09 January 2012

The Storm Begins

Mother sets the table. Father is in the living room, reading his newspaper and drinking a little wine before dinner. Allie sits across the table from her big brother, Martin. They are silently staring into the recesses of their own minds, the quietly stirring house growing uncomfortable. 

Father grunts and stands. Mother just sighs as he sits down and, with glaring eyes, demands his dinner.

Allie doesn't speak but instead she runs her little hands through her hair. 


A few years pass. Allie goes to middle school. Her long blonde hair is flowing down to her lower back as she struggles with a difficult essay question. 

She holds back her bangs and scratches at her scalp. Teacher looks around the class as the students diligently work on their exams. Allie has no idea.

She puts down her pencil and closes her eyes tightly. Her hands drag through her hair, then go to the base of her head and begin to tug on the little pieces. 

Allie flicks away the now-free hairs and stares down at her test. 

She quickly glances around the room before writing something on her paper and handing it in.


There are a few days left before the end of middle school and Allie begins summer break.

Her hands are thin and frail, much like the patches of hair on her head. She pulls from the side now, as it has become easier to not feel any pain this way. 

Mother asks her to stop. The pulling is getting out of hand. Father begins to scream at her, the rumbling in his voice shaking the whole world.

People have begun to stare. Mother doesn't let Allie out much. How could she show the world her balding disgrace of a daughter? In the least, they would be asking if she had some sort of cancer. Who would have thought she was pulling out her own hair?

Allie wants to stop too.

Middle school is over. Maybe now she won't need to pull out her hair.

There's something wrong. Why do people stare? 

Allie hates the people here, but soon enough high school will end and she no longer will have to see any of these losers here again. Who would ever want to see any of these sorry suckers again?

She flicks away the last few hairs on one side of her head and then returns to her finals. She just wants to leave. There's something wrong with her, isn't there? Allie pulls out more of her hairs, her hands furiously moving at the side of her head.

A few people murmur behind her. She doesn't care. It's not like anyone else cared for her in the first place.

Not but three days later, she sees her final grade. She continues pulling out her hair until she makes it to the bathroom and can slam her fists against the walls of the biggest stall on the end.


She wants a world of understanding. Allie finds nowhere else to turn, but needs somewhere to go. She turns to the computer and breathes heavily as she presses the button that reads "REC" in large red letters.

On the screen in front of her, the mirror image of her sullen face appears. She can only think to cry before muttering the word "Trichotillomania" through her thin lips. Her face is red, her tiny hands are trembling, and the world is beginning to see her.


High school barely ends on time for her. She begins to finally realize happiness as she films her stories, her good moments. There are a group of friends who watch her videos from all across the world. They share their stories with her as well. They are all unique.

She has a group, someone to turn to, and now she won't lose it. Allie still is losing patches of hair to her own fingers. 

But at least she is happy.


University seemed like a farfetched idea, but somehow Allie found a way. With a fresh new start at a fresh new school, maybe she can actually turn herself around. Maybe she doesn't have to be the balding girl anymore.

She meets a boy. He's good to her. He inspires her to be better.

She shaves her head. Maybe then she'll be able to control her pulling.


The night brings on sadness as the other driver is pulled out of his car in a body bag. Allie screams as she watches the EMT's drive away slowly with the man in the back of their ambulance. She looks at her car, smashed into the dead man's vehicle, and cries. It was all so fast, and she had no idea what was going on. Now what could she do?

Though for a while she had control, in almost a few short days, most of her hair was gone again. The sickness gripped on her soul. 

She would never get better.


He leaves her for a girl without so many issues. He says she needs to get help.

She doesn't have a reason to live without him. She tugs on her hair and screams until her throat dries out. She holds a knife in one hand as the other one frantically runs through what little hair she has left.

The ambulance comes just in time to put her on anti-depressants and her college life begins with an explosion.


Her hair is short. Her face is thinning. She keeps the pills in a drawer by her bed.

She keeps posting in hopes that someone will hear and stop telling her how disgusting her habits are.

But all they ever say is how beautiful she was when her hair was long.


Diagnosed with depression. But the pills won't stop the pulling.

Four years of hair being yanked by the roots.

And a sad face to show for it.

(Inspired by This)