Saturday, October 16, 2010

It Makes Me Want To Pull My Hair Out

When I was little I had really long beautiful eyelashes. Seems like everywhere I went someone would comment on how long and pretty they were.  I also had what my family would call my favorite piece of hair; I would play with a certain strand of hair all the time; rub it, twist it around my finger and tie it in a knot.

One day when I was 10 years old my mom went to visit my Nanny Pat (my dad's mom) I decided to stay in the car because I knew it wouldn't be a very long visit. While I was waiting I got bored and somehow ended up playing with my eyelashes..I accidently pulled one out. I examined the eyelash for a long time, I guess just to see if I could figure out why everyone else thought my lashes were so great. I looked out the window and noticed my mom coming back to the car, I blew the eyelash away and we went home.

Later that night I watched as my mom and sister worked on putting one of those 1000- piece puzzles together, at some point during this I rubbed my eye and an eyelash fell out, then I pulled one out.  A few weeks later my parents noticed that a lot of my eyelashes were missing.  They asked me what happened and I told them I didn't know what had happened because I knew if I told them they would think I was crazy.

A few days later they found out what was going on, they actually took my to a shrink (see told ya they would think I was crazy.) I was dissapointed when I got there to see that there wasn't a chase lounge to lay down on like you see in the movies, there were just two chairs infront of a desk. 

Enough about the chairs, cause it's not like I would have needed them anyway since I have .my own. The lady was a freak, it seems the shrinks are always the weird ones, not the patients. She hardly wanted to discuss my problem...she was more interested in a toy she had in her office; a canister of beads that if you flipped it over and let the beads fall down to the other side it would sound like rain pouring down. FREAK!

When our session was over she called my mom into her office and told her that I was as normal as could be.  There is something seriously wrong with this woman, because there is nothing normal about pulling out your eyelashes.

Whenever someone in my family noiced me pulling they would get mad, they thought it was stupid that I was doing this; they would tell me to stop ...but as much as I wanted to, I couldn't. About once a month my dad would come up to me and look at my eyelashes to make sure they were growing back, he always told me that one day they would stop growing back.Five or six years later I found out he was right.

 For years no one seemed to know what was causing me to do this, not even doctors; until one year when my family and I went to stay at a hotel where a confrence that my mother attended every year was being held. My dad and I stayed in our room and watched TV while my mom was at the conference  We were flipping through the channels and stopped on a news program (I think it was 20/20) because they were talking about pulling out hair. I was very happy to learn that I am not the only one.

We learned that it is a disorder called Trichotillomania (Trich, for short.) More common for woman than men. Usually starts between the ages of 9 and 12. (as I said earlier I was 10.) It can also start when you are an infant. Most people pull out the hair on their head, but eyelashes and eyebrows are also common.  A lot of the time you don't even realize you are doing it. Even though you are aware that it is ruining your apperance you can't stop.

I have noticed that I normally pull if/when I am scared, stressed, mad or bored. I recently read somewhere that Trich only affects 2% of the population.

Ever since my parents learned about Trich they have been more supportive, my sister on the other hand still doesn't seem to understand and makes fun of me. She tells me all the time to just stop. You can't just stop...I wish I could stop, it's not like I want to make myself look weird with big patches of eyebrows and eyelashes missing. I hate it, it makes me look ugly. I would give anything in the world to stop, because now my eyelashes have stopped growing back and I look like a freak.

-laurenmikael

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