I’ve always craved affection. When I was young, sitting with a trusting adult, I would lean up against them, rest my head on their shoulder and put my hand under their sleeve to rub their arm. The cold touch comforted me. It made me feel close to them.
My mother was never the affectionate type. Hugs were a rarity. She didn’t like to be touched. Kisses from her were nonexistent. She didn’t like germs. There are no recent pictures of me and her. She doesn’t like to be photographed. I’ve never heard her say she’s proud of me. People have told me that she is, but she’s never said it to me. I tell her I love her every chance I can. She half smiles and raises her eyebrows; she thinks I want something. I just want the attention.
I found that affection somewhere else. It was with a guy. I craved his presence. He made me feel important and wanted. When he hugged me I felt safe. It was a strong, firm hug that said, I wont let you go. When he kissed me, it always left me weak in the knees. I would lay on his chest and listen to his breathing while he twirled my hair in fingers. He’d always ask me how I was doing and celebrate my small accomplishments. “I’m proud of you,” he’d say. He’d smile and kiss me.I wanted to freeze every moment we spent together. This is what love was.
It’s been difficult since my move to Nevada. I believe the affection he gave compensated for what I was missing from my mother. He gave me a lingering hug and kissed the top of my head. “Wait for me.” I said as we parted ways. He made me feel wanted. I need the touch, the praise, and the acknowledgment. Without it I feel empty. I need him here with me. With such a distance between us his affection is a craving I cannot satisfy.