Don’t Touch Me
I am always after my husband to rub me – rub my back, rub my feet. I am sure he delights in it.
I also really enjoy massages, as long as they are of the Swedish variety and not deep-tissue. I do not like it when the massage hurts. Ow.
But other than these 2 examples, I really don’t like being touched.
I am not a big hugger. I will shake someone’s hand (quickly) or do that weird side hug where we don’t actually look at each other. But that is really it.
Even when I was a kid, I did not like to hold hands. The whole trend now of clingy girlfriends, kissing and holding hands and hugging? Not me.
Growing up, my father’s home was near a farm. There were 4 kids who lived on the farm, 2 boys and 2 girls. The older 2 were just a little younger than me, the younger 2 much younger. The youngest girl, named Laura, thought I was the best thing ever. She always wanted to sit near me, talk to me, be around me. In response, I hated Laura. I hated having to sit near her in the car. I hated her always trying to whisper in my ear. I tried to leave her behind, leave her out, exclude her – never obviously, mind you. I was not mean directly to her. But I was still mean.
I was kind of an ass, yes?
Well, I am an adult now and because I don’t like being touched but I feel like it must mean something is wrong with me, I end up enduring touches that I don’t want. Hugs from strangers – grrr, but okay. I went to dinner with some friends and one of the guys was trying to pretend that we were together instead of with our respective spouses so he grabbed my hand and held it on the table. I froze. I hate that shit, but didn’t know what to do. So I did nothing and just sat there until it made HIM uncomfortable and then he pulled his hand away.
Not sure I’d consider that a win.
I just like my space, both mentally and physically. And there is nothing wrong with that. (note to self: there is nothing wrong with that)
My daughter, at nearly 6, is very much a hugger. A hand-holder. She loves out loud. And she loves me best.
This means that she wants to do everything with me. EVERYTHING. If I am on the couch, she has to be near me, touching me, leaning on me. If we go anywhere, she asks me to buckle her into her booster seat (she is supposed to be buckling herself). She sneaks into my bed at night and I wake up with her hands knotted in my hair, her body pressed against my back.
Whatever I do, she wants to do too. If I’m cooking, she wants to. She wants to sew with me. She wants me to play with her all the time. Summer is a long few months, folks.
I am not a toucher, but my child is. Does anyone know what this is like? I love that kid to the sun and back, I really do, but I also love to read a book without 45 pounds of kid leaning into my armpit. Does that make me a bad mother?
I am not doing what I did to Laura, I promise. I let her sit with me, help me cook, sleep in my bed. Sometimes I tell her I need some space. Mostly I just shut up and let her do what she wants.
We are starting to talk to her about boundaries. She is not inappropriate – she doesn’t climb onto strangers laps, for example. She does hug new people though, but not men. She does not hide her feelings – this is awesome, but it also makes me worried for her because she is so exposed, vulnerable. Like Laura was.
Boy, I was a jerk.