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Do you remember when you first started pulling? How old were you? Where did you pull from?

In this blog post I will be responding to a question from my guided journal, My Trichster Diaries. Please feel free to share your answer in the comments below.

I feel like I've answered this a million times. So many times in fact that I have the entire moment memorized. I often wonder if every time I tell this story it changes a little bit. That's how memories work, right? I'm going to refrain from rereading what I wrote in The Trichster Diaries five years ago and just write it all again. So here I go, shutting my eyes, and letting the memories come rushing up once more...

I'm 10 years old, sitting on the bed in my parent's bedroom in our house in Northeast Philadelphia watching television while my mom is putting away laundry. We're not talking - just hanging out together in a comfortable silence. I don't notice my hand moving toward my face, I must be zoned out while watching whatever show is on the TV, but it moves toward my eyebrow. I only realize that my hand has gently pulled at my eyebrow hairs when I feel a new sensation and look down at my fingers. I'm surprised to see hairs clasped between my index and thumb. What just happened? I toss the hairs and continue watching TV.

Without even realizing it, I go back for more. I'm feeling a new sensation on my eyebrow. It feels a little itchy and tingly and for some reason my brain is telling that the only way to relieve myself from this feeling is by pulling out more hair. That's weird but it feels good so whatever, I think and continue with the behavior.

At some point I get up to look at myself in the mirror, wondering if what I'm doing has any negative consequences (it does) and I think of my cousin Deanna. Deanna is much older than me, a teenager! She has the typical 90s eyebrows which means she over-plucks them because that was what everyone is doing. The thinner the better. I think to myself, I'm like Deanna except I don't need tweezers. I just use my fingers. Lucky me.

This is the beginning of my journey with trichotillomania.


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