“It was just a hug, but gods, it meant so much. It meant everything.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Half-Blood
Wilsons don’t hug. Or if they do, it’s the most awkward procedure. Our arms are not quite sure what to do, but they are pretty sure they belong glued to our sides. Our faces cannot decide if they can smile or just need to grimace. There is also the momentary suspicion that we are only being hugged so the other person can assassinate us. It’s like hugging a cactus, or a cat, or a stick.
With me, it’s worse. If people hug me without warning, my body goes into panic. My heart rate speeds way up, my muscles tense, and my fight or flight reaction is intense. My father hugs me that way even though I have asked him numerous times to stop.
I had a reputation for not enjoying hugs most of the time in college. It got to the point where my roommate Afina would always ask first, and then would drape her arms around me in the most gentle way possible. As I happened to have a massive crush on her at the time, I would be fully distracted from the turmoil of college life.
I actually like hugs when I have enough warning and it’s not a no-touch day. One of my friends decided I was so averse to hugs that she could not hug me. This happened after I tensed up in response to an unexpected hug. She would say, “I know you don’t like hugs so I won’t hug you. It’s ok.” And I would say, “I really don’t think I would mind at all today.” And she would say, “No no no, I understand, you don’t like them.” I would stare at the pavement and say, “Ok…” She never hugged me again.
When I arrived in Florida, it was my and Marie’s four-month anniversary of dating. Yes, we celebrate by month. Don’t judge. My present was supposed to be a hug.
We did hug. It was awkward. Especially since I think my heart may have gone offline for a few moments, and my breathing accidentally stopped working on autopilot.
And I thought, yes, this is my safe person.
Post 29 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)
This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.
For the whole series, follow this link.