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#384022 - 02/01/12 05:16 AM Human Touch & Recovery from CSA
phoenix321 Offline

Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Human touch is needed in all stages of life. It's a required need or a person does not develop emotionally. Now, CSA is touch but the terrible kind. Depending on when it occurs, it's permanent damage to a person's emotional development. Earlier it happens, the worse it is. It certainly makes sense as to why people like me revile emotionally from touch as kids and it's no longer beneficial if they live in a physical and/or emotionally abusive household.

A kid is raped and he/she looks for the comfort a parent(s) are supposed to give afterwards whether the child tells what happened or not. If a parent is the sexual abuser, gee.

All the touch is required for a kid, tween, teen. This is just touch not including the verbal nurturing to survive. How many of us didn't get that either?

All this makes tons of sense as to why csa victims revile all touch because of the sexual violation. It's opposite nurture. Maybe it heals if the child gets the nurturing touch in a stable home. No idea. Have to assume it's better.

Since this nurturing touch gives us our understanding of love, boundaries, intimacy, etc., etc., getting raped stops it. May just stop the benefit of the good touch.

People always vary for sure. Other than the exceptions (only 10% of infants survive without nurturing touch), it's the rule.

Amazes me I never read this in all the books on CSA.

Authored by Ben Benjamin, PhD
and Ruth Werner, LMT

"Consistent nurturing touch in infancy has also been shown to influence later coping skills. When nurtured young monkeys, who have previously been placed in stressful situations,
approach new situations they do so with curiosity and a kind of tentative courage. When introduced to a new enclosure, for instance, they will explore it by degrees, frequently
retreating to hug momís leg for reassurance. Then they will venture forth again and again until they feel comfortable
in their new surroundings. Baby monkeys that are raised
without comforting, nurturing touch donít have that source of security and assurance. They are easily overwhelmed
by new experiences. Placed in an unfamiliar environment without
a sense of safety, they simply collapse in hysterical screams. They canít cope with challenging or threatening situations
the same way that their touched and comforted cohorts can.

Many other studies show that children who are welcomed with
lots of physical touch and tactile stimulation tend to grow into well-adjusted, capable and loving adults. Children who are touch deprived in infancy show tendencies toward aggressiveness and violent behavior.

Naturally, there are countless other variables that influence human behavior besides how we are touched as babies. But it does make sense that during this most vulnerable time
of our lives we would form patterns and expectations about how the world works, specifically, about how safe and valued we are in the world, through our skins.

What we can do is attempt to include more nurturing touch in the lives of our infants, our children, teenagers, our elders and ourselves. As we grow and develop, our need for touch does not disappear. We continue to benefit from the touch we receive from those who love and care about us. A wide range of body therapies offer another avenue for receiving the benefits of human touch; they can dissipate accumulated stress and activate relaxation within the body. Touch therapies offer a way to integrate the benefits of human touch in our lives."

Gee, sucks.


A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

#384023 - 02/01/12 05:26 AM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: phoenix321]
phoenix321 Offline

Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Why being superficial makes a whole lot of sense. It comes from the CSA and/or other child abuse. Hey, at least I got the superficiality honest. Not my fault.


A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

#384038 - 02/01/12 11:44 AM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: phoenix321]
trb1345 Offline

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 73
Loc: NY
Wow, this was something my T and I discussed a few weeks ago. He asked me if I could imagine being touched (in a positive way of course) by a person. My answer was "no." It was a lack of touch that made me vulnerable to my and his version of touch. So I built a defense against anyone touching me, which has lasted almost 20 years. But now I think I'm ready to lower that defense a little.

Thanks for pointing out the touch therapy. Honestly, I don't even know how I want to be touched, or touch others (again, positively, of course). Perhaps touch therapy can open a door for me.


Inside all of us there's a wild thing.

-My favorite book.

#384040 - 02/01/12 11:51 AM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: trb1345]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 2699
For years if anyone touched me I withdrew from them. When I first started work people would put their arm around my shoulder and I would cringe. It became a joke in the office and people would do it to see my reaction--now I understand why--the touch was a negative for me due to my past. They were all friends and I can still see the main teaser of the touch--Italian from a more touchy culture. I can laugh at it as I write it here--the first time to laugh about it.

Edited by KMCINVA (02/01/12 12:00 PM)

#384045 - 02/01/12 12:04 PM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: phoenix321]
westchesterguy Offline

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: phoenix321
....What we can do is attempt to include more nurturing touch in the lives of our infants, our children, teenagers, our elders and ourselves.

i was likely touch deprived by my parents since i wasn't their natural child - so had to deal with that separately during the recovery process. i came to understand it so accepted it and never even brought it up with them. there was no point.

so, as you said, being touched the wrong way through sexual abuse even carried a different set of problems.

what about now, as adults?

if we don't have a partner in our lives.... touching takes on a whole new meaning. and yup...i'm so evil and very guilty of this in my world. lol. i purposely stand in check out lines and pay cash for the chance to just touch the cute guy's hand at the register when he gives me change back. that is the only hope i have to feel the skin of another human being.

on one hand -- i find it to be and admit it is extremely pathetic.... and on the other hand this is what life has delivered.


