On Nurturance

As a child, I thought a lot about the meaning of my life. I thought a lot about the meaning of my life especially after my mother would yell at me for hours on end – why would anyone put me on this earth so this woman could scream at me and make me want to kill myself? I remember typing on my laptop at some point, during sixth grade or earlier, with tears running down my face: I was put on this earth to make a difference, to stop people like her from hurting others. While other kids thought about prom and popularity and potential first romances, I felt dedicated to escaping my home and then devoting my life to helping others help themselves.

Except escaping my home marked just the start of my healing. Continue reading

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A Therapeutic Response to a Crush that Keeps on Crushing

How do you cope with a ten-month crush that will just not quit? In July, when my most recent crush said he did not feel ready to talk to me, I used every ounce of my willpower to move past him. I first sent him an angry email because one, I felt angry, and two, if I roasted him that meant I could tell myself I no longer cared about him. I then invested my energy, as I always have, into my clinical work, mentoring, friendships, and hobbies. For the last couple weeks of September, I felt that I had moved on from him, managing to go days at a time without thinking about him and at least two or three conversations at a time with friends without analyzing him and his motives. I even went on the patriarchy capitalism devices, otherwise known as dating apps, for a few days before remembering that dating apps make me feel sick.

I experienced a romance-induced relapse last week, when my brain betrayed me and flooded with thoughts of him: is it possible that he still likes me?  Continue reading

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Imagine

Over the past few weeks my PTSD symptoms have flared up fierce. Thoughts about losing control of my life and relationships run around and around in my head, I play back scenarios I starred in and emails I wrote and wonder if I should have done something different, I have horrible nightmares all the time, like one about a lion chasing and eating me on the street of my childhood home.

Today, PTSD struck me hard. Continue reading

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People can Value Social Justice and Still Lack Emotional Intelligence

Sometimes I conflate passion for social justice and actual emotional intelligence. Take for example, a crush I had about three years ago on this attractive Asian man who went to an Ivy League school. He worked or volunteered supporting survivors of interpersonal violence, he could articulate the costs of racism and colonialism on people of color, and he said he valued empathy and compassion on his LinkedIn profile, which I may have read a dozen times. “Oh, my goodness,” I thought to myself while listening to Ariana Grande’s “Into You” in 2016, “this guy is like, the one. This is a hyperbolic re-rendering of my thought process at the time for dramatic effect but like, we’re totally going to date, get married, have two kids, and conform to heteronormativity in at least one other way, like buying a house with a white picket fence.”

But it turned out that this guy had not come out to his conservative Asian family yet, which bled into his inability to form a connection with me. Continue reading

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In a World with Couples Therapy, where is Friendship Therapy?

I have always loved my friends with my whole heart, even more than I love Jeni’s ice cream. My friends and I in elementary school traded stories about our abusive parents. We Facebook messaged each other after our parents yelled at us or hit us and took comfort in our shared pain and support. I first came out as bisexual, and then as gay, to my high school friends, who loved me all the same. We talked about boys who never stood a chance with us anyway. Today, my friends and I still talk about our shared trauma, we rant about the racism we encounter at work, and we roast the men who have wronged us with the most eloquent rage.

But like every relationship, sometimes friendships suck, too. Continue reading

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Honoring My Red Hair, Doing Science While Valuing Compassion, and Other Bloggy Updates

This blog turns nine years old in December, wow! Who knew I would transform from a weird, dark-haired, not-yet-aware-of-his-gayness high school student into a weird, red-haired, very queer and femme grad school student? Time sure flies when you spend hours processing and healing from your trauma, breaking the hearts of thirsty men, and over-disclosing about your life on the internet have fun! I will now share some blog and life updates because I love the readers of this blog, all 2.5 of you, and I want to keep you in the loop.

First, I updated my “About Me” page to include a photo of me with my red hair! Continue reading

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As a Queer Person of Color, Making Space to Mourn

Today, I felt guilty for feeling my feelings. I felt guilty because I thought that I should work instead – put together a talk for an upcoming conference, write a research manuscript on masculinity and rape myth acceptance, organize a social justice brownbag series for my doctoral program. But then I played tennis for a couple of hours and in the middle of getting crushed by two white men, I thought, wait a second, not only is it sad that this tennis match is replicating the race dynamics of this country, I also just feel like, really sad right now. I need to make space to mourn.

Queer people of color often do not have the space to mourn. Continue reading

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