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Featured Craving touch but afraid of intimacy. Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by AHClemist, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    Hi all,

    I have looked around the forums for a few days and there is something I noticed. Many people here don’t like to be touched, apart from people they know well.

    For me, it’s the other way around. I like being touched when a connection to me is not the point of the action. Things like running a hand over my arm because my shirt looked soft or over my back because I was wearing a fake fur cape for Halloween are acceptable to me.

    The people closest to me don’t get to touch me. I will hug people I meet through hobbies (dancers are super huggy) as a greeting ritual. Once they know me better, I ask them to greet me differently. I do this because I have an extremely low tolerance for awkwardness. Asking people not to hug me right away tends to get really awkward. They usually worry that something has happened to me in the past.

    Emotional intimacy and vulnerability are things I that make me extremely uncomfortable. The closer someone is to me emotionally, the less they get to touch me and the other way around. The one time I considered someone a potential partner, mostly because he was shy enough to where I felt I could control the situation and he was fine not touching me, I eventually became physically ill from the stress of the emotional weight he put on me.

    I’m also uncomfortable with the state of being female. Not in a dysmorphic kind of way, but because presenting traditionally female mannerisms feels unsafe to me. I tend to sit/stand/move in a more traditionally male way to avoid attracting male sexual attention.

    I’m curious whether anyone here has experienced something similar.
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Maybe you are comfortable being a female but afraid of other people knowing this? You should tell your closest friends, one of them is bound to understand this. Because it seems to me you may be male? l know that wouldn't bother me at all about someone l liked.

    You need to come out of your comfort zone and explain that these particular things make you uncomfortable and you are or aren't working on it. May l ask why you are physically sick about emotional tenderness? What does it truly represent to you that you find so threatening?

    Once you do that hard work of looking closely at those feelings, you will move onto being less threatened by this. So this is incredibly didficult to do, but you have to go through the bad to pull out the why? Why do l respond this way? Is it because you feel shame? I say break these barriers down. True friendship here accepts the individuals for who they are, nuances, feelings, preferences. And you bring honesty to the ones you allow near you. I grew up in a town that was very tolerent of people and their uniqueness. So this is my personal belief.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  3. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I do think touch is one of the especially sensitive areas with Aspies. It is not always the same in specifics but does often cause more dramatic feelings/responses with us, whether it be in clothing, textures, people contact, etc. It probably leans more towards encouraging avoidance then the other way round.

    But touch can be a positive experience and I would guess that a desire/need for it does reside in our nature as humans. It is one of the things you can see echoes of in other animals, such as grooming rituals in primates, and even dogs and cats.

    In myself I have always seen a stronger response to it, whether it be positive or negative. Some was calmed down, for lack of a better term by regular moderate exposure. That being frequent appropriate contact thru dating, sports, the military and last but not least growing up in an old school Italian/Irish family and forced to regularly hug mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, great great grandmothers, and uncles and cousins, etc, etc. It was no use if you didn't want a hug, cause they would just chase you down and do it anyway. :D

    Anyway, for me it fell into place where I thought it appropriate. For instance I had no problem with it with my love interests. And I can still manage common accepted touches. But anything I sense as inappropriate still sets off alarm buttons and will get a swift possibly negative reaction from me.
     
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  4. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    I am female and I have actually have had conversations with a my close friends. I do enjoy showing of in a feminine way in social dance on occasion, though I have to be fully convinced that my partner (if male) will not take this as a sign of interest on my part. Most of the time though, I feel better leading, because then I can control the context of the interaction.
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not directly related but just another observation. I have had opportunity to raise litters of kittens and also some individual puppies. There is quite a variation in their response to touch/physical attention right out of the box so to speak, even with no negative experiences (assuming no battling going on in the womb). Being naturally cute, you and others just want to hold and squeeze them all. But while some take to it quick, others are more aloof and some very wary/skitterish.
     
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  6. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    Oh, I am skittish. Probably very appropriate to have a picture of a horse as my profile.
     
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  7. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    I have actually been considering participating in some LARP events to see whether I have an easier time interacting with people when I don't have to be myself.
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Interesting thought. It was for a different reason but I was always much attracted to the historically based events/reenactments (as observer - not participant). For me it was a chance to get to experience a little of what some past period or event would have been like. The sights, sounds, smells, could almost bring me back there.
     
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  9. Guest

    Guest New Member

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    Nowadays, touching another human may trigger incrimination.

    I prefer cats and dogs.
     
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  10. Graphin

    Graphin Toilet curver V.I.P Member

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    I see this complaint in trauma related communities all the time, I recommend looking into that topic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  11. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I was never a hugger.
    People hug me anyway sometimes. People I know closely or when I had relatives.
    I can tolerate it, but, don't really like it. I would never initiate a hug.
    Even with a couple of relationships I class as a bit romantic it was never a big deal.
    Now I see and read about how couples are supposed to hold hands.
    It's a sign of a not so good relationship if they don't ?
    To be technical, they call it a romantic-asexual.
    Having had emotional feelings for a couple of men, but, not caring for intimacy or touch.
    Currently I am seeing another Aspie and he always says "give me my hug" when we part.
    I never think of it, but, he does and with him I don't mind. It feels rather good.

