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Desperate for physical contact


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How come I am sooooo desperate and needy for physical contact from virtual strangers? I love it when the lady at the grocery store puts her arm around my shoulder. I liked the hugs I got from the other moms on the last day of school. I wanted to hug my new next door neighbor I just met yesterday but didn't cuz I thought he'd think I was weird.

It's so comforting. I need that comforting, desperately. Like a drowning man needs a liferaft. It calms my nerves. It makes me feel safe and cared for.

Problem, I DON'T want those hugs from Marine. Or my sis, or my mom. Or my dad. Those hugs are uncomfortable and anxiety-producing. They do more harm than good. I always squirm away from them.

You'd think I want them from Marine at the very least. He tries his hardest to comfort me, bless his heart and I just push him away. It hurts his feelings. I feel like such a bitch. What is wrong with me????

Croix

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hi croix,

i'm reading this because you mentioned it in chat. but i'm not posting because of how you said you felt, i'm posting because i can relate. utterly.

i hate being touched by anyone in my family (dad, mom, sis). i'm not even crazy about being touched by my nephew. i can handle being touched by my niece because she grew up with me being very close to her and it was always necessary to hold her (she is three). i should feel good about holding her but i don't. there is a mental disengagement that exists in my head. is it depression? i don't know but i'm sure it is related to it.

but, like you, i really like to be touched by other people. if i am touched by someone i work with i REALLY notice it. some people touch others during a conversation without even thinking about it. i like being around them because i love being touched. (we're talking about putting a hand on the shoulder kind of thing). i even like being touched by guys, but not nearly as much. and if someone i'm attracted to touches me it hugely distracts me.

but if my mom puts her hand on my shoulder i slowly squirm away from her like my skin is crawling. i try to not be obvious about it.

and for me to touch someone that i'm attracted to it is like planning a tactical strike. and i don't want to touch people i'm not attracted to or people i'm not comfortable around.

the people that i'm attracted to i want to put my arm around their shoulders, and in a few cases hug. front to front or front to back. like just walk up behind them and put my arms around them and hold them close. i can imagine how wonderful it would feel. but i don't obviously.

before moving back home and starting this job i could go for weeks without being touched, even a brush on the arm. maybe that's why i'm so hypersensitive to touching. i'm certainly hypersensitive emotionally. maybe the two are linked.

so, you aren't alone with feeling this way. but i'm not in a relationship and never have been so i don't know how i would act touch/hugwise.

i don't imagine this helps, but you're not alone with this.

take care,

grouse.

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All through my first marriage, I couldn't stand to be touched. It was physically uncomfortable. Now, touch is very important to me, whether it is a hand on my arm or a big hug. My therapist says that I am very "kinesthetic", but that when I was supressing all my feelings that couldn't come out either.

Tommy

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Touch is very important to me with people I care about. Except my family. I don't know why, but touch is a very intimate thing for me. I'm sure it has something to do with my childhood and how my parents were distant or some other Freudian reason.

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I'm crazy about touch. Not just human touch, but touch in general. I'm very very tactile. I touch EVERYTHING. I'm the girl walking through the store touching all the shirts and running her fingers along the wall and rubbing a lighter between my fingers. I guess it's a way to not be alone? I don't know what it is. But if I'm arguing with someone or otherwise upset or unhappy with someone, their touch makes me want to barf. It's literally revolting.

I don't know what it is. I don't know if that's the same, because I love being touched by my mom- I'll still crawl in her lap like a baby sometimes. But when I'm angry or irritated or otherwise unhappy with her, just like everyone else, I can't stand it.

Maybe that's normal, though.

I think craving touch is totally normal. I'm not sure about the Marine stuff... what is it about his touch that makes you shy away? Do you feel as if it's not genuine? I'm... well-it's-a-long-story-ing with a guy who I think sometimes tries to hug me or rub my shoulders etc when he thinks I'm pissed at him and he knows he's wrong and doesn't want to apologize. So I can't STAND it when he does that, even though it's ostensibly to comfort me (and maybe really is- I sometimes give people complicated motives that don't exist, maybe)... not that Marine necessarily does that, but there's some reason that you don't like the touch- you're not totally irrational, you don't have a force-field.

I don't necessarily have advice... just a smidge of commiseration and a little pontificating. Sorry.

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Thanks so much for the replies ya'll.

Let's see. I guess the lack of wanting touch from the family is because they are the ones that fucked me up so bad. It really makes me uncomfortable.

But it's the newness/comfort level on the flipside of that too. I love the newness of hugs from strangers, new friends. But the more I get to know them, like co-workers, the less I want them to touch me. Does that make sense? But I think that's a seperate issue.

