Things They Can’t Say: Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama

Though “Things They Can’t Say” is more of a play off of my blog name than actually things the guest bloggers can’t say, sometimes my guest for the week gets inspired to share something that makes them a little nervous, as is the case with this week’s. But I know y’all will be super supportive as you meet Delilah from Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama.
I wonder what goes through the minds of people when they see me. Do they see a happy, fun loving, and carefree woman? Or do they see beneath the facade to the effects of the life long genetic condition that has become my curse? When I look in the mirror all I see is what I so desperately try to cover up in any way possible. I hate going out in public because I never know if people can see what lurks underneath the layers of carefully applied make-up. Nobody has ever asked about my condition but I almost wish they would, instead of just staring and wondering. Or even worse, pointing and whispering.

 

I’ve never talked about my battle with Hirsutism before and I honestly never thought I would talk about it in such a public way. I’m tired of hiding, I’m tired of worrying that someone will see truth in one of the pictures I post on my blog. I’m tired of wondering if every person I see when I’m out with my family is wondering what is wrong with me. If I saw you on the street and noticed you staring, these are the things I wish I could say to you.

 

My condition is called Hirsutism. It is a genetic condition that causes an excess growth of facial hair in women. I have suffered from the physical and emotional effects of this condition since my early teens and trust me when I tell you that early teens is the worst time to be afflicted by any kind of a noticeable disorder. Whoever invented the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” was a liar. Words hurt and worst of all, cruel words stick with you for the rest of your life. Through out high school I was called the worst names, made fun of incessantly, and driven to tears nearly every single day.

 

I have tried every facial hair removal product and procedure that is available. I have had laser hair removal on my face 3 times and each time, the hair just grows back. I wax, I use creams and now, as my condition worsens, I shave. Every morning while I take my shower I have to shave parts of my face.  The stubborn, coarse hair along my jaw line, chin and neck is the main source of my constant social anxiety. If I do not remove the hair that grows rapidly in these areas I would have a full 5 o’clock shadow by the end of the day.

 

There is no cure for this condition. I could just embrace it and choose to join a traveling carnival as The Bearded Lady, some days I think that would be easier. Acceptance tends to be automatic among the carnival folk but I would still have to face the world. I worry every time I leave the house that my make up might not hide the appearance of the hair growth that happens all day long. I worry that my children might get teased for having a mom with such a socially unacceptable problem. Or even worse, that one of my girls might inherit this condition from me. How can I teach them to accept themselves if I cannot do the same? How do I teach them to stand tall and brave in the face of criticism and teasing when I myself find it hard to do either?

 

I tell my story today for a purpose, for a greater good. I want you to be kind to the people who cross your path. You never know what battle they are fighting or what demons are haunting them. You never know how deeply the stare that lasts just a moment too long can wound or how the whispered tones behind my back make me hate myself a little bit on that day. I would much rather you ask me a question so I can share my story with you.

 

These are things I wish I could say.

That paragraph about her writing this for the greater good is so powerful, isn’t it? Please some Delilah some comment love here and then go follow her blog.  You can also find her on facebook and twitter.

Comments

  1. says

    Pouring your heart out …. and my heart wants to hug you. So sad you feel so trapped …
    The upside of the internet is that you have made friends out here that love you for the you that you are, the one you share – and when you meet us, we will just be so busy squeeing and loving on you –  and hoping you don’t notice my wrinkles and my second chin, oh yes and that hairy chin the fertility drug lords gave me, and the lbs on my ass that won’t go away.
    OK, so I don’t know what to say to make you feel better – so a virtual hug will have to do for now xxxxx
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Paying your kids.My Profile

    • says

      You know, I am overwhelmed by the support and love of the friends that I’ve made in the blogosphere. Anyone who says “internet friends” can’t be real friends doesn’t know how powerful these friendships can be. And you said exactly the right things to make me feel better just by being you. Thank you :)
      Delilah recently posted..What’s Cookin': Layered Chocolate Eclair CakeMy Profile

  2. says

    Thank you for your honesty. I am sorry that you have to go through this, though I am positive it has made you a stronger, more accepting person. Your strength shines through in this post.
    Cindy Bryl recently posted..AmenMy Profile

  3. says

    How brave of you to share this over here.  I’m sorry you are cursed with your condition.  I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, and that is one of the symptoms.  I, thankfully, do not have that symptom, but I am constantly analyzing my face, scared that it might one day show up.  Big ((HUGS)) to you.
    Kmama recently posted..Proud Mommy Moments: Being a MomMy Profile

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing this, and you are so right about not knowing what battles people are facing. I have hair issues myself and am constantly fighting against it. Hugs to you.
    KeAnne recently posted..Voyage of the DamnedMy Profile

  5. says

    Oh, Delilah, I just want to hug you. I want to hug you and punch all of those idiots that made you cry, that judged you for something you can’t control, for something that you’re already self-conscious over. Why oh why do people have to point fingers? We all have something that makes us insecure, and the sooner we realize that and stop pointing out other people’s flaws, I think we’ll be happier. 

