spins and I know you are thinking "all rings spin around your finger." Well it's a bit different than that. The ring is a band with smaller bands around it that spin freely. They are called spinner rings, worry rings, fidget rings, and even anxiety rings. Ancient Tibetans would use these types of rings for the calming effects they seemed to have on the wearer. I was intrigued and went on the search to find my own spinning ring. I found one on etsy.com and I wear it on my left index finger. I wear it all the time. To bed. When I'm reading. Watching a movie. All those times when it seems like a need a little extra help the ring seems to be there. I can spin bands instead of pulling hair and just an added bonus it's cute. Functional and cute, you just can't beat that!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mirrors

I hate mirrors. Alot. Actually make that any reflective surface. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Relearning how to read

Dear friend, 

When I was younger I would devourer books. I would spend hours at the library to find then next perfect adventure and then couldn't wait to get home to travel to that new place or meet that new person. I enjoyed reading and it was a way for me to experience something new without having to share my secrets. However lately, over the past few years, reading has done more harm. Reading leaves idle hands and idle hands are harmful to me. So I gave up reading for pleasure and just stuck to shorter articles and what needed to be read for school. It became painful to go to the library, because I knew inside all those pages were adventures that I would never be able to experience.

Well I've said ENOUGH! 

I'm having to learn how to read again. I just finished East of Eden written by John Steinbeck and thoroughly enjoyed it. The novel is 600 pages short and at one time that would have taken me just days, this time it took me much longer. Learning to read again is tough and at times frustrating to have to stop and start, stop and start just to keep my hands away from my head. But yet it's rewarding, knowing I can control an urge even for a brief time gives me some hope. I've now got a list of novels to read and I know that it might take me a while to get through them, but it's something I want to do. I know it's something I can do.

a renewed reader,

Fleming

Friday, June 18, 2010

A beast rather than a beauty

Dear friend,

Over the past year I've worked harder than I have ever worked to come to terms with my trich and after all of that I still feel pain, anger, confusion, and disgust. I have done countless hours of research, tried to write down feelings, meditate a little, do yoga, and I even flew to Pittsburgh to attend a conference about Trichotillomania. What do I have to show for this year of dedication? Nothing, but a somewhat chubbier figure and the same bald head.

I feel hopeless and discouraged, because I'm trapped in a appearance that does not belong to me. Now I don't see myself as a beauty queen or a runway model, but when I dream, my head is full of wondrous thick hair. The lose curls bounce and float around my face. I guess almost like I'm in a commercial or movie. It's when I wake up that reality strikes its harsh blow. I'm not what I dream and I'm not what I envision myself to look like. The harsh reality, the brutal reality, of my reflection is pushed in font of me at all hours of the day (or at least that's the way it feels.)

I forget I look the way I do until someone feels the need to stare or say something. It's at that moment that I remember I'm not like everyone else and my fairytale image I have of my appearance comes crashing down around me. I can feel the glare of the bald spots, the patches of short stubby hair doing all they can to escape to a place unnoticed. But all I can do it stand there in shock, with my built up appearance in ruins around my feet. Adults come up with questions, "why would a girl your age cut her hair like that?", kids yell "you don't have any hair!", stares come from across the room: some of puzzlement, some of disgust, most of embarrassment for having been caught staring. And no matter what you call these people morons, idiots, or just plain rude the pain and hurt are still the same. A child staring at you like you are some sort of beast or an adult peering at you like the monster you appear to be, just reassures the idea that maybe I am a monster, a beast of some horrible creation.

As of late I wish that this spell would break and I would be revealed in a manor fitting for the end of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Some miraculous occurrence would take place and where a girl of sheer ugliness stood, a woman of overwhelming beauty (or at least of decent beauty) would stand. Well so much for the wishing, at least when I sleep tonight I will see my true self and maybe one day you'll be able to see my true self too.


longing for a change, 

Fleming

Sunday, April 25, 2010

can't hide the damage

the bathroom tile can't hide the damage.
a graveyard of those deemed unworthy to stay behind and grow full and long.

the sink and counter can't hide the damage. 
the now unwanted hair lies motionless, having been defeated by the restless hands.

the bedside floor can't hide the damage. 
the remnants of a lost battle reveal the duration of an urge which couldn't be stopped.

the driver side of the car can't hide the damage. 
the dangerous distraction shows the tangled mound of unlucky victims.

my reflection can't hide the damage. 
the shiny bald patches are a constant reminder of my lack of self control. 
my reflection can't hide the damage. it stares back at me sharing what others see. 
my reflection can't hide the damage, the damage that I have done, 
the damage I wish I couldn't see.