I have been doing this weird compulsive/self-soothing behavior for the past week and it is making me realize I have been engaging in compulsive behaviors for as long as I can remember.
It started with biting my nails. I don’t know how old I was. I feel like I have been doing that since I was born. I finally stopped biting them habitually around 11 or so. I will still ravage them when I am particularly stressed. I try to keep them short to avoid the temptation.
Some time around the age of 11 I began picking at my scalp. I would pick until it bled and then I would pick at the scabs until they bled. It was kind of a continuous perpetual motion machine of compulsion. I’m not sure what caused me to stop doing that. But I did.
Once I stopped with that I began picking at my face. Not violently, not painfully or to the point of drawing blood. I would just rub my face over and over again, picking at it. I generally did/do it while reading and don’t even realize that I am. Until I would stop reading and find my hand on my face and suddenly realize. I never did it to the point of pain, just sometimes till my face felt a bit raw.
I still do that to some extent. But lately my skin has been so smooth and healthy that I have gone back to picking at my scalp. Not to the point of pain. Not till I bleed. But still, absent mindedly picking at it. I realized last night that I had been doing it for hours while reading a webcomic.
It must be related to JM’s pervasive thumb sucking and hair twisting/pulling as a self soothing behavior.