An Open Letter To All the People Who Wonder Why I Shy Away From Intimacy

Dear Loved Ones,  those I continually shy away from emotionally and physically.  To those I have run away from, and have run away from me;

I apologize that at times I can’t seem to escape the nauseating feeling that builds in me when I come into contact with physical intimacy; whether it be between parents and children or lovers and friends.  I find it hard to watch; to stomach the outward affection people are able to show toward one another.  I don’t quite understand it, but I crave it.

I find myself caught in a steady state of loneliness, confusion and hopelessness, that I will never be able to “feel” and express “feeling” like others seem so comfortable doing.  Something in my second nature has atrophied.  Will I ever be able to truly share and savor those aspects of emotional camaraderie, that should come with love and intimacy?  The seemingly one thing, keeping me chained to isolation caught in stagnant aspects of my emotional world.

I often cringe away from physical touch, as a completely unconscious response; I find myself jump in surprise when touched affectionately.  I find this to be upsetting for both parties.  This leaves me further feeling untouchable, misunderstood and lonelier, still.

This is not a matter of not wanting to be touched at all, but rather, I do remember that I like to be touched.  The ability to be touched starts in my brain.  I don’t just go around touching people, and people certainly don’t just go around touching me.  I have spent more of my life being untouched, than touched.   I don’t have normal daily excretions of Oxytocin.  I get a good hug in, every few months.  Seasonal hugging.  In my mind, I think, if I could just surrender, then I know I would want to be held forever.  But, for some reason that cognitive dissonance sets in and I can not surrender.

Everyone knows about the wall around my heart, and some even believe that they themselves, are enough to beat it down.  No one wants to break it down together, and I am not just going to give hammers out, willy-nilly, with out at least being able to supervise the progress.

The ability for me to start to surrender,will always be, when I feel a foundation of trust. I need to know that I won’t be left to the wolves again, by this obvious distraction that exists within my brain spaces.  I don’t need extra isolation, I can provide that plenty on my own.  I don’t need harsh emotional critics, I have that covered as well.

I would be happy enough with compassion and understanding.



Photography courtesy of Pat Kight.




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