Grab, rip, chew, throw, repeat. A never ending pattern, it is impossible to escape. As constant as my heartbeat, it acts without fail. This is my disorder, my figurative prison. I’m trapped inside of my own head, my hands busy weaving my stress among the yarn made specially from the hair lining my scalp.
I have no control. The Conductor of this symphony is hiding behind the curtains of an imaginary safety net. Reality is cruel, eating away my safest place and replacing every fiber with the harshness life provides to every man and child on this planet. As it works, it snowballs. Capturing me, it feeds me knowledge that I can no longer ignore: the world is not perfect.
Wheels turn faster, Whistles blow louder, and my mental locomotive derails. With life I find faults, and with faults I find blame. I do not leave this wrath on others. I sit in the convicted chair of my own court. The conductor is my judge and jury. Gavel strikes the pad, and punishment is integrated into my very being. My curse is to live with this demonic melody: grab, rip, chew, throw, repeat.
Grab. My mind rivals race cars when faults are the finish line. The engine of my Conductor revs, adrenaline fuels the ride. I brace myself as my hand extends skyward, stopping at my skull. The victims are decided merely by chance, being held hostage between my bony fingers.
Rip. With the slightest flick of my wrist I uproot the innocent victims of my massacre. I hear their screams for a millisecond, making me wince. Guilt does not bring back the dead though, and so they stay silent and limp. Their lives, like breathing on an average day, are nothing but forgotten.
Chew. Their corpses run through my teeth with absolute ease. With each run through the Conductor’s boredom increases. Even after tying knots the Conductor is not satisfied.
Throw. All murders lead to removing evidence. With a flick, the innocent victims spiral down toward the ground so far below. They possess no weight, so no one hears a thud when they finally hit the ground. Their existence no longer has meaning.
Repeat. As if a greedy land owner, each pull uproots a brown forest. As it cycles, it grows worse. Patches pop up. The land that is my scalp grows bare. Hiding my destruction becomes difficult.
With each new empty spot appearing, the anger mounts. Every plea I make means nothing. All my attempts are fruitless. With every failure there is a consequence. The stress I cause feeds the Conductor, and the pattern speeds up at an alarming rate. As my curse continued, it became evident. The shouts and threats they gift me do not help. Each threat adds salt to the wounds of my stupendous amounts of guilt. Each shout adds tears to my face. Each of everything is a great meal for the Conductor.
My curse plays laments and dirges at a steady rate. With every note played on the symphony’s violins and cellos a victim loses a life. The endless streams of screams and pain agonizes me, shattering me like glass. The bodies of all those who I have wronged fly through the air, littering the ground. People walk all over them, showing no concern to the lives that were lost due to my curse. They can not feel the guilt and pain I feel. They can not hear the screams the innocent make as I pluck their very lives away from them. They feel nothing that I feel. They do not understand.
As all of my being is thrown into this cycle of never ending death and guilt, I gain a fear I have never known of before. I flinch and squirm away from the Conductor, my torturer, and try to ignore the happenings of reality. I tell myself that this is not real, this is not real, this is not real. In a last resort, I trap myself in a world of my own creation, a world where everything is happy. The Conductor still reaches through to me.
My loss of sanity starts to change me into a nervous wreck. Distress and loneliness conquers all other emotions, burrowing itself into my core. Everything blanks. I curl up. I have things to do, but no motivation. I have friends, but feel ignored. I have family, but feel controlled. Slipping away into depression, I get distracted from my curse. Nonetheless, it keeps going. The Conductor still is not satisfied. Locked into my stone-like state, I blindly search for a key. With every second tension grows, cocooning me with self-loathing and impeding my progress. I shake it off the best I can and move forward, becoming more frantic and scared. In my pitiful effort, I feel something different: a key.
The key is merely a short relief, a five minute break in a twenty four seven job. Exhausted and broken, I greedily take it. My mind becomes a one way street toward a cure in a weak attempt to give myself hope. However, it is a dead end. I have no cure for my curse. With a cry of desperation, I fall on my knees. Any hope I had gained in my attempt evaporates, joining all the hope I had misplaced previously. As I hug my knees and cry, the Conductor partakes in a hardy laugh. I am pitiful sight, something of interest to the Conductor. With a sense of victory, the Conductor loosens its grip ever so slightly. Snapping back from the brink of utter insanity, I lunge at the Conductor and try to suppress it. With overwhelming strength it rears back at me, knocking me back in surprise.
Shaking and defeated, I watch as the Conductor consumes my fear and pain, growing bigger and more vicious. With a snarl, it leaps into the air. Intending to finish me off, it prepares for the final move.
Nothing. I open my eyes to an unusual stillness and peace. My curse has slowed almost to a halt, but still remains in motion. With a sigh of relief, I rest.
As I enjoy my freedom, the conductor works backstage. It gains power and works up itself, preparing for retaliation. With rebellion in mind, it prepares to strike. The Conductor can not be destroyed. It is invincible; a force that relentlessly chases me down as a form of amusement. It will not stop until I, like a mountain, am climbed and conquered. It does not know defeat. The Conductor is Trichotillomania.
Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-ne-uh) is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body. Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which people with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise.
For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the urge to pull hair is overwhelming and can be accompanied by considerable distress. Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely.
- Mayoclinic website
This is Trichotillomania, a mental disorder I suffer from. Over the years I've gotten much hate for it; from family, strangers, and myself. My case is extremely severe, and as such no type of help has been successful. This disorder is quite literally running my life into the ground -- and thats where this comes in.
My teacher had assigned us an essay about a trait of ours. We could not describe it -- we had to show it. I decided to choose the very thing that has been dominating me for so many years. I was hoping that with this essay I could get more than a grade, but a mutual understanding of what I go through every day of my life.
It is for this reason that I leave you with my inner mental war that has raged through me for three years. (btw the pic isn't me, although its close)