I think human touch is very important. I’m always reminded of those studies that were done scientifically with babies where it was proven that the lack of physical affection can actually kill a baby or seriously limit their growth and development.
As a baby, I was often told I received a lot of human touch. But, as a kid, when my parents succumbed to alcohol addiction, I didn’t get much of that whatsoever. Rather, I remember days when I’d go into the family room in tears wanting my mother just to console me over being bullied at school where she’d tell me to be quiet as she watched her soap operas and drank her wine. She even sent me off to learn karate when I broke down one day about the ongoing bullying, instead of providing me any sort of loving touch.
My first real experience as a kid receiving human touch was sadly when I got molested around the age of 12 from the coach of the swim and dive team I was on. After that, I began to fear anyone touching me and instead felt wickedly uncomfortable with any sort of affection. That lasted for years causing me to recoil inside any time someone placed a loving hand on me or even touched me on any level. Eventually, I worked through this issue mostly because of the work I did through the ManKind Project organization (MKP), which I continue to remain a part of to this day.
Unfortunately, these days, I continue to struggle with one thing that still relates to human touch. I have this overwhelming need now to have physical affection more than not, all because of how low I feel inside about my life due to my long-standing health issues and where my life has been left because of them. And while I crave human touch as much as do, my partner is the exact opposite with it, as he doesn’t need much of it at all. Part of that relates to issues he has in that arena that he’s just beginning to work on. Because of that, quite often I know I come across to him as overly needy, typically when I ask to hold hands more or be held more or simply just to be touched more.
I’m beginning to wonder if for as long as my health issues stick around, will I always appear as being overly needy, chiefly when it comes to craving human touch. But like a baby who needs this for development and really to live, is it the same for adults as well? Do we ultimately need human touch? And can human touch prevent things like depression and anxiety and other sickness? I tend to think so because of the benefit I always feel whenever I receive love through human touch. The downside though is how many people in this world seem to struggle giving or receiving it due to their own upbringing and the lack of ever getting it on a healthy level. Frankly, for many I’ve gotten to know, human touch is such a foreign thing and seems to make plenty uncomfortable.
All I know to do is to keep on showing the physical affection I do to others and to remain thankful for those who offer me any human touch in return. Sometimes a deep hug, an arm around my shoulder, and a hand on my leg, from anyone, goes a long way, especially for a guy like me who hurts so badly inside on more days than not.
So, if you should ever happen to see someone who is truly hurting from anything in life, know I believe that deep down each of them biologically desires some type of human touch and physical affection. While some may generally not be open to receiving it yet due to not having worked through some issue around it, know there are others who would love to receive it and when they do, it may just make their day and help them to keep going for one more day, others that include someone like me…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson