A couple weeks ago I talked about how I have changed as I grow older. That one was about my new found love of animals.
Today I want to talk about hugs. I know so many people LOVE hugs...some love them from everyone and anyone, some people love giving them and receiving them. You are not my people. hahahaha
I have a really hard time with physical touch. I have always been very particular whom I choose to share my physical self with, even just hugs. I cannot pinpoint exactly when it started but it has been an ongoing problem in my life. Not really a "problem" except that others want to hug me or touch me and it makes my skin crawl (or I guess did....which is what I am explaining right now. lol) and it made me feel uncomfortable.
I am very sensitive to touch (and sensitive emotionally as well....maybe the two go hand in hand?!?!) when someone touches my arm or my hand or my head, I seriously feel it all over my body. (And maybe this is completely normal and I have just never talked about it before....but it feels abnormal to me....or else wouldn't everyone have issues with hugging?) Sometimes it a good feeling, a pleasant shiver passes over me....and sometimes it is more like pin pricks and it is not enjoyable at all. I have never studied the results to see if it depends on the time of the month/vs how life in general is going....or if it is certain people make me pleasant shiver and others give me pin pricks....but that might be something I look into...although overall, these days there are less pin pricks.
I had my first baby at 17 and had my last at 35. I have five children....who all require physical touch.....every.single.day....which I know is good for them, but sometimes it is just too much for me. I have been giving it to them, whoever needs it, because that is part of being a mom...but that has meant not wanting to touch other people or have other people touch me.
This does not apply to Ben. He is the one person whom can touch me/hug me and (and I know this sounds Hallmark-y but it is the honest to goodness truth) I feel any tension in my body evaporate...replaced with warm fuzzies. I can be real and say there have been times over our marriage that has not been the case, but for the majority it has...and is the case for the last 10 years for sure.
I think part of it is when you share a physical experience with someone, it is very intimate, and according to movies, books and media in general, intimate is sexual in nature. How sad that we have created a world in which we cannot be intimate with other humans without worrying about perceived sexual intent? (And maybe I am alone here as well....and no one else overthinks that one! lol) I will not go into details but over my life as a girl/woman, some of my attempts at friendships have been construed as advances in a sexual nature....which, rightly so, have put a damper on any platonic physical affection I might have been willing to share with others.
That was before....now as I grow older, I just don't care anymore. I am trying not to be bothered by what others perceive as my intent. I turn 42 next week....and while I still have moments of pin pricks with touch from others....more and more I get the euphoric calming of pleasant shivers when someone hugs me.
It is hard to change something about yourself (or for it to change naturally) and help others to see you are not who you once were....I still get called out as the "non-hugger"....and while I don't mind (cause it was me for a very long time) there are times I would love to hug someone but it feels awkward cause I have gone our whole relationship not hugging them. And you know what, for me it is still a hit or miss....I cannot see me becoming a "hugger" but I am tentatively slowing incorporating more hugs/physical touch with others besides my immediate family into my life, and so far so good, I haven't had anyone hit me up on Facebook for dates and I have not run away screaming from pain. And although I jest, this was a real concern for me. (Not getting dates might be helped by the fact that I am married to a very scary looking dude....hahahaha).
With the holiday season upon us, I can say I am ready for Christmas cheer and Holiday greetings....which usually include hugs or other forms of physical contact, with family and friends....old ones and new ones. And if you choose to give me a hug, don't worry, I won't tell you if you gave me pleasant shivers or pin pricks....it is the holiday's after all, time for being kind and spreading cheer...not negativity.