Today, one of my followers and a good blogging buddy, Skye, is going to do a guest post for my blog.
Skye writes a wonderful blog where she is real, raw and honest…please go check her out.
Men and Physical Contact by Skye
After an upsetting nightmare involving rape, the topic of physical contact and my fear of men came up. I prefer to be around men despite my fear of them, no matter who they are.
I have decided to let myself think about boundaries with men. I’ve come to the realization that not only do they have boundaries, but I do too. Maybe that’s what I fear most. In the past, there have been different categories of how I let men touch me. My grandma’s husband is allowed a side hug and I try not to touch him at all. Only one of my uncles actually gets a “real” hug which he comments that I rarely do so and I am more likely to wave goodbye. My brother has not hugged me in years. I rarely hug my dad, but when I do it is a “real” hug. Often times I meet people or encounter people that I try not to touch. If they come too close, I try to scoot away. That should be a warning sign enough, especially when they shake my hand and I barely touch their fingers and quickly withdraw. I’ve noticed I tend to stare at their hand when they extend it to me. I spend too many seconds panicking over it. Starlight, of course, gets the only hugs that last more than a few seconds. He’s the special one. Many people have commented on how I only allow him to be close to me.
Besides family, I thought about men I don’t really know… such as teachers I have met. The first time a man, who was quite older than me, hugged me, it was one of my absolute favorite teachers. I adored him because he was very kind, had a great music taste, and a great personality. He noticed me struggling. One day he asked me to stay after class in my Freshmen year and discovered my papa had died. He outstretched his hands to give me a “real” hug and scared the hell out of me. I feel bad for him because he hugged me and I stood completely still, arms glued to my sides, and my posture stiff as a board.
A member of my family that I had never met before was alarmingly close to me when waiting to be seen by a medical doctor. My grandma warned me that he treats women creepily and left to go somewhere else. He scooted really close to me, almost had his knees touching me, was leaned really close, and told me how beautiful he thought I was. I tried to catch many people’s glances for help, but they quickly looked away. I spent a few minutes keeping as far away as possible without sitting somewhere else. In that situation, I have no idea how the hell he thought I was okay with that.
Some men I knew from high school, and loosely associated friends, often hugged me in the past. I don’t know how they didn’t get the hint that I hated touch until I started avoiding them or eventually jerking away and shrieking for them to stop. In any situation where my family is around, my parents and grandma warn people that I don’t touch people. It makes it easier on me than anxiously standing still as someone attempts to hug me or trying not to breathe if they stand too close.
With those people coming to mind, I realize that some men I am okay with physical touch, but only to certain degrees. It’s rare, though. Ignoring the factor of people in my family, I don’t really verbalize what’s okay and what’s not okay. I need to be better at that instead of cringing when they get too close or crying after they leave because I got too anxious when shaking someone’s hand. I can count on my two hands of people I am okay with hugs. It’s surprising who those few people are. The Freshmen teacher shocked me a lot, but over time I was okay with it. I go out of my way to avoid any contact with most of my family, especially with my mother (despite her being female). I get too shy to verbalize how I am okay with it. It’s infuriating. I have had thoughts of hugging certain people and it’s surprising on who some of them are.
I think I started having a really big fear of men that are 30+ when I was in elementary school. I had a dream of after being raped by a teacher. I didn’t understand what the dream was until I got a lot older. Then the sexual abuse happened. I’m scared of men but I rather be around them than women. I don’t like being alone with women. When alone with men, I get anxious but I am trying to deal with not having impulsive urges to immediately get out of the situation.
I need to give clearer boundaries with men. I respect their boundaries. I have a firm rule in my mind that is: Don’t touch them unless they initiate it. Keep it short and brief no matter if I am okay with it. It appears to be that this rule is beneficial to professional relationships along with personal relationships.
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