I Am Not My Hair – My Story

I have read many inspiring stories and each time it gave me an extra push to share my own. My sole purpose behind this blog was to do so and I still haven’t until now. I am doing this thing where I am focused on pleasing myself and doing things that will make “ME” happy. I can’t live with knowing that I can probably inspire someone but I am doing nothing about it.

Every single person is born with a different path, a different story, and a different purpose. Whether you believe in God or a higher power my belief is that everything that happens during the span of your lifetime was meant to be. You can’t change what happens, you can only change how you as an individual deal with those minor setbacks or issues you may have faced. Life is a very special and beautiful thing but death is inevitable. Some are meant to be here for years while some are only meant to be here for days, weeks, months or even seconds. It doesn’t matter how long you are physically here on earth but what matters is the legacy you leave behind and how people remember you. To be able to make a difference in the world or in somebody else’s life is something I find joy in. This is a beautiful but also selfish world, many people are not focused on helping anybody but themselves but having that “every man for himself” mentality won’t get you very far. When I leave this world I want people to be able to remember my name and to know that I was able to  make a change in somebody’s life. I hope with my own experiences that I can inspire another. Writing is the only true way that I can express myself and this is me sharing a part of myself that people don’t get to see on the surface.

First and foremost, I would like to give a not so brief background of myself and my whole inspiration behind wanting to start a blog.

I always seem to have a hard time talking about myself because I never really have to. The only time you are required to talk about yourself are in school essays or interviews or when somebody is first getting to know you. It’s hard to flat out say what you like or your strengths/weaknesses, I have to actually sit and think about these things. I know I am insecure about a lot of things but we have to learn to love ourselves because if we don’t then who will, but to love yourself you have to know who you are as a person and what makes you “you”.

You have to learn to accept yourself and learn that nobody is perfect. I know that I was obviously made this way for a reason. I feel like I have to learn to be more outgoing because I lose out on a lot of opportunities due to my shyness. I have to learn to communicate better because I find it hard to verbally express how I feel and I have to motivate myself to share my feelings. I guess that’s because I fear rejection and being toyed with but who doesn’t? I love that I’m a leader and have never been one to follow a crowd. I make my own decisions and at the end of the day I have to live with those. I know what I want out of life but I question the meaning of life often,  “why am I here”, “why was I put on this earth”, we live to die and although I don’t know the meaning of life I plan to get the most of it and I won’t settle for anything less than success.

I love the quote “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, I think that’s what people do a lot with me. From the outside I may look like the happiest person (not to say that I had the worst childhood) I didn’t at all. Everything happens for a reason and I believe God put me through the things he did so I could eventually talk about it and share with others and help those who may be dealing with the same thing. People think they know everything about you, sometimes they think they know more about you than yourself but really they know the things you choose to tell them. But finally here it is. You are not obligated to read anything but any negative comments you can kindly keep to yourself, thanks.

Growing up I was never the rowdy type, I was quiet and shy but I was so outgoing. I used to be involved in so much from playing in the school band to being in student government. I never had to get into altercations from the environment I lived in at the time. From Pre-K to 2nd grade I went to Ludlow Elementary and had to go back from 6-8th. I  didn’t want to go back but since we moved I had no choice.. To rewind some, when I was younger my mom used to do my hair in different styles and would braid it but my head couldn’t take the pulling which caused it to start falling out. I was young  so I paid no attention to it and no one ever said anything about it so neither did I, it was never an issue for me. For the most part I had hair it was just my edges, they were completely gone, but like I said it was never an issue I was young. When we moved back to North Philly and I went back to Ludlow things changed, different people unorganized school, ignorant kids and I can recall every single thing that happened:

One day I was in gym and my mom used to braid my hair and put it In a side ponytail to hide one side of my edges, one side was always worse than the other. She used to try everything to get it to grow back but it got to a point where nothing worked. It did grow back some because it’s not as bad as it used to be but she took me to the dermatologist and they said I had “Alopecia Areata” or “Traction Alopecia” basically the same thing they both are conditions which causes hair loss, either full hair loss or partial. I never claimed it because I refused to be treated like I was sick and didn’t want people to sit around and throw a pity party. Apart from that I am perfectly healthy the average person couldn’t tell that anything was wrong with me. I found out I had that, it’s no cure to it but I still keep hope that maybe one day something good will happen, people who have it could get cortisone shots but that’s a process I rather not go through. I am grateful  because some people who have it are completely bald to the point where they don’t have hair anywhere, no eyelashes, eyebrows nothing at all so I really can’t complain.

