The Art of a Hug

I’m also a sufferer of anxiety – PTSD – and can relate to these emotions well. I know a lot of people who are “non-huggers,” many have Asperger’s Disorder and, for them, touching will stimulate them and drive them crazy. I believe that sensitivity to where people are, especially children, is crucial. You destroy their sense of self, their souls when you violate their boundaries.



Clench your fist, hard. Clench it and hold it until it is red and your palm is sweaty, your knuckles are white, your whole hand shaking; swallow that fist.

That is how anxiety feels to me.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately around people you might call huggers; huggers are people who put their arms around you–sometimes your waist, sometimes shoulders; it varies by height. They put their arms around you and they try to squeeze some emotion out of you. It started about a week ago at a summer camp I’ve been working at.

The horde of potential huggers had been doing one activity or another. It ends, they all stand up.

“So, what are we doing now?” I ask the camp leader beside me.

“Hugs” she says.


“Hugs, you know,” she hugs me, around the arms. I don’t move. “Hugs,” she repeats.


“Don’t you like…

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