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Lots of e-mails and Bulletin Board postings. I've gathered a bunch more for your perusal. Hope you enjoy them.
I was still sucking my thumb by the time I was 8. I had a blanky, one that was with me as long as I could remember. My mom decided that I was too old and should have grown out of it by now. She started first with the "understanding" talk. Can I quit? Aren't I too old? What can help? But that got no results to her satisfaction. So, after that it became ridicule, being compared to my more "mature" older sisters. If she saw me doing it, she would take her fist and jam it into my chin, making me bite my thumb. The harder she tried, the worse my habit got. I felt ridiculed, stressed, need to relax more.
One day I decided that this was a bad cycle and was going to quit. Instead of sucking my thumb I would rub the edge of my blanky under my nose as long as I could before resorting to sucking my thumb. Pretty quickly I was able to get relaxation out of a few minutes of smelling the edge of my blanky that would normally take an hour or so of thumbsucking. I was almost (to my opinion) weened of sucking my thumb when my mom tried to throw my blanky away. I fished it out of the trash, washed it (first load of laundry I did on my own, of my own volition) and told myself that I could continue without letting it set me back.
My blanky ended up disappearing while I was at school (again) and this time I could not find it in the trash. I didn't exactly tear the trash can apart looking, but that was the first place I went to look after I couldn't find it in the house. I had a furious rebound effect and have been thumbsucking ever since. I just can't describe the feelings of anger, betrayal, mistrust, insecurity, and loneliness I felt when I realised that my mother just wouldn't trust me to quit on my own.
This site gave me the last bit of self esteem i needed... and took away the doubt and shame i have caried forever... My DB (dearest bofriend or Dumb-ass boyfriend, depending on my mood)told me about the site when he seen the extra show... After seeing the segment he has not been as judgemental about my habit! THANK YOU !!! THANK YOU !!! THANK YOU !!!
An interesting, and off-beat, e-mail about an accessory object, a smelly shirt and the trials of loss.
The Guard is Gone, Long Live the Guard by S.K.
Was there a beginning? There must be because now there is an end. My need to write should sound familiar to many of you who have written of their experiences and have submitted it to the Universe. I guess it's my turn.
It was laundry night and a minor thoughtless moment separated me from my Particular T-shirt. For those who can relate it was my blankie, my woobie, my t-shirt. This is an Ode of Sorts.
I'm new to this Open Community of "thumb-suckers" and funny as it may sound, I never really identified with those who suck their thumb. I was always a finger-sucker and more importantly, I always had a blankie. The meditation of the act has often allowed for thoughts of how I should be labeled and understood in this world. Thumbsucker never really applied......I finally decided to feel comfortable with the vague reference of having a 'comfort-habit'. Comfort is key.
Well tonight I'm not so comfortable because I managed to lose my t-shirt on the streets of Atlanta. It is never an easy passing when you have to let go of an intimate companion and tonight I find myself facing a replacement.
It's not tragic......that's for sure. I'm not 5 and hysterical because my blankie just got lost among the kiddie-rubble. I have gone through this before and everytime it was for a different reason. So this is just another phase.
This is a retrospect of gone t-shirts and the significance of each.
I guess I began with the classic blankie. There are photos with me and the cloth but the first challenging transition I can remember is what ushered in the t-shirt phenomena. Blankie was gone......but my brother brought me a t-shirt back from a trip to New Orleans. It was soft blue and had iron-on , psychedelic letters that said "Future Fox - New Orleans". I had that shirt for several years.
Now to explain a bit.....I suck my fingers.....the 2 first fingers of my left hand. They fit just right in my mouth and I have never worried that they would not be there (not completely, but nightmares of digit-loss are few and far between).....Fingers are good....but to me it's always been about the feel and the smell of the cloth I hold under my nose.....I consider myself to have a very advanced olfactory sense. ...and actually I do believe that I have a much higher tolerance to allergies and viral illness because I always had this 'human-shirt' that was full of germs. So the t-shirt has always been key.
The loss of the Future Fox ushered in the next life-phase....love with a man. I met a boy (we were both young but old enough) and he inadvertently gave me the next shirt. Begin the Uncle Green Phase. This was the name of my sweetheart's band and their promo t-shirts provided the perfect color and feel for me to happily latch on to. Years pass.....several.....but the sweetheart never really got the point of my comfort habit. In fact, he really disliked it. During a time where we were just NOT getting along, I offered him my shirt....symbolically and emotionally.....I told him I'd burn the shirt...and I did...in effigy. It was what I wanted to do.... I quit sucking my fingers for almost 2 years......I started again when his Dad died. I kept it from him.....the relationship eventually ended and I kept the shirt close for a few more years after.
