Joanna started eyelash pulling due to sexual trauma in her childhood

Love has been the best cure

I recall my grandmother’s wedding when I was six.

My grandfather had died before I was born. I loved my grandma, but something about my step-grampa made me nervous. He always told me what beautiful eyes I had. I disliked being around him so much that I stopped going there alone.

But not before I began pulling out my eyelashes. My mother dragged me to doctor after dermatologist. I was diagnosed with dry skin, mites, allergies, lack of enzymes. I was treated with creams, boric acid, injections…nothing worked and I continued to pull.

Usually, it was just the top lashes, but as I got older and ran out of top lashes to pull I began on the bottom ones.

Years later I had found out that my step-grandfather had sexually abused my 3 sisters and my youngest aunt. If he did abuse me I have no recollection of it, but the coincidence seems too close that my pulling began shortly after their wedding.

When I was 14, I attended a slumber party. Most of the other girls were downstairs but 3 of the girls stayed in the attic bedroom and told me they had something to show me. They proceeded to hold me down and massage my privates into a climax. Shortly after that I began to pull out a patch of hair in the back of my head. One day while braiding my hair my mom discovered the bald patch and dragged me to more “specialists”. None of which had any clue as to what was going on.

When I was 19, I was on a date with a man 8 years my senior and was raped. I felt so violated and disgusting, like no one else could ever possibly love me, so I consented to marry him. He raped me again on our wedding night. Upon return from our honeymoon, I had no eyebrows.

I remained married to him for 9 years, and gave birth to 2 beautiful children. I finally worked up the nerve to leave him, and my eyelashes began to grow in. But I continued to pull my eyebrows. (I had stopped pulling at the back of my head after a couple of years)

I went through a very promiscuous couple of years after leaving my husband. I told myself these men loved me, but they didn’t…they loved my body, and my big blue eyes, but not me. After 3 years, and several failed relationships, I decided to stay away from men for the summer. At my kids soccer practice I spied a single dad who was coaching. We’ve now been dating for 9 months, I’m finally in love with someone other than my children, and my eyebrows and lashes are growing, slowly.

I’m 33 and I’m hoping to have full eyebrows by the end of this year. I’m so fair that I feel I need some mascara to darken up my flaxen lashes, but the sticky feeling still makes me want to pull, some mascara’s are worse than others, the older it is, the stickier it gets.

I’ve considered hypnotherapy, tried anti-depressants and behavior modification, but so far love has been the best therapy.

Read about some of our members and how they 

have grown to manage, and in many cases, 

overcome, hair pulling.

Recovery Expert

Recovery Expert

One pull or pick free coach, for the whole of your time with us. Minimum specialist trichotilllomania recovery ten years.

Share This Post:

Accounts of people with trichotillomania

The BFRB blogs and experiences described in this section may be disturbing so don’t read on unless you’re sure you are up to it.

how can I stop pulling my hair out

Adam Alpa Anna
Anne Angela Annette
Athena Caillin Caroline
Carrie Cathy Christine
Clarkie Cleo Donna
Ellen Faith H
Holly Iris Jan
Jane Jason Jayne
Jess Jo Joanna
Joanne Kat Kati
Kristina Krystal Laura
Lisa Lisa W Louise
Lucy Mairen Mike
Neil – OCD Patience
Robin Sandy Sara
Shannon Terri Tracey
Your story goes here    

We also want to hear from you : Submit your own story soon.

We are particularly interested in success stories, and there are very many people on the site who have achieved long-term freedom from pulling.