I follow an amazing woman named Stephanie Nielson on her blog, NieNieDialogues. In August, 2008, she and her husband Christian (who she affectionately calls Mr. Nielson), were in a horrible small airplane crash in Arizona shortly after Mr. Nielson received his pilot license.
When their airplane crashed, it caught on fire and she was burned over 80% of her body. Stephanie spent about three months in a medically induced coma because they had to scrape off almost every inch of her skin and then give her many, many skin grafts.
Anyway, I read her post today about how she can’t feel most basic touches, such as her children tickling her. As I read this, it naturally occurred to me that I have the OPPOSITE problem: I feel a basic touch too much. Often when someone taps me on my very sensitive skin and muscles, it feels like I was punched. It would be wonderful if I could share some of my nerve endings with her, so she could feel her family’s touch, and I wouldn’t feel my family’s touch quite so much.
Yet I realize that our opposite reactions to touches are exactly what we need to learn and become emotionally stronger. It also reminds me to be more aware of what other people might be struggling with and let them know that they can overcome their challenges.