Then came the Internet. I began poking around the net in '91. I was in college and stumbled on the possibility of e-mail. I knew one person with an e-mail address and I dropped him notes 6 times a day. That had to stop so I placed a notice on the student union bulletin board for an e-mail pen-pal. Shortly I received a response that led me to IRC. I began chatting to folks from all over the world and I was blown away. Why I didn't buy stock then is a big "What If".....
Long story longer: I met a young man who became very important to me. We met on a game channel and wrote and wrote and wrote. Sounds like an old story now, but at that time it was extremely special...and unexplainably different.....we wrote....he was 18 and lived 3000 miles away. I was 24 and very lonely as a non-traditional student in a college that I picked off a map. We wrote....we spoke rarely....and we snailed-mailed for 3 years. One day he sent me a plane ticket and I didn't hesitate to go. I spent 2 weeks with him....during this 2 weeks I spoke of my comfort fun. He was great about it...but he didn't like the 'old boy-friend-t-shirt'. He gave me the Guard.
The Guard was nothing more than a worn-out Lifeguard T-shirt that simply said GUARD. That was 5 years ago and I've had the Guard ever since. It smelled great too...it felt good, smelled good...and was with me more than you would really believe.
Gone...gone, gone, and gone.dammitt. And now I have to begin again. So what is this discussion about? I could cry...but I won't. It's not tragic It's not the first time. But what does this change mean? How do I go on with the next T-shirt and what significance should it have?
Well.....I can deal with change...and this is just a test. It's uncomfortable, which is what I most want to avoid....it's sad that I can see that familiar site of my well-used shirt hiding in some of my special spots....it's a drag because I just won't sleep well for a while.....but it's okay......it's not tragic and in a few months I'll be used to the new shirt and still happy with sucking my fingers.
Subject: Ex-wife sucks thumb, How did I feel?
From Email: K
When I first found out my ex-wife (at the time we were still married) I didn't really think much of it. I did kind of think it was very sexy. It showed me that it made her very secure in herself to be able to tell me that dark side of herself. She looked very sexy to me when she slept and sucked her thumb.Don't get me wrong I never thought of her as looking like a young child, I'm NOT a pervert. People have different kinds of so called "Addictions" and her's didn't hurt any other living soul around her.It doesn't make her a Psychopath or anything like that. She is a Great person and WONDERFUL mother to our girl.....
My name is Jenifer, I am 20 years old and I still suck my thumb. I am engaged to be married, my fiance knows and does'nt really like me to do it. My whole family knows, but a couple of my friends don't. I enjoy it, and I don't plan on quitting any time soon. Although I do have a small callus on my left thumb. Thank you to this web site for making me feel better about this habit.
I've sucked my thumb all my life and have just come out with it today but only on this site. NO ONE knows about it and so I must remain annonymous. My husband is away and I looked up this site and found it great that there are others like me. I'm only 18 and it's hard to do it when my husband is around so often. I hide it from everyone and it has become my deepest darkest secret. I suck both my thumbs any chance I get. It makes me feel calm and at ease when i get stressed. I've had a lot of stress in my life...and recently my mother passed away so I do it more often now. I still do not quite understand how I have not grown out of it....but someday I hope to find out.
Time: Mon, 22-Feb-1999
Hello my name is Jon Im 23 and I live in upstate NY.
I have always sucked my thumb and still have the remains of my baby blanket although it is in tattered and sad shape. His name is kiki and I sleep with him every night.
My thumb sucking habit has been a source of great anxiety for me for years. Especially breaching the subject to a lover or girlfriend it can be very embarrassing and sometimes its kept a secret all together. I would love to find a girl that sucked her thumb so I wouldn't have to feel self conscious about it I have always joked that if thumb sucking was socially acceptable I would quit smoking.
I have come to accept the fact that I will probably always suck my thumb and am fine with it but it really sucks that this harmless, docile habit is so ridiculed. I am relieved to find this website and if anyone would like to share their thoughts you can email me at my AOL screen name Jon7908@aol.com.
Happy sucking LOL. Sincere to point of absurdity.
I found similarities between myself and other stories posted on your site.
It seems that many hi-powered people, who are strong and independent outwardly have some abandonment issues. That's certainly true of me. Most people who meet me think I have it together. I'm decisive and thoughtful.
I'm very fortunate to have met my husband who doesn't mind that I suck my thumb around him. I have a 9 1/2 year old daughter who also doesn't mind. She never sucked her thumb but had a pacifier until she was 6 and I never took it away from her, she just naturally gave it up.
