A Sense called Touch

hug

The sense of touch is a powerful and elemental medium of expression! Look at the array of emotions – a soothing hand, a supporting shoulder, a passionate embrace, a motivating clap. More effective than the spoken word.

My parents always made it a point to communicate with me and my sister through both words and touch… However tired he may be, Dad would always stroke our heads while we slept; Mom would always hug us goodbye, her familiar scent as comforting as her patting hands.

But I never really became touchy-feely. I was comfortable hugging only my immediate family and best friend. At college, everyone hugged and snuggled while I just hovered exchanging wary glances with anyone who came too close for comfort. I gave in at times, allowing myself to be hugged and be used as an arm rest. Even in my so-called relationships, physical intimacy was never something I actively craved. Two years in a dorm and it never crossed my mind that I can use this freedom to experiment. I was fine lounging in my room with my big fluffy pillow. And no, I wasn’t a tease maintaining a ‘you can look but not touch’ image.

Ironically, “huggable” and “cuddly” are adjectives commonly used to describe me. I often receive texts or calls from friends saying “I feel like a hug and you are the first person I thought of” (They were not hitting on me!) … I am at a loss! Why don’t I get such feelings? Am I a cold blooded? Is this normal?

And then…

Staying alone without family or roommates now makes me crave hugs and holds but has left me without a source! (My friends here say I give a “touch-me-not” vibe, hence they hesitate sometimes) So what happens is, I often go days if not weeks without ANY physical contact. Maybe an occasional bump in the bus, or a brush while walking. Even when I am ill or down, I take care of myself without even a pat – and we all know how important pats are! It got so bad earlier this year that I practically molested this friend… not very pretty! Just last week, I counted 12 days before I touched any other person. Fine, I got many hugs and kisses on my birthday (November 22) but then back to “No Touch Pavilion”

Basically, I went from a “Don’t Touch Me!” to “Hold Me!” Even then, only a handful of people are allowed to get close and I am really waiting for them to get back in town. So till then I will be waiting here, hugging myself!

Or you can give me a hug. I won’t eat you.

*Awkwardly ending this post*

Badge: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions
Badge: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt was ‘sense/scents/cents/sent’ part of which fits perfectly with my mood these days.

So, spill the beans! Have you ever craved just to feel someone close to you? Or am I going mad?

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45 thoughts on “A Sense called Touch

  1. weird, you may think, but the only thing I am pondering on still after reading your post is you actually counted the days? 12 😀 K, time for fellas to get back in town 🙂 Best Wishes

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  2. Hahaha! I love the way you ended your post.
    As a mom, and as many mom’s do, I get “touched out” at times. Too much of being hung onto gets me to the point where I’ll feel like screaming if another person touches me.
    But I’m not like that today.
    *hugs you* 😀

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  3. Wow.. I never thought somebody would write this about “an hug” ..!!! 🙂
    Any ways.. I like your rendering style ..!! 🙂
    Would go thru your other posts too..!!!
    Take care n keep smiling.. 🙂

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  4. My family wasn’t very touchy-feely, I don’t remember ever being hugged by either of my parents. It’s funny, we knew that we loved each other but we never said it. Then, after my Dad then my brother died, (many years ago) we all started to change, there are more hugs, more “I love you”s now. It’s nice 🙂 Here ya go:

    {{{hugs}}}

    Mary ❤

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  5. Hi Praj. Mixed feelings. Cannot put them in words. But it seems you must increase your visits to Ahmedabad. With you and P.U. away for last many years, even me and mom are missing these hugs and patting.

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  6. The familiar smell of mom.. Thats amazing 🙂
    Even I’m a bit reluctant in giving and receiving hugs.. But there are moments where a hug does wonders to me. In both giving and receiving.

    I’m not surprised that people get those “touch me not” vibes from you 😀

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  7. I think if you are a sensitive person as I am that hugs by relative strangers can feel like an intrusion. Being sensitive I have a heightened sense perception. I know I would tense up unintentionally when people would want to touch me. I would have to concentrate on getting myself to not tense up. So I was sending out that vibe as well. I am fine with showing affection to my kids. But I agree that when we go without any physical touching for a long time it is not good but even us sensitive souls need hugs.

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    • I understand completely! I go rigid when someone comes too close, even if it is not for a hug. I can actually measure the distance… But there are moments, when hugs from special people are beyond words!

      Liked by 1 person

      • We all have a boundary around us and some of us are extra sensitive to it. It does not mean do you do not want closeness. But not with everybody at least not until you feel comfortable with them.

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  8. I used to feel awkward about hugs, and still do in certain situations, but not as much. Got desensitized over the years and enjoy hugs from people at church or close friends and family. I also love getting my hair washed and brushed, and go into a light trance when someone brushes or plays with my hair. I think that comes from my mother caressing my head when I was a child. When I was single and lonely, I made it a point to get a therapeutic massage every few months, and always on my birthday. I’m curious about whether you would like a therapeutic massage. Even a foot massage might be nice. Just a thought. Take care!

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    • A therapeutic massage.. That isn’t something I have ever had. I get 10000 questions and qualms about a complete stranger touching me. But I guess to start, a foot massage will be pretty safe.
      Thank you Joanna! With time, I think I will find me neutral ground.

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  9. I don’t think of myself as a “hugger” in general, but on reflection, I don’t recall ever being “hug-starved” either…so {hugs} to you Prajakta 🙂 I always enjoy your posts!

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  10. Your post reminded me of my sister who was going off her rockers for something and after trying to calm her down ,on an instinct went and hugged her (even though I am not a very fond of hugging) and that did it. She calmed down 🙂 (っ⌒‿⌒)っ (just in case it didn’t come out well….that was a symbol for hugs)

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  11. i think this is fascinating and my mind always wants to know why and yes i have experienced life in both places too.. and for me.. with the stress of college and when work got too much that way.. i found myself recoiling a bit from human touch.. but when everything flows.. the touchy feely part of me.. is always there to tap a shoulder or touch an arm in friendly innocent human contact.. of TOUCH…

    They also say there are five languages of love per touch.. gifts.. acts of service.. and the other two i am amiss at this moment i guess.. but truly for some folks love and touch are one and same.. and my touch is a loving one all the same..:)

    And truly i would be rather starving for touch.. than not needing it or being able to HANDLE it at all..:)

    And thank goodness being married there is always a steady supply but i do want to touch humanity too.. as innocent loving light..:)

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    • Well said! Touch is a powerful sense that we can use to express our love and emotions. And yes, I like the change I am going through, I guess I have opened up more to people and myself which makes me want that physical intimacy that we are capable of sharing.

      Thank you for your comments! Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hugs can be personal so I completely understand the ambiguity of no touch vs the deflated value of it becoming too casual. Yes I have heard that sometimes I’m too stiff.. It shows I’m not a good hugger.. But still people hug me. I think finding the right balance is the trick.

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  13. Just found this post, Prajakta. I only hug those closest to me and that’s really it. However, my dog demands his hugs every night and will jump up on the couch to get his. How can I say no? 😀

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