Was doing some therapy-related thinking and came up with some stuff that feels new to me - I always like when I can find what seems to be some root explanation between different idiosyncratic aspects of my character...
1. My dad's death (just after I started high school) was a loss, but I think the real trauma of it was less about the death and more about the debilitating illness before: namely the lesson of how awful it is to be helpless to help loved ones.
2. On to hugs. I dig greeting and farewell hugs with family and friends, and of course an amorous embrace is always laden with lovely potential. But I think reassuring, consoling hugs land differently for me than some people. Other people seem to groove on a feeling of "look I'm here for you, everything's going to be ok" whereas for me the message is "welp, I'm helpless to materially fix this, but at least we're in this together." So I'm happy to provide comforting hugs as needed, but don't quite intuit why they work for people or want them for myself when I'm in a rough state.
3. And on to romance in general. For a long while I've seen romance as a mix of (mutual) admiration and (mutual) responsibility. But now I can see that the end goal of the responsibility is to make the other person into as fulfilled a person as they can be. So the loving gesture and support in general are means to that goal, and not ends unto themselves. (But I think other people are more into the loving gesture for its own sake...as one old paramour put it "I just want a lover who'll make me chicken soup when I'm sick.")
a redwood will never return to its roots, never crawl back into its seed. you cannot be what you were at the beginning. you can only move towards the end.
(I might have Posted this "Pictures for Sad Children" Star Trek Next Generation empathy, "this is her... Super-Power" but I wanted to have it better show up in my archive search.)