Tag Archives: ptsd

She Hurt Me

I like to think of myself as a pretty empowered person. While I recognize the importance of collective liberation over individual empowerment, I value my empowerment in terms of defying stereotypes about submissive gay Asian men. A few weeks ago, though, I found myself struggling to integrate this idea of an empowered self with another part of my life: the abuse and hurt people have put me through, especially my mother.

My angst reached a crescendo the day after my birthday, as I sat on my couch listening to “Break Free” by Ariana Grande. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society

Ended, Not Abandoned

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

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Filed under Personal

Mistakes Were Made

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

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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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Filed under Personal, Pop

Everything I’ve Ever Wanted

I always wanted to run away from home, from my abusive mother and her screaming fits and mood swings. In high school, I put my head down and worked hard so I could get into a good college and escape. I did run away from home once. I wrote a blog post about it, too. Then, I got into a great college and left at long last, only to run head first into a disturbing relationship and PTSD.

Fast forward five years and countless therapy sessions later. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Once upon a time, in a far-off land, I was kidnapped by a gang of fearless yet terrified young men with so much impossible hope beating inside their bodies that it burned their very skin and strengthened their will right through their bones.

Damn. I read An Untamed State over a period of two weeks, taking in the torturous first half at a snail’s pace, speeding through the second half in an emotion-filled haze. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

As someone who wrote an entire research paper on the importance of YA fiction and the genius of Laurie Halse Anderson, I own up to my bias. The Impossible Knife of Memory captures so much of what I love about young-adult contemporary and realistic fiction. It possesses a witty and cynical narrator, it delves into a real and painful issue, and it offers a nuanced yet meaningful message of hope.

Hayley Kincaid divides the human race into two types of people: the freaks and the zombies. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books