|From the 2005 movie Thumb Sucker, I had to see it of course.|
THUMB-SUCKING SCARE TACTICS
I remember sucking my thumb and watching Sesame Street. I remember sitting in the backseat of my mom's Oldsmobile, staring at the window on the way to Grandma's every morning -- my mom worked full-time. Bundled up in winter garb, thumb glued to my mouth. I remember going into first grade and my Uncle Tony having a serious heart-to-heart with me.
The thumb sucking had to stop. I was a big girl now. Sucking my thumb meant I was destined for a large dental head brace to correct my teeth. The brace would then rust in the rain. My uncle also told me that my right thumb would shrink and look odd compared to the never-before-sucked left thumb. I believed him, but what could I do. I couldn't stop. One night he doused on my thumb in alcohol. He figured every time I'd try to do my thing, the taste would be unbearable. I washed it off and crawled into bed.
BUSTED FOR SUCKING!
In first grade, we were watching a movie on a very large screen. The auditorium was dark and the quiet made me forget I was still in school. Remember, when you were small? Your parents would correct you for putting both arms on the table or licking your plate? They'd tell you that one day you'd forget and might actually do it on a date or in public? That's what happened.
I was caught. Abruptly, the lights flickered on. I thought I had a few more seconds to spare before the end credits rolled. Wrong. In an instant, the kid sitting in front of me turned around. It all happened so fast. I didn't have time to think. I was sleepy from the darkness and comfort of my thumb. Before I knew it, he was pointing at me, screaming, "Allyson sucks her thumb! Look everyone! She was sucking her thumb like a little baby!" I was six. It was humiliating. I don't remember much after that.
I won't lie, I believe I finally stopped sucking my thumb at around age 11. It was my secret. Nobody knew. I didn't tell friends. I remember having trouble sleeping at sleep-overs. Trying to hide under blankets or waiting for the other girls to fall asleep first, hoping I wouldn't wake up with my thumb in my mouth. Then one day, I just stopped. I didn't try anything fancy. I didn't go for therapy. I wasn't in a twelve-step program. My parents didn't make me sleep with gloves on. Nobody did a thing. I didn't do a thing. I just realized one day I had forgotten to "insert thumb in mouth." I never sucked my thumb after that. I would try once in a while to see what the allure was, and it always felt uncomfortable and awkward. I honestly can't believe it was ever an obsession.