What's this touch-o-phobia I have?
October 26, 2011 2:12 AM Subscribe
Getting a bit obsessive about keeping my personal space personal. Would like to know what is going on.
My young nephews are staying with me and they are fairly rambunctious. That's cool. But when they rub me up the wrong way, they really rub me up the wrong way. Even just brushing against me or prodding or poking me, whether intentional or not, drives me nuts. I can't concentrate on anything else at all - I am completely focused on the physical sensation of the touch or swipe or poke or prod to the exclusion of all else. If they lean on me to go to sleep in the car or want to ride on my back that is absolutely fine. I hold their hands all the time to stop them running out into traffic or to prevent them from getting lost in crowds and I don't mind that one bit, although to be honest I am very aware of what exactly they are doing with their hands at all times when they are holding mine. I don't think it's whether they initiate the physical contact or I do, but more to do with how fleeting or glancing the touch is. But even that isn't it entirely.
In fact, on reflection I think I must have had this 'condition' all my life--I just don't like being touched very much unless it is a good firm handholding / handshake or perhaps intimacy or something like that. I absolutely detest the idea and feel of a massage - if someone creeps up behind me at work and starts to kneed my shoulders in a friendly way, I squirm. I am usually hyper vigilant about maintaining my personal space in crowds or queues, etc, and again, this generally demands all my attention, to the detriment of any conversational skills that I may otherwise bring to bear, to the ultimate chagrin of my long-suffering wife.
What is it that I have and how can I overcome it?