I think I’ve figured out part of my problem.
Short of the first aid after last week’s window debacle, I have not touched another human being in weeks. Thinking about that fact, I find it incredible for me. I am a handsy person by nature. I touch people when I talk, and am not afraid of affectionate gestures, even with those I know only slightly.
If we’ve met, chances are good that we’ve hugged. I kiss my friends hello and goodbye, always. I grew up in a house where affection was standard. Hugs were handed out every morning, and a kiss before bed was both a cherished routine and a happy necessity. My parents embracing was normal, not unusual and their affection took on other forms as well. My father rubs my mother’s feet after a long day on the sales floor. My mother sits next to him on the couch so that they can link arms and hold hands.
This provided me with a pretty warm foundation. I’ve had to learn to be less demonstrative with certain acquaintances and friends over the years. I had to be careful that my acts weren’t seen as flirtatious and aggressive, unless they were intended to be.
At my cousin’s wedding last month, I danced with my cousins, an uncle and my father. I hugged and kissed my family both as we got to the wedding and as we watched the honored couple drive away. That was the last time anyone touched me.
For months, it’s been so cold. I brush by my husband occasionally in the hall. Sometimes to gauge a reaction, other times simply to feel the heat from someone else. I’ve even at times put aside my pride and asked to be held. I get that half hug, where there’s a forearm on your shoulders, but I find that almost colder than being ignored.
I remember the first time he touched my face. Later when he’d ask to look at my face. When he took the time to see me in the only way he can. When you can’t be seen, and the avenue by which you were previously looked at is shut down, it’s quite sad.
I cycle between sleeping alone and crawling into what was once our bed. When I do sleep, that is. I think I go, just to feel him there. A better than nothing approach, it often fails. I slide my leg back only to have him retreat further onto his side of the bed. I scoot back only to have him ask me to move.
These are the times where the only touch I get, innocent or not, is my own. I don’t rush in, I need the feeling, the contact of skin as much as I need the climactic release.
There are moments when I’m working at my desk, engrossed in one project or another and I find myself caressing my neck, running fingers up my forearm. Those small things leave me longing for more, craving the touch of someone who feels enough to lay their hands on me.