Please don’t hug me (your way).



Dear Church,
I enjoyed your church service this week. Thanks for the welcome! It’s a huge deal for anyone walking into church for the first time – some more than others.
I just wanted to point out a couple of things which might help you in understanding those who walk through your big doors.
First, I realize why hugging is really important. You’re excitedly declaring ‘Welcome, come and be part of our church family’.
But you see…I can’t hug. Touch repulses me, mainly because of sensory processing issues. So you see when you try and hug me. My skin crawls and I want to actually vomit.  My whole state becomes unbalanced.
So, just for future reference try not to presume everyone you meet is a hugger.
When you get to know me really well, I’ll show you my sign for hugging. And we can do that as I walk into the foyer rather than..well…what happened.
I really understand too that eye contact is important, you show you are listening to me. You are giving yourself to me and no one else. The problem is, I can’t give you eye contact because my eyes sting and it feels like tiny hot needles are poking me. But please don’t think I’m being rude. I love you talking to me, I just don’t like you looking into my eyes. Into me.

Oh and finally, I know I got up and down a lot in the service. It’s not that I don’t like being there or I’m struggling with the message or I’m demonised! Ha. No, I’m very restless. It’s an effect of the medication I’m taking. So, I get up and wander around and when it settles I come back. Easy. Well sort of. It depends how loud the music is, and how high pitched the preacher is.
So, thanks for listening and I’ll be back next week. Because I know it’s about understanding one and other. And I know you have a lot of stuff going on inside too, that no one  knows about. I can see that, like, really see it. It’s just that mine is more obvious.

I’ll close with this verse that I love to encourage people with.
Psalm 139:14
I will offer You my grateful heart,
for I am Your unique creation,
filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.

I believe this. Do you?

P.S. You may not know but I have Aspergers.  I forget mention that sometimes…


11 thoughts on “Please don’t hug me (your way).

  1. Hannah, thanks for being honest…it is so refreshing in this day & age of covering up! There is a family at my church who have given me more of an understanding of this particular disease. And, I must say, it has been a challenge…but a good one to help me realize we are all made uniquely & differently, but all precious in God’s eyes. Bless you, my sister, & I pray that you will keep on coming. We are all learning how to live in community. Oh, by the way, I grew up in Kelowna & Willow Park is my home church. Take care.


  2. I totally understand…my oldest son has Aspergers. When I’m working, it’s with drug and alcohol recovery ladies. I’ve learned to ask them if they mind a hug. Most of them are all for it…however, not all are.Take care Hannah…HUGZ!!! (only when your ready). 🙂


  3. lovely thoughts and confirmation that we need to be more sensitive in our dealings with newcomers. ive been interviewing. what privilege 14 yr old young people with asbergers


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