I used to be aloof and didn’t like to be touched. Except for sex, when I went on autopilot and didn’t care about what the other one did anymore as long as there was fucking involved, I never felt comfortable with touching people or with getting touched. It felt awkward and like they were invading my space. And I still shudder at the thought of some stranger accidentally brushing against me, like on a busy street. I hate that as much as I hate busy streets.
As far as my mom is concerned, however, I am starved for touch. For physical affection. For feeling she is there, physically, and wants ME there, holds and touches me. It’s not sexual at all (thank goodness, now THAT would be awkward!), but sometimes it really is an impractical amount of affection that I want. I am aware of it, yet I can’t stop myself.
It’s embarrassing to even write about. One part of me feels like I shouldn’t be so needy for physical affection. Like it’s some dirty secret that I am.
The other part of me doesn’t care. My mom hugging me feels like the sweet relief (ab)using benzos used to bring on initially. When I’m upset, feeling her hold me calms me down. When I feel like I don’t exist, it affirms that I’m there. When I’m nervous about something or anxious inside, it’s soothing. When I feel like nobody cares about me, her embrace allays the feeling. When I hate myself for craving it so much, her hugging me seems to say “it’s okay, it’s just right”.
I think I annoy her a lot sometimes. I touch her to make her pay attention to me. I tug at her clothes or at her hair if I’m unhappy with something or feel unrest inside. I push up against her, especially when she’s busy talking to someone else, because I am jealous of the attention she’s giving them and feel like she has to make up to me for it, and because I can tolerate her directing her attention at someone else better when I can physically feel I’m still connected to her and she’s still aware that I am there, too. And I probably annoy her because I can’t hold on to the good feeling it gives me. The moment she lets go of me, it’s like stepping from a warm room into chilly night air. It doesn’t take long until I get cold.
I suppose my greatest contribution to anything resembling self-soothing is that I have learned, over the last months, to seek her out, rather than stay miserable by myself. And while I feel like it would be more appropriate, age wise, to have a boyfriend to turn to, I doubt boyfriends are fond of overly attached, over-jealous, smothering girlfriends. LOL. (Unless they’re even crazier than I maybe.) So a boyfriend would probably feel like I am getting too clingy and controlling, he’d want more space, I’d feel rejected and abandoned and the relationship would be a mess. So it’s probably good that I got a new mom instead of a boyfriend.
Even so, I wonder if it gets better. If I’m done being starved for physical affection eventually and am able to feel okay with less touching? My mom says she’s confident it will happen when the time is right. That scares me because right now I can only imagine the abandonment I’d feel if my mom stopped being there for me. So my crazy self hopes the time will never be right, because I like it the way it is and don’t want it to change. Ever.