Are You Sensitive to Touch?

I am.

And it is incredibly frustrating.

For as long as I can remember I have hated being poked. Being the middle child, I was constantly being poked by my siblings because they knew how much I hated it. They would actually come up to me, without me knowing, and point their finger about an inch away from me…and I could feel it. This inevitably would lead to some punches by me.

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Even that pointy finger picture makes me cringe.

Don’t ever tickle me.

Or you will also get a punch in the face for that.

Being tickled feels like I am being suffocated.

For the last several years I have become increasingly sensitive on my back and stomach. I am the tightest in these spots and so I attribute my sensitivity to this tension.

But I find it so embarrassing and I don’t know how to get rid of it.

I feel like such a freak when I have seen massage therapists as I am sure that they have never seen a client like me. I will shudder and flinch at certain massage techniques on my back or even with the slightest unintentional graze of their sleeve across my back. Luckily my massage therapist, whom I see regularly, now knows how to reduce the flinching…but it will still happen if I have not seen her for awhile.

Even in the throws of passion…wanting to be touched and caressed on my back…yet my body is giving out mixed signals.

I had thought it was because I had an issue with trust. Since I had been in a few emotionally abusive relationships which violated my physical boundaries…I wondered if these had a big impact on my sensitivity…but I don’t believe that I can solely blame it on that.

I recently had a reiki treatment with a reiki master who I was seeing for the first time. When I have had reiki done in the past…the practitioner was always hovering without actually physically touching me. So I am sure you can imagine my reaction when he laid his hands on my stomach and on my back. It was enough to knock me out of the energy clearing zone that I was in. And then I started to be incredibly cruel to myself in my head…telling myself that I am such a freak! And why can’t I be normal???

Another incident happened today when I went to restorative yoga. I am trying out this new studio and focusing on restorative yoga as it is meant to balance the parasympathetic nervous system…which I need since clearly I am on edge.

The yoga instructor at times will go around and add extra pressure to help you deepen the pose. She always asks ahead of time if it is ok to touch and to raise your head if it was not ok.

I wanted to be ok.

I saw her come around and I had to keep my eyes half open so I could see when she was coming up behind me. She touched my hips and I hwas ok. But then she went up my spine and I shuddered. She asked me if I was ok and I replied yes.

But I was not.

I was incredibly angry with myself for being this way.

I wanted to be ok with touch.

Even if she had told me she was coming…I still would have flinched on  my back.

She came around again on several other poses and this time she told me that she was here and then proceeded to gently apply pressure.

This act of kindness and compassion brought tears to my eyes.

But wait…

Were the tears because she was so kind or because she had to tell me that she was next to me now? Because I am that sensitive person who needs to be told? Someone who needs advance warning?

Why am I like this?

Why can’t I just be normal?

I honestly don’t know how to get over this…

What else should I be trying so I feel ok being touched on my back?

Am I alone in this?

I Am Not My Body

Sometimes it can be really hard to find the motivation to feed your soul and to relish in positivity. This week has been a bit rough for me and I am really trying my best to stay focused on the present. Without going into too much detail…my struggle is that I have battled with digestion issues all my life…the most significant being a dairy intolerance. And just when I think that I have it all under control, something flares up again. I really struggle with not letting my body define me. But it’s DAMN hard. Especially when I sometimes feel that this is the way it will be for the rest of my life. I have so many food sensitivities and when I have been feeling really well for awhile…I begin to get cocky and start to fray from my restrictions…ever so slightly…and then BOOM…my intestines react in such a way as if I have sinned.

In order to try and take care of myself and really put my health first…I went from a full time position to a part time position last year, with the option of picking up extra shifts. I am so grateful that I am in a position in my life where I am able to do this. It has been a godsend…however the minute I begin exerting more energy than I have to expend…whether it is positive or negative energy…my body reacts again. My naturopath is great and he really tries to re-iterate to me that my body has been in this high tense mode for YEARS and that is all it knows…so it is no surprise that sometimes it just wants to repel back to familiarity. On the other hand…sometimes I feel like a warrior because even though I have been dealing with this shit all my life…I ALWAYS SURVIVE. It hasn’t broken me yet. I am a firm believer of the mind-body-soul connection and I am trying to figure out what it is that is misaligned in my thoughts…my beliefs…and in my life…what is it that is contributing to my ailments…

Since I had the day off…I thought about how I was going to feed my soul today. I spent the day lounging in my sweats, catching up on my PVR, writing, eating simply, enjoying a nice cup of bone broth to soothe my gut…and just conserving my energy. Feeding your soul is not always glamourous…and despite all this…I still was not feeling 100% by the end of the day…but I have to believe that I am the one that maintains control over my body and I love myself no matter what…

Even though my health may drastically change…I deeply love and accept myself. 

I Want to See the Ugly Too

This weekend I finally tried an aerial silks class…and it was crazy tough! I am not going to say that it was so fabulous and amazing…but it was definitely fun to try because I love artistic and creative fitness. I was not feeling well yesterday morning, but I forced myself to go because I had already late canceled for this class other day and the owner was letting this one slide. Now I have pole danced before…but I think aerial silks is definitely harder. In pole dancing you can have a proper grip around the pole, but with the silks, your hands are just gripping the fabric and you are holding on even tighter. I was told that it was normal for your hands to hurt but that it goes away…but my fingers were still sore the next day…I really hope this is not some sign of any future arthritis! I was not able to climb the silks, but I did do an inversion…as you can see from the pic…so I was very happy with that…although I had to stop after awhile because I was feeling woozy from all the blood rushing through my head. I was very sore the next day…but it was a good sore…and I have burns on my shoulders from the silk…well I guess they say No Pain No Gain right?? But…I think I might just opt to go back into pole dancing…I think it’s less ‘painful’…

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Something else that I did this weekend to feed my soul was chatting with my best friend who lives all the way in New York…and we started talking about realism and social media. I mean…who and what is real anymore? We are inundated with images of people leading these so called ‘perfect lives’ without sharing any of their imperfections and struggles…it’s no wonder people are struggling to recognize their self worth. I’ll admit that I have also been a victim to this façade that people portray. I think…God…they look so pretty and so put together and so happy…but you know what…it is bullshit. It is dehumanizing. You know what I want to see and hear? The good along with the bad…because that is what makes us human…that is what connects us to each other. Being exposed to this unrealism can just perpetuate the notion that we are not enough…not happy enough…don’t have enough…and that we need MORE. I have a colleague who is happy ALL THE TIME. And honestly…it really gets on my nerves because I started to feel like I was not normal being someone who expresses irritation and sadness and anger…but being normal is feeling ALL emotions…along with the happy. But because I have fallen victim to the ‘happiness’ of social media from time to time…I will take the Facebook app off my phone and sometimes I will even de-activate my account. At the time of writing this post…I have not logged onto Facebook in 48 hours and I have noticed that I have not felt bad about myself for 48 hours!! Coincidence…I think not!!

So think twice before you fall down that hole of despair and envy when you are browsing through someones Facebook feed and Instagram pics…what are you missing from your life? How can you better spend those hours instead of mindlessly scrolling through other people’s lives? What can you do to feed your soul so you can find contentment and gratitude for what YOU have? Because I bet that someone is looking at your life and wishing they had it all…just like you.