I’m not a “touchy feely” person. However, I’ve found that I do need some touch in my life – I think it’s why when I drink too much, I want to give and receive hugs. Along with love, there just hasn’t been a much warm, loving touch in my life.
I long for a hug from my father or mother. A warm embrace, the feeling of safety and security.
It’s funny – I think because I lacked it, I’ve always been awkward when someone has wanted to give me a hug. There was that small element of insecurity, of openness to the other person that I just am not used to feeling.
Even as I lay next to my wife, I want some space – I just don’t feel comfortable next to someone while I sleep. Partially, as I’m very warm and I know I often sweat a lot, particularly if I worked out that night. I’m still not 100% comfortable with touching someone so intimately for so long.
I had two sisters and a brother growing up. Their touch was mostly violent in nature, it was to attack. To tickle, tease or to cause violence. I think that comprises most of my experience with touch – I suppose that is why I’ve always initially been so defensive. At least while sober…
Perhaps when I’m drunk – the impulsiveness that accompanies alcohol overwhelms my inherent defensiveness. My desire for loving touch is allowed to come through. It is strange to think that most of the touch I’ve experienced has been in the form of attack, at least until I finally found myself in a long-term relationship.
I still remember my first warm hug from outside my family – I think the giver, she was probably surprised as I froze. I was stiff and tense. It took a couple seconds to relax but I had already made things awkward. I didn’t even know why I felt that way.