    This week's episode of the Good Doctor made me think of myself.
    Shuan didn't want to hold hands with the girl he has been seeing.
    It was supposed to be some kind of big deal.
    She told him if they didn't, she would feel seperate.
    It showed them at a wedding pretending to hold hands, but, didn't actually touch.
    I think it has something to do with not wanting to feel oneness.
    Lack of trust in them.
    Just as not wanting to look in someone's eyes implies this to me also.
    Close, but, not too close!
     
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  12. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    I think seeing other people hug or hold hands is part of what sets me on edge. Did you ever notice how hugging among friends wasn't a thing until a few years ago? My family didn't really hug before. They knew I didn't like it and they never questioned that, apart from that one grandpa, but he'd bear hug me and he might also be an Aspie, so it was ok. I'll explain that at the end.

    Digging around these forums helped me put words to some of the things I have been experiencing but couldn’t describe myself. I can sense other people's emotions even though I have a hard time naming them, mostly through observational skills, probably. Sometimes I know what's expected of me in return, sometimes I don't.

    I think the best example of this would be my grandmother's funeral. I knew I was supposed to feel sad. I knew I was supposed to express this sadness, but I didn't feel it. She had been sick for a while and frustrated with her state of being so I felt, that her death must have been a relief for her. Still, I spent the entire day attempting to enact grief. Eventually I left to go for a walk (this was in winter) in the park and ended up standing at the top of a hill, letting the cold wind whip across my face, trying to join them in the emotion they were feeling by translating it into a physical sensation. I wondered whether maybe my family would be satisfied by this (very epic, I realize that) display. When I returned home, they were worried about me, so I suppose it did do its job, since they thought I might have acted out in grief in some destructive way.

    Another time I made the mistake of letting my parents witness a meltdown. I foolishly expected them to ignore the emotions I was displaying, just as I did and instead help me solve the underlying problem. My dad did. My mom felt lost and scared, unable to help. Once it had passed, she came over and hugged me. I allowed it because it was something, she needed to do to feel better, but I still froze and couldn't make myself react in the trusting, affectionate way she was hoping I would. Funny enough, that’s the way I was taught to react to needles at the doctor’s office: It will be over faster if I don’t react.

    I am uncomfortable with emotions, especially strong ones. I can quiet my own and draw information from them, rather than allow them to overpower me. What I'm afraid of, and what seems to be the issue underlying my discomfort with intimacy is that I have found, that when I display an emotion to another person, it is amplified and blasted back in my face. If I show that I feel sad, the other person will, in trying to empathize with me, overwhelm me instead. This was the case with the relationship I almost had: I always felt like there was no way to temper the feelings he showed toward me. I could tell him to leave me alone (close the water hose completely) or I could allow him near me and get completely dowsed in firehose levels of emotion.

    I can share emotions in form of data with my aspie friends, because they help me interpret them rather than amplify. I don't mind hugging my grandpa because it feels purely physical and he will express what he feels in words instead of blasting it at me.

    This turned out rather long, but it has been an interesting discovery for me. I'm very glad to have the people on this forum to draw ideas from and learn how they handled experiences very similar to mine.
     
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  13. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    "Did you ever notice how hugging among friends wasn't a thing until a few years ago?"


    Hugging among friends is hardly a new thing.
    Maybe in your particular geographic area and social sphere
    it has been not common, but it is short sighted to characterize
    the behavior as not *a thing until a few years ago.*

    It may be that since you don't want emotion to overpower you,
    you have been selectively ignoring the behavior.
     
  14. AHClemist

    AHClemist noble gas

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    The way you start seeing dogs everywhere, once you start looking to get one as a pet? That's quite possible.
     
  15. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There was a time where I would do everything in my might to look the worst I could to avoid people becoming sexually attracted to me, so I understand in a way where you're coming from. I never cared much for being hugged by acquaintances or distant family members. I like to be touched only by specific people and in specific situations, everything else is awkward or uncomfortable. Even being looked at sexually can spook me.

    The good news is that it can be worked on. There can be progress. A point in case: me no longer flinching and getting defensive when getting touched by a random stranger in the tube. Yay.

    Maybe you're scared of getting attached and consequently rejected/hurt afterwards? It's something to think of at least. More awareness of self brings more understanding to one's emotions and behaviours. Maybe if you understand your motivations better, you will understand why you act in these ways and then decide on what you really want? Since if you truly wish for connection, one day you will have to take the first step towards trying to trust another person. There can't be a connection without a degree of trust, unfortunately.
     
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  16. jared mills

    jared mills Rookie

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    i don't mind being touched intimately by someone,ever !
     
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  17. christopher.k

    christopher.k roosterman

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    i enjoy it but nobody seems to want to probably because im quiet around people until im familiar with them
    or at least thats how its been historically im not experiencing a lot of trouble talking in the role play group im 2 sessions into maybe its a sign of improvement.