Sara: A True Story of Embracing Your Weird

I hate being touched. There, I said it. When I say it out loud, I feel so much better, but, people look at me like I am some sort of monster. I can read their thoughts as they scroll across their faces. It starts with “She MUST beat her children.” And, then continues on to “I bet she is beaten by her husband.”

Let me say NO! I am not beaten by my husband, and I do not lay a hand on my children. I am proud to say that I have broken the repetitive chains of abuse that have haunted my family for generations. As a child I was not touched to be loved. When I was touched, it was out of anger only. I was not hugged very often, and those hugs were not warm loving hugs, they were hugs of distant, forced apology after I was physically assaulted. I was verbally, physically and emotionally abused by a mother who claimed the ultimate love for her child, but was bound by the same exact chains of abuse she suffered through during her own childhood.
As I grew through adolescence, being touched was not something that I did not crave at all because touch, to me always hurt. I started dating in high school, and the first boyfriend I had did not help matters. He was mean and the hugs he gave me nearly cracked my ribs. I could feel them moving back and forth inside my body because he was trying to force his strength on me to remind me who was boss. Even gentle touches from loving people started hurting me. It became so bad, that I would not even let any other person enter my personal space at all. No hugging, no handshakes in the professional world, and especially no holding hands and long walks on the beach with boyfriends.

As an adult entering into a marriage with a wonderful, loving and caring man, this was an obstacle. He was a patient caring person who came from a loving caring home. When I became a mother, he and I decided that no matter what we were going to break the chains that had bound me, and we were going to hold and hug our children every single day. He helped me embrace the fact that not all touches were hurtful touches and over the course of 15 years, he has helped me by holding my hand and hugging me almost every day. I have learned to tolerate hugs, touches and kisses on cheeks from anybody that approaches me. I can also shake hands in the professional world now.

There are still days when my nerves get the best of me and I feel that I am best left alone, however, that is when I just smile to myself and realize that this is who I am and embrace every moment of the life I have, and enjoy every second of it!