I need emotional safety and support. Consistently, continually, unconditionally. All parts of me need this. Little-me is just best at asking for it and not judging it. I am just human. Nothing is inherently wrong with me for being an emotional and sensitive person—maybe that authentic piece of me is actually a gift.

Craving non-sexual physical touch from safe people is only human. And it makes sense I felt so unsure and strange about it at first; I didn’t receive connection in the way of physical touch let alone emotional safety, and without either I was left in a state of touch hunger. Intensely afraid of it. But knowing deep down I needed it. My body is in the process of getting filled up with both. It is not serving me to judge my needs. I am enough and acceptable as I am, now. I am allowed to feel loved and receive support and reach out for connection and safety.

Sometimes when I let my guard down and really allow for that connection, a bit of panic comes in and tries to tell me this is all wrong and too much. It is not my intuition or my core telling me this. It’s purely anxiety. This feeling reminds me of watching the movie To the Bone. The movie is about an anorexic girl who goes through multiple recovery programs coming out weighing less than she did before each time and making no real progress. It ends with her mother holding her in her lap, like a baby, bottle-feeding her. I can barely write that without feeling intense emotions. It was very hard for me to watch that the first time and I kept looking away as if it wasn’t a movie and directly affected me.

Now I think it stirs so much up inside of me because there are opposing emotions: anxiety, grief, sadness, and also longing for that sincere, deep, motherly love. I 100000% do not want to be fed by a bottle, but I get it now. I get that her trauma probably largely took place as an infant and small child and so it makes sense that act of physical connection and love would be the beginning of real healing.

On Friday I ended up resting my head on my therapists lap and that felt natural based on my level of exhaustion from the panic attack I’d just gone through and that I was practically in her lap anyway during that. But although it felt right and extremely healing, anxiety soon came in and said no—you are not allowed to heal in this way. This is too strange and you must be making her feel uncomfortable and you cannot be loved or connect in this way.

My therapist is the safest person in my life right now. But I have a safe friend who lives 2,305 miles away and she has pulled me in this close before. My head has rested in her lap on a train late at night and I have felt loved and emotionally connected and safe in that space. The way you might feel with a sister.

If I trust myself, not my anxiety, and I trust my safe people, I am capable of finding healing in exactly the way I need. And that means there is something deeply right within me. I want to keep healing. I want to keep going. I want to keep doing what feels healing and I want to start really paying attention to that and letting go of the anxiety and other protecters (depression, eating disorder) trying to tell me I am not acceptable, my way of healing isn’t right. I want to find peace that I’m positive must exist if I keep letting recovery take place my way. Not a text book way, or someone else’s way. Just the way that feels intuitively right to me.

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