I’m Becoming Untouchable

Yesterday was a really crappy day. It was supposed to be a good day…I had scheduled massages for me and for Aubrey at 10:15am. At Christmas, the massage therapy school sold 3 packs for $84 so I bought one. I usually get a two hour “Bliss” and Aub gets a one hour “Wellness,” so it seemed perfect.

Unfortunately, I had THE WORST massage therapist EVER! I knew it was going to be bad just from the way he walked and talked. He looked like Mr. Spock, and his whole manner was hurried and harried. I hoped that didn’t mean that he’d massage the same way (but I’ve found that it often does), and I was wrong. Instead of his movements being slow and rhythmic, he was sort of slap happy, and just randomly rubbed in circles on my back.

I admit that part of the reason I wanted a massage was just to feel another human being touch me. I wanted to feel human myself, worthy of touch. Mr. Spock gave me the same feeling I was trying to get away from; that my skin is disgusting, something to touch as quickly as possible and then get away. In other words, exactly how my husband makes me feel.

Meanwhile, since Aubrey’s massage was only an hour, she went up to the Starbucks where Matt works, which is just about 500 yards away from the massage school. She was relaxed and happy (she had a great therapist), drinking her chai tea and surfing the net on my tablet. However, as she was pulling out of the parking lot to turn left to come get me, she rammed into a car that was in the center lane. They were going too fast, but it was still considered Aubrey’s fault, since she was entering the street from a parking lot. Fortunately, she WAS really relaxed and loose, so when the car hit and the airbags went off, she wasn’t tensed, which is what really causes injury (this is why alcoholics are often perfectly fine when they are in car accidents).

I had no idea what was going on as I waited to be picked up. An hour after I was finished, I saw Ron pull in to the parking lot, and I immediately assumed that Aubrey’s car wouldn’t start, since she’s been having problems with it. I asked him if her car wouldn’t start and he said yes; when I asked what was wrong, he said, “Her car is no more.” By then we were pulling up to the parking lot where the police and tow truck were gathered. I saw Aubrey standing alone, crying. I knew that she knew she wasn’t going to be in trouble, and that we were just glad she was okay, but I also knew that she was counting on that car to last five more months, until she leaves for New England.

I got out of Ron’s car and ran up to her and gave her a hug, which made her cry harder. Aubrey (in typical model fashion) is gorgeous when she cries, because her blue eyes get bluer and bigger and her skin becomes even more pale, which makes her hair look even more red. She stood there with her sunglasses holding back her hair, clutching her tablet and tea, and looked graceful and perfect in spite of her tears. So of course, the police officers were super nice to her, as was the tow driver. Aub can seem deceptively vulnerable, which works in her favor in such situations. She truly was upset about her car, but more of a “mad” upset, not a “sad” upset.

Once the tow truck was instructed where to take the car and all the relevant papers were signed, I offered to take Ron back to work and deal with the aftermath. Since he had a ton of stuff going on, he agreed. When I dropped him off, he put his arm halfway around my shoulder for about five seconds, and then said, “Thank you. I’m glad I could be there for you both today.” I was stunned into silence. Yes, I did greatly appreciate that he was there when Aubrey needed him, but there was no, “I love you, I’m sorry that sucks?”

It made me sad, but I didn’t have time to talk about it because I had to take Aub to deal with the car stuff. I just left, but I knew that we would have to talk later, and I was dreading it.

Once Aub was settled, the car was dealt with, and she was at work, I went to pick up Ron. I didn’t confront him until we were home. I told him about my crappy massage and why it was crappy, and said it was the kind of massage that he would give me. He said he doesn’t like massages. I said I wasn’t talking about getting them (he doesn’t like them because his skin is super sensitive), I was talking about giving them. He said he didn’t like giving them, either. I told him that I knew that, but that didn’t explain his attitude about not touching me. He said it was because I was sick and tired (I’ve been in a fibromyalgia flare for a while, and the pinched nerve in my sacro-iliac is inflamed yet again); I explained that when I’m sick and tired is when I most need to be held and cuddled…

This is where the bomb dropped; Ron said he doesn’t like touching someone who is sick. I quietly reminded him that I’m not contagious. He said he knew that, but he still didn’t like it. Finally, a full out confession to confirm my suspicions. It wasn’t all in my head…he truly was avoiding touching me.

I was hurt and angry. I stopped talking and started reading my book, and then fell asleep (it was 6:30 pm). That’s been my standard response lately…As soon as Aubrey leaves for work, or when I realize it’s 6pm, I lay down and go to sleep so I can avoid my husband. This saves me from having to chat with him, and is a coping mechanism for his not touching me. Sad, I know, but it’s much better than an overdose of meds, which is what happened a year and a half ago. I guess that means that therapy is working, at least.

I’m incredibly sad, but worse, I’m angry, bitter, hurt, and I want to lash out and say mean things. Honestly, he doesn’t deserve that. He is still kind and caring, even if he’s not loving and affectionate. I don’t want to punish him for something he can’t help.

I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I don’t know if I can continue to live in this situation, or if he can, either. I don’t think this is something that more marriage counseling can solve. At the best, counseling will get us through the next nine months, which is how long it will take for us to get out of debt. That’s all I can focus on now.

“Contempt loves the silence
It thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils
That strangle the heart

They say that promises
Sweeten the blow
But I don’t need them
No, I don’t need them

I’ve been treated so wrong
I’ve been treated so long
As if I’m becoming untouchable

I’m a slow dying flower
Frost killing hour
The sweet turning sour
And untouchable

Oh, I need
The darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this

I need
A lullaby
A kiss goodnight
Angel sweet
Love of my life
Oh, I need this”

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