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When I was diagnosed with Alopecia four years ago, I was wor

When I was diagnosed with Alopecia four years ago, I was working in a restaurant and I had a very shallow, awful boss. I was under a lot of stress working 65 hours a week, I had inadequate roommates (including and abusive boyfriend, and my brother who sexually assaulted me and was harassing me was now stalking me at my workplace. It wasn't surprising that I would acquire a disease that causes my hair to fall out rapidly under any sort of stress. I and no one else even knew Alopecia even existed until my diagnosis so of course I was afraid because I thought there was something very serious wrong with me at first. I was going to the doctor constantly and I told my manager this. One day, he pulled me out to the restaurant patio and began to scold me. He said to me, "I need to know if you're REALLY going to the doctor because I don't know what to tell the staff or customers. The customer's and I are concerned that you will contaminate the food and disease their children." I was angry more than anything in that moment. I replied to him saying, "I have all of my paperwork in my purse about my health and my diagnosis, do you want to see it?!" He then said it wasn't necessary and began to speak calmly with me, expressing that he's just trying to keep everyone "safe" but needs to have something to tell people who ask about me. I told him to tell everyone it was Alopecia because that was what it was and I told him I would sue him if he harassed me any more about it. He never talked to me again about it but after it was all said and done, I was embarrassed and disgusted. Of course, I also felt hurt because it was bad enough to be dealing with it on my own but now people had to throw it in my face and act like I was the plague. People would even walk up to me and ask me, "What's wrong with your hair? Do you have cancer or something?" Which, even if I did, WHY would anyone walk up to a cancer patient and point it out??? Like the person wont feel bad enough but everyone has to stare, point, whisper, and call you out in front of everyone. I just will never understand people like this.

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LunaLaMoore's picture
Apr 20, 2017

@IrisElemental I know how it feels from a parental point of view ill never forget my son is special needs and we were leaving one of his doctor appointment and he had one of his tantrums and this lady was just staring in disgust and making rude comments I cried so hard I so upset I wanted to hide him from the world . I wish people understood that we can't control how we are born or what happens to us its not a choice and the least they could do is be respectful especially about something they don't understand.

IrisElemental's picture
Apr 20, 2017

Exactly. I'm sorry that woman acted that way. I wish people would just think about that simple fact that the people they come into contact with are likely going through unimaginable stress or pain. Even though people don't show it, they're all going through something. I wish people would just have respect for one another. Usually the people that end up treating people like crap despite what they're going through are the ones that expect people to coddle them when they go through the same things. People only think about themselves nowadays.

Eyni's picture
May 10, 2017

Your illustrations are amazing and your story an important one. I want to cheer you on the way you talked to your boss and told him the facts--I'm not a litigious person but lawsuit would be in order if an employer harassed someone for a health condition. I'm glad you had backbone! I'm sorry you feel embarrassed, but I completely understand why you do. I think (I'm hoping) my hair loss is only related to an extreme diet change (recommended due to another condition I have), but I get embaressed talking about it and just feel it's no one's business and that's my feeling dealing with people are actually being very kind and truly concerned about me. So, I can't imagine what you are up against, but you sound strong and I want to encourage you really live in your strength. There is absolutely nothing to feel embarrassed about. You are educating these people and their issues with your information are their problem, not yours. Wishing you the best!


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