One day I was in gym playing rope and one of the girls (I won’t say any names throughout this) but my mom used to put this strong grease in my hair and I guess she smelled it so she came over and was like “that’s you?” Then she lifted up my ponytail and started laughing so I brushed it off but these girls were supposed to be my friends (main reason I don’t have many now). After gym the class was walking back over this boy decides to yell “Breyana, they said you got a bald-spot!” of course everyone starts laughing but I still brushed it off. You don’t understand how it felt to go to school every day after that and just be a target of humiliation it’s so hard when you try to be strong but all you really want to do is break down.

Bullying really affects people in different ways and lucky for them I wasn’t one of those who let it get the best of me. This is the main reason behind me wanting to be a motivational speaker on bullying alongside my career. They humiliated me so bad I used to cry all the time to the point I feared going to school because I didn’t know what they would do. They would mess with my hair just so they could see and make the class laugh they would put my ponytail in the middle of my head and point and laugh. I remember one day I was in the corner store minding my business and one of the girls mothers said “She looks sick with all of those bald-spots in her head” I was literally standing right there she didn’t care and I never told my mom this happened because I know she would have snapped. I just stopped running and crying to my mom after a while because I felt it was nothing she could do, they were going to mess with me regardless.

One day we were in school and somebody had took there weave out and it was some on the floor so this boy was like “look Breyana you can glue this to your edges” and one day he told the girl I was going to sneak in her house while she was sleep and cut her edges off and glue them to mine. They were very ignorant, another time we were in class and somebody was drawing a picture and after they were done they started naming the people in the picture so they said one was me so they was like “Oh no if that’s Breyana you got to make a bald-spot” they all got into a circle, I couldn’t see what they were doing but when they were done they had erased the sides of the hair… I cried. I cried because I was fed up, after a while it just becomes sickening and of course they all pointed the blame at the next person because they felt bad and tried to hug me and make me feel better but the damage was already done. They messed up my self esteem bad. Some days I would just cry myself to sleep and pray that it all would stop I could have killed myself, I thought about it but it was a just a thought. I love myself too much to result to that but I wrote about it instead because it made me feel better. Some days I think I still need a therapist to talk to, I’m fine now but sometimes I want to vent to someone who doesn’t know me. I used to walk down the street with my head down because I feared that the wind would blow too hard and expose me and now I really don’t like for people to touch my hair, I get really paranoid and it’s a automatic defense. I hate going to hair salons because people just stare but a lot of other stuff happened, they constantly messed with me on an everyday basis.

One time while playing a jeopardy game my team was winning and the other team kept losing points for talking so somebody from the losing team was like “having a bald spot should be 50pts off” and one time I won this shopping spree and somebody was like that’s not fair people with no edges don’t deserve to win or something along the lines of that. The girl was like “Breyana always get picked with that big ass bald-spot and of course everybody started laughing. Another time one of the girls told her friend she had a bald-spot on the side of her head and she was like “No I don’t I’m not like Breyana” so I was like it’s not even a bald-spot so there you go (thought I was tough), she said then what is it I said don’t worry about it that’s when she was like “don’t get mad at me cause you got a bald-spot”. One time this boy in the 8th grade, I probably was in the 6th, was like “damn little girl you got that big ass bald-spot on the top of your head” then he was like “when you grow up you bet not have no boyfriend taller than you because he going to be like damn old lady. Then when I got home my cousin was like “I just noticed that when he said it, it do look like you got a bald-spot” I used to stay in my room because I didn’t want to deal with anybody it was always the same BS but after a while, after they got tired of always messing with me it died down some but that will always stay with me it’s just something I can’t get over. I still get mad about it because they picked on me because of something I had no control over I didn’t ask to not have hair and I was never a person that wore weave it just happened but some people don’t look at the bigger picture or try to take your feelings into consideration because they are too busy trying to be funny. I forgave them though every last one of them because I let karma handle it and I thank them, because of them I am going to be wealthy one day, they only motivated me to do better. I never needed acceptance from outsiders and I never will I am who I am and I will always remain me. My hair doesn’t define who I am it’s just an extra accessory to my beauty. .. I always try to tell people never take anything for granted and appreciate what you do have while you still have it. This is me and that’s all I can ever offer to the world you either take it or leave it. I can sit back and laugh at some of these things now because I’m comfortable in my own skin. All I ask is that you think before you speak to people because you never know how something can affect them and you never know what’s going on inside of their head.

Be Blessed and Stay Humble. – B.P.

My good Tumblr friend Sam allowed me to share her story as well: Letting Your Flaws Empower You – Sam’s Story

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