Jess can remember collecting her eyelashes aged 11
Mother and daughter support each other with trichotillomania
I don’t remember exactly when or how i started pulling my eyelashes, but i do know I was about 11 when I started to collect my eyelashes and put them next to my bed. When i was younger, I would firmly pull one eyelash out at a time and roll it around between my fingers. For some reason i was fascinated by the feeling of the little hair. At that age there was actually a crease in the lash from where my finger would be pulling at it. The natural curve would be gone.
I do recall a horrible memory from when I was about that age, that still disturbs me to this day. After I had discovered my fascination with pulling, I had went into my brothers room and asked him to shut his eyes as I lightly tried to pull any loose eyelashes out. He was 8 at the time. He obviously said he didnt want me to, and i never tried again.
I continued to pull and no one had ever noticed, or at least nobody had ever said anything to me. I constantly found myself waking up in the middle of the night and feeling my lash line to make sure i still had SOME eyelashes left. I would often jump up from my bed to completely make sure that something was still there.
One night, while getting ready for a 6th grade valentines day party, my mom offered to do my makeup. I think it was her way of confirming her thoughts on my pulling. We went into the bathroom where she attempted to put mascara on my eyes. To this day, I strongly remember her scream as she discovered I had about 1/10 my eyelashes. She then brought me into my room to tell me that she did that when she was younger and that she knew i could get over it. I think the shock of everything that day made me stop. I stopped for YEARS, maybe about 3, and then something made me start again.
I was in 10th grade when I realized it was back. This time, the way I pulled my eyelashes had changed. I no longer yanked them out roughly, but gently tugged to get something out. Often times, mascara would make me play with them, and from there…I was rubbing them between my fingers again.
I’m now 19, turning 20. I still pull my eyelashes, although you would have to REALLY know to see any dramatic bald spots. I have an obsession with eye makeup and mascara, and i cant go a day without it. I have just recently started to lightly pull on my eyebrow hair, and Im just praying that i wont move to my head. My mother came out of the closet in that she pulls her hair out of her head, and now you can see a bald spot on her.. We try and support each other all the time. I still havent found a way to stop the way i did when i was younger.
The only thing i can say is that im lucky to have my hairpulling go somewhat unnoticed from the rest of the world. I pray that when i have a daughter, she will not have a lifetime full of the mental torture that my mother and I are going through. I hope if any of you are mothers or daughters who even slightly suspect that the other is pulling, PLEASE talk to them. It helps to know others are like you, especially in your own family.