To be touched in a way that shows compassion and love was difficult for me to fully process.
At the middle school dances, the girls had open arms, but I thought they just wanted two high-fives. Then they came up to me and gave me a big hug. This happened a lot! Almost every time, I was very surprised and would just freeze. I knew they were just being friendly and kind, but it was very uncomfortable for me. For a while that is.
I was used to receiving hugs from family members, but hugs from other people? “What is going on?” I would ask myself. Being touched was a huge thing for me growing up. There were rules I needed to follow. I needed to keep my hands to myself unless I was shaking someone’s hand when introducing myself. That was it. Those were the rules. So when someone I didn’t know gave me a hug I wanted to be kind and not reject the offer; as a matter of fact, I welcomed it.
In my head, this entire situation felt very weird and odd. I didn’t want...