Thursday, September 26, 2013
other more public blog.
There were many other actions I did that violated people's cultural expectations about autonomy, independence, personal space and respect that I needed to become aware of and problem solve. Lots of times, who I was trying to change showed me their sharp teeth and I had to learn not to take it personally. I've had to learn so much about body language to be able to deal with feeling rejected, isolated and misunderstood. For instance, being near-sighted and not comfortable with glasses or contacts, I tended to stand too close to people when talking, encouraging them to back away from me or flee during a conversation.
When I finally gave in and accepted that it was OK that people in my culture did not want to be touched, I think others lost out on the value I could offer them about the importance of being touched. But they didn't seem to want it.
It happened at the point where the mother of my stepson gave me this little talk about how the people closest to children are the ones who are most likely to be sexually molesting them. She got it from the news, so I could have merely cast it off as a fad. But I couldn't help but take what she had said personally. Because it resulted in her son no longer wanting to enjoy being read to while sitting in my lap, or hang out with the family and friends on the couch draped over each other. It was as if his mother was, in a roundabout way, trying to accuse me personally of molesting her six year old son by cautioning him not to trust people about an issue which he had no clue what it meant at the time. It really made me angry. But it also made me realize how an accusation like that is pretty much the same as a conviction. So I decided to let sleeping dogs lie and stop trying to get people to touch each other more often. I think my decision at that time was a mistake, in retrospect.