Getting Acquainted to Being Touched

not my art…

Overcoming the traumas of one’s own earlier experiences, step, by step, and slowly, translated…

Ever since I was a very young child, I’d hated bodily contact from other people. As the adults patted my head, stroked my cheeks, commented, “Such a cute little boy!”, I’d fought on inside, used my looks to call out for my S.O.S. to my parents. In the elementary years, my classmate sitting next to me made fun of my chubby stature, and would always pinch at my stomach at nap time. Once I really had it, got up, slapped him. I’d gone to a boarding school in my middle school years, and, as the male classmates got along for a long time, they’d become like, brothers, and would have bodily contacts. Although I can understand it, but, each arm that came around my shoulders felt like it’d weighed a ton, and, as those arms came over my shoulders, I can only, bite down hard, and hoping it would be, over soon.

As I grew even older, toward the assortments of hugs that came, at the heartwarming moments in time, I’d, said NO to. On my graduation, I’d felt sad sure, but, hugging everybody goodbye, scrap that! Before I went abroad to study, the family just wanted to hug me a bit, and, it’d, ruined my feeling sorrowful for leaving home instantly. During the time I’d lived in Paris, I could cope with those pecks on the cheeks as greetings, but, the fourth peck on the left and right cheeks, it’d, made me uncomfortable.

There was a spiritual therapist who’d told me, “Maybe your birth wasn’t welcomed, your parents never hugged you enough, it’d made you lack that basic level of trust that is established from earlier on.”, being the youngest of four, and nine years younger than the sister who was older than I was directly, shortly after my parents had me, they’d started busying, working in the grocery shop they’d started. For a very long time, I’d, believed this explanation, and started feeling that strong animosity toward my parents too, and I can’t help but wondered, had they, paid a little more attention to me, touched me more, would I be able to, become, a “normal” man? And not be so fearful toward others? And have more confidence toward my own body too?

As I’d started miming, I’d painted on a face, stood on the street corners of Shanghai, and I’d, frozen stiff, unable, to move a single muscle, and that was, the fear I was experiencing, when someone tried hugging me. From before when I’d performed in the theatres, being separated from the audience to a certain level, there’s, NO need for any sort of real exchange, no need for body contact, it’d felt, safer. And yet, as I took my performances outdoors, I’d found, that I’d, overestimated my own level of tolerance. As the crowds casted their gazes upon me, and many hands extended toward me, I can only, shut my eyes, cried out inside, “STAY AWAY!” But, wouldn’t that be, odd? And so, I can only tell myself, I’d made my choice, I must, handle it. And so, the first few performances I did in Shanghai, I’d painted my face, stood on the streets, even if I’d not moved a muscle, I’d refused, to take a single step backward, because I knew how extreme I am, that if I move forward, I would, go forward to the very end, and if I retreated, I’d do it, completely. My over thirty years of fears, if I’d regressed, it might take me until the NEXT lifetime to overcome.

“No, I’m not comfortable so, STAY away!!!”  Not my photo…

Performing mime on the city streets became a sort of a self-healing process for me. Slowly, I was able to accept the risks of how the audience might want to hug me. In the town of Lugu Lake in Yunnan, a man, from the Moso Tribes dressed himself up as a bull, rammed toward me, as his two fingers which were made to represent the horns poked toward my stomach, I can act as another bull, engaging in that fight with him. In Dunhuan, an elderly woman grabbed onto my arms, told me that I looked like her grandson who went missing a long time ago, I’d leaned my head toward the palm of her hands, and felt how genuine she was. On the mountains of Hsinchu, Taiwan, as a group of children rushed toward me, bear-hugged my body, I truly felt, that sense of intimacy and trust that occurs, when people showed affection by using body contacts, and how it was, harmless to me.

This sort of practicing getting touched, is happening on a daily basis, and it’d, tested me constantly too. As a friend intentionally hugged me, I’d still subconsciously dodged, but, I’m starting to learn, that at the right moment, giving out the right amount of encouragements or supports, touching someone else’s shoulders with my palms, or patting someone on the shoulders. This was my practice, of turning outward, in this practice, the role that my self played, becomes, clearer and clearer.

not my photograph…

So, because of whatever reasons there may have been, you’d become aversively conditioned to touching, and yet, because your work required you to be touched by members of the public (strangers you’d performed to on the streets), you’d slowly, systematically, desensitized your body to respond to the handshakes, the hugs, and the touches from members of the public, and, through this “exercise”, you’re slowly, changing your own life, by altering the effects of your childhood trauma that’s made you hate to be touched!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About taurusingemini

All I have to say, I've already said it, and, let's just say, that I'm someone who's ENDURED through a TON of losses in my life, and I still made it to the very top of MY game here, TADA!!!
This entry was posted in Experiences of Life, Lessons of Life, Positives of Life, Properties of Life, the Consequences of Life, the Process of Life, The Trials of Life, Traumas of the Younger Years, Values of Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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