Growing Â up never got hugged so when I got older and someone tried to touch me, I bristled. Then I saw a woman on Oprah talking about an 8 year old kid who had been a slave his whole life and how good it felt to hug someone who hadn't been hugged in years and I thought "yeah for you" that slave prob wanted his head to pop off. It has taken many years for me toÂ be able to be touched and I am very grateful to the people along the way who were gentle with me and gave me only as much kindness as I could handle. One person in particular comes to mind. It was right after my boyfriend that I lived with for eight years, moved out on me while I was away for the weekend. I was hanging out with a bunch of girls that I hardly knew and I was so upset I couldn't controlÂ myself. I think one of them said "oh that must've been hard and the flood gates opened I started blubbering "Yes ! Yes ! It was really hard!" One of the girls took my hand and held it for at least an hour while I cried. I remember looking down thinking , "this break up is not going to break me, actually it's breaking my heart open, Â I realized that this was the first time in my life that I had allowed myself that kind of Â comfort. The pain was so great that i was compelled to do something different. In the past I would have pushed the girls hand away and said "what are you gay?" This time I let her hand stay in mine and cried until i couldn't anymore. It was one of those times in my life that the pain of staying the same was far greater than the pain of changing. Now I loved to be touched. Actually now I can ask for a hug when I need one, and I can say "ok that's enough" when necessary.