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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default Problems with being touched/hugged

I feel like I should start this by saying my T never touches me without asking so it's not like she is just randomly touching me. She has asked to hug me twice. I said yes both times but both times it felt really weird.

I find that I have problems with physical touch just in general and I don't understand why. Like, I hate buses because I hate sharing a bench with other people. Maybe the bench is too small and our legs touch or they'll be reaching for something and they bump me or just having someone next to me and feeling their general body heat.

It drives me insane to have people touch me unless I'm super SUPER close to them and in the perfect mood and even then, I don't usually appreciate more than a pat on the back or a hug that I initiate. I don't understand why this is. I don't find it triggering. I actually like the idea of thinking about hugging someone or being cuddly. If I don't have any physical contact, I get really lonely. It's even weirder to me that I have this problem with my T. I feel close to her, but I just feel uncomfortable being touched or hugged by basically anyone.

Do any of you struggle with this? Does this stem from physical abuse or not receiving any physical affection as a kid or am I just weird?
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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Problems with being touched/hugged

I have the exact same thing. I get so annoyed when people on the bus sit so wide (especially men do that!) and I make myself as small as possible so they don't touch me. It took me years to allow my friends to kiss/hug me for greeting. I would be the only idiot doing some akward handwave when saying bye. LOL.

Anyhow, I think for me it's because I never learned it and what it's about (affection mostly). I was neglected and abused (not so much physically though). I just feel like my space is invaded when people do it. I hope to someday learn it. I can't imagine T hugging me. If she'd ask I would probably say no. Hehe.

Anyhow, I'm sorry you have a hard time with this. Sounds like a perfect therapy subject and something to work on
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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Problems with being touched/hugged

Quote:
Originally Posted by growlithing View Post
Do any of you struggle with this?
Yes. It's sort of a paradoxical situation. I don't want to be touched but I do want to be touched.

I'm not okay with adults touching me for the most part. I'm much more flexible with kids though. I do have a limit with children though, where if they are sitting next to me/on me, I eventually have to push them away.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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Yes. It's sort of a paradoxical situation. I don't want to be touched but I do want to be touched.

I'm not okay with adults touching me for the most part. I'm much more flexible with kids though. I do have a limit with children though, where if they are sitting next to me/on me, I eventually have to push them away.
I hate HATE it when children touch me though. They usually kind of gross me out. But I don't push them away because I know they don't know any better and I don't want to confuse/upset them. I dunno why children bother me. I guess they just move fast and are unpredictable but at the same time, I can be the same way with my ADHD.

I don't know if it bothers me as much as when adults touch me though. I had an experience where I was at a concert and this guy touched me in between my shoulder blades and I had to leave. It was an open orchestra rehearsal and didn't pay anything to be there so it wasn't like I was walking away from anything extremely important to me.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Problems with being touched/hugged

I don't think it is necessarily from abuse as much as from lack of experience and the attitudes about touch you learned from adults as you were growing up. Too, in my case I think, it also had to do with my stepmother's controlling behavior and my efforts to adjust the distance between us so I did not feel subsumed by her. My fear was greater than my abilities to know and maintain my own self/boundaries yet so I kept myself apart just to be safe.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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I don't think it is necessarily from abuse as much as from lack of experience and the attitudes about touch you learned from adults as you were growing up. Too, in my case I think, it also had to do with my stepmother's controlling behavior and my efforts to adjust the distance between us so I did not feel subsumed by her. My fear was greater than my abilities to know and maintain my own self/boundaries yet so I kept myself apart just to be safe.
That's an interesting take on it. My mom is very controlling and I know I struggled with wanting to be very separate from her for most of my entire life. Maybe I'm just not wanting to blur boundaries.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 12:59 PM   #7
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Unread 07-14-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Problems with being touched/hugged

I have a somewhat similar experience. I never experienced affection growing up, so touch is definitely something I'm hyper-aware of and something I have strong reactions to. For instance, I do NOT like to be touched by people I don't know. Whenever I'm in a crowd and someone brushes me accidentally, it completely grosses me out. If I've just met someone, and they want to hug me goodbye, it makes me extremely uncomfortable. There are also people in my life-- one close friend in particular-- who wants to hug me and be physically close to me and I just find the idea of that repulsive. In these instances, it feels as though the other person has "cooties" and I don't want them to touch me. This is heightened for me if there is something about them physically that just grosses me out.

On the other hand though, there are people in my life I do feel very affectionate towards. For instance, I am very comfortable hugging/touching my best friend, my close girlfriends at work, my sister, and my T. I'm also physically comfortable in romantic relationships; I'm very affectionate with my partners.

I have discussed this topic with my T. I know that my hyper-awareness regarding touch comes from the neglect and lack of affection I suffered as a child. But why am I so grossed out by touch from certain friends, and yet so comfortable with touch from others? I don't know if there's a clear answer why I react so differently with different people. It's not even about closeness, because I'm closer to the friend that "grosses me out" than I am to many of my girlfriends at work who I feel completely comfortable being affectionate with.

I will say, though, that I've become more comfortable with touch over time. There was a period in adolescence when I wouldn't touch or hug ANYONE under any circumstances. Now, there are people I really enjoy being affectionate with. And, with the right people, I can be very affectionate. My T doesn't even seem to understand how uncomfortable I can get if the wrong person touches me, because she sees that I'm comfortable being affectionate with her. I almost wish she could see me recoil from a stranger just so she could compare the different reactions!
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Unread 07-14-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Problems with being touched/hugged

This whole thread is the best explanation for why I hug my t. Because it was always awkward, and now, seven short years later, it's not so awkward. Okay that time I will admit, I'm being a little sarcastic or ironic or something, but just about the short part. I think a lot of people feel that way about the bus tho.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Problems with being touched/hugged

I also don't like being touched and hugged. Why? My senses are highly acute. My personal space is quite large, because I tend to get grossed out by things that don't bother most people such as handshakes. I also don't need much physical contact.

A psychotherapist once told me I was abused as a child. I never was. Actually, my touch issues have been lifelong and are due to autism spectrum disorder.
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