When someone touches me it feels like they're trying to take possession of me.
I don't like it. Even the most platonic and non-sexual touch makes me cringe. It takes months or even years of time spent for me to feel comfortable with touch.
I know it comes from a lot of things.
That damn back room and the way she would rest her age spotted hand on my shoulder when whispering how rotten I was, the pinching tightness of her only slightly younger age spotted hands gripping my upper arm hissing at me the things to say to never have to go home again.
The way the only touch I ever felt comforted under was hidden in secrecy of too young and too soon. The way even that touch would disintegrate with the stunning rapidity of shifting teen allegiances.
The way I knew I could use touch to change a topic or divert attention from a searching glance or reassure myself that you cared enough to spend the night.
So now these many years later touch has become bad. All touch. I have to really believe that you won't hurt me to allow touch, and I don't really believe that a lot of people won't hurt me.
Even with dear friends, the closer geographically they get, the less we touch. Long weekend are punctuated by obligatory hugs but I hate to linger. It feels like a trap. Like I won't be able to escape (these dear people that I otherwise have no desire to escape).
I had a friend once, and believe me when I say we were really just friends. We would go walking in benign places and hold hands just for the comfort of having another anchor in the world. There was poking and arms casually slung around shoulders, soft touches to the back or face just to say, "I'm still here. This is still solid ground."
I miss that friend. Because life shifted as it will and it's no longer appropriate for us to comfort each other, even platonically, that way. His wife would probably mind, which is completely appropriate and understandable.
But outside of the desperate and often manipulative context of teenage sexuality I cannot recall any other person or relationship that contained such an ease of touch. Nothing sexual, nothing inappropriate, just one person saying to another that they were there.
It's the last time I didn't feel that constricting need to flee at even the slightest touch.