Touch Is Intolerable

For me, touch is life.  Since I left Bubba, the absence of touch has been the major thing that threatened to drive me to the brink of insanity.  I need physical touch as much as I need air to breathe and water to drink.  The absence of touch was so profound at points that my fingers literally itched to touch someone, to feel skin under them.  It was painful.

Now, after having had a few weeks of amazing touch with Steve (his hair was so soft and I loved to have my fingers buried in it) and his betrayal, I’m finding touch intolerable.  The children want touch and I cringe away from them.  My skin is crawling and I can’t bear to be touched.

I was in the store today, just browsing through the stilettos (just a bit of retail therapy) and got to chatting with a random stranger.  I told her I was on the search for the ultimate red stilettos.  She said, “Like these?”  They happened to be the most perfect ever known to woman.  I said, “YES!  Exactly like those!”  She reached her arm around me and I froze.  I could feel my insides retreating, pulling back, even though my outsides were rooted to the spot.  It seems my freezing is right back in place.  I tolerated the touch only because I did not want to hurt this kind woman’s feelings.  She was being nice and she was an older lady.  I highly doubt she meant any harm or offense.  I refuse to let my battles tumble forth and hurt someone else.  I tolerated it simply because had I not, had I given in to what I wanted to do, I would’ve attacked her.

The armor plating and force fields are back in place and I must remember this and start guarding my body better.  I am too open.  I leave myself defenseless because I’ve never really learned to defend myself.  My instinct is still to freeze.  I need to be more aware of where I am in space and where others are in my space.  There was no reason I should’ve allowed her to stand close enough that putting an arm around me was an option.  I must learn to develop and maintain a personal bubble.

The children demand touch.  I’ve largely gotten away from the children and me asking permission to touch each other.  They just come for hugs now without asking for the most part.  Now, the past few days, I’ve been saying, “Please don’t touch me.” or “Please ask before you touch me again.”  I don’t know if they’ve noticed; they don’t comment on it.

This does not bode well for dating.  I don’t want to be the one who only offers a handshake at the end of a date yet look what happened the last time I didn’t stick to a handshake only.  I let Steve in and it ended in disaster.  How do I convince myself that I’ve outgrown the armor plating and force fields when they so very easily slipped back into place after I broke it off with Steve?  They are my comfort.  They make me feel safe.

The armor plating and force field are lies.  They are not safety and comfort.  They are crutches.  I know this, deep down, I know they are crutches.  I know they are self-preservation measures that only hold me back.  Yet I use them.  I hide behind them.  I don’t know how to get rid of them again as they feel even more powerful than before.

I am scared of touch.  It hurts me.  It’s absence hurts me more.  It is confusing to crave touch even as I find it abhorrent.

My mind can’t keep up with itself about this.

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