When I was growing up in the 70’s…I remember hearing this common ‘threepeat phrase’ being said to people in school, in the community, at home, in the media…pretty much anywhere and everywhere. You would hear it most often when someone was having a reaction to something bothersome. When someone voiced an opinion on how they felt about something, someone older or in a perceived position of power would say, “Touchy, touchy, touchy” as a way to stop that person from feeling and through intimidation, those listening as well.
A way to close the door on pronouncements of someone’s heartfelt concerns and perceptions. Making the person feel inadequate or guilty to have shared those honest feelings. To completely and essentially shut them down and shame them from having and voicing those feelings ever again. It never occurred to me what a violent SLAM that truly was and still is… until now.
Until, this time in my life where I am an older and wiser person with 5 decades of humanity to draw from. Now that I am the mother of a seventeen year old non-speaking very vocal Autistic young man. Now that I am friends and partners with countless other speaking and non-speaking very vocal and verbal Autistic people. People of ALL AGES, abilities and myriads of amazing ideals.
Now that I see how stifling someone else’s natural central nervous system causes harm. Harmful, painful physical and emotional damage. Because, we are in fact sensitive and touchy humans and we should all be accepting, honoring and nurturing of that TRUTH. Not pretending that we are tough as nails or that we should be non feeling super heroes with impenetrable armor for souls. Why was it ever a good idea to impose parameters on one and other by denying the basic humanity of our individualized systems? Why have we been told we must hide our humanity and keep a “stiff upper lip”? Demanding that other people squash their feelings by ignoring their natural systems is a horrific form of bullying. Truly.
Labeling someone as “touchy” by guilting them from their own reality in this manner needs to be a thing of the past. We as loving people must validate our friends, family and all others by honoring what they communicate to us about their own unique system. No matter if you understand it or if it somehow causes you discomfort. It is unacceptable to shape someone else’s reality and message for them in this way. We all have systems that operate in specialized manners that can be harnessed respectfully.
My portal on humanity through my son and his Autistic system has been an eye-opener for me It allows me to see through so called social structures. Seeing through to these false ways in which we are “social” with one and other. How people so often try and control the way people speak to them and to others. How people shame each other from speaking freely and feeling safe to be who they really are. Asking people to ignore their system and behave in some ‘desirable fashion’ is cruel and brutal. When we try and shape the tone and content of someone else’s words and ways, that is the ultimate betrayal in cooperative, accepting loving communication. A systematic betrayal.
Allow people the space to be who they really are. Come to that space supportively with no preconceived notion of who anyone is or who anyone should be in …THEIR lifetime.
We believe it is wise to value being “Touchy, Touchy, TOUCHY” because, that is who we truly are. Sensitive people that think and feel deeply! People that want to communicate freely. People that want to be touched and to touch others deeply, inside and out. Autistically and otherwise no matter the moment in time and space.