For more than 1/2 my life I thought I was the only person on the planet who sucked her thumb. I also banged my head on the pillow at night for hours to get to sleep. I did give up banging my head so I wouldn't wreck my marriage and I don't really miss it that much.
The church I belonged to, a "cult," tried to get me to stop, saying I'd go to hell if I didn't quit. I quit the church instead.
Now sometimes I suck my thumb at work, in the truck, when I'm tired, when I need to relax or watching TV.
I'm glad you have this site. I don't think I'll ever give up sucking my thumb--it's the one thing that I can ALWAYS rely on to make me feel better (especially without gaining weight). If I'm active, I don't think about it. To my knowledge there is only one picture of me sucking my thumb and that was taken by an ex-boyfriend. The picture doesn't show much since the blanket blocks the view. Luckily he never confronted me about it or passed the picture on to his family who would have easily harassed me.
Thanks again for having a place for me to write about this. Cale
This is the greatest site!
I just cannot believe how many others there are out there. Its like this huge secret society!
I dont know about anyone else, but this site made me feel so much better about myself. If I hadnt seen the EXTRA clip, I would have never known about it!
Great job all the way around!
My childhood was decidedly unpampered and sucking my thumb was a way of comforting myself then. Although I only do it when Im alone, its now my way of coping with a society thats far too unkind for fragile souls like mine.
I am 17 years old, and I recently saw a special on thumb sucking on EXTRA.
I, too, suck my thumb, and am constantly ridiculed by my boyfriend. He doesn't understand that I could stop if I wanted too, but I don't want to!
It soothes me, and it is my method of falling asleep at night. I also prefer to use a blanket at night, but I can do without. My sister is 21, and she still sucks her thumb, and my other sister and brother are 10 and 7. They both still do it too.
My stepfather forbids it to anyone but the youngest, and he even went so far as to throw away my security blanket that my mother made for me! I did stop for awhile when I was 13 but when I got mononucleosis later that year, I started doing it again. It's nice to know that there are others out there besides my siblings and I. Melani
Thu, 17 Jun 1999
From: CathieJ@webtv.net (Cathie Jennings)
I was unable to send the answer for the survey. I am a 29 yr old female. I have sucked my right thumb since about age 7, before that I sucked by left thumb, and before that my middle and ring finger together. So all my life. My mother teases me and used to put nasty stuff including hot sauce on my thumb, so the switch occurred. All types of torture. From gloves and hot sauce, to those staple like things the dentist put in with my braces. I used to bend them back at night so they didn't hurt as much, and one day I was eating chicken and they broke off. It wasn't until many years later that I told my mother that I bent them at night. Well, the braces came off, I still suck my thumb, and have a mild open bite.
The roof of my mouth is shaped like my thumb. I know this because when I suck on a popcicle, I can hold it next to my thumb and they look exactly alike, thumbnail included. My thumb doesn't have calluses or marks of any kind. It is flatter and wider than the other one.
About a year ago I had bitten my thumb and it took forever to heal, a co-worker noticed and said she sucked her thumb too. (she's in her late 40's). I'm glad to now there are more thumbsuckers around.
The last few years I have not been as embarrassed by it. Although, I do not suck my thumb around anyone but my husband and 7 yr old daughter. I will admit it if asked. I even told my doctor about it last year. For me, that is a big step.
My mother still makes fun of me, and complains, if she catches me, about all that money for braces down the drain. Since I have a slight open bite I have trouble eating some foods, like lettuce if its on a hamburger, I use my finger to tear it. I have thought about the teeth extensions (they are like false finger nails for your teeth) but my dentist says that if I don't stop they will probably pop off (like fake nails). I said that another lady patient of his in her mid 50's stopped and that if she could I could.
I am an overweight smoker and I think that I am just easily addicted to things involving the mouth area. I did stop for a couple weeks about 4 years ago. I had arm surgery and couldn't bend my elbow. I wonder if anyone else has had problems with their elbow? I had a pinched nerve, similar to carpal tunnel but in the elbow, from excess bending (at least that is what that doctor said). Needless to say, since I started sucking my thumb again, the problem has returned.
Thank you for a little piece of mind and all your time. You may post this if you want or my email address. It would be nice to talk to another thumbsucker about past tortures and or problems. Cathie
I have been very fortunate to have known several people all my life who sucked their thumbs including several of my sisters. Of my 10 sisters and 4 brothers, 7 of the girls (myself included) have sucked and still suck their thumbs. I am the most frequent and consistent thumbsucker in my family though.
I suck my thumb all the time except in front of strangers, the camera, or in public (unless I forget where I am, usually in the car). I have also known other non-family members who sucked their thumbs and still do. My best friend and I used to suck our thumbs together so much that people started calling us twins.
