A while ago, I wrote a piece called “Abused Kids Get to Look Like Their Bullies“:
On countless mornings, I glimpse my reflection in the mirror and want to punch myself in the face.
Because I look like her at certain angles.
Her chin, strong but not square. » Read more
“Oh shit,” I say, realizing what I’ve just said sounds terrible. “I really didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I’m sorry.”
The pause between when I say that and when he speaks seems to last forever. But finally he breaks the silence. “It’s okay. I understand.”
It’s probably a minor thing to him. » Read more
“I read today’s article, the one about recovery,” she says. “And I think you’re right about spite being a powerful motivator.”
I nod. “Especially when you’re down in it. People tell you that you need to love yourself to be healthy. But when you’re emotionally unwell, it isn’t like self-love is all that accessible. » Read more
When we become adults, we start parenting ourselves.
And this can be good or bad, depending on what models you had for it.
I was at a bit of a disadvantage in this department, as the one model I’d had for parenting caused emotional paralysis.
I grew up in a strict authoritarian household. » Read more
“It’s not the drugs,” Kurt said. “It’s the people you meet because of the drugs.”
He was a heavy user and had been for some time. Like many people, when I first met him, I’d pegged him for an addict. Assumed that his use was as simple as that, biochemical dependency. » Read more
Justin’s in the kitchen, sitting on the floor. Messing with our shoes. He looks like he’s organizing them on the rack next to the back door. He looks up at me. “Hi sweetie.”
“Hi,” I choke out, my greeting barely audible over the Electric Light Orchestra spilