I started thinking to myself tonight, after catching a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, why is it that I pick? And I guess by that question I don’t mean a simple “why do I do it?”, which can range from anything to relieving stress or entertaining me when I’m bored, but what effect does picking have on my life and what do I get from it? The first thought that popped into my head was: to hide! My picking helps me to hide. I hide my face behind makeup and my body under clothes and when my picking is really really bad I will hide out in my house, refusing to go to work or uni, and I won’t even answer my front door to someone I know let alone a stranger. I’ve even caught myself hiding from my phone or laptop when I get a message in case it’s from someone wanting to catch up with me.
So what is it that I’m hiding from? Like a lot of pickers I have spoken to, and the few that I have met, we are perfectionists. Most of us also have perfect skin (before we attack it) and other great things about our body. For example I love my figure, my hair, my facial features and my nails (double edged sword this one is I know!). So why is it then that I will do something to my body that forces me to cover up everything I love about myself? I wear my hair down to cover blemishes, cut my beautiful long nails short, wear clothes that hide my figure and wear makeup that forces me to hide my face. The only reason I could think of as to why I do this was to hide from men.
When I was 8 years old I was sexually abused by a man probably in his late 60’s-70’s. Now I’m not sure how much of an influence this has had on my life or in fact my picking, as I started picking when I was 4, however I have noticed now that if I walk past a man I will glance away, put my head down and walk quicker. I feel their eyes on me even with the way I look now and so I worry what would happen if I was able to wear the kinds of clothes other girls wear… like dresses, shorts, skirts and singlets. The thought of attracting any more unwanted attention to myself makes me panic. So I guess what I’m trying to figure out now is do I use my picking as a tool to keep hiding, and from men in particular? What would happen if I felt ‘safe’?
Out of curiosity does anybody else use picking as a way of hiding from the world?