Becca, Marine is sincere in his comfort and caregiving. I just feel weird receiving it from him. It's like no matter how much I want to trust that he'll be able to care for me, I just won't let him do it. That's the most I can come up with. I still LOVE hugs from the boy, but maybe that's because he's still a little innocent boy who couldn't possibly hurt me or abandon me. I don't know.

I get the whole tactile thing though. I will walk around my house touching all the countertops while I'm on the phone. I'll pick up almost every item in a store. I look with my hands more than my eyes.

Croix

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You are on the right track Croix. The issue is history and expectations. Strangers carry none. They are safe. Family and others who want something from you are NOT safe.

I get a two hour massage every week. It keeps me relativly sane.

raven

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Oh, thanks raven. So, you're saying... Go with it. It will help? I guess I can treat myself to a half hour massage once every two weeks or something like that.

Croix

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i think humans want to touch, it's just innate. shaking hands connects us to that person in a different way that just saying hello. i never really realized how much we need more contact from other people untill i figured out that when people get drunk and their inhibitions are down, they touch eachother more. and i don't mean sexually, i mean just the way that when people are drunk they touch your arm when they are talking. i think that's what's natural and the walls between people about physical contact are mores we've slapped down on our instincts. not that i'm saying we should try to touch people more, just that i think it's an innate need. though maybe it would be a nicer world if we didn't have those walls.

and yay massages are good. self reward and relaxation and human contact.

Becca, Marine is sincere in his comfort and caregiving. I just feel weird receiving it from him. It's like no matter how much I want to trust that he'll be able to care for me, I just won't let him do it. That's the most I can come up with. I still LOVE hugs from the boy, but maybe that's because he's still a little innocent boy who couldn't possibly hurt me or abandon me. I don't know.

is this about the fear that the marine will abandon you? that if you let him in it will be worse if he leaves? are you protecting yourself from what you feel is the inevitable abandonment by pushing him away? what about it scares you? you don't have to answer me, i'm just thinking that maybe if you could find that answer in yourself about the fear then it could help you to overcome it. it's hard to battle demons, even harder if we don't know what they are. i struggle with finding reasons for fear and so i feel somewhat hypocritical saying you should find answers like this, but i do think it would help you if you could.

sorry about the late reply. i hope you are well.

penny

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Hi,

(Despite being in lust with penny) She is definitely right on target about drinking & touch. I know when Im out with friends or family - I find myself touching their hand, arm, or shoulder more often than when I am sober. Sure, it could be because we are having hun & a good time. But I do agree with Penny on this.

and I too am very tactile. when I go to the mall - plan a few hours - i have to touch everything - clothes, makeup, various oddities (not sexual you sickos), anything "hello kitty," books, etc.

Happy friendly touching,

december

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HI

When I was living with my brother, the need for touch was almost to the point of pain... But I kept going over and over in my mind who was it I needed to be hugged by???

I still don't know.. not the kids, my familly, my husband.. Maybe it would have been from an unknown...

I did not know where to get that comfort. I hope I never feel that way again... Much too painful..

Frosty

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Penny,

Consciencely, no I'm not afraid of he'll leave me. Subconsciencely, maybe. He's done it before because of my crazy. So yeah, I'm desperate for his comfort, but keep my distance just in case. I guess. That's the best I can come up with. But knowing that doesn't change anything. I still pull away, it still hurts his feelings.

Frosty, I feel like that alot. You're right, it's painful to the point of unbearable at times. I just don't understand it. I hope you're feeling better.

Croix

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(Despite being in lust with penny) She is definitely right on target about drinking & touch. I know when Im out with friends or family - I find myself touching their hand, arm, or shoulder more often than when I am sober. Sure, it could be because we are having hun & a good time. But I do agree with Penny on this.

I've seen that too. Though not in myself. My junior year of college (3 years ago), a platonic friend of mine used to be all over me when she got drunk. Every time, without fail. It took her around 3 drinks in a short span to get to this stage.

It was a little annoying for me, as 1) I wasn't attracted to her, and 2) I psychologically stay sober, and I assume I will until passing out from alcohol (haven't tried yet though - most I've done was 6 shots in 30 minutes, and I cut myself off the alkie for the night).

Overall, I still do yearn for touch (especially as I have no friends and little family here), but it looks like the only girls interested are in high school (yes, they're often hot, but... high school... really... I don't want some redneck father with a shotgun busting down my door).

Oh well, we just have to wait.

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I would love to have someone to cuddle with in bed. (more too but cuddling would be great!)

I think it might be for me about expectations. My little sister touches my arm all the time when she talks, she wants me to pay attention to her and I have to tell her once is ok, twice maybe, but after that I feel annoyed like a fly is bugging me and I'm gonna slap her!

Nice thread,

Luli

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