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Matrix Glitch
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08 Jun 2022, 4:04 am

Looking back on my childhood I've realized adults I was close to, were rarely physically demonstrave towards me, the way men especially are towards little boys. I'm wondering if I put out a "hands off" vibe. Maybe whenever they tried putting their hand on my shoulder or whatever I unconsciously flinched or pulled away.

Anyone with similar experience?



Dear_one
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08 Jun 2022, 6:22 am

Yes, I got a major attachment disorder from my AS mother. I was denied the cuddling I wanted as an infant, and didn't like the rough handling of getting dressed as a toddler. I remember rejecting contact a few times. Family relations were very stiff and formal. However, when I found a surrogate family after leaving home, touch was so exotic to me that it gave me total focus and a consequent career in massage.



funeralxempire
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08 Jun 2022, 6:50 am

I was weird about contact with my family growing up, still kinda am.

High school was a bit odd because everyone hugged, it took awhile to get used to that.
Adulthood was weird because no one hugs, it took awhile to get used to that.


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Matrix Glitch
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08 Jun 2022, 6:52 am

I'm pretty sure my mom was AS as well. But I remember sitting in her lap when I was very little. But not much past the age of 5 I'd say. But that may have been more me than her. I wouldn't say she was a refrigerator mother.



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08 Jun 2022, 7:58 am

Nope.
Emotionally and physically. In fact, my family in general are too affectionate.

I'm far from the idea of a touch starved child, even less of a socially and emotionally deprived child.

But that doesn't mean I'm all for it all the time. If I'm too overwhelmed or too angry to be touched, that just escalates the issue.
Or that if someone's not familiar or trustworthy enough...



Cognitively and mentally, however...
To a point I couldn't trust them to understand.
Mainly because they can't afford it, if not just flat clueless about on how to comprehend it.

And I have to work to accept that -- it's just fair since they did, even if I eventually understand them better than they would ever understand me.

So growing up, while I would and could very much cuddle comfortably, I wouldn't confide or communicate them with a lot of things while at it instead.
No amount of affection, unconditional love and acceptance replaces the kind of understanding that I crave from another.

Not that they're unwilling.
It just never rings.


Well, it only rang once with my mom, and it was about talking about what to do after/before her death.

So yeah...
I happily treasure that one seemingly random moment of a fear striking hypothetical discussion of the future over all the memories I have so far no matter how significant everything else did.
To a point that the moment it rang -- I cried tears of joy -- not sadness or anxiety... While discussing her death arrangements with her.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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08 Jun 2022, 9:08 am

My family is not the touchy feely type

And I don't like being touched

Correlation versus causation

Although I would imagine that inadequate physical contact would result in craving excessive physical contact

But (n equals one) not a representative sample

And not everyone is the same in that way

There could be plenty of reasons why some people are touchy feely and some people are not



Dillogic
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08 Jun 2022, 10:19 am

My first memory is being held by my mother. Which isn't a bad memory. She tried to show affection to me as much as she could within the confines of my family (not going there). I only liked her holding me. Which continued as I aged, and transferred to only letting people I trust hold me. I like affection, but I need trust there. I was made a "trust" and "mistrust" person from an early age that continued on as I aged by being that bad luck magnet, where I see the latter until it's proven otherwise, regardless of what my gut says (my gut is alright in determining "good" from "bad", but it's only instinct).

I got adequate affection, but it was only from one person. Well, adequate for someone with autism.

That trust transfers to other contexts all the same. If I trust someone to hold me out in that real world, I'll trust them with things I don't talk about. It takes a long time to build that trust in reality. Hell, I need some form of basic trust just to interact with people socially. :| I have no idea how everyone just trusts everyone else so easily, but then, maybe they never needed a reason to question it. I guess if you haven't been stabbed in the back you don't really watch your back all that much.

I have sensory issues too, but they aren't too bad comparatively speaking.



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08 Jun 2022, 10:29 am

Yes.  Growing up in the '60s and '70s, the "handling" I usually received usually involved an open-handed slap.  Even worse, I was expected to "take it like a man" or the person abusing me would give me "something to cry about".



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08 Jun 2022, 10:47 am

Hmm, I seemed to be the opposite. When I got to about 3 or 4 I could have tantrums because I wanted to be carried but my parents said I was old enough to walk. Also when I was about 8 I wanted my mum to dress me, even though I was capable of dressing myself and I usually did dress myself but sometimes I would run around the house naked until my folks got fed up and put me into my clothes.


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ASPartOfMe
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09 Jun 2022, 6:58 pm

I don't remember as a baby but we did not hug each other or say "luv you". It was just understood that family members were supposed to feel that way towered to each other. We were not unique in that way. When I see people constantly saying and texting "I love you" my thought is there must be doubt if you need to constantly reaffirm it.


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09 Jun 2022, 7:14 pm

The only person who gave me any physical affection was my sister, who mainly took care of me until she moved out when I was 3. I was very affectionate for an autistic child until years of being given little-to-no affection, which has made it hard for me to give and receive affection now, even though I strongly desire to.



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09 Jun 2022, 7:22 pm

I have no memories of being held as a small child, but I think I was because as the eldest, I watched my mother shower physical affection on the younger children. I was lucky in that the first two years of my life I lived only with my mother and grandmother, while my father was in the service. I suspect that as the first grandchild I was showered with attention.

My father, OTOH, was much in the same mold as Fnord's.

As an adult now, tolerance or enjoyment of physical touch is largely dependent on context, who and where.


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09 Jun 2022, 8:30 pm

Case study:
(1) My AS mother also caressed and massaged me and told me she loved me.
(2) My AS BFF's AS parents never touched her nor told her they loved her.

I think it depends in part on upbringing, personality and self-awareness/improvement. I am an AS mother. My AS daughter avoids touch, but enjoys the caresses and massage I give her every night (and whenever she can get them). My ADHD son seeks touch, so I give him as much as I can then call in my partner to take over.