Bullying in the Workplace

The sores are healing but my scars still serve as a reminder.

The sores are healing but my scars still serve as a reminder.

I wrote a post recently called “Don’t let the bastards get you down” where I talked about an ex-friend of mine spreading rumours about me in my workplace and telling my work colleagues all about my picking (my biggest secret!). Two nights ago in the staff room, I was questioned intensely by another work colleague. I was sitting at the opposite end of the staff room with my back turned to everyone, watching the TV minding my own business, when she called out my name in front of everyone else (I think there were 7 of us in total in the staff room) and asked me if they were bites I had on my arms. I was quite taken aback by this. I haven’t been questioned over my marks in a LONG time and for the most part my picking has been getting better. Add to this I also wear long pants and long sleeves to work so I was not at all prepared with how to respond to this. I agreed they were bites, hoping this would end the conversation (as it usually does) but she continued to question me… When do they bite you? They must be big mosquitos where you live! Where do you live? You have to be careful you don’t get Ross River virus! And so she went ON and ON and ON! I was that ashamed and embarrassed I walked out of the staff room in complete and utter shock. This personal attack on me came out of nowhere! I’ve been there almost a year, my picking was a lot worse when I first started, she’s had plenty of time over the last few months to ask me one-on-one what they were but she chose this moment when the staff room was packed and right after the rumours at work had gone around about me to question me about my scars.

THIS IS BULLYING! And it brings back all my old memories of being taunted in the schoolyard for having “chickenpox”, “rabies”, “scabies”, parents recoiling in disgust, fearing I was contagious, teachers asking if I had the “chickenpox” (one even lifted up my shirt in front of another teacher in the staff room to “examine” my skin) and employers accusing me of being a drug addict and having to check my “track marks”! I am not contagious and I am not a drug addict! I am a girl that has seen and been through a lot and because I keep all of this bottled up inside of me, it has to escape somehow, and THAT is what the marks are that you see – PAIN ESCAPING!

As you can probably tell, it really bothers me that people can be so nosy and insensitive! I would never ever question someone on their physical appearance or on any condition/illness for that matter. Dermatillomania is a serious, debilitating, life-threatening illness that deserves the same recognition, respect and treatment that is given to other physical and mental illnesses. No one jokes about cancer. No one asks a cancer sufferer why their hair is falling out. (Or at least I hope no one does these things!). So why joke about me? Bully me? Torment me? Question me relentlessly?


It would be so easy for me to relapse right now but my mum has told me that I’ve been doing really well lately and encouraged me to not let this woman destroy all the progress that I have made! So I won’t. Because you know what… I AM strong enough to fight this and my scars prove that!

I hope one day I have the courage to tell ALL the people that I meet, especially the nosy ones, that I have a skin picking condition, and hopefully educate them in the process! Education and greater acceptance are two things Dermatillomania sufferers urgently NEED!

Staying positive & strong!

Staying positive & strong!


Posted on June 9, 2013, in Picking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sorry you are having to go through this at the moment. People can be so cruel. I don’t understand why people are like that. Why deliberately go out to make someone feel inferior or hurt?!
    Stay strong 🙂 It sounds like you have been making progress and I hope these stupid people don’t stop you on your way to recovery.

    • Thank you laidir for visiting my blog and for your kind words! I am going to do everything possible to make sure these ignorant people don’t ruin my progress! 😀

  2. Dorothee Woltmann

    I’m so Sorry to hear you’re having such a rough time. There are so many stupid and immature people out there. Stay strong, don’t let them get you down. You’re such a beautiful young woman. The First time I found out about not being the only one who picks their skin was when I watched your videos on Youtube. I was so stunned by your beauty and charisma and could not get your videos out of my head. I felt so connected (I think your Kids are the same age, too) I cried.
    You are so brave and strong!

    • Thank you Dorothee for your kind and encouraging words! Wow I am so glad to hear that my youtube videos helped you realise that you weren’t alone in suffering from this condition! I’ve been meaning to re-upload those videos as my account was hacked years ago and so I had to create a new one. You’re encouraging words have given me the motivation I need to get onto this so thank you for that!

      Kids are such a blessing! My little boy is 6 years old and he certainly keeps me going 🙂

  3. I came across your blog in a search about healing keloid scarring from skin-picking. 4 years ago I came back from vacation in Europe and felt a bump in the middle of my forehead, id never really been a too bad of a skin picker but something in me snapped… Probably to do with ending a 3 year relationship with a really awful cheating boyfriend… But anyway… I went crazy. Tore at my skin with needles and tweezers because I had this pulling/pin and needle sensation from my hairline to my eyebrow. I couldn’t leave it alone. The end result has been an extremely devastating scar on my forehead and eyebrow area, I’m missing a bunch of hair in the arch of my brow. My self esteem has really suffered from this. Especially because the medical community completely ignored my symtoms and just chalked it up to me being crazy. And now when I complain about the pin and needle sensation that was present before I attacked my face, the doctors just say “well that’s because you have nerve damage from your picking”…. This disorder, like depression, anxiety and other related mental health issues comes with such shame and stigma which makes it that much harder to get over and progress through.

    Thank you for your posts. Reading this made me feel a little less alone. We all deserve to feel comfortable in our own skin, scars and all.

    Love and kindness,

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