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metoo , 25 Nov 2010

Hello Ladies

As I read through the form topics, it usually doesnt matter what it is specifically about, and the replies to the topics. I HEAR YOU SISTERS. I am a 20 year old female, who has been moved to tears by your words and your stories... because they resound over and over again in my head and find similarity and company in my heart. I know that there are many boys and men who suffer with this incapacitating habit (my dad picks subconsciously while driving or watching tv, and my brother picks more like those of us who know what we're doing, know that it doesnt give us the results we want, but sometimes cannot help it) but as I read I just hear the female voices ring so in tune with my own. Anyway, I know this forum is supposed to be a safe anonymous place, so I'm just wondering, how many of you are girls/women? There is something about this problem, that hits us girls so deeply, and in such a unique way. It just struck me reading through the forums, I could just tell that so many of the entries were from you, I could sense myself in you, in your stories. The stories of a secret sisterhood. The daily struggle of our captivating beauty, inside and out, being locked away inside ourselves. And sometimes don't we feel to blame? We are the ones who do this to ourselves. We are the ones who are ashamed and hide it. But you know what? Other people may not understand it. Other people want to help us so they say just get out there and live anyway. I finally understood what that meant to me in therapy a few weeks ago when I told my therapist: "I dont want to!" It's okay girls. Other people will try to help and many will succeed`, but they can never understand. So I wanted to let all of my girls know, I hear you. I UNDERSTAND. I read people explaining their habits and saying 'Oh sorry thats gross, or thats disgusting what I do" . I think we should stop. I feel your pain sister-friend. You don't have to say its gross or disgusting to me. The world might be repulsed but I can hear anything from you. I may wear a different size and walk them to different places, but I am in your shoes. It is so hard for us to feel truly beautiful, and not just because of our society today, it is an aspect of this struggle that is what bonds us girls together. Sisters, we can share with each other what we may never share with others, but we should always be validated here. Who on here is female? Will you be willing to offer a place of safety, encouragement and validation for our sisters in pain? There are some things that only us girls can offer one another, we all walk our own path alone, but its always nice to know someone is on their path right next to yours (especially if they have really cute shoes you want to borrow =) ).
12 Answers
November 26, 2010
I am 19, and a girl. I know what you mean, it is really hard for me to contemplate men sharing this problem with me because so much of the reasons i do it have to do with them (indirectly, like trying to look "perfect" for them). I wish there was a group I could join for this.... issue. Your idea sounds amazing. But if you are talking about physicly meeting, I'm not sure how many of us even live in the same states. I would love to know the demegraphics of this cumpulsion, but it seems like most therapists don't even recognize it as a problem. Sadly, I think face time is what we need. but we'll see. this is my first day on this forum, maybe it will help me, not sure yet. Thanks for writing, I like to know there are other people out there who aren't related to me.
November 28, 2010

In reply to by hatesherface

so glad to hear from you. i think a lot of us feel the same way about the boys. god knows we love em, and while we share the same struggles, when it goes this deep, i think that us girls process this a little differently. I think we see it and definitely feel it in a different way. co-ed 'chatting' can be fun but we all know theres a time and place to talk and talk and talk about what s bugging us, and its usually not with the boys (like you said, we're too busy worrying about being cute when they're around hehe) I don't think we could all get together in real life, unfortunately =/ but, this site has really helped me understand myself and others better. especially when i read a girl writing and i cant help but be like, "yes, yes, yes" to every word... at the end of the day, for us ladies, some validation from 'girl time' can go a long way. hugs and cheers sister, we are not alone!
December 28, 2010

In reply to by hatesherface

Hi all - yup, I'm a girl too. And although my dad picks unconsciously, and my brother sometimes gauges out scabs/zits a little too hard, my reasons definitely tie in with ideas of beauty and perfection...I just joined the forum today - and chose my user name from the new movie Black Swan because Natalie Portman is...a skin picker! I could really relate to her obsession with perfection, the isolation of picking and then having to hide it, how females are judged, the anxiety and pressure and desire to control things...
November 28, 2010
I'm a girl, too, 21 years old, and been picking since 8th grade. I've always felt weird about my picking (and social anxiety, which I think is the root of my picking), because I'm a social, happy, successful person. Soon to graduate college, hopefully jumping into my career. Nothing wrong there, right? Well then why can't I help but pick at my skin in the bathroom every night? It makes no sense. I'm glad to see that I'm not alone.
November 28, 2010

