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Friday, May 19, 2017

I've been writing a lot lately. Not publishing, just writing. I suppose I don't publish because it just feels so negative. On the surface it might seem that I have no right to react negatively to my situation. I have a new lovely home. I live in a beautiful neighborhood. My neighbors reach out to us and like us. It's spring. The flowers I love are blooming like crazy.

But beneath it all, I'm floundering for so many reasons.

I'm working through it though. Every day I force myself to do at least two things that are expedient. I fell behind a lot in my work assignments when I was not well earlier this month. It's taking longer than I had hoped to catch up. But I'm slowly doing so. I'm applying for jobs, as well.

Yesterday I had one of the most satisfying runs I've had for a long time. It's been a few years since I've run for more than an hour and still felt I could continue. I'm carrying more pounds than I ever remember having, so I didn't think I'd hit this point until I'd lost those. It's going to take some time before they leave, though, so I'm glad running is becoming easy again in spite of them.

I haven't been back to see Therapist for awhile. Part of the reason is because I'm not ready to talk about anything. It's pointless to go to therapy when you aren't willing to talk. That's sort of the point. I'm aware of what's going on. I know I need some help. But there are a lot of external things that need to see resolution before I can do any inner work. And also, there are some things happening that I'm not ready to talk about with him.

One of those things is that my sensation of touch is returning, not just to my hands, but other parts of my body. The emotions this invokes are difficult to manage. There are moments when I touch my skin, realizing I can feel not only the touch, itself, but the hand that is touching also has sensation. There are two parts to touch. Therapist would tell me this is wonderful. He would say it's proof of the amount of healing I've done.

But it's more complicated than that.

As I feel the physical responses, I'm deeply aware that for many, many years I did not. And I had no idea that I was missing anything. I thought that's how everyone experienced touch. If someone touched me, I could feel that. But when I touched someone, I didn't really feel anything. It's difficult to explain. If my hand was held, I was aware that was happening. There was a sense of warmth, or comfort, or romance, depending on the situation, I suppose. What I was not feeling was that the other person's skin has a texture and shape. When you touch a person's arm, you can feel the hair on the surface of their skin. And they can feel those things on me, too, when I am touched.

I feel embarrassed that I did not know. I feel angry that I was abused to the point that I stopped feeling physical sensation. I feel robbed that the experiences I thought I understood and participated in, were only partially perceived by me. And then I feel stupid that it means so much to me. It's not like I felt nothing. I just didn't feel all of it.

About a month ago, I gave Tolkien Boy a kiss on the cheek. I've done that before dozens of times. But this time I felt it-- the brush of his beard, the warmth of his skin. And suddenly it felt like I kissed a real person. It was a gesture with meaning because I had a tactile response to it? I don't know. And of course, it freaked me out. Everything freaks me out.

The ability to feel back (for want of a better descriptor) is causing me some distress. It's distracting. I want to stay in the moment or return to it frequently. It feels like my body is trying to understand something it thought it already knew. My hands and arms and legs and feet and lips and cheeks-- all of my skin can feel the things it touches. And I knew that. But I've never really felt it, literally. Or, at least, not that I can remember.

Sometimes I find myself stroking a fabric simply to feel the texture. And then I feel silly. But I keep doing it. And I'm fascinated by other people's skin. Sometimes it's smooth, but it has a texture. Or it's completely soft, almost velvety. Sometimes it's sticky or slightly moist or rough and dry. It's not always pleasant to touch. And each touch is accompanied by a scent-- also not always pleasant.

I think, probably, no one really thinks about this. Touch is something they've had all their lives. They aren't aware that it can be otherwise. The things that fascinate and distract and alternately repel and attract me are all things they've experienced always and are completely unremarkable to them.

So I understand Therapist's need to tell me how wonderful this development is. And I agree with him. But it still seems to highlight the fact that my life, my normal, was not as it should have been. And I missed out. It's hard not to feel resentful. And when I'm not feeling resentful, I'm finding my brain wondering how I can possibly find ways to touch people and process the feel of their skin against mine. Yeah. It's weird. I'm creepy.

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