March 10, 2022 · 9:42 pm
This week I visited my old undergraduate college. I decided to go see my little cousin who attends that school now; at one point I promised her I would, and I figured better to do it now than when I live a ten hour drive away in the Boston area. About a week prior visiting I reached out to my former therapist L to see if we could meet to catch up and talk a bit about our therapy work together.
I had talked with my current therapist about whether I should reach out to L. Some of my old concerns about L and I emerged – would this come across as too needy, will he think of me as annoying – though I also felt that as a 26-year-old with almost 900 clinical hours under my belt, I was more prepared than ever before to talk about our therapeutic relationship and to address some of my unresolved questions about it. When I reached out, he replied soon after and said that it was good to hear from me and that he would be happy to talk.
It felt surreal stepping into L’s office, the same office I had seen him in five years ago. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as attachment, caroline knapp, growth, healing, mental health, mental illness, post traumatic healing, ptsd, therapist, therapy, trauma, vulnerability
September 19, 2021 · 6:25 am
The other day one of my best friends found out that if you google my full name and the word “blog,” this blog shows up as the first search result. When she messaged me this, I freaked out a little bit. Though I feel confident and secure in myself and in what I share on this blog, I still got shaken up by the notion of someone within my “professional” circle stumbling upon these posts
especially my posts that involve strikethroughs and mentions of railings, anyway.
When I sat down and started to process my slight fear, I recognized that I felt concerned about people judging my competencies as an academic based on this blog. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal, Society
Tagged as asian, friendship, gay, gay asian, gaysian, mental health, mental illness, ptsd, queer, stigma, trauma, vulnerability
July 17, 2021 · 9:57 pm
Sometimes I lift my shirt up in front of the mirror and sigh because I have a stomach. I could make this go away pretty easily, I think to myself, after I suck my fat in and my torso turns flat. A plan comes to mind: cut out dinner, eat only yogurt for breakfast and salad for lunch, and treat myself to potato chips and a soda on the occasional weekend. The regime feels familiar, because I implemented it often back in my early teen years.
At that time in my life, my mom yelled at me for hours almost every day, a doctor once told me I could stand to lose a few pounds, and a Korean girl I had talked to for weeks over AIM called me ugly when I finally sent her a photo of myself. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal, Society
Tagged as anorexia, eating disorder, fatphobia, food restriction, friendship, gay, healing, intuitive eating, mental health, mental illness, recovery, self-compassion, trauma, twice, vulnerability
May 18, 2021 · 2:12 pm
Growing up, I often told my grandmother that I wished she were my mom. She would laugh in her soft way and tell me that I was silly for saying that, though looking back I wonder if she had been pleased to hear that from me. My wish made sense to me as a child: my mother was emotionally abusive and yelled at me all the time, whereas my grandmother practiced nurturance and compassion in every moment, so of course I would want my grandmother to have more years to live and to raise me over my biological mother. I question now whether my younger self felt life’s unfairness while making that statement. Why did the universe give me such a horrible mother when it could have given me my grandmother as my mother instead?
I felt a somewhat similar sense of unfairness this past Mother’s Day weekend, about a week and a half ago. Continue reading →
April 5, 2021 · 11:44 pm
Today I had a meeting with someone where they made me cry. We met about a project and they provided feedback in a cutting, abrasive way. Over the Zoom call, I forced myself to stop the tears from falling. This person told me that they believed in my project and that they intended their feedback to only increase its quality.
This interaction reminded me of growing up with my mother. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as abuse, child abuse, emotional abuse, healing, mental health, mental illness, post traumatic growth, relationships, trauma, vulnerability, where is an emotionally available man who can top me
February 11, 2021 · 10:54 am
The other day I encountered someone whose behavior reminded me of my mother. They engaged in love bombing and projection, using compassionate words in a way that came across as coercive. When I recognized the similarity to my mother, I felt my body tense up and a slight fear uncoil in my stomach. I remembered how much my mother terrorized me day after day as a child and how little power I had to stop her.
I feel proud of myself because I chose to disengage. Continue reading →
March 26, 2020 · 8:26 pm
Three years ago, I felt abandoned by my therapist L. I remember curling up into a ball on his couch, a few months before I graduated from undergrad. I muttered something about wondering if he would miss me when I graduated. I felt a tight ball of shame in my stomach, like my desire for him to miss me marked me as too needy, or disgusting.
“Of course I’ll miss you,” he said. “I’ll miss you a lot.”
I struggled to believe L: to believe that he liked me, that he cared about me, that he wasn’t abandoning me. Continue reading →
February 14, 2020 · 11:04 pm
About a month ago I got dinner with a friend who I have known since high school. At some point the conversation turned to what it felt like to support me when my PTSD emerged for the first time during our undergraduate years together, about six years ago.
“Yeah Thomas, it was rough,” she said. “I remember I had to set super clear boundaries with you, because if I didn’t pick up the phone when you called, you’d freak out.”
When my friend told me this, I felt mortified. Continue reading →
January 25, 2020 · 10:42 am
The other day I had a breakdown in my car on my way back home from a super fun tennis match. This breakdown began when I started to reflect on a friend breakup that happened throughout the latter half of 2019, about a kind, soft-hearted friend who dated a man and grew to depend on him. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as growth, heteronormativity, introspection, mental health, mental illness, self-awareness, self-care, self-compassion, self-kindness, self-love, trauma
November 24, 2019 · 5:11 pm
About a year ago, I thought I met the guy of my dreams, AWLOB. When we first messaged each other, I remember feeling like, wow, this guy is different than anyone I’ve ever met. I remember feeling relieved in December, when he said he needed space to sort things out with his boyfriend, so I could get distance from my own desire, then giddy in January when he told me he broke up with his boyfriend and had feelings for me. Then when he said he could not commit to a one hour phone call without telling me why and just wanted to be friends in the future, I felt it all: anger at him, sadness that it did not work out, disgust at myself for caring in the first place, and confusion about why this went down how it did.
But no emotion lasts forever. Continue reading →