by Sandy Yarrington
(Detroit, MI )

When I was a kid, I chewed on all kinds of stuff. I was always getting in trouble for it so I learned to hide it. Rubber bands, plastic pen caps, the ends of bobby pins, etc were drawn to my mouth without even consciously thinking about it. I can remember chewing on rubber bands until my jaws ached.

I also remember writing too hard. It would be so difficult to erase anything because I would push down so hard on a pencil. I often would rip a hole in the paper because I would erase too hard as well.

It is sad how many times I would "get in trouble" for chewing, fidgeting, holes in my paper, etc. It would make me feel like I was a bad person.

I also think of how angry and frustrated I would become even over the simplest things; being forced to wear tights, being forced to wear socks that slipped into my shoes or had big seams that pressed into my toes. I kept so much anger inside because no one seemed to care about the things that were bothering me so.

I hated being called "a baby" when I would get hurt because the pain would be so amplified. I learned to hold it all in and still have trouble to this day (I am 50) with holding anger and frustration inside.

I feel so sad for the kids that have to endure this now. I am relieved that I never had children that I may have passed this along to. I hope that physicians and psychologists get on the ball with this so that they can help future generations. People with this should not have to suffer needlessly.

Thanks for listening.

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