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tulula , 21 Dec 2009

I do this and can't believe there are others

I am a 27-year-old woman who has a good job, a good husband, a nice house, and an overall great life. I have been dealing with this issue since I was around 14 and it has caused me pain, shame, and guilt along with the feelings of pleasure that go along with the actual act. I have become a pro at hiding and lying about these acts, and in the process, and I may be in denial about the seriousness of this, I don't know. I have picked my nose and ate the "boogers" since I can remember. Then, in 8th or 9th grade, I started picking and eating at the skin around my fingernails and on the bottom of my feet. When my mom visits us, she still tells me to stop chewing on my fingers. I used to and still do pick and eat at my fingers and feet until they bleed. Sometimes I pick the bottom my feet so badly that I bleed and have to limp around. It is hard to explain why I do this, but I enjoy the sensation of peeling and eating. Horrible...and I even feel guilty typing this....but it gets worse and more shameful to me. I began picking at my scalp in mid-high school. I still do it today, and most times, I don't even notice it. I do it all the time, like when I watch T.V. and when I am driving especially. I enjoy the texture and taste of the scabs in my teeth. I almost exclusively chew them with my right front teeth, without even thinking. Sometimes my husband notices me doing it, and I tell him my scalp is itching or I am biting my nails (when I am really eating the scab). My hair does not seem to be falling out, nor do I have any noticable bald spots because of this, but I am scared sometimes that someone in my job or my husband will notice the whole "process" of picking and eating my scalp scabs. In the last two years,this habit has turned to my shins. I have started picking at scabs on my shins, and I don't even know where the initial scabs come from. I would say that I currently have 8-10 small scabs that I constantly pick and eat on my shins on a daily basis in addition to the scabs on my scalp. In the summer, I try to stop picking, but the scabs turn to scars, and when we go on our boat, my husband asks about the multitude of white spots on my legs, and I tell them they are "shaving mishaps". So far, he has not questioned beyond my explanations, but I am terrified that he will find out the real truth, one that I am personally ashamed of. I have never sought out any help, nor have I told anyone else ever about this. I live a normal and good life other than this. I have two happily married parents, and have no bad childhood memories. I also have a great husband. I am a person who might have issues with slight anxiety, but it is nothing that has prevented me from living normally. In the past, I have denied this issue with myself and have pretended it doesn't exist. After all, when I do it, I hardly even notice it, however in the last couple of years, the scars on my legs are starting to tell the truth. What is wrong with me?

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