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Baby dreads are formed in the back, with knots forming on the sides of my head.
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Photo on 02-12-2014 at 17.28 #4

"I can't stand loops on myself. But you look so cute with them!! "
15 hours ago

Today I am just drained and mentally exhausted. My brain has so many jumbled up thoughts, that I don't even know where to start this blog at. I apologize ahead of time if this makes no sense. It could quite possibly just end up being a crazy rant of sorts.

I thought my mom would have no problem with my dreads. My whole life she's known what a creative spirit I am. She has always been my biggest supporter, and never let me down. So I didn't think to ask her if she mined if I gave myself dreads. I am 26, a grown women with a husband and a 4 year old son. I have a great job, manage to pay all my bills on time, take care of my family and pets. Basically, I have my stuff together. It wasn't always this way for me, I had a rough childhood and some pretty wild teenage years. My Mom was by my side through all of the hell I put her through, and she always had my back no matter what. Anyway, The night after I did my partial TnR's, I was at work, on a smoke break. My phone started ringing and it was my mom. While chatting a bit about nothing in particular, I mentioned to her that I finally gave myself some dreads, after wanting them for SO long. The other end of the phone became immediately silent. I asked what was wrong, and she said, "you have never disappointed me with anything you've done ever, until now." I felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart (I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but really that's how it felt). She then went on to say that she couldn't believe that I would ruin my "beautiful" hair like that. Out of our family my brother and I got the "good" hair, and he shaves his bald. How could I tie mine up in knot's? Anyway, A few days later I asked her to come out to dinner with my son and I. When she saw my dreads, I asked her what she thought. She said they looked okay the way they are, and told me to never dread my whole head. She wanted me to just leave them the way they were with my other hair still not dreaded. Today I went to her house to visit and help out in her yard for a while. I said, I'm going to dread the rest of my head, please understand that this means a lot to me. She basically made me feel like shit. I wont go into any of the details of the words she used because it's really unnecessary, but she ended with, "I will disown you if someone in public asks if you're my daughter". Another stab in the heart, and I was fighting back the tears. Once she realized that I was getting really upset she said "you do what you want, I just don't like them".

I never thought I would be so changed by my dreadlocks. I mean sure, I was expecting to change physically from them, but I never in a million years thought my dreads would change me on the inside. This was something I never could have prepared for. It's like I found myself, who I was always meant to be. I feel so truly happy for once in my life and I can't share that happiness with anyone, because everywhere I turn I have condescending attitudes and judgmental opinions.

My husband doesn't necessarily like my decision to dread, but he would never tell me not to. I know he would rather me not dread my hair, but he wont say the things my mom said. Whether he thinks the same way or not.

I wont take my dreads out just because people I love don't like them. I just wish there was some way to make my mom see past the dreads, and realize that my hair does not make me who I am. I wish she would take a minute to see how truly happy I am, and how comfortable I feel in my own skin now.

The only support I get is from a few girls at work. I just wish more people were open minded.

If anyone has been through something similar, and has any suggestions on how to deal with this, please help me. I love my mom dearly. I don't want to lose her over this, but at this point I can't go back to who I was before, for the sake of myself.


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Comment by James Turk on May 2, 2012 at 7:51pm

Good luck!!!

hair-scalp health experts
Comment by Stephani on May 2, 2012 at 5:19pm

Tara- my mom likes to say she isn't very conservative, but all signs point to yes HAHA. I've tried to educate her on the myths and what not. I don't think she was listening completely, or really just didn't want to hear it.

Valerie- You are right. She has a lot going on with her work and stress from there, which is why I'm kind of trying to stay back for a bit and not add any more stress. I feel bad for picking now when she's got that stress, to start my dreading process. I knew if I didn't finally start though that I might never.

UPDATE: I just actually talked to her on the phone and she seemed a bit better. Didn't bring dreads up, but my husband and I are taking our son and dog's over to her house (she has a huge yard) to play. So we shall see how everything goes, now that I'm almost completely dreaded. I'll update when I get home later! Keep your fingers crossed haha!

crafty crafters
Comment by Valérie on May 2, 2012 at 4:33pm

Tara is right, that is an extreme reaction.  Does she do this every time you do something she doesn't approve of?  (My friends mom does and she does it as a way to make my friend feel bad so that she caves)

It almost makes me think that there is something else that might be bothering her... is that a possibility?

dread gurus
Comment by Tara C on May 2, 2012 at 4:22pm

That seems like such an exaggerated reaction. How can someone feel so anti-dreading, particularly when it makes you happy? It's not like your mum is insanely conservative (at least, from reading this, it doesn't seem like it), so why such the hugely negative reaction? Ask her why it offends her so much and explain to her the misconceptions behind dreads, as well as the fact that it makes you feel happy, and that's what life is all about. Why would she want you to sacrifice happiness and a sense of identity?

hair-scalp health experts
Comment by Stephani on May 2, 2012 at 2:31pm

Good idea! I'll do that :)

dread gurus
Comment by ☮ soaring eagle ॐ on May 2, 2012 at 2:18pm

send the letter to your sister have your sister read it to her

hair-scalp health experts
Comment by Stephani on May 2, 2012 at 2:14pm

Thank you all so much for being so kind, understanding and helpful!! I seriously appreciate it so much!

So here's an update: I have not talked to my mom since Sunday. I've tried calling, but no answer, or returned calls. I've emailed her a letter, which I'm not sure if she read yet, and my sister has told me she's(my mom) still not happy about it all. I guess only time will tell.

crafty crafters
Comment by Nogawar on May 2, 2012 at 12:57pm

You've brought a tear to my eye. A few, really. I'm sorry your mom reacted this way. My own mother is often snarky about new things, as is my mother-in-law. I am a persistent little shit, and I am quite happy at posting useful info on their facebook walls to show them the flip side of the coin. I'm lucky in that, with them, it works. My mom was less than thrilled the last time I gushed over someone's dreads in public, so I haven't much mentioned this yet, or the fact that my 13 year old is letting his buzz cut grow out, eventually also into dreads. 

Sorry, I ramble. Anyways, be patient as your mom adjusts. Her initial reaction certainly is devastating. Educate her gently, and if you are keeping a diary about your day to day transformations, maybe share that with her. It will take time, but keep calm and dread on. ~Jen

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Comment by Sarah Weathers on May 1, 2012 at 5:19am

i understand and relate to your story. and my heart goes out to you :( i am 29 years old so yup a grown woman, and my dad has been awful about my dreads. really mean. but sometimes it does just take some time - i mean this reaction happened when i was 18 and shaved my head. i'm also COVERED in tattoos. i give a LOT for my family to digest ;) anyway - i've learned to be calm and just say something that just disarms. like "i'm really sorry you feel that way. but my hair doesn't change who i am. your reactions to my hair aren't a reflection on me, it is a reflection on you." because it is. judgmental views are not a statement about who the person is judging, it is a statement about the character of the person judging. she will come around. my parents have flipped their lids many times due to me tattooing my whole body including hands and neck... and lots of other things. and now they're over it. it took time. but it changed. it will be ok. i'm sorry. i know it hurts to hear your family being negative. i get it :(

hair-scalp health experts
Comment by Stephani on April 30, 2012 at 10:20am

HAHA Valerie, you are funny! I will just give her some time.

James- Thanks for the advice, and I'll definitely keep that in mind :)

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