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You’re a “Toucher”

Blog With Jalen

Just Adjust is a phrase I coined to remind myself to scale situations on my life. If its easier to let it go, for the sake of the friendship, Job, Marriage, etc. than just Adjust. lest it go. it hasn't been easy, but its gotten better. Follow me on my interactive blog journey that parallels my book " Note to Self: Just Adjust" 

You’re a “Toucher”

Jalen Archer

Happy New year! Thank you for stopping by my blog. 

I wanted to finish this blog I started last year that kind of shaped me into this new person this new year. No I’m not being all ‘new year new me’, but in a sense it’s time to finally correct some things and get myself past this point of life..... 

I was recently having a conversation with one of my friends in which the topic that we were discussing was about something that I would categorize as sensitive, but not ‘that deep’, thinking that it didn't matter, until I heard, "You're a toucher". I then suddenly remembered why this topic was sensitive to me all over again.  

When I heard those 3 little words as a phrase to describe me, I immediately became the little boy in the picture up top. 5 years old, holding onto my teddy bear because that was the closest thing to me that showed affection without taking some first. What do I mean? Growing up as a child, I didn't receive the right forms of affection. I received what adults and elders called affection, but in actuality it was an infection. I was touched.. yes, touched inappropriately. I feared to touch, being touched, and touching anything because I often felt like it was something that was bad and when it happened I always felt that I had to keep it a secret. So I decided to not touch..AT ALL, ever. Fast forward to my adult life and every day the shell walls shielding my pain falls a little, so much so that I started becoming affectionate again. I was hugging people, shaking hands, and being able to explore the sense of touch that I was giving without fear.....Finally......but the bad thing is that I'm a 23 year old man and according to a source unknown, "we don't do that.”

Often times I find myself feeling 5 years old and ‘seeing’ things for the first time, in correlation to touching. It’s kind of like a kid in the grocery store being told to look, but don't touch anything...and we all know that's impossible. But like that 5 year old, the consequences for his age would be different and the perception is taken differently from that of a grown man. 

Okay, back to the story; I'll tell you why those 3 words bothered me so much....when I was told that I was a toucher in light of the subject being discussed, I felt like I was not one of the guys. I felt like my offender and my victim at the same time and at that moment my wall was fortified in fear once again.

It took me back to my friends' circle last Christmas when we saw the movie Split and after the movie, the consensus of the group was that the victim in the movie was stupid and crazy for letting her uncle touch her.. (dang it there goes that word again). It was at that moment that all of the hard work that I had put in was now depleting and discounted by people who were supposed to be my keepers, my homies, my friends, and most importantly my family. Here I was again on the outside looking in as a 5 year old all over again. 

Do you guys remember what it felt like to play with the big kids and they made you play for fun? You were there and participating, but no one really engaged in your presence. You were someone that they didn't chase, tag, pick or hide with because were just there to be included...yeah it sucked didn't it? Well welcome to my EVERYDAY life. I’m constantly being told “Get over it” because it's “not that big of a deal” or that's not what they meant when they said what they did. Oh how I wish to be given the benefit of doubt just for once. 

So here I am, trapped as the ‘TOUCHER’, so I decided to talk to all my touched out there... it's going to be ok. I get it; this whole thing is new to you. Touching without crying, being in fear, and experiencing the acceptable touch can be hard to deal with, especially in a society that's perverted and the offender. But hold on. Take strides and stand for yourself; people may not get it. They will say things that they have no idea affects you every day. Oh and to anyone who may be ignorant (defined as lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated) that makes stupid remarks about a subject that you unable to personally relate to, educate yourself of your friends are and what they’ve been through before you push them further than they push themselves. You can never know how close to the edge someone really is until it’s too late...but here’s a piece of news for you: you'll never know unless you ask and you’ll never learn unless you study. Both acts take work and practice. Hug your friends. Hold their hands. Walk close to them. Let your guard down sometimes. Be yourself. Be confident in who you are to best help the confidence in someone else.