Trichotillomania is hurting my relationship with my family?
Um this is something I'm very new with but I kinda just need to rant to literally anyone. I'm just so done with my family I'm just at my limit where I just hide in my room all day to avoid them, minus my mom who seems to be the only supportive person in my family. Also I'm sorry but this may be pretty long... Well, here goes nothing.
So, here's basically my whole life story:
I have trichotillomania, a compulsive disorder where you pluck hairs from your body. It can literally be any or all hairs that you pluck. As for me, I was cursed to pluck out my eyebrows and eyelashes. This disorder can also cause depression which I'm sure I don't have but I do find myself thinking to just give up on life once in a while, which is stupid because I have life pretty good compared to some people who are suffering more than I.
I believe it started around when I was in third grade; it was one winter break and I had the bright idea that I should cut my eyelashes in order to make them longer. My friend had told me that's what she did in order to get longer eyelashes so in my head, I thought it was a great idea that I should start doing that too. Well, I chopped my eyelashes off with my handy safety scissors and they were all gone. Nothing but little stubs of hair were left. When I showed my mom she was horrified with what I had done, whoops.
And that, fellow readers, is how I began plucking. After that incident I would look at myself in the mirror and I got so fascinated. I would lift my eyelid and look at all the tiny hairs, some longer than the others and then some of them were these really thick, black eyelashes. You see, I love plucking those the most, they gave you a challenge and they felt so relieving when you finally managed to pluck them out.
Anyway, I started plucking my eyelashes and I remember my parents didn't pay any mind to it, they probably just thought my eyelashes were still growing from when I cut them. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. My parents soon found out of my nasty habit and of course, they were mortified.
This was just the beginning, however. They thought they just needed to punish me in order for me to stop. They took away my tv rights, my video game rights, basically everything that entertained me. My mom wasn't as hard on me as my dad though.
(As a mental note, I should probably add that my dad has had a hard life where he had an abusive step father and grandfather that would beat him while his mom just watched it happen. ) please don't think my dad is a bad dad or person for what I say, I love him a lot and I know he was just trying to look out for me but he just did it in a manner that wasn't really compatible with me.
This went on for about a year and during this time I was struggling slightly in school because I wasn't naturally as smart as most of my class and I had to try really hard to keep up. I got really good grades, surprisingly and my dad was always happy to see A's and B's all the way down my report card. And one time when he said how proud he was of me I realized that I need to try as hard as I can in school because this is how I was going to impress him and make him proud.
Then... The dreaded day came where I was on the computer after being scolded for plucking my eyelashes for the umpteenth time. I was so angry at myself I was like, 'Just go pluck your damn blanket or... Or....'. And then, it hit me. I could just pluck my eyebrows because that hair would never disappear unlike eyelashes. Yep... I was that stupid. I plucked my whole left eyebrow away and when I looked in the mirror, I just broke down crying.
My mom was the one to see me first thankfully and she just kept asking why I did it and how did you manage this and blah blah blah. She drew on my left eyebrow and since that day, I haven't had any eyebrows that weren't drawn on.
This just got worse from here. I think it was about a two year span where my dad just got fed up with my crap and started to seriously try to get me to stop plucking.
Everyday he would look at me and shake his head in disappointment while looking at my eyebrows and eyelashes, looking at the damage I had done that day. But I would play it off, smiling and pretending not to notice his stare, but inside I would cry. I would excuse myself and run to my bedroom and just cry while looking in a mirror, wanting my eyelashes and eyebrows to just magically appear back on my face as if this whole thing was just a weird, screwed up dream.
But it seems as though I'm still dreaming to this day then.
The second worst thing my dad has ever done to me is slapped me across the cheek when he did his daily check of my eyelashes. I cried for days after that even though he had apologized to me two minutes after he hit me.
The worst thing my dad has ever said to me was such a simple sentence but it held so much meaning in it. Let me just say now that I am doing great in school, not to brag or anything, but I get straight A's so that my dad will be proud of me and my parents will be impressed of me. On top of that I also play two sports at rep level and I don't cause much trouble for my parents even though I'm a teenaged girl whose supposed to be going through the 'rebellious stage'.
Well... One day my dad told me that I was an embarrassment to me and my mom. He didn't tell it like he usually would, he said it so softly and I would've preferred it if he had screamed it at me. He meant it. He really meant that I embarrassed him. I still cry over that, even to this day. My dad continued to stare me down like a hawk until my mom and dad decided to finally out me in thereapy and I was actually glad.
