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?

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