Please don’t hug me (your way)

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Dear Church,

I will start by saying. ‘His grace is enough.’

I enjoyed your Sunday morning service this week, thank you so much for your warm welcome.

You need to know it’s a big deal for anyone walking into a church for the first time – and for some more than others. I just wanted to point out a few things that might help you in understanding some of us who walk through your big glass doors.

Firstly, I realize why hugging is really important. You’re excitedly declaring, ‘welcome, come and be part of our church family.’

But you need to know…some of us can’t hug. Your way.

Touch repulses me and if you try and hug me my skin crawls. I actually want to vomit, often do, and my whole state becomes unbalanced. You might want to Google sensory processing disorder to understand more.

So maybe try not to presume everyone you meet is a hugger. When you get to know me, 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 also really understand that eye contact is important; you show you are listening – you are giving your attention 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 rude. I’m happy that you talking to me, I just don’t like you looking into my eyes.

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 that I’m demonised! Restlessness is a side effect of the medication I’m taking, so, I get up and wander around until my legs settle. Easy? Sort of, depending on the volume of the music is and how bright the lights are.

It can be tiring being me sometimes.

Thanks for reading  – I will come back next week. I know it’s about us understanding each other and I know you also have a lot of stuff going on that no one knows about. I can see that in you, it’s just that my stuff is more obvious…

I’ll close with my life verse from Psalm 139 that I like to encourage people with.

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?

Regards,

Hannah.

P.S. I also have Aspergers.  I forget to mention it sometimes…

(This is revamp/repost, for the five minute Friday prompt, ‘touch’ A letter worth reading again…)

 

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

  1. Thank you for this post! People in church so often want to get it right but just don’t understand how difficult it can be for people who don’t quite fit with their way of doing things. It’s really important to talk about it and raise awareness.

    Like

  2. Thanks for posting this. The condition is completely foreign to us. We have heard of Asperger’s and people being very sensitive as a result of having had Shingles. Can you clarify something for us? Are you posting for someone else or is this about yourself, which we assume you are.

    We love you, Jake & Helen

    On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 8:43 PM michelle’s musings wrote:

    > Michelle Collins posted: ” Dear Church, I will start by saying. ‘His grace > is enough.’ I enjoyed your Sunday morning service this week, thank you so > much for your warm welcome. You need to know it’s a big deal for anyone > walking into a church for the first time – and for some mor” >

    Like

  3. This is beautiful, Helen. Our grandson is on the autistic spectrum and if he could say these words, I’m sure he would!! Thank you!!

    FMF Linkup #45

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