I cannot think of any particularly embarrassing situations that I have been in. I have been blessed to have been around people who understood and accepted. Even people from church!!
My parents tried to stop us. I went through the bitter nail polish, tying my thumb with cloth, (although I always ended up biting the cloth off in my sleep), band-aids, (sucked through it until it fell off), threats, promises, and attempts to embarrass. The thumb always won out. I did try to stop on my own by trying to pick up other habits like sucking my tongue or chewing gum. These failed too.
I have only just gotten comfortable with sucking my thumb in front of my boyfriend-and not a moment too soon as we just moved in together. He has never said anything about and usually likes to rub my back when we're in bed and I'm sucking my thumb. I no longer care what people think about it, although I do avoid doing it in public.
Once I get to know someone, I usually feel comfortable enough to reveal my secret to them and most are ok with it. If they aren't comfortable with it, I avoid sucking it in front of them. As for dental consequences, I have had little if any, even though I usually fall asleep with my thumb in my mouth. My dentist attributes this to the fact that I suck my thumb way in the back of my mouth and not behind my front teeth. I am a happy, well adjusted adult thumbsucker and proud of it. I am pleased to have found this web site and my fellow adult thumbsuckers.
Hello, my name is jeremy and I live in england. I am 46 and still single. I have sucked my left thumb for as long as I can remember. I was breast fed and my mum used to let me get in bed with her because I used to get frightened at night of car headlights that made some weird patterns on the ceiling. I used to feel the satin bra straps on the back with my fingers which comforted me.
I'm glad to finally know that I too am not alone. For years my parents tried to get me to stop. I always felt that there was something wrong with me. I did know other people who sucked their thumbs, but they all eventually quit. I was almost caught a couple of times, but I just blew it off. I do not, however, make a habbit of telling people. I told me old roommate and she acted like my parents. But knowing now that I'm not alone makes a world of difference!
Thumb Sucking at Church
June 9, 1999
Hello Fellow Thumb Suckers, My name is Shelly. I have been TSing all my life. I am 67 years old today. Recently while attending Sunday mass I fell into a slight sleep due to a long sermon by the pastor as well as the heavy amount of insence burned. Anway I started to feel nausea and got very tired. I was awakened by the man next to me as they had begun to kneel and i was slouched in the pew. I awoke, and to my surprise i was suckin the 'Ol thumb. How embarrasing!! I am now the laughing stock of my parish. Is there anyone out there who can relate to this embarrassing experience? Thumb Up, Shelly
June 5, 1999
In answer to another who thought that adult thumb suckers have problems.
You seem to be confused as to what this website is about. we are not pointing fingers or trying to blame anyone for our habit. Above all, we are not apologising for it either. WE ARE CELEBRATING IT! We are not trying to quit and we are not having trouble growing up. I myself run a fairly successful business that I started from scratch. I am building a house and am a pilot too. Does that sound like someone who is immature and needs to grow up? Read some of the posts here. There are college graduates, married people, proffesional people and just plain good folks. If you want to know when I plan on quitting, I am debating about whether I want to be wheeled into a nursing home with my thumb in my mouth or not. I'll make my mind up on that later.
Hi. I suck my thumb at the age of 40. I did it all my life and enjoy doing it at nite to help me sleep and take the stress away I also enjoy sucking my thumb when watching tv and reading. I'm happy to find a site like this. Now I know I'm not alone.Would love to suck my thumb when I have sex but don't know a person that would like doing this with me plus I would be too embarassed to ask that.
June 4, 1999
I recently found your website. As many others have said, I thought I was the only one.
I'm 32. I thought for many years that I was really disturbed in some way. I have always been very secretive and ashamed about my thumb. I am, luckily, with a very understanding partner.
I've noticed that I do it after stressful situations even to the slightest degree, but never in public.I've realized through some therapy that it is healthier than many other oral fixations. The thumb I suck is not calloused but is unusual looking. Unfortunately, the thumbsucking is accompanied by twirling hair in the back of my head ( the hair is very damaged and hardly grows). I also have always scratched my other thumb at the same time and as a result have a callous with discoloration. That's the most embarrasing part for me.
Thanks for letting me share my story. I'd like to chat more.
From Christine Smith, a teacher
Regarding the school that had lots of thumbsuckers. How did I know that mothers of my students thumbsucked? Well, I had a conversation one day with the security guard there. He lived in the local community (I did not) and knew the families.
I remarked that it was amazing that so many kids sucked their thumbs, and he replied (approximate quote), "That's nothing. I know parents who are thumbsuckers, too!" He proceeded to name names. So while I did not witness adults sucking their thumbs, I heard about it, and the names he named were names of parents of my students. That's how I knew.