I just finished the movie Thumbsucker. I had read the book years ago. My mother had given it to me. Not because it had rave reviews, or a friend had recommended it to her, she bought it based on the title alone. I am 25 years old, soon to be 26 in less than a month and I suck my thumb. I have since birth I suppose. And not just in my sleep. I suck it while watching TV, while taking a shower, while pausing to think of what next to write in my blog.
It was strange to see this movie. I related too much to it and those similarities ended up feeling like almost an invasion.
An interesting difference however between myself and the protagonist of Thumbsucker, Justin, is that I was never ashamed of my childish habit. I am not proud, and I don’t advertise it (yeah, good job writing about on your website Lauren, way to keep it on the DL) but I can count the instances someone made me feel ashamed of being a thumbsucker on one hand. And I think that’s mainly down to the fact that I didn’t let them.
While Justin hides in his high school bathroom to suck his thumb between classes, I used to suck my thumb in the middle of class. I’m sure that people used to know me as that weird girl who sucked her thumb during US History. Actually I KNOW that that is how people in high school knew me as. I just don’t remember caring.
I don’t suck my thumb at work. Well at least not when anyone’s looking. So obviously at some point what is socially acceptable has taken precedence over my comforting addiction.
I went to the dentist when I was back in the states and I asked him to give me a mouth guard to help with the sucking at night. I enjoy sucking my thumb and I don’t necessarily want to stop, I also don’t want to have teeth sticking horizontally out of my mouth in 10 years time and have completely wasted all the money my mother put into braces, expanders and retainers. My dentist later commented to my mother that she had an amazing daughter to be able to admit such an embarrassing trait so openly.
Is it that embarrassing? Something I should hide? Constantly in fear that I’ll fall asleep in public and wake up with my thumb in my mouth in front of a stranger?
We all have addictions, habits, quirks. Perhaps I’m too open with mine. You’d think I would have learned by now not to talk with my mouth full.