This morning I again pulled away from the smothering hugs of my children.
It was the day my daughter asked me why I don’t like love.
It cut me straight through.
I paused with my coffee cup halfway to my lips, my finger poised to scroll down on my iPhone.
My eyes prickled and my ears got warm.
I couldn’t look at her.
She nervously laughed and snuggled closer.
“It’s like a dog you abuse and beat and then expect it to let you pet it.”
She informed me that I am not beaten.
“Not physically beaten, no. But words often hurt more. And I’m still scarred. It makes it hard for me.”
I’m not in denial so much anymore.
I’m not affectionate.
For years, I blamed it on my German-American heritage, my INTJ personality, that I need a cuppa before anyone should communicate with me.
Anything so that I wouldn’t have to confront it or change.
But there are studies that we need affection, human touch, at least a dozen occurrences of it every day for spiritual and mental health. For relationship.
My family needs more than a reluctant good morning hug and a tired good night kiss.
So, I retrain myself to lean in closer, accept the hugs and return them. To seek out my children randomly for affection.
Because I’ve noticed the kids don’t run to me for hugs so much as they used to. They’re learning a wrong way. It’s sad.
And my husband too.
He has suffered greatly by my lack of affection.
I don’t want to pull away anymore.