    Thank you for your courage and honesty. You’re beautiful in every way. 
    Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy recently posted..Mouse-Earing the PagesMy Profile

  6. says

    Your anguish really comes through in your writing (when you want it to), and my heart goes out to you. You are a great friend – supportive, funny, caring, open, accepting – all the important things. I hope to meet you one day irl, and I agree with ByWord of Mouth Musing – there will be so much squeeing and jumping up and down that we’ll both just be a blur anyway (until the bouncing causes one or more of my jelly rolls to knock you down). xoxo
    hollow tree ventures recently posted..Kitchen Fail (aka Why It Takes Me Two Hours To Ruin Dinner)My Profile

    • says

      All you guys are making me weepy today with your love and support. Thank you. And if my jelly rolls hit your jelly rolls do they cancel each other out? I’m not good at physics….xo

  7. says

    How brave and courageous you are to step out from the hiding and say, “This is me. I am tired of living in fear of being found out.” I know it is scary but you sound beautiful to me. I am sorry that you have to deal with this and I wish I could give you a big hug. “How can I teach them to accept themselves if I cannot do the same?” Such a powerful question that every mom faces with one issue or another. I will definitely be checking out your blog.
    AnnMarie recently posted..Raising a TeenMy Profile

  8. says

    How brave of your to write about this. I can only imagine that the teen years were horrible. You bring up a very good point that we don’t know what the people we pass on the street are going through, physically or emotionally. The world would be a better place if all of us were a bit kinder to everyone we meet.
    Patricia P recently posted..The Kind of Mom I AmMy Profile

  9. says

    You’re amazingly brave for sharing this, Delilah. I’m sorry that people have been so judgmental about your appearance – it’s not a reflection on you, it’s those who judge.

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..The RaceMy Profile

  10. says

    We all have something.  All of us.  Some of try to hide our insides and some our outsides. It’s so hard.  And oh I wish I could reach through my screen and give you a hug because I’m sure you make an amazing friend.  Because you get it.  You get that we all have something and that judging helps no one.  Know you’re wonderful.  Show confidence in how wonderful I’m sure you are.  And hopefully people will see right through what you want to hide.

    xo
    Becca recently posted..ON BEING A MOMMy Profile

  11. says

    This is something I try to teach my boys – that everyone is different – and I encourage them to be curious. we met some strangers in the mall, i think it was the food court, and a little boy was in a wheel chair. after a bit of conversation, my son asked me why – and I looked at the mom in question, she nodded. So I told my son to ask the little boy. Then we all just watched 2 little men have a conversation about legs not working but that his arms are strong and that he loves to play basketball. The boy and the mom seemed happy to talk about it – like you said – instead of it just going unsaid, with curious looks.

    so.

    i hope your daughters learn the same – and i will continue to do my part with my boys – for the greater good.
    MommaKiss recently posted..ExhaleMy Profile

  12. says

    This is why I fell in love with Shell’s blog…moments like this. Moments where you can let it all come out and be open and honest and people will hopefully learn something from it or carry it with them and share it with someone else.
    I think your words were beautiful and I think that speaks more about you than anything else.
    Kristen recently posted..The Tail of Two Lobsters (Pun Intented)My Profile

  13. says

    Delilah, you are awesome! Thank you for sharing your story and your heart with all of us. I already thought you were amazing but I think you are that much more amazing after reading your story. Thank you for sharing heart with us. 

  14. says

    There is beauty in everyone and in everything. Thank you for so bravely sharing your story.  It is a wonderful reminder to all of us. Everyone does indeed have a battle or demon to face. We must remember that in every encounter. 
    Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. recently posted..I can’t say that!My Profile

  15. says

    Often I consider how unfortunate it is that our society places such emphasis on how we look. We are so focused on looks that cosmetic surgery is the number 1 medical procedure performed in the U.S. Sad.  That said, it doesn’t make it any easier for you to deal with your condition. From what I’ve learned of you through the blogging community I sense you are a very beautiful person who cares for her kids and her community. I’m sorry you have to deal with strangers staring at you, rather than approaching and entering into conversation. I will do just that when I happen upon someone that causes me to look. Thanks to your brave writing!
    stephanie recently posted..There’s Something Happening Here…My Profile

  16. says

    I have the same condition and also have to shave my face daily, so I really appreciate your ability to say the things that I have never been able to bring myself to say. You are brave and wonderful.
    Tara recently posted..Isn’t That PinterestingMy Profile

