Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The High School Years

Looking back at pictures, I realize my pulling has gotten progressively worse as I have gotten older. My Senior Picture in high school…I have some eyebrows. Still no eyelashes, though. That was first for me…the eyelashes.  I think that is what was worst for me. Ironically, still is. I mainly pulled from the outsides of my eyebrows.  Reflecting…as I strive for "pull free" now…if I currently pull…it's from the outsides first, too.

I suppose these were probably the worst years. At this point I still had no idea there was a name for this thing that I did. Still thought I was crazy. I remember trying to hide it from everyone. Friends, family, etc. I don't really recall if anyone had ever said anything to me about it. (family, I mean) Peers did (add that to the list of things I was made fun of for).

Tests were the worst. I would sit and stare at my papers, pulling away. I wasn't a good test taker. Psychology, for instance… I LOVED psychology…but didn't "grade" well in it. It was stressful for me, which of course, equals pulling. If I was bored in class-pulling. If I was trying to grasp a concept and couldn't understand it-pulling! I would, of course, try and hide it…..

But figuring out how to cover it with makeup wasn't yet fully in my world. I wore eyeliner but I guess I hadn't discovered eyebrow pencil/powder….so I wore bangs. Let me try and paint a picture.  (awww…screw painting a picture with words…see the picture below even though it isn't the greatest quality).  I SHAVED my head in high school, but I wore bangs. All because I had to cover my eyebrows. My hair ranged from about an eighth of an inch to a spiky two inches..but I always had bangs. I was shocked I ever got asked out…shocked I actually had a boyfriend in high school. I felt so incredibly ugly. I would go to great lengths to hide/cover my face. Anyone noticing and "calling me out" was pretty much the worst thing that could happen. For years, I would literally just start to cry if anyone said anything to me. The amount of SHAME and the TERRIBLE feeling that went with this is impossible to explain. I was this crazy person that pulled my own hair out!!! I couldn't stop, no matter what I did. No matter how hard I tried. Go ahead…try explaining that  to a teenager who is making fun of you.  (I definitely know now…looking back…that If I had known there was a name for it, those years could have been very different for me. But they weren't…and I'll get to that in a later post).

I remember distinctly…my graduation party.  Held at my dads house. My crush of all times actually came.  It started out all fine.  Everyone was having a great time. But then….we started wrestling. It was like heaven and hell all at the same time. I had contact with him. It was like he was "flirting" with me.  I should have been over the moon, right? No.  All I could think about was don't look at my eyebrows.  Don't touch my face. Don't get too close to me, or you'll see that I'm nuts. (I have a picture from that night, too….it isn't good) I hung my head in shame fearing that people would get close enough to see…and would say something. This was my party, and I was in fear through the whole night of someone "noticing". (wow…I could cry reliving all this right now). I never wanted anyone to take any pictures of me.  I was constantly "fixing" my bangs, making sure they were covering the right spots.

I remember graduation day.  I had to wear the cap and had to try and fix my bangs just right so that they didn't look totally stupid under the cap, but still, you guessed it, covered my eyebrows. I remember dances…being afraid to dance because I would get all sweaty.  Sleepovers were a form of torture…having no makeup on and waking up "fresh faced." It consumed my life. Trying to hide it. Ignore it. Cover it up. Explain it away. And yet…still….nothing from my parents.  No one ever said anything to me.  No one intervened.

(My Senior Picture for the yearbook.
 You can see on my right eyebrow, there isn't much there at the end)

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