In reply to by caitylovescoffee

i have a very similar situation to you, i started picking a little earlier, as a child I picked a little at scabs from scrapes or scratched mosquito bites, but that was hardly a problem at the time. I started picking the back of my upper arms a little in junior high and then eventually moved on to my face late high/school early college. I'm a junior now. but you're so right! it doesnt make sense! I didn't have any sort of abuse as a child, I made good grades in school, I was a varsity cheerleader and tennis pyer all through highschool , had and still have great friends, but like you, at night, here I go again. I actually just took my bathroom mirror down a couple days ago... doesnt help completely because ofcourse you cant avoid mirrors all together, but thats where i did most of my picking and had the best light for it i guess. idk if you know, but neosporin makes a cream. which is so awesome because the 'ointment' is irritating and clogs pores. after i pick i wash my face with warm water, put my moisturizer on and then the neo cream. and i sleep with it on too. it works nicely for me to minimize damage. anyway just a tip. okay im rambling lol... but yes, im also glad to see that im not illegitimate in this because I didn't suffer a poor childhood. can't even imagine trying to deal with that on top of picking! those people are strong!
November 29, 2010

In reply to by metoo

Oh man, I can't tell you how relieved I am to at least know that there's someone in my shoes. I wish I could get a better grasp of myself and why it is that I pick so much. As in tonight, for example. My roommate is one of my best friends, but a couple of days ago she went off on me and said some extremely hurtful things - long story short, she really, really hurt my feelings. Tonight is the first time I've seen her since the holiday, and she hasn't apologized - in fact, she's acting normally, as if it didn't happen. I just don't know how to gauge her, because I counted her as a dear friend, and now feel like I'm walking on eggshells around her. Now, all I want to do is pick my skin or pluck the ingrown hairs off my knees. I know it's not going to do a damn thing, but my skin is crawling. I want so bad to pick, and am having to put on a movie, clean my room, and find any other busy work to avoid picking. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in feeling like I (almost) lead a double life.
November 28, 2010
i am a ninth grade 14 year old girl who has been picking since the 3rd grade. After picking my eyebrows and eyelashes, arm hair Etc. out, it was a shameful thing having to watch my family look at me in disgust as i struggled to let them grow back. now i dont pick my eyebrows or eyelashes to not have to go through the same humiliation, but now i;ve taken comfort in picking my hair off my arms, wrists, fingers, and ankles. This has alwasy been troubling for me since my family calls it disgusting. But how could they know how it feels to be distracted and feel the impulse of picking atleast just one hair out of your arm so that you could look back away from your arm, even just for a second. It seems like half of the day i've only been staring at my arms. It puts emotional stress on me, but it bothers me even more that i know what i'm doing, try to stop it, but can't do anything to stop it. I've never talked to a doctor about this, but you'd think as an 8 year old picking all my facial hair off was a cry for help. Now it just feels natural. So yeah, hearing these stories of other people going through the same thing as mine puts some peace in my mind to not worry about it if i do it when i'm stil 85!! This website helps me realize that i'm not the only one who is not seen as excepted when doing this "bad habit"
November 28, 2010

In reply to by rachelbee123

I also picked when I was your age, and it is still a shameful habit, but in high school people seem to be less inhibited when it comes to talking things out, so of course that just makes it even more shameful when they ask direct questions about your face/arms/hands/whatever. Do your parents know how you feel, do they understand this is a compulsion similar to alcoholism and that you can't just stop? Thats how I think about it, like a drug addiction. Yes, you do it to yourself, but at the same time you aren't entirely in control when you pick, just like alcoholics aren't really in control when they drink. Don't be so hard on yourself, just take things one day at a time. also, if you can try to cover up your "problem areas" as often as you can, to avoid picking. If I don't put socks on as soon as I get out of the shower (and after my feet are dry) I'll have picked my feet raw within the hour. Maybe try wearing something tight fitting, like spandex or under armor, under your clothes. I know long sleeves alone don't cut it, but maybe if you cant easily roll up your sleeves..... Hands I don't know. I use to wear gloves to sleep to keep myself from picking, but they got so anoying that after a while I stopped, but maybe try that too. good luuck! i wish i had found the courage to admit to myself that I had a problem when I was your age. Hang in there!
December 20, 2010
i pick my face/back/chest and have recently started on my shoulders/thighs, and as of yesterday am trying to stop. i havent been able to just stop completely though, i have controlled it better, but not enough. i dont have a troubled background or reason for this either, it just happens. ive found that i need someone to share my frustrations and thoughts with like being able to randomly send out an email detailing all my thoughts and struggles to resist to someone i know will understand, because no one around me would get it. they would all just say to not do it, distract yourself a little. ugh. of course, ive never actually told anyone, though since my mom also picks a little my family knows about it and sometimes makes comments about how bad my chest/back/face looks, they don't actually get it. anyone up for some more personal correspondence? email me at please!
December 27, 2010
Hey. Caityloves coffee,rachealbee and hatesherface. Im 19 and i completely relate to all what uve sed. My email is Feel free to email me x

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