The hugging machine

depepi, autism, me and my vulcan

Do you like hugs? I am an incredible hug addict (but only from people that I know and I like). However, my Vulcan does not feel the same about hugs. Though he might want some from time to time, his hugs are not the same as my hugs. Have you seen the movie of Temple Grandin? (I recommend this movie a lot, since it is useful.) In the movie, we can see Temple make her own “hugging machine.” She was unable to stand human hugs, so she built her own hugging machine. This machine did not really mimmic the human hug, instead it “squeezed” her tight, enabling her to release all the anxiety she had stored during time. Now that she is older, she seems to like human hugs more than the machine ones. Whatever the case, “hugs” help both of us to feel better, though in different ways.

depepi, autism, me and my vulcan

My Vulcan gets nervous with interaction with people. His anxiety can be challenging for him, creating discomfort and restlessness. In times of a high amount of anxiety, a “hug” a good way to help him release tension. Unlike the hugs I like to get, his hugs are “squeezing hugs.” In fact, what he needs is to be squeezed for a while. In that sense I become a “squeezing/hug machine” for him. While I like my hugs tender, he likes strong squeezing hugs. It seems that this type of hugs help him release the tension he has been storing, maybe during weeks, quite quickly. Huggins though it’s not perfect. He might feel relieved, but the whole anxiety issue does not disappear as if by magic. But they do help a lot.

Hugs make us feel better, but in a different way. For me a hug means comfort, warmth and pleasure. Hugs make me feel really good, and help me when I am sad, disoriented, and even upset. He only wants hugs when his anxiety levels are on the roof and he needs release. Even if I need more hugs than him, or even if the nature of the hugs is different, reality is that both of us, at some point, use the “hug” as a release of negativity stored in our bodies. Be it sadness, be it anxiety, hugs are a good way to be happier.

depepi, autism, me and my vulcan

My Vulcan knows that hugs make me happy, even if they are given for no good reason. In fact, I treasure hugs given for no reason. There is no logical reason why I might want a hug, but I want a hug. This “irrational” neurotypical behavior of wanting hugs when there is no logical reason to want them might be challenging for some people in the autistic spectrum. However, my Vulcan has found that a happy me is more rational, thus more desirable. Random acts of kindness, like “giving hugs for no reason,” make me feel good. I tend to be more organized, less stressed and more quiet just because I get hugs now and then. This makes him feel better, because I give him less stress as well.

So, if you are a neurotypical and you want your Vulcan to hug you more, state the logic behind hugs: feeling better makes neurotypicals happier, and being happier means being less feeling-bumpy, more organized and stressed. On the other hand, if you have HFA you might want your hugs to be stronger, more like “being squeezed” and less like “being hugged,” for them to work for you. Explain that to your sweetheart, and ask for your “squeezing hugs.”

Copyright: Images on this post (C)

About pepi

A Geek Girl interested in Geek Anthropology, comic books, books, Superheroes and discovering all about pop culture.

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