The lady I talked to helped me figure out what my plucking was called and helped me tell my dad how I felt. After my therapy sessions I thought my dad understood my position but even to this day he still cringes sometimes when he sees my face but he's getting better.
Now, through all this I have a brother, two years younger than me. He's a brat and gets into way too much trouble and couldn't care less about school and god knows how many times he seen yelled at by both my mom and dad about doing his damn homework.
To prove how crappy he really is he literally got in trouble with the police for trying to break into a house to get water and for stepping on flower beds with his friend.
My brother makes my life so much worse. He likes to assume everything, so if you let him do something once, he assumes he can always do it. He also likes to blame other people for his mistakes and his ego and pride are so big that even if you accused him of something simple he would lose his crap on you.
I'm not going to go into detail about all of our fights but let me tell you that he's a horrible person to me. He's called me so many things like 'psychopath', 'fat', 'ugly', but the most hurtful thing he keeps saying to me is 'at least I don't pluck my eyebrows like you.'.
And just like that I would have uncontrollable tears run down my face and he seems to get pleasure from seeing me cry because he just smiles and he knows he's won. I hate my brother. Even my parents don't care anymore with our arguments, they're too used to hearing me and my brother fight.
My brother steals my stuff, uses my weaknesses against me and tries to attack me every damn day of my life it just makes me want to beat him up and ship him to the other side of the world.
However, today was the last straw. I had asked my brother to stop cutting his hair in the bathroom or at the very least clean up his hair because there was literally hair in every sink and in the bathtub. It's so gross and I couldn't even wash my face without getting hair on my hands.
So instead of saying sorry he freaking says that my hair is all in the shower drain and that that's gross. First, that's in a gosh darn drain. Second, that's a normal place for the hair of a girl with Scottish hair would be. So in short: we got into an argument. That's fine, I'm used to arguing, but then he said it to me.
"At least I don't pluck my eyebrows like you."
And that was it. I couldn't punch him or hurt him so instead, I wrote him a note, trying to make him understand my position and that when he says that crap, it hurts a lot.
He didn't understand. And I knew he wouldn't.
He wrote me a letter back saying 'Really, it's hair, idiot."
I wrote back saying that he's the worst and I told him to die. A bit harsh but I'm literally at my wits end.
He wrote back saying that he's had it rough too and that not everything is about me so I should grow up and suck it up.
Hell no. He has no idea how much I've had to 'suck up'. I was slapped, called an embarrassment, and had my confidence destroyed my whole life. He never got any of that. He never had to go to therapy, or had to hide in his room. He doesn't understand anything and I'm afraid he never will.
I wrote back saying that he's the one who should really grow up since I had the courage to tell him everything I'm going through and that he can call me whatever he wants, just don't use my trichotillomania against me.
Well that's all, I had troubles in school too but it's late and I won't be able to get up in the morning otherwise... So thank you for listening to my rant, I feel much better already but I still don't know what my approach to my brother should be... Guess I'll have to find out.
you say you have trichotillomania but it seems trichotillomania has you : you got "addicted" to a habit that to me reflects the need to "make space" - "clean up" - a desire to do away with things, situations, people who you unconsciously perceive to be a weight - a "nuisance" to get rid of
you can get rid of this habit by installing a new habit - another way to "make space" : the best way is to put first what will make you feel really good about yourself (and doesn't harm or bother you or anybody else) - it's a mindset to develop alongside with an activity - any activity (or several) - not necessarily big and important things - a way of thinking and feeling to keep your focus positive, aimed and with goals throughout the day
your brother seems to act in quite an egoistic and provocative way with an obvious lack of understanding and empathy, even deriving pleasure from seeing you suffer - also transferring onto you stuff that's his to deal with : don't give him the pleasure of your suffering and feelings of injustice anymore - rise above it - those are not your problems but his - you've got a life to live and that's yours and nobody else's and it's not tomorrow : it's today - just step away and go about doing your things - ignore him
write your resentment and frustrations in a diary or on computer just to get it out of your system - even if you don't keep your writing
learn how to count on yourself, built up inner strength and keep focused on your studies
Thank you for your advise and wisdom
I feel really good reading your words and it makes me feel a lot better about this. Thank you for it!