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Can I Touch You There? (Part 2)

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I was on the phone making an appointment to tour the school. A couple days later I was on the road looking for the building that housed the school. I didn’t find it, mostly because I was sabotaging the effort. I felt responsible to call and say I was sorry that I wasted her time. She was good at getting me to commit to another appointment with very specific directions. I showed up for that one. I looked at what I was to see and was more than ready to leave. That was it, two rooms, a hallway, bathroom and the office. Big hairy deal. I was looking for a way to exit and was told I could go directly in and speak to the registrar. My first thought was perfect, I could tell people that I made the effort and was not accepted due to a bad financial history. That was not to be. I was told that I would be accepted and I could start right away or wait three months. The school has a new section that began every three months.

I wanted to say that I could see how things looked in maybe nine or twelve months. I found myself telling this woman that I might be able to make it work to begin with the next section. I worked nights and I would have no time conflicts. My school career was set to start the following Monday, 03/03/03. OK it was a God thing. I knew that if I was accepted against the odds that I put into it, it must be the thing I was to do. I still did not want to do it. How was I to be OK with touching other people? Oh wait, others are going to touch me too? My first touch experience at school was receiving foot reflexology. The only part of my body that was exposed were my feet. Well you know, other than my face, arms, and hands. I didn’t even feel comfortable in shorts often. I finally knew what a panic attack was. I had had them before, during sex, except I hadn’t known that was what one could call it. I realized that I made myself OK with hugs as long as I could pull away within sixty to 120 seconds.

So I ask again, why would someone like me become a massage therapist? OBLIGATION. I wonder if one looked up the word obligation if my picture would appear next to or instead of the definition. I am too afraid to look. Maybe you can look and let me know. I am still not sure I can handle it if my picture is there. My whole life has been punctuated by obligation. I, as a person, have never been important. The only value I had or could hope to have would ONLY be derived by what I could do for another person. I grew adept at fulfilling other people’s needs and at times knowing those needs before or better than the other person knew. I knew both times I impregnated the wife I was with, on the night it happened.

How does knowing how to serve people have to do with massage? That is the reason for this story. I had no idea I was good at massage. I was only trying to please the person I worked on. I was paying attention to the little nuances their bodies were voicing to me, just as I had growing up. I don’t know how much of it was the carryover of not wanting to be attacked or upset the person I was working on, or how much was related to being accepted. I wanted so much to be accepted. I still cannot ascertain how much people truly care about me and how much of what I do is taking away from me as a person, in order to please them.

I was required to perform massage on an intern level as part of the curriculum. I was doing as I was asked. I only wanted to do the best I could to fulfill what I was asked to do. I was uniquely shocked, pleased, and surprised when people genuinely appreciated my skill. Was I skilled? I was never skilled at anything, or very few things, to be honest. Sex was not one of those things. Sex terrified me. The expectation and obligation of it terrorized me. Back to story. Everybody I worked on outside of school was confused, bewildered, and at times disappointed when I told them I was not planning to find a place to do massage. I had absolutely no desire or plans to use massage as an occupation. I thought I could use it, yes, but I was happy to go back to construction, be a security guard, or something else, working with my hands. I honestly believed that God had led me to massage as a way to put me on my path to heal from my childhood and be secure, confident, or otherwise ready to embark into the deeper recesses of my soul. I didn’t feel then and I am confident now that I was correct in that assessment. If I could go back in time, I would not have succumb to outside pressure to do something that was not in my heart to do.

I am sure to many this will come as a shock. I wanted to believe and wanted others to believe that I answered my calling. I lied. I lied to myself. Once again what others wanted me to do was more important than what I wanted. I am glad that I am talented at massage and even more so that I helped people with emotional and physical pain. I committed a crime against my own body, my own soul. I did not listen to my soul needs. I always wanted to help people understand their own lives their own feelings and live fulfilling lives despite any negative personal history. I was willing to do that for everyone except myself. I still did not matter. I taught others that I do not matter. I became resentful that I did not matter and I am the one who allowed my spirit to be killed.

I think that I would have been happy to do massage for people that saw the value of massage and that it is not to be about sexual touch. I still think that I can and will do massage for people that understand what touch means to me. I cannot be expected to do massage as a career anymore. I have hit my breaking point. I must be an author. I must use my experience and my awareness in written form. It is how I choose to make a difference.

Can I touch you there? I wish to touch your heart, your mind, and I wish to move you to greater action. I wish to ask you to live your life with purpose. I wish for you to be true to your calling to do what is yours to do. Do not do anything simply because you are good at it. I once had a woman I know tell me she had sex not because she wanted to, but because she was good at it. She was paid for it. I wish to be paid for what I love to do. I cannot be asked to love what I am paid to do.

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