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My moms physical affection makes my skin crawl.


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I love my mom and I know she loves me, but my reaction to her physical affection has become … weird. Whenever she hugs me or holds my hand or makes any type of physical contact with me, my skin crawls and try to get away, but she just holds on tighter and doesn’t let me go until I have to pry myself out of her grasp. My mom has been nothing but loving and supportive and amazing to me and my siblings our entire childhoods and I hate the way I make her feel when she can’t hug me. I don’t know what to do at this point.

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Welcome to the community, CookieCrane. 

My thought would be if it feels uncomfortable-- no matter who it is touching you---that usually means a boundary is being crossed. So maybe try not to judge yourself for how you are feeling, if you can, but rather listen to your feelings? That doesn't have to take away from your love for your mom or her love for you, but this type of contact is not something you aren't comfortable with at this time. 

Have you tried talking with her about how you feel? I hear that you feel guilt about your reactions, but it's okay to tell someone to not touch you. I'm sorry you have been feeling so uncomfortable.

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Hi, @CookieCrane, welcome! :)

I agree with the previous post. I also wonder if it's specific to your mom or if the same kind of touching would feel the same from anyone else (for instance, your siblings). And may I ask how old you are? (Perhaps the change is associated with puberty (?)...)

I think it can be seen as any other "dislike" or as a phobia - one isn't responsible for it, it should be explained to loved-ones, and they can respect and accommodate your needs it causes. At the same time, it could perhaps be overcome (if phobias can be, why not this?), but if your mom is understanding, she could just stop hugging you or you could find some kind of compromise. What do you think? And what would yo prefer?

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13 hours ago, LaLa said:

Hi, @CookieCrane, welcome! :)

I agree with the previous post. I also wonder if it's specific to your mom or if the same kind of touching would feel the same from anyone else (for instance, your siblings). And may I ask how old you are? (Perhaps the change is associated with puberty (?)...)

I think it can be seen as any other "dislike" or as a phobia - one isn't responsible for it, it should be explained to loved-ones, and they can respect and accommodate your needs it causes. At the same time, it could perhaps be overcome (if phobias can be, why not this?), but if your mom is understanding, she could just stop hugging you or you could find some kind of compromise. What do you think? And what would yo prefer?

It’s just my mom. and I’m like 14. I just want it to not happen anymore because my dad gets mad because mom starts crying about how it’s her fault (it’s not) and my brother just stays neutral.

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Thanks for your replies!

It occurred to me that you can tell her to replace all that has become unpleasant to you by something else you would both enjoy. There are probably things you still like doing with your mom, some ways of sharing nice moments together without touching, ... or you can even think of something new. Create a new "ritual" to replace hugging.

But you might perhaps also set a time/ a minute each day or each week to hug, so that you would have a chance to get used to it, if you want, and she could still do it; just not anytime, unexpectedly. But this depends on your tolerance to this discomfort...

I think it might be useful to search for something that might have triggered it and perhaps also for specific reasons why you don't like what you don't like (what precisely does bother you and in what ways).

I would also try to explain to her why it cannot be her fault (not just say "it's not" - she doesn't have a reason to believe it). 

Would she agree to get you some professional psychological help? That would be great, but I don't know if it's an option (as parents have to consent and it probably costs money).

Edited by LaLa
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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi again, @CookieCrane,

I wonder how you're doing. Has anything changed about the situation in your family? Are your parents more understanding and accepting of your problem, your difference?

I also wonder if you can remember how it begun and what triggered it, if anything. Are there any other changes in your life, behaviour or feelings that occurred at the same time?

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