“Don’t touch me.”
“I like you Clarissa. Can’t we just hold hands?”
“I…I don’t know, Brad. I don’t know if I feel…”
Clarissa isn’t afraid of what she doesn’t feel but what she will if she lets Brad touch her.
It didn’t happen all at once and it didn’t happen at all when she was little.
When Clarissa was a little girl, she loved hugging her Mommy and Daddy, her Uncle Bill, and her Aunt Sarah. She held hands with her best friend Emily when they were five. Touch meant love and security. She sat on her Grandpa’s lap when he read to her until she was six and then sat next to him cuddled up against his side after that.
It started happening after she got her first period. Clarissa didn’t know what it was at first. When she hugged her Daddy, she didn’t always feel warmth and caring. Sometimes she felt worry, frustration, and anger.