God really has blessed me with my husband’s family. They not only have become my family, but they have become some of my closest friends. Yesterday was Dane’s (my brother in law’s) birthday so tonight we decided to go bowling. It was a small crowd - just him, his wife Natalie (Kyle’s sister and one of my BFFs), and Alison (our cousin). We were having a pretty good time and I even broke 100! I’m telling you that has only happened one other time in my life so that was a great night of bowling for me. Everything was easy and fun when the littlest thing wrecked me.
We were all sitting at the little table lost in conversation, waiting for the bowling guy to come fix the pins in our lane when Alison casually, lightly touched my hair. She started asking me about the hair products I used and kept fingering her way through the ends of my hair.
Everything in me nearly shut down, and it honestly felt like the deepest parts of my heart shuddered.
Have you ever read The Five Love Languages? Seriously, this book is very helpful in figuring out how you best receive and give love so you can love to your family the way they desire it and vice-versa. The book explains that there are five love languages – words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, touch, and quality time. After reading that book, I found out that for me, words of affirmation and touch are the most powerful ways that you could show me that you love me. And, those ways are also how I give love back. Out of the two though, touch is my strongest love language. Don’t buy me flowers – they’re impractical and they’ll die in a few days. If you wash my car I’ll thank you but it won’t woo me. I’ll spend serious quality time with you but if I don’t see you for months, it won’t kill me. I appreciate kind, affirming words greatly, but if you want me to really feel loved by you, you need to touch me. I need hugs, “hair softies” (you to play with my hair), back scratches, massages, hand holding, cuddling, and of course kissing – only my husband is allowed to do me that service…(sorry!)
As I sat there with her hands softly playing with my hair, it literally took all that I had to not lose it. It’s so weird. I believe that I can handle this lifestyle 100% until something little becomes so earth shattering. There, in that small bowling alley, I felt like my world was caving in.
I realized that NO ONE had touched me in almost two months. It broke my heart. Kyle always played with my hair and gave me back scratches as we were trying to fall asleep. I had been sleeping alone for weeks now and had managed to wake up and carry on as any other, but no one had been showing me love in the way that I forgot I needed it most.
And in an instant, it was her turn to bowl. She got up and I kept sitting there with a smile trying to hide the fact that my heart was sad. I’m starting to get good at waiting to lose it till I’m in the shower or something since I don’t want people to feel like they have to find a way to make me feel better, but right then, right there, I almost lost my cool.
Now I know that I have to ask people to touch me. I know that sounds weird, but I wasn’t paying attention to my simple needs and it’s not good for me to go through life without feeling loved. So if you’re on a couch and I sit in front of you on the floor, please, for the love of God, braid my hair. My husband will thank you for giving me what he wishes he could give.