During a conversation with Sam the other day, he asked me if I knew what “touch-starved” meant. I said that I imagined it was similar to a child who was diagnosed with “failure to thrive.” He said “exactly, but do you know that people can actually die from being touch-starved?
I know my mama gave me lots of touches. She touched me often with brutal, horrific, bone crushing blows but at least she did touch me. I wonder though, if she ever touched me gently. If she did, I don’t remember. Technically, I guess that means that I wasn’t a touch-starved child.
Loser touched me with tenderness, when it benefited him. He only slapped me once and only grabbed me and jerked me around twice but, like mama, at least he touched me. I guess, technically, I wasn’t touch-starved but I was starving for attention and affection.
I would walk by and touch Loser on the shoulder or the arm and he would look at me like I had just called him a dirty name. When we first got married, I would meet him at the door, put my arms around his neck and he would immediately try to get them off. You would think that we were both touch-starved.
His few touches eventually became repugnant. When he did want to touch me, he always smelled like beer. I finally made a rule that he was never to touch me when he had been drinking. It didn’t bother him…he wasn’t going to give up his beer to touch me or keep me from being touch-starved.
Of course, I found out years later about all of his WTCs and I knew they loved to drink, so why would he be bothered by a rule at home? Honor and fidelity meant nothing to him, so all he had to do was wait for one of them to start circling him like a bitch in heat. Neither he or they were touch-starved.
After I left him, he would always ask me for “a hug.” I reminded him that when I had tried to touch him or hug him before, it seemed to annoy him. He said “I know but now, I miss it.”
I know I was touch-starved and I know now that in spite of the fact that he whined about wanting a touch, he was being touched…regularly. He wasn’t touch-starved.
Could I really die from being touch-starved? I don’t know but what I do know is that I think now, I could actually die from being touched.