Trichotillomania

Prompt Day #277: Do something very nasty with body hair.

Again, I apologize if these stories are short and sweet. I tried to mostly focus on coming up with something gross. I think I did. Enjoy.

 

Trichotillomania

                My wife had a thing about hair. She hated it. She carried a little Ziploc baggie around with her all the time and would pick stray hairs off of me or the kids and put them in the bag. I always assumed she threw the bags away when they were full. We all knew she had a touch of OCD and her anxiety level often left her twisting her own hair around her finger until she’d pulled a whole tuft out.

Lately, it had gotten bad. The doctor called it trichotillomania, her habit of pulling her own hair out. She pulled out huge hunks of hair off her head, and her body. She’d taken to wearing a wig and drawing her eyebrows on with a pencil. That was when she turned her attention to me. I’d wake up after she ripped out some back hair or some of my beard hair. If she didn’t have hair to pull, her anxiety went through the roof, so I let her as much as I could. Eventually I had to shave off my beard because it was so patchy from her plucking.

I couldn’t keep quiet though when I started noticing small bald spots on the kids’ heads. I put my foot down. No more. I told her. Go to the doctor. Get some help or I would leave. She cried and said she was sorry. She said she would get help. Things settled down for a while but she started sleeping in the guest room. I assumed it was advised by the doctor, maybe to keep her from being tempted to pluck at my hair.

But after a couple weeks, I noticed a smell about her. It was a stink like rotted meat and try as I might, I could not ignore it. I said nothing, though, just observed. I was worried. I’d read somewhere once that cancer had a bad smell, I thought maybe she’d received some news at the doctor that she hadn’t shared with me. She looked sickly. Pale, thinner even. She never ate. The kids noticed the smell too, they quit hugging her or snuggling with her on the couch.

I pretended to leave for work one day and waited until I saw the school bus go by. I drove back home and parked a block away. Walking up to the house, I quietly let myself in. I listened but heard nothing. I snuck up the stairs. There was a noise coming from the kids’ bathroom and the light was on. I tiptoed up to the door and peeked around the corner. There was my wife, naked, sitting in front of the tub with a plumbing snake. She was working it down the drain and slowly pulling up black, pasty clumps of hair. I watched her pluck it off from the snake and sniff it. She must have smelled it three or four times before, to my horror, she squatted and shoved the hair ball up inside her vagina. I could tell by the way she pushed and shoved at it, that there was a lot more up there. I gagged. That would explain the smell.

She worked the snake a few more times, each time sniffing it before stuffing it away. I held my hand over my mouth to suppress the gorge rising and threatening to force itself out. When she’s decided there was no more hair to be had from the drain, she grabbed her robe off the hook. I stepped back and shuffled quietly to the bedroom, assuming she was on her way out of the bathroom. When I did not hear her heading down the hall, I stepped back out and snuck back to the door to check on her.

There she sat, on the toilet, its lid down, eating hair out of a baggie she held in her hand. I could see her robe pockets bulging and knew they were filled with more hair bags. Now she was eating it too. My God, she had to be completely full of hair. I wondered when the last time she’d even been able to have a bowel movement. She was sick, so much sicker than I could ever have guessed. I needed to call her doctor, she needed to be admitted to the hospital.

I went back downstairs, found the therapist’s card and called him from my car.

“Oh. I haven’t seen Susan for a couple years at least.” He said, surprised to hear me call.

“What? She said she’s been seeing you every week.”

“No. No, but I’d be happy to make an appointment for her though.”

“There’s no time to wait for an appointment” I said and told him what was happening. He said he would send an ambulance over right away.

 

Susan passed away from septic shock one week later. I gave permission for the autopsy as there was no consensus as to where the infection started. The autopsy showed her bowels were obstructed by a large hair ball, and had ruptured in several places, spilling hair throughout her abdominal cavity. Her uterus was necrotic from infection but was also full of hair. The doctor said he had never seen such a thing, that she must have shoved so much hair into her vagina that it was literally forced further up into the uterus. Pathology showed hairs in the fallopian tubes as well. She was in fact full of hair.

What was worst of all, was the finding that it was not just our family’s hair. They found hair from several animals as well as long white hair, short black hair and some reds. Everyone in our family is blonde.

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