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Thursday, January 10, 2013

I haven't written here for a few days because I want to write something uplifting or fun or happy. But the truth is, given my current situation, that's probably asking a little bit too much. Tonight I am too sad for sleep. I believe tomorrow will be better. Always, I believe that.

There is so much on my mind but I feel I can speak of none of it. Darrin is too close to everything and he's sorting through his own emotions. Daily I speak with Adam, trying to help him understand how to manage his anger and frustration related to Tabitha's situation. While I'm grateful he feels he can come to me, it adds to my stress because I must listen but I cannot express what I'm feeling. 

...what I'm feeling...

A couple of years ago my PTSD symptoms increased to the point that I was experiencing a severe phobia to touch. My reaction was that I would become nauseated--sometimes to the point of vomiting. It was rather horrible and there were all sorts of neurotic side-effects of the phobia which affected my relationships and how I viewed myself. Fortunately, it didn't last forever and I didn't go insane even though I thought I would.

A couple of months ago I began experiencing the opposite of the phobia. I became clingy. I constantly wanted a hand to hold or to be cuddled. I was always touching the person next to me. I became dependent to the point that only physical touch could assuage my panic and distress. This condition has not changed. I refuse, however, to be that person--the one everyone runs from because they always want to hug or they sit too close or they're always in some sort of physical contact with the person nearest them. I will not be that.

But I have to say, it makes me feel slightly monstrous. To wish so deeply for someone I love to hold me is not wrong; but I wish for it all the time. It distracts me. I visited with friends and family before Christmas and I found myself planning in advance how I would not be physically near anyone so as not to embarrass myself.  I was defiantly, obstinately certain that I would not require touch from anyone. And I worked very hard to convince myself that I don't need touch of any kind--this is simply a PTSD thing and it will pass.

After about three days of this, I found myself sitting on a bed in the guest room where I was staying, willing the intense panic attack I was experiencing to just go away. It didn't. And I was mortified when my host discovered me there, stressed out of my mind, crying and shaking, and just generally being stupid. But I didn't throw up. See--there's a silver lining to everything.

I realized last week that I'm still doing that "I don't need anyone to touch me" thing. I also realized that this state of being is as extreme as the touch phobia was. And I'm finally accepting that there's a good chance I won't ever understand how to manage the feelings I have about touch because I have never been taught what is appropriate. And my experience with touch as a teen was violent and unhealthy.

I'm trying to decide what's best. No one ever died of wishing someone would hug them. If I needed touch from a loved one and it was denied (which is completely legitimate--touch should not happen out of obligation, but because both parties wish for it), I believe I would feel hurt to the point that I would not approach anyone again.

I'm not sure what I'm saying. I only know that this problem has escalated to the point where I'm not sleeping because all I want to do is cuddle with Darrin--and that really does disturb his sleep.

This is stupid, yes?


  1. I'm sorry about your situation. I keep thinking about your family (in a non-creepy way). You don't have to "write something uplifting or fun or happy" when it is not there.