Haphephobia [fear of touching].

Discussion in 'Rape and Abuse' started by truthhurts, Sep 11, 2012.

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  1. truthhurts

    truthhurts Well-Known Member

    Okay so, i shud mention that i'm not too sure if this is in the right place, i apologize if this isn't the correct thread for it.

    So, i'll start with a little bit of background. I don't think i've been sexually abused. Also, physically, it's questionable as to what to call 'abuse', and also, my memories of my overall childhood are quite vague, and i've begun to think that maybe some of these are false memories. well, i don't rly kno that. i've heard from my mother of some 'episodes' concerning my childhood, some of these i remember quite clearly, some more or less not at all. and as for my main concern - what effect these 'episodes' had on me, i can't rly say, cause i don't remember. and because i was little, i obviously didn't rly analyze this stuff either. i do want to regain some memories for clarity, but i'm also afraid this might 'create' memories.

    well, as to the 'episodes' i mentioned, my father has some schizophrenic lines, meaning he gets all these irrational baseless doubts, and without listening what is said back, he just goes at his own thing [meaning it's like talking to a wall when trying to rationalize with him when he gets like that]. and so, from years back he's had these 'violent outbreaks' or what-shud-i-call-them. usually he just yells and breaks furniture [lamps and the like], but sometimes as i've heard [and as i remember about a couple times], he has also used force against his family members. i remember being lifted and 'thrown' during one incident, though i don't remember anything as to why this happened or what was before or after. i don't rly kno if he's 'hit' anybody.. oh.. now that reminds me that my mother said something about that. i don't kno if it was about me or someone else, but if i remember correctly then he hit someone with the back of his hand. and from the more recent years he once strangled my mom while she was driving, but well there's another story about that [mom cheating emotionally, dad finding out and cheating physically with 3 ppl and him being jealous and so on..]. oh and all the 'physical stuff' with me in particular was when i was really little. meaning before school years. after that it stopped.

    and now finally to the main point of this particular thread. i just recently discovered there's an actual name for this - haphephobia. before i just thought that i'm 'vary' of touching or just, as some people refer to is, not very touchy-feely. well, generally, it's not just that i prefer not to be touched, but that it gets really uncomfortable. also for example, i accidentally elbowed my sister in the stomach once when she tried to hug me from behind. i feel pretty bad about that, but i cudn't help it, it was automatic. the extent that the 'uncomfortability' gets to depends though. for example it's a bit easier with little kids, or also when i kno about it in advance and get time for 'mental preparation'. whenever someone accidentally or otherwise suddenly tries to touch me [worst of all, hug me], i just feel like i want to 'back off' or get away from there. it's not like veeery bad though, meaning i don't get panic attacks or shock or something like that [which is really good]. but like, more or less excessive shivering [especially in the hands and legs], shortness of breath, feeling faint or queezy and such.

    well, the thing is that i kno this 'fear' is irrational, since nothing bad would happen to me because of such contact, nor do these people want to harm me. it's actually sad for example because my mom is really touchy-feely and wants to hug me from time to time, but i can't help but evade it somehow, cause i just really really don't want it [though it's nothing personal], and she think that means i dislike/hate her. she's been pretty sad about it. tho i do [very rarely] let her hug me, cause i kno that she needs it for some reason [tho i got 2 other sisters]. well, problem is that i don't kno the reason behind all this, i kno this is irrational, and by what i read yesterday, it seems to happen mostly to people with sexual abuse and such [or physical], but i don't rly kno what my case is anyway. i have been thinking about this 'abuse' thing for a long time already, but i really don't wanna jump to conlcusions since i don't really remember much. just that looking at all kinds of 'symptoms of disorders' and such, a lot of them seem to apply to me. emotional numbing for example, meaning that i don't rly fully 'feel' a lot of things that i go through. but that doesn't specifically mean i've been abused. also a lot of PTSD and such symptoms, but well. i don't rly kno what to think. i don't want to label myself something i'm not, or make this into a bigger deal than it is.

    if anyone has idead as to this haphephobia subject, or has experience lack of memories about their childhood, or just anything concerning this, all ideas are welcome.

    and i sincerely apologize for this very long and confusing and likely-non-sense-making message, but thanks in advance if u're willing to read this and think about it.

    Best wishes to everybody and stay safe~
  2. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Hi truthhurts, and to start by saying that for an Estonian where English is not your mother tongue, you have incredible command of the language and express yourself so lucidly - I'm awestruck!

    I also do not like it when my mother wants to hug me (she's 82 and I'm 57 now!) I know that she finds this upsetting, but I know the reason for it is that I am unable to be honest with her about my childhood and the decisions she made back then that affected my life. For that reason, although we will always have a bond, I try to keep my distance, and I think that this is to try and correct the balance concerning the over-attachment/over-mothering situation I was in as a child. If she had been upfront with the whole truth, maybe things would be different. But there is an unfortunate historic lack of trust, which means that I try to avoid her hugs whenever I can
  3. truthhurts

    truthhurts Well-Known Member

    thanks for replying^^, and thanks for commending me for my english hehe, i'm actually an english minor in uni, tho i just started this month. so it's good if my english is looking alright xD.

    i do understand that point you have there and i relate to this a bit as well. not with my mother tho but my middle sister. that because she blackmailed me to do her bidding a couple years back after having found something very personal of mine. tho actually i don't even know if she remembers the incident. i don't have any grudge against my mother tho, i kno she's done her best as a parent [even tho she herself does not think so]. well, i can't rly figure out the reasoning behind the feelings i'm having, sadly, but i'm hoping that self-analyzing or sth like that might bring some clarity.

    again, thanks for the answer^^.
    any other or similar ideas welcome as well^^
  4. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    In the past, when I was touched, it made me nauseous and felt like I was on fire...this did come from a history of severe abuse and neglect, but I know how awful it is to have problems with being touched...only someone examining you IRL can differentiate if this is like OCD, PSTD, or anything else in nature...also, please get a medical examination, as sensitivity to touch may have other etiologies, with some as simple as hyperthryoidism
  5. truthhurts

    truthhurts Well-Known Member

    thanks for the answer^^
    hyperthyroidism was a very new term for me, but i researched it a bit and i seem to have surprisingly many of these symptoms. i'm currently not living in my home town [due to uni, meaning i moved to a dorm], so i don't kno as to when i'd be able to see a doctor without making my parents feel alarmed. but i'll keep that in mind.
    and in a way i understand why you have developed haphephobia, and i'm sorry these things have happened to you. in my case though, i don't 'actively' feel a connection of abuse with being touched. maybe it's just something in my consciousness, or maybe it is indeed medical. though just imagining people touching me [as in for example imagining my hands to be someone else's] sort of freaks me out a bit. if i overthink concerning that, i won't rly want to have my own hands touch each other, or have my hands somewhere on my body. though that does sound pretty funny.
    i'll see what i'll do about this, since currently i can handle.

    thanks for the input^^
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