I don’t want to talk about this but I feel I have to. It’s for the sake of… Authenticity.
I’ve realized I love to talk about things I’ve gone through concerning my mental health, after it’s come to some sort of resolution. This particular issue I have to discuss is something I battle with every.single.day.
I think everyone has that one thing they do when they’re nervous or anxious. For some it’s jiggling their leg. For others it’s biting their nails.
Well for me… It’s plucking “chin hairs”. And the reason for those quotations is, often time, there’s no chin hairs there to pluck.
I often don’t wear makeup in my photos online. So if you ever feel like taking a closer look at how bad this nervous habit truly is; the proof is there in the scabs and scars.
The day I first noticed it was a problem was as a teenager. I had been doing my nightly routine and came out of the bathroom to see my mom looking at me with concern in her eyes. “You’ve been pulling skin off of your chin!” she gasped.
I didn’t think much of it. I guess I was spending more time than seemed practical, pulling at my chin hair.
I’m now at the point that if there is not a pair of tweezers in any of the rooms that I am in, I just about lose my mind.
There was one point in time that I lost all three pairs of tweezers. I felt like I was going mad. I worked my fingers till they were callused. Pulling at chin hairs till I could no longer feel my finger tips.
My husband has called me out on it. He’s begged me to stop, insisting “there’s nothing there!”
If I’m truly honest, this nervous tick of pulling at chin hairs is not only a way of regaining control when I feel out of control. It’s my way of working hard to make sure I look like a girl.
This took an interesting turn huh?
As a baby, my mom was often told that I looked like a boy and my twin sister Cherrel, looked like a girl.
I was often reminded of this idea as a child. Especially when I did something that appeared masculine in nature. I apparently walked with my feet too far apart and did not know how to sit comfortably with my legs crossed when in a dress.
Though I’ve been married for six years and my husband calls me beautiful, I still question, “do I look like a girl?”
Especially because I often shave my head. (For the sake of convenience. I like wearing wigs) I sometimes look in the mirror and I see a handsome little boy.
In Junior High one day the boys took a poll to find out who the class thought was prettier between my twin sister and I. It was unanimous, my twin sister was prettier. Cherrel assured me it was simply because I carried myself like a tomboy and there was nothing wrong with that.
I felt the need to embrace this calling in a means to make sense of why I wasn’t accepted by the boys as a pretty girl. But deep down I was screaming inside, begging to be viewed as a beautiful girl. I wanted so badly for the boy to look at me and see that I was attractive too.
So now I have this nervous tick. It reminds me of the effort it took to look like a girl. It reminds me that I have to take control of the way others view me… And yet, it’s hurting myself and causing my husband so much frustration.
I finally opened up to my doctor about it when we recently discussed my medication for postpartum depression. I am now being scheduled to see a psychiatrist.
I’m looking forward to this meeting.