#384046 - 02/01/12 12:21 PM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: KMCINVA]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Odd I lacked touch at home, I craved it and I suppose that is what made me vulnerable and opened the door to the abuse.
Today being 48, I still crave the touch and I am always touching and hugging my wife and daughter.

I can see though how the touch thing affects survivors, and how they cringe from it.

I was on a course a number of years ago and there it was stated that a child needs three things in life to make him/her a well rounded child. They called them the Three Pillars of Raising Children.

Nurturing: which covers the following. Education, mental stimulation, physical nurturing like food and sustenance, and physical nurturing such as exercise, clothes and the likes.

Love:Love covers the following, Mental love such as praise, compassion, sympathy. Physical such as hugs and kisses. External love such as a love for nature, animals, siblings and the likes.

Security: Security covers the following, A safe place to stay, a safe person to talk to, safe arms to hide in when hurt. food security and peace of mind.

If one of these pillars are missing, then the child will instinctively go out in search of the missing pillar, and that is when the perps enter into the fray, or the drink and drugs.

Wish I knew that when I was 6 or 7.

Thanks for the post

Heal well

Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#384052 - 02/01/12 02:01 PM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: whome]
BDD Offline

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 90
Loc: PA, USA
I'm struggling with how to allow touch into my live.
I'm OK with women. With men it's different. If a straight guy touches me, it burns, but I relish it. If I know or think the man is gay, I flinch.
But I'm trying to open up. But I've designed a life around protecting myself. When I try to picture allowing someone to touch me sensually I can't imagine staying calm and whole.
I'm working on it though.

Thanks for bringing it up.

#384080 - 02/01/12 08:06 PM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: BDD]
Letourski Offline

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Good Post,

Phoenix, I received nurturing touch from my parents as a child. There was never any real lack of this kind of touch in our household. The sexual abuse introduced a completely different set of touch issues. I safeguard my personal space more than other men I know, and whenever another a man comes into my personal space I feel anxious. I also struggle to use public washrooms. He encouraged me to go outside and then tried to grab me. That is my earliest memory of any abuse.

So yes there was nurturing touch from my parents, but the abuse twisted any sense of boundaries. I have been trying to untangle the friendship = sexual touch equation ever since. I have also predicated my sense of self worth on my ability to be sexually "available" and if I am not then I must be a worthless piece of shit. I known these things, but they are not easily overcome.

Heal well my friend.


I am the warrior.

#384083 - 02/01/12 08:18 PM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: BDD]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3739
Loc: South-East Europe
This is great thread. I'm always aware of others touches and mainly I'm not felt discomfort. What you said BDD related to being touched by man are almost my thoughts and feelings. Difference is that I've felt burning if I'm touched by interested gay man and if I've felt some kind of romantic approach. Than I flinch.
With friends I can be touched and warm as much as possible no matter of genders.
But as a kid I've used to need my father's touches. He was in some way distant and couldn't see my needs. Anyway now as I'm older I like to shock my father from time to time with my hugs and kisses at public places, that is my sweat revenge wink.
My mum was completely different, her touche was so warm, protective and full of compassion. I've felt all my life that her touches are main cause why I become person like I am.

My story

#384087 - 02/01/12 09:06 PM Re: Human Touch & Recovery from CSA [Re: peroperic2009]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3889
Loc: somewhere in Africa
At first I ignored this thread because i thought "That doesn't apply to me" - and then I thought - "That's what you've been saying all your life! Read it, bone-head!" And i did and it does...

I both desperately crave and desperately fear touch. usually the fear wins out.

I vividly remember a specific time when i was so badly hurt that i made a conscious choice: I could see in my mind's eye the illustration from a fairy tale book I had of Rapunzel's tower (DON"T you DARE go near some kind of "phallic symbol" interpretation of that!!!) It was shaped like the rook piece in a chess set and built of large grey stone blocks and had a spiral staircase that you could see through the open door at the base and the zig-zag square projections around the wall at the top and a tiny window at the top. I saw myself going into that tower and slamming, locking and bolting the strong oak door with huge iron hinges. I ran up the stairs to the room at the top and locked myself in there as well. No one could get to me anymore. i was intentionally cutting myself off from all feelings - both tactile and emotional. i was just going to stay and live at the top of the tower - above everyone else - inside my head - and not even be aware of the rest of my body.

It did help me to control the emotional and physical distress i was experiencing during that period - but of course it did not work indefinitely. AND now i am struggling to break that old habit.

It is very difficult for me to initiate even a casual non- sexual touch - and paralyzingly difficult to initiate an intentionally sexual touch. I *should* be able to tell those closest to me about this need and ask for help and some meeting half-way or occassional gestures on their part. But I hate feeling weak or needy or being percived that way - and admitting to the weirdness that i have and that i created myself. Sometimes i still feel locked in that tower - but now the lock feels like its permanent - or maybe locked on the outside...


"the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable."
- Alan Cumming, "Not My Father's Son"

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