I’m finally writing something that has taken me a lot of courage to write.
In year 8 I went through a ‘scene’ phase. I overly teased and straightened my hair to start the base of something I never thought would get bad. I remember one day looking around in class and seeing a girl tugging at the ends of her hair I asked her why she done that and she told me she breaks off the split ends she has. I looked into my hair that night and noticed that I had a ridiculous amount of split ends as I never wanted to get my hair cut.
I pulled and tugged at it a good amount. Every day/night whatever. I get addicted to things really easily and soon it just became something that I never really noticed happen. I would sit at my computer for hours and pretty soon there would be a pile of split ends on my floor beside me. I never thought anything of it. It’s like biting your nails, you don’t really expect anything major to happen.
Around the time that this was starting to develop into a habit my brother had moved out. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I have a good relationship with my brother. He was the only person who was ever there for me when I was little. Him moving out absolutely stressed me out (My parents don’t have a good relationship and he helped to ignore that fact). Soon, I picked at my hair because I was stressed.
I never noticed an actual problem until my hair was getting shorter and shorter. In summer of 8th grade I honestly stayed at home the whole summer. I was stressed about going into high school and my hair pulling habit turned into something a lot worse. I was actually pulling my hair out from the root. There would be piles of my hair on the floor and most of which I gathered and threw away before my parents saw anything.
My parents noticed my hair thinning and getting shorter and would ask me why it was happening and I would just simply say “I don’t know why” and I would walk away. Of course they believed that I had something seriously wrong with me weather it be a disease or a thyroid issue. That was how I found my excuse for why my hair was so short. For years I said it was a thyroid issue whenever someone would ask me.
But really, it was more than that. I really hate myself because I was just really hurting my self-esteem and I KNEW that and couldn’t stop. I was just so addicted to pulling it out. Something about it calmed me down. You may say it’s weird but it’s like someone smoking a cigarette to feel at ease. I just pulled my hair to feel that same feeling.
Pretty soon into about 10th grade my parents finally got it out of me that I was pulling my hair. They really tried to get me to stop. I would wear hats whenever I came home from school so I wouldn’t be tempted to pull my hair. It was horrible… but I never really thought that much about it.
Every so often I would get comments on how people missed my long hair and I would often get rude comments. None of the comments ever really hurt my feelings until I got into 11th grade and I still kept pulling.
This is the worst part of the whole situation. The moment I didn’t feel pretty because of other people. The moments that made me cry at night and continue to pull my hair out in chunks.
I was told that I wasn’t pretty because I had short hair. I was told that I was “bald headed”. I would sit in class and people would talk about my hair, literally the whole class said I had a mullet and I wasn’t pretty. I was walking in the mall when a person in a big group of people looked at me funny and busted out laughing saying I had a mullet. Some guy purposely came up to me at school and asked for a dip then proceeded to say that he thought I was a dude. My crush at one point told me I looked like a dude. Girls in one of my classes gossiped about me when I was right in front of them, one said I was pretty the other two said I looked like a boy, I had no hair, and that I was ugly.
This happened all the time but those are the only accounts that have really stuck with me. To someone reading this, you wont ever understand how I truly feel about anything that was said to me. I felt ugly. It sounds foolish but I really wanted to kill myself.
I didn’t even feel pretty around my boyfriend. Another girl would walk by that was absolutely gorgeous and I would break down. I would want to go home. I was always scared I wouldn’t keep anyone because I was ugly.
This not only affected me emotionally. It all fucked me up mentally.
It all came to a point where I wore a wig and posted as a different persona online. That no one knows about. Absolutely no one. I had so many comments and I felt so beautiful. I was hit on countless times and never once was I called ugly in this persona. But before I went to bed I would always have to look myself in the mirror as I took the wig off, and go back to being ugly me.
I still have not gotten over anything to this day. I still breakdown and cry for hours. My hair is the longest it’s been in 5 years. My boyfriend helps me feel pretty by pulling it down at night and rubbing his hands in it. He and my best friend have helped me gain back the self-esteem that I’ve lost over the years. I still pull but not much and only when I get upset about something. Thats a big stepping stone for me.
I know people wont really understand this but it’s been so hard for me to really come out and write this. It’s a big problem that’s slowly being fixed and I’m grateful for everyone that has ever told me I was beautiful because every compliment helped me tremendously in a mental and emotional way.
^ that was my hair some years ago.
& this is my hair now,
I know it may not even look like much of a difference to anyone but my hair is fuller where I pulled it out. It hasn’t grown much because I still refuse to get my hair cut for the split ends. I don’t want to go back to the shitty short short hair I had a long time ago.
I’m proud of myself for dealing with this disorder finally and coming out to everyone who decides to read this(which wont be anyone but at least it’s out there).
I feel that much more confident.