Please Don’t Touch Me

It's Not You, It's My PTSD

Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.

Lately, having people touch me has terrified me. At work is especially hard. People grab my arm or touch my shoulder, making me cringe and long to run.

PTSD is rearing its ugly head again. Should people grab a stranger? No. Am I being overly sensitive? A bit. Is it normal to react this way because of my anxiety? Certainly.

With the holidays here at Disney, I need to think of some ways to deal with strangers touching me. Here are a few ideas that I have come up with so far:

  • Take deep breathes. Step back and put yourself into another place.
  • Say something. Be honest about feeling uncomfortable with the physical contact.
  • Put a barrier between you and the other person. Give yourself security by doing this.
  • Ask for help. Get someone else to be with you so that you feel more secure.

Those are a few ideas. What are some of your thoughts on what to do?

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10 thoughts on “Please Don’t Touch Me

  1. maura says:

    i completely empathize with you. i too loathe being touched, pretty much by anyone. i commend you for even trying to do your job.

  2. christinadrh says:

    I hear you. Here is an odd solution. I think it will totally diffuse the anxiety. Put you hand out to touch them first. That way you control surprise, the length of contact and how much contact is permitted plus you get a little better at touching. Touching is healthy but inappropriate isn’t, it’s terrifying and degrading. I think if you put yourself in control with some way to make contact with those that want to touch you will solve many of the issues you have with the triggers of leaving it to chance. Good luck, try to have fun with it.

  3. Rawclyde! says:

    I would like to suggest doing what soldiers do when they are in the midst of battle. Duck. This might not work all the time. But you might get touched less often. And, thus, be more comfortable at work…

  4. 80smetalman says:

    I too know what that’s like so you have my sympathies.

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