Some events this weekend have made me realize I have a real problem with touching and being touched---and it feels like it's killing me. I hate to be touched by others---anybody touches my back and I get really triggered and panicky. But at the same time, I yearn to be held, to be touched, to hold another's hand. I only trust a few people enough to even allow that, and my neediness and longing to be touched may have driven a wedge between my female best friend and I, who was getting, to put it mildly, uncomfortable and upset with my asking her to hold me and allow me to hold her---not in a sexual way at all, mind you, just for mere creature comfort in a bad episode.

But it's this lack of touch that's killing me, even though I can't stand it most of the time. I've never had any pleasant experience with intimate touching, ever, and oh god I don't know what to do. It's so bad I've never even been able to hold someone's hand or give or receive a back rub, let alone more intimate touching, without feeling like I'm back in the abuse. I feel so terrible, and even more so that I have no one willing to help me overcome this or even give me any kind of comfort at all. I asked a friend once for advice, and he said to visit a prostitute. Needless to say I am no longer friends with him.

What can I do? I'm so lost, and it's tearing me apart.