When I was in labor there came a point when I really did not want anyone to touch me. My poor husband had to deal with a wife that at one point is instructing him to use counter pressure, and the next minute doesn't want him to do anything at all. Except he absolutely could not leave the room. It's hard, because a woman in labor has to use all her energy and resources to working through labor. And at some point, there comes a time for most women, that even touch is too distracting.
It's made me think about how we respond, as humans, to trials and difficulties. I think we reach the same point in life sometimes too. When we are having to work through so many things, that even the touch of someone else is distracting to the work of dealing with emotional or physical pain. I have found myself saying similar things when I am having a rough day, or just working to process different things in my life, or when someone has hurt me. I just tell everyone around me to not touch me. But, here's the thing....it doesn't mean I still don't need them or don't want them around. In fact, I think many times I absolutely need them to be around, perhaps even more so. I just have to take some time to process.
When a woman reaches this point in labor, I try and step back and reevaluate where she is at. I know that during this time, she will not be able to tell me what she needs, or even know herself what she needs. Sometimes all she needs is a presence. Then I gently suggest other options, positions, or offer words of encouragement. But always I have to watch her response and adjust accordingly.
I wonder if it's the same way in life. At those times when some says "don't touch me", then maybe it's time to step back, reevaluate, offer suggestions, and adjust.