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Haphephobia

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I have this...fear.

I've had it ever since I was a kid and I don't quite understand why I have it or why it's necessary for me to have. The physiologist I go to described it as Haphephobia, or the fear of being touched. This doesn't mean hugs or holding hands with someone, although even that gets me a little worked up. This mostly means being touched when you know you are alone, when you know there's no one around that could possibly put their hand on your shoulder.

When ever I do get touched, in the dark of night when no one is around of course, if feels like an extremely hot fire, or touching your finger to a hot stove. Not only that but, as you could probably guess, it's really unsettling to say the least.

But this...this time was different.

I was taking a walk around the block when the orangish - pinkish color of the sky starting to fade into a sea of black. I was too far away from my house to make it back before dark and by this point my fear has already started setting in. I walked quickly, constantly looking behind me to make sure I wasn't being followed. Making sure I wouldn't be touched. As I was watching my back, I turned and saw a man walking the opposite direction, just a few feet away. I stopped dead in my tracks, eyeing this man as he passed me, he looked normal enough, black suit, red tie, briefcase. Just an average Joe. I dismissed these thoughts that he would be the one to follow me and touch me in any way as just silly subconscious thoughts my brain was conjuring up to keep me on edge, so I kept walking but now, sure no one was following me, I didn't look behind me.

As I approached my house, I could hear something, a faint click, click, click of dress shoes against concrete. I'm pretty receptive so immediately my mind went to the man walking the opposite direction. He has followed me, and I just knew he was going to touch me. I started to panic, sweat beaded on my forehead as a began to walk faster, I could hear the footsteps behind me get faster in order to keep up. I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach that this wasn't going to end well, and that's when I got a burning sensation on my right shoulder.

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