When my partner and I met in the winter of 2007, I know he realised I had some… eccentricities. I’m just not entirely certain that even if he had envisaged us still being together 9 years later that he would be having a conversation with me over txt that read as follows:
Him: “Do you want your bath robe just on gentle wash?”
Me: “Lol yes pls! Can you… can you save my pocket knots?”
Him: “I already found a giant one in the bed”
Me: “Yeah I made that one last night. You can add them together if you like. It had good texture”
Him: “Please stop talking…”
Part of me can’t stop laughing.
Another part of me is fully aware that what I’ve asked him to do, goes above and beyond a man’s love for his woman.
The bigger part of me now can’t stop thinking about those knots.
I have what is known as Trichotillomania, which is a fancy word for the fact that I pull out my hair.
It began for me when I was about 8 years old, and hasn’t stopped since. I do it almost constantly, all day, but it’s much worse when I am reading or watching television.
I think that’s the norm for many Trich sufferers, though the majority that I know pull hairs directly from the scalp, whereas I twirl my hair into messy, tangled knots, and then rip them out.
For the most part, I don’t realise I’m doing it until the knot has been well and truly created. If I stop, I have to go back to it a few seconds later. It is literally a compulsion that I can’t get past.
The only real effect that it had on my life is that there were always little knots or strands of hair laying around, until 3 or 4 years ago, when my life started falling apart. The stress exacerbated the hair pulling, and I ended up with bald spots and very asymmetrical hair (not in a cool way).
While my hair is growing in at the back and I can get away with the asymmetry at the front, all it takes is one stressful night and I undo months of self-torture (also known as self-discipline) where I’ve made the knot and untangled it before it caused any damage. If I don’t make the knot, I’m always on the edge of the compulsion.
That’s where my pocket knots come in.
I believe trichotillomania is a sensory thing. For me, it’s the texture of the knots that are the best part, and that’s why keeping a few in the pocket of my dressing gown gets me out of trouble.
My sister finds it creepy that I keep knots of hair in my pockets. I reminded her that it would only be creepy if it was other peoples’ hair.
Admittedly, while I don’t think it’s creepy, I do know it’s really gross to ask my NotHusband to reach into my pockets and blindly pull out a bunch of hair balls, and put them somewhere safe until I get home.
I would totally txt him back and tell him it’s okay if he doesn’t want to, except I really fucking want those knots. They took me ages to get just right.
… yeah okay. I’m going to shut up now. Except to say that I am totally proud of myself for
deleting refraining from saying “KnotHusband” earlier.