Posted by: Marie | July 30, 2012

(679) Startling touch

Post #679
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, August 27, 2011]

This morning, I had a lesson with James, the cop. It was his first lesson. His daughter, Sara, came with him . . . she assured him he would do just fine, LOL . . .

I was pleased how the lesson went . . . I was surprised at how much he already knew. I guess he has been learning on his own because we were able to skip over much of the first book.

When James brought Sara for her lesson earlier this week, I noticed that he touched me on my arm and on my shoulder several times. And, today, he touched me quite a bit . . .

My Brother’s Home by Martin Chen

When they arrived at my studio this morning and came up the stairs, I was finishing up an important email. Since I could hear them coming, I sped up my typing. While I was hitting the “send” button, I half-way turned towards them and gave them a half-focused “hello” . . . James reached out and, from behind me, gently laid his hand on my shoulder in greeting.

I wasn’t expecting him to do that, and I hadn’t seen the touch coming, so it startled me. My inside body jumped while my outside body froze for a second. I could feel the two parts of me separate. I did my best to appear un-rattled while I worked to reunify myself.

And, during the lesson, a few times he reached over and touched me on my forearm . . . I saw those touches coming so I wasn’t startled by them. But, being touched was definitely distracting for me. I’m just not used to being touched.

After they left and I had some quiet time to myself, I pondered the situation . . .

I don’t feel threatened by his touching me . . . I think it is just unfamiliar to me. When I know the touch is coming, I actually find that it feels comforting and healing for me. I think that is because I feel very safe with James, overall.

However, when he touched me from behind as they first arrived, that startled me . . . and that did not feel good. I think I would prefer for that not to happen.

I’m wondering if he is expecting me to reciprocate . . . probably not, but I wonder if it will seem weird to him if I don’t start reciprocating at some point. I guess that doesn’t really matter . . . I hope he is not expecting that because hell will freeze over before I’ll ever feel comfortable reciprocating. That’s just WAY too far out of my comfort zone.

And, thinking a bit into the future . . .

At James’ next lesson, Sara won’t be with him . . . we’ll be in the building alone . . .

Part of me hopes he will stick around for a few minutes after his lesson to visit . . . and maybe, because Sara won’t be with him, our conversation can be a bit more in-depth. Maybe we can allow the conversation to have a little more adult content than we can have when Sara is there. I’m hoping it will be an opportunity to build a bit on our emotion connection.

If that is the case, it is very important to me that our interaction remain appropriate and aboveboard. I’m not sure I know how to do that. Maybe I’ll allow him to lead the conversation . . . if he leads our conversation in a certain direction, I’ll know for sure it is okay with him that the conversation goes that direction.

I don’t feel confident in my ability to do that leading – I’m feeling fuzzy about the appropriate boundaries. But, I trust his leadership.

Another option I have is to just keep things very professional. That would be the ultra-safe solution. But, it would also prevent me from having a relationship that could be very healing for me.

Phew . . . this is confusing to me.


  1. Hope it went well

    • Thank you for the well wishes!

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