The paragraph (Article The Guardian) that strikes me most is......
"And the penny dropped. My son, in his distress, helped me realise that there is something even worse than being abused in the street, and that’s being told by strangers you’re not who you know you are, that the truth of you is not acceptable so if you want to be safe – be normal, please."
My youth was filled with strangers and even family telling me that I was gay. I did everything I could to hide away from the daily taunts and verbal abuse, resulting in being depressed and shame-filled for over half of my life. Fantastic that I'm now living at a time when the norms of gender are being challenged in national newspapers. And in turn, I am the one re-educating strangers and friends who make inaccurate assumptions about me.
9 minute video on BBC2 Like Minds describing new thoughts on Grief and Bereavement. YouTube
A recent article in The Guardian The Guardian asks us to consider whether we are living through a Crisis of Touch ......Strokes and hugs are being edged out of our lives, with doctors, teachers and colleagues increasingly hesitant about social touching. Is this hypervigilance of boundaries beginning to harm our mental health?
Having posted this article from the Guardian, I’ve been pondering on the thought of hugging.
I like to give hugs and I also like to be hugged, but I do like to have some choice in when and if it happens and by whom. Sometimes I’m in the mood to be hugged, and sometimes I’m not. Declining hugs can be tricky as the other person can feel dejected impacting any future dealings with them.
I feel rather an expert in the art of hugging. I used to live in the Findhorn Community in Scotland where hugging takes on as much importance as breathing air. With it being part of the culture, when I was living there, it all seemed very natural and effortless, but now I’m slightly warier. When I visit the place, friends are very eager to meet and hug me. When they have been kind and dear to me in the past, it is a lovely greeting to receive and feels mutual in every way. However, when people haven’t been so sweet and kind to me in the past, I don’t really want to have to hug them. But they still launch themselves towards me as if they are going to be met with open arms. I usually yield and go through the motions, despite all my intentions to say no. I then stand there like a cold fish trying to defend myself from the person, the memories and the hug.
It can be difficult saying No, but there are some situations particularly where touch is involved, that I just have to. Boundaries matter.