February 19, 2023 · 8:16 am
I waited over a month to email the news to my two past long-term therapists. When I said bye to C in June 2022, I had already planned when I’d reach out to both her and L again. It’s perfectly reasonable to email your two therapists who saw you for multiple years when you get your tenure-track job, I thought to myself. It’s just a casual update so they know how you’re doing and so they can hear the good news.
I reached out to C and L with the update in February, a month after I secured my academic and clinical positions. Continue reading →
February 10, 2023 · 9:39 pm
A couple of weeks ago a white supremacist, amatonormative Incident™ happened and it stressed me the heck out. I don’t want to go into the specifics of the Incident™, though I will share that it made me feel dejected, weary of my relational boundaries, and somewhat hopeless. Ugh, I can’t believe I worked so hard to get a tenure-track job, got the tenure-track job, got a part-time job on top of the tenure-track job, and then life still smacked in the face with this bs, I thought to myself. Who knew you can’t girlboss/nonbinaryboss your way out of systems of oppression??
To eschew self-destructive and unhealthful coping, I practiced these three strategies: Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as act, amatonormativity, coping, dbt, emotions, mental health, patriarchy, racism, radical acceptance, stress, white supremacy
July 17, 2022 · 7:34 pm
I had my last therapy session with my second ever long-term therapist last month, on June 22. I started seeing her in late May of 2018, almost a year after I moved to the Washington D.C. area. In contrast to my first long-term therapist L’s snarkier and more detached yet caring style, this therapist had exuded warmth and nurturance from the beginning. We spent this last session celebrating my growth and wishing each other well.
One theme that came up a little bit during our four years together included how I reacted to my mother’s consistent emotional abuse in my childhood. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as child abuse, emotion regulation, emotions, family, fleabag, gay, growth, healing, mental health, recovery, trauma
February 15, 2022 · 6:49 pm
I saw my first client in 2017, toward the beginning of my time in graduate school. Before my cohort and I saw our cases, we practiced therapeutic basics with one another, such asking open-ended questions instead of closed-ended questions to encourage deeper exploration, or reflecting and paraphrasing statements to get to the gist and the heart of the matter. Though these techniques feel automatic to me now, I still remember how much my listening skills – and my self-awareness – improved when I started using them on a consistent basis.
“You don’t really go toward sadness,” my first therapy supervisor told me, way back in 2017. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as anger, blackpink, emotions, feel special, feelings, growth, lovesick girls, moving, moving on, sadness, therapy, transitions, twice
January 11, 2021 · 11:18 pm
Over the past week or so I have felt sad about my attraction to men. While I love my life without a male romantic partner, I still feel some angst about feeling attracted to men at all. When I let myself luxuriate in my emotions, I recognize that a lot of my pain comes from my lack of control surrounding men, dating, and desire.
As a former anorexic, I tend to prefer situations where I can exert a lot of control. Continue reading →
August 9, 2020 · 1:42 pm
The other day I talked for two and a half hours with this really cute radical Asian guy from California. Over Zoom, we chatted about what got us into leftist frameworks, discrimination in the dating scene, and whether it felt possible to create meaningful justice-oriented change in academia. I liked our conversation a lot. While I tend to be outgoing and energetic in conversations, he had a chill and mellow vibe I found refreshing. The somewhat unfortunate news: he’s straight.
I am letting myself feel sad about his straightness. I recognize that even if he were not straight, we had literally one conversation which may not have turned into anything anyway. But this California guy stood out to me. One of my previous crushes was radical yet not emotionally available or mature, and another was more emotionally available yet not that radical. California guy seemed to have both, the radical social justice leaning and the emotional availability. I feel a little sad about not getting to know him in a romantic way.
Over the past few years, I have gotten a lot better about giving myself space to feel sadness. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as attraction, california, connection, emotional processing, emotions, friendship, kagiso lesego molope, melancholy, romance, sadness, such a lonely lovely road
October 9, 2019 · 8:56 pm
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 →
January 24, 2014 · 7:57 am
On Wednesday, I felt unwanted.
Today, it took me an hour to write the first sentence – that sentence, about Wednesday – of an emotional, super personal, and rather melodramatic blog post. Continue reading →
March 16, 2012 · 10:56 pm
Image via Goodreads.
If you’ve read some of my prior posts you’ve probably realized that I can be
freakishly kind of emotional. Everyone is. However, in society, expressions of emotion are often interpreted as indications of weakness or immaturity. There is some truth to this. People who continuously drown themselves in dark and negative thoughts or become angry and irritated over insignificant matters may need to reevaluate their mindsets, or just, as my English teacher said, “quit whining” (although she used the verb form of a curse word meaning female dog, but, I won’t write that here).
But expressing emotions shouldn’t solely be seen as a shortcoming. Continue reading →
December 26, 2010 · 9:42 am
Anger is a double-edged sword. One can wield anger to their advantage, ruthlessly tearing into whoever is unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of the emotion; or, anger can turn into quicksand, enveloping and completely encompassing its owner until nothing remains.
Personally, I do not like anger. I have seen too many people angry – angry at the world, angry at me, and angry at themselves. Sometimes, the anger is warranted. Most of the time it is not.
When people are angry, they are blind. Unable to view the world from a different perspective besides their own. This reminds me of the bull launching itself at the red flag, not processing what may be behind that flag… possibly an impenetrable wall. But by then, it is too late.
Anger leads to a multitude of other emotions. Two that affect me the most are fear and sadness. The difference is that one is caused by another person’s anger, while the other is caused by my own.
Fear. I can reasonably estimate that 99% of the times I am fearful are due to anger. When one is angry, one is violent. Violence leads to pain. Pain leads to suffering. Suffering leads to fear.
Sadness. I do not ever want to be angry. An unrealistic goal, I’m aware. However, when one attempts to control their anger and force it back into themselves, it changes into an unrelenting sadness. A permanent sadness. A depression. This only occurs when there are not enough sources of strength to use to recover, which, in the past, was my case exactly.
I believe that the opposite of anger is self-control. The ability to feel anger – to experience its terrible power racing through your veins – and not act impulsively on it. Rather, to use that anger and manipulate it into a self-dignified motivation, a driving force per say. This is the emotion I want to learn, to feel, and to use.