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View Diary: The Anatomy of a Community (198 comments)

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  •  great comment (6+ / 0-)

    I long ago forgave myself for biting my nails and picking at my cuticles. And at least once every winter, I walk barefoot to the street, after an ice storm, to get the newspaper. Is that somaticizing pain? It reminds me of my childhood, and in a very good way.

    •  OMG!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      42, Aster

      I pick my cuticles!!  I've never actually known anyone else who does!!  I worry them almost absently and obsessively - so I've gotten in the habit of trimming them twice a week so there's nothing to pick.

      •  Psst: Prince Charles does it, too (6+ / 0-)

        Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor picks at his cuticles, "almost absently and obsessively," when in informal settings and speaking to small groups.

        I wouldn't be in a position to say whether he trims his cuticles twice a week (or has a Royal Cuticalist on duty for that very purpose), but I certainly recognize him as a fellow traveller. And for the record, I hold the Queen blameless. There are plenty of people in our camp, Rena.

        •  All RIGHT! (0+ / 0-)

          I'm in Royal company.  We all have our little habits.  Oddly, nail biting was never one of mine, but cuticle picking is/was, along with lip-chewing and a really bad tendency to use one tooth to obsessively pull back on another tooth.

      •  I chew my fingers (0+ / 0-)

        not the nails, the actual finger

        My right index finger now has a callus where I bite it.  

        Is this good? No.  Is it better than the alternative? Quite possibly.

        Statistical consultant - homepage on my user page

        by plf515 on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:39:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then, no. :) (7+ / 0-)

      But I will say that I was probably nearly 30 before I got over that "young girl" tendency to somaticize things in a moderately destructive way.  It's only recently that I seem able to cope with having emotions and yet go on living reasonably healthily-- sleeping and eating normally, etc.-- the most I might have to do is go for a run when I'm upset, or suffer a brief loss of appetite.  And, as girls go, I'd say I was in no way extreme.

      Another way to think about it is: teenagers are really only a few years past the age where, when they felt upset, they cried and screamed and pounded their fists on the floor.  They haven't had that much time to learn to control their emotions, but they are no longer allowed to have public tantrums (especially girls-- less fist-fighting or punching holes in the wall).  It might take twenty more years (like for me) for them to learn actual, internal self-control.  How, in the interim, will they express themselves?  Instead of looking at girls who are cutting or starving themselves as kind of scary and mentally-ill, we might do better to think of how we can teach girls better ways of self-expression.

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