“When I was a small kid, there were plenty of hugs. My parents are big on hugs. My father gives bear hugs, tight and quick. My mother usually puts her arms around your shoulders and bangs on your back, as if she’s trying to burp you. My friends and I always hugged. It wasn’t as if I’d never been hugged, as many of the Clients had not. But at the same time, physical contact has not come naturally to me. It seemed, and seems, laden with significance, so laden that one might like to avoid it altogether. One might, in fact, over a few years, begin to avoid it like the plague, begin to claim such absolute ownership over one’s own body that contact itself–the brush of a hand, even, let alone the startling number of emotional and physical nerve endings jangled by an embrace--begins to seem a threat…Hugs are difficult, however. Kissing is perhaps more intimate than sex itself. Similarly, hugs imply emotional, rather than sexual, intimacy. They are a gesture from one person to another of nonsexual caring, and the idea of being cared for in a nonsexual way was not something I could understand. Contact with another person reminds you that you are also a person, and implies that someone cares about you as such. This felt to me profoundly false, and I felt I did not, in any way, warrant such care, such contact. Contact with another body reminds you that you have a body, a fact you are trying very hard to forget.” (Wasted, Marya Hornbacher)
This is what I try to tell people that I feel like, but it’s been a long while since I have found this description and I have failed at being able to communicate.