The Fear Of Intimacy
“Aphenphosmphobia. The fear of intimacy phobia is known by several other names such as Aphenphosmphobia (which is the fear of being touched) as well as Philophobia
(which is the fear of love).” – www.fearof.net/fear-of-intimacy–phobia-aphenphosmphobia/
Intimacy means being vulnerable and that’s something that I’ve been struggling with for years. Growing up being sexually abused, bullied, and feeling like I’m not good enough or pretty; I think it has a lot to do with fearing intimacy. A lot of people knew I was vulnerable as a kid and they took that for granted by doing what they pleased with me.
Standing there and letting someone else put their hands on me or take off my clothes off is something that scares me a lot, I become very vulnerable. Knowing that the man standing in front of me and seeing every part of me is very hard. How do I know if they like what they see? How do I know that they aren’t using me? How do I know if I can please them?
When they lay their hands on my leg, on my arms or grab my hand and give me a back massage all I can feel is my heart pounding, my stomach is in knots and my legs start bouncing and hands shaking. All I want to do is cry and scream and for them to go away. There’s nothing wrong with the men who I try to date or who try to get intimate with me, there’s just an issue with me that I need to fix. Often I feel the pressure that I need to sleep with them to sleep with them but most of the time I’ll walk away or wont bother going on dates or get into relationships.
A few months after my dad sexually abused me, I moved with my mom and she could tell I needed help. Sometimes my mom would put her hands on my knees and I would start shaking and bouncing my leg. I knew that she wouldn’t sexually abuse me but there’s another part of me that wasn’t sure anymore. I would get very uncomfortable when someone would hug me or touch me…I really hope that one day I can face my fear.
Here are some things that might help understand the fear a bit…
(This may or may not be accurate for everyone)
What causes the fear of intimacy
- Being sexually abused as a child
- An abusive Childhood
- Self-esteem problems
- Body image issues
- Performance Anxiety
- Previous Abusive Relationship
How to know if someone fears intimacy
- They avoid any physical contact
- They become very distant
- They struggle expressing their feelings
- They blush a lot when talking about anything intimate
- They may be a bit shaky. Eg Hands shaking, bouncing their legs, etc.
How to Heal from it
- Taking time to fully trust someone
- Try to find closure with the source of the problem
Please remember that even though you may be struggling with the fear of intimacy, it doesn’t mean that you’re not normal and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you need help please do not be afraid to communicate it with your partner or get some therapy. One day you will be able to trust and be able to be intimate with someone.
Don’t give up. Have faith.
Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Keep Fighting.