One of my clients wrote this about her understanding and love for touch. I am so pleased and honored she gave this to me to share.
We rarely think about touching and being touched until it is no longer available. From the first moment of conception, touch is of vital importance. When the Y’s and X’s join together, they are surrounded with security. As those cells grow and develop into being, they are held close. Warmth and nourishment are there along with the comforting heartbeat. Finally this cocoon of security becomes too confining and it is time to break out.
With our birth we are quickly cleaned and wrapped in a snug blanket and even a knitted cap. We are secure. We are held close to our mother’s breast. We feel her touch, are fed from her, and hear her voice as she sings to us.
Quickly we grow no longer being content to be swaddled almost too tightly in blankets. We want space. We need our hand held as we learn to walk across the street. We must have that good night kiss and a hug as we go off to school. But please no longer the constant presence. We grow much too fast to please our parents. But Oh, how wonderful to feel independent.
We go to school and play tag touching and even maybe a bit of hitting. Girls hold hands. Boys place arms around necks. We touch.
Then middle school and there are all of a sudden we discover the opposite sex. As we sit at lunch, our hands “accidentally” briefly touch and we blush. We are almost beside ourselves when a teacher puts a hand on our shoulder to explain a mystifying point.
Now it’s High School with closer contact with the opposite sex, overnights with the girls, and perhaps even three to a bed. Touch. Closeness. It feels so right. Somehow we feel more complete. More “normal”, more “human”, for having been touched.
Then the miracle happens and we find THE ONE. Marriage, an entirely different kind of closeness and touch. We are sure this will last forever. Time moves on and passion’s flame becomes a pleasant glow. Children and teaching them the meaning of touch. They grow and move on. The impossible happens and we are again alone. How can we feel validated? Are we real? Do we matter? Are we important? How do we find the wonderment of being touched?
Many elderly people living alone find an answer. They get a pet. Often they have had a pet all of their lives so this is nothing new. The cat on the bed or nagging to have their place on the lap. The dog sitting on their feet or rubbing against their leg. Watching even the most depressing news can be less awful when petting the warm fur of a purring cat. We have again found a way of being touched.
Another way of being touched is massage. After I was divorced I began to understand what I was feeling and needing. I got a massage and realized this was a wonderful nonthreatening way of being touched as an older woman. I even decided to change my profession and went to massage therapy school. That wasn’t my answer and I only attended one quarter. I am much more interested in needs of than bodies.
When we are touched it means validation. Yes, we are alive, we do exist. We are noticed perhaps even more important to someone else.
Do not invade someone’s territory without permission but do be observant to ones needs. Hugs do seem to be accepted in most circles. So a “hello” or “goodbye” hug may be in order.
Returning to massage, granted there is a cost which some may find prohibitive but what a wonderful way of being touched. I personally am treating myself to a bi-monthly massage which leaves me purring for days. I have been touched. I am alive. I have been seen, noticed, validated.
If you feel out of kilter, uneasy and not sure why, get a massage and you too may purr.