Thursday, October 06, 2005

Too picky to be specific

I've been wanting to write since about 5:00 this afternoon, but I haven't let myself. Now I realize that I'd better write or I'll never sleep.

I had a brilliant day until about 4:30 when my poetry workshop class started. For some reason I can't seem to function in there. Maybe it's because I'm too bitchy for the environment. Maybe it's because I'm clinging to all my silly student-poet beliefs. Maybe I just don't belong there. I always come away frustrated. Very frustrated. More with myself than with the class.

So after a disastrous reading of my ballad (which I had to write), I was spinning into a pretty heavy anxiety attack. One of my good friends was sitting next to me. I don't know why he did what he did, but he reached out and took my hand. For some reason, that calmed me down to the point that I could stop the attack from getting any worse.

I know that touch was about friendship. . . don't worry, friend, I'm not going to complicate things by falling in love with you. . . but it made me realize how much I miss human touch. I'm not a touchy person--I actually react rather violently if I'm touched without some prior indication (e.g., someone holding their arms out for a hug). No one has held me since. . . well, I was 19 and it was Christmas.

I recently had a conversation with a friend about "what I want" as far as a relationship goes right now. I was sufficiently vague and selfish, with the justification that "I'm too picky to be specific." Which is true. But if you asked me to give you the list right now. . . I'd still be too picky to be specific, but right now I just want someone to hold me.


JB said...

Panic attacks sound terrible. It's good to hear that you had a friend who helped you keep it under control.

I think that a lot of people miss having human contact, of the physical sort, and don't realize it. I think it's a basic human need. Or about as close as you can get to a "need" without being something you literally can't live without.

About the poetry stuff, have you always liked poetry and in this class you don't like/get it?

KapkaVictim said...

But the question is, do you want to hold someone?
You don't have to if you don't want to.

I have a dog. He's very good to hold.

I'm sorry I wasn't the one to take your hand. I was too selfishly caught up in the worry about what I was going to say when it was my turn. I didn't even notice you were upset (any more than, say, that class usually creates). I'm sorry if I'm not a very good friend. Or poet. Or classmate. I'm not touchy either, but if you really want me to hug you...I'm willing to do that for you.

Cicada said...

I have a good friend who is trying to work on his "touch" issues. He knows that I can be very closed, too, and that I don't like hugging, especially for no reason. So, several months ago, he and I were standing at my door when he announced to me that he was working on his issues. "I'm even hugging people now," he said. We stood there awkwardly for a moment and then I said, "Welp. Good bye!"

Recently, he left to go to Indonesia for several months. When he came to say good bye, he finally reached out and hugged me.

I think that with me, it's my pickiness in who I allow to touch me that makes touch all the more important and meaningful to me. If I give a hug, it's because I mean it, and if I need a hug, it's because I need it.

JB said...

It's kinda sad to be kinda picky about who you touch (I'm saying this from personal experience) and at the same time really wanting to have someone hold you and not actually having someone to hold you. Stuffed animals and real (alive/not-stuffed) animals can help, but it's just not the same.


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