  17. says

    I do hope you felt a burden lift by sharing.  THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE – it’s the way it works. I’m so sorry you feel uncomfy with your ‘different-ness’….I’m sure you are beautiful on the inside and that’s what really counts. I once had a brain tumor removed – one eye didn’t blink for months afterwards, and I had to wear a clear patch over it so I would get nothing in it.  I learned much about myself…and others…during those months. I remember walking into a crowd and folks would see me and turn away.  WOW!  I learned NOT to do that and I still  always try to look at someone in the eye, no matter what they look like on the outside.  May you cross paths with more accepting people and learn to the let the inside shine outside….more each day.  Thanks for sharing.  You are strong and courageous for sharing.  May God bless you in great ways. 
    The Better Baker recently posted..{Sugar Free} Strawberry Cheesecake & Weekend Potluck #17My Profile

  18. says

    I am so glad you shared this today, over the past 2-3 years I developed hair on my chin, a part of my neck and sideburns and I have to shave it because I don’t know what else to do.  Mine isn’t as bad as yours and I was fortunate not to go through school but I know how it feels to hope no one notices or if you forget to shave and you are already out, it’s all you think about.  The razor burn and assuming everyone can tell.  It’s hard, it’s so hard and you are so brave to write about this.  
    stephanie @ babe’s rockin’ mami recently posted..Walking. Seriously, just walking.My Profile

  19. Jeanie says

    It’s hard to write authentically when you feel as though you’re hiding a big part of yourself.I have to shave it because I don’t know what else to do.  Mine isn’t as bad as yours and I was fortunate not to go through school but I know how it feels 
    Jeanie recently posted..PR Agency DevonMy Profile

  20. says

    Right on brave woman!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad to see someone have some guts to come out in the open. I have a skin condition too and for the longest time just wished I was like everyone else. But guess what? No one has the perfect situation. I will take my skin condition over their problems anytime. Thanks for sharing. I’m so proud of you stranger. :)

  21. says

    I think you are an incredibly brave person!  You carry a heavy burden…but your sharing will help someone!  It will make me a more compassionate person because your words will be in my head the next time I see someone with a visual struggle.  Thank you for sharing something so difficult with me.

  22. says

    firstly, I love your name! I adore Delilah and always thought I’d name a daughter that…alas, I married a man with a wobbly awkward last name and so our children are all one syllable…
    anyway…
    wow…I can’t even imagine….and middle school kids are awful, I remember…
    Thanks for sharing…
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..I’m So Pretty Thanks to Sibu Beauty!My Profile

  23. says

    Great condition *insert sarcasm* right? I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome and have this lovely symptom. I feel your pain – and your fear. I find myself checking out my daughters face for anything that might be a clue to if she has it … she’s 2! Yes, it is a curse – but you are a stronger woman for having shared.
    Sara recently posted..Time to Share The LoveMy Profile

  24. says

    Thank you so much for your openness. “You never know what battle they are fighting or what demons are haunting them. ”  That is so true, and a good reason to always lead with kindness.
    Writing, sharing the deepest parts of ourselves – these all help bring about discussion, understanding, and hopefully less judgement.
    You’re remarkable. 
    Jenni Chiu recently posted..One mother to another.My Profile

  25. says

    Oh Deliliah, how very brave you are to share your story. My very good friend is currently going through something similar and is trying electric hair removal to hopefully kill those pesty hair follicles. 
    You are so right, we don’t know what battles others are fighting! 
    Jackie recently posted..Mother Knows BestMy Profile

  26. says

    So brave of you to share this with the world. I have heard of the term before but didn’t really know what it meant. I hope, that by sharing this people will learn about it and get educated. And I hope, that maybe someday a cure will be found.
    Susi recently posted..Mother’s Day… a recapMy Profile

  27. says

    Wow Delilah, what an incredible post. I had never heard of Hirsutism before, and I am so sorry to hear about the taunting you endured in middle school. My facial hair issue didn’t show up until after I had kids, but it really makes me feel so self conscious, so I hear you loud and clear sister. In fact making fun of myself first about it (with the avatar, etc.) is my go-to coping mechanism! I too tried 3 laser treatments and it didn’t work. I was supposed to go for 5, but I was discouraged and couldn’t afford the expense. Maybe we should try to get a group rate and get those extra two treatments together?! And I agree with Nicole and Robyn, when we meet, we’ll be so busy hugging that we won’t notice the hairy faces…unless our beards get tangled, which is a very real possibility. Love and high fives on your bravery, powerful writing, and true beauty. ~ Leslie
    Leslie recently posted..How to Find Great Hotel Deals with DealAngelMy Profile