“Touch is a solid theme”- the words of a dear friend when I was trying to come up with posts for July- well, possibly into August as I'd like to work on submitting at least two manuscripts to publishers in August once Camp Nano July is done. I saved her suggestion because, at first, I wasn't really sure what to do with it. However, as I was reading “Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight” by Sharon Heller, I realized that I indeed have tactile challenges that I didn't realize. Dr. Heller talks in that book about how tactile is one of the earliest scenes; I was six years old when I didn't want my mother to touch me ever. In my opinion, the book does a great job talking about tactile difficulties as not just being “clothing tags make me itch”; if we went by the stereotypes of “sensitive people,” I wouldn't fit them because I'm underreactive to much tactile sensation. I wonder if that's part of why I've made such shiny spots on my keyboard's keys :D. I also wonder if improving tactile sense is part of why I don't need BDSM impact activities to be as harsh as I used to want them.
“Here's the box from the therapy company.” Ziba placed a small brown box on the kitchen table between Happy's and her mats. After joys nod, she continued, “Would you like to open it?”
Happy passed the letter opener to Ziba.
Quick work with the opener and Ziba had the box open. Not too loud. “It's your brushes.”
Happy typed on joys tablet and pushed a button. “Can we try them now please?”
While I'm not working on this WIP currently, when my friend made her suggestion, I immediately thought of “Typing My Love.” Happy (the character who's on the Autism Spectrum in that book) doesn't get diagnosed on the spectrum until adulthood- this also joy (Happy's pronouns are joy/joys/joyself) to avoid things like Applied Behavioral Analysis. Another friend responded to my post about EMDR and skin brushing by mentioning how skin brushing had been awful for them because it was done to them as a child; we talked about the differences between their childhood experience and me choosing skin brushing as an adult. I'm not sure if the little bit of fiction between the paragraphs will be fit into TML, but it's definitely a scene percolating in my brain.
Overreactive to tactile. That one has been a track in my head. Even though I feel comfortable saying that I'm on the Autism Spectrum without a formal diagnosis, I definitely struggle with stereotypes about not liking hugs, kissing, sexual activity, etc. Then I realize that my behaviors with that are rather complex and do include a bunch of avoidance. I want to be hugged more, but not by strangers; I'm good with my Master, my girlfriend, my daughter hugging me, the occasional person at church who doesn't put me off too much. But when others with Sensory Processing Disorder and/or on the Autism Spectrum talk about not wanting anyone to touch them at all? I struggle with that; I'm not sure why, with my former comments. Just because *some* people are okay doesn't mean I'm at all average on this. While it doesn't fit Happy very well either- the idea of overreactive to tactile- I'm pondering when an intimate scene between one or more people with overreactive tactile sense might look like. Of course, that sends my mind to a #MasturbationMonday post in which I showed intimacy between an allosexual and an asexual persons.
What to do when an idea is so far from your knowledge that stereotypes are what come to mind? I don't have any characters already created, breathed into life that hate all touch, even most touch- even Didier, asexual but not sex-repulsed, wants cuddles. I'm glad for my reading that explained how touch is more than just people or things touching one's skin, but also the air, the temperature etc.
I want to ask my readers a specific question now, but words fail me as I write this the evening before seeing my med manager (who I don't entirely trust). What are your thoughts about someone being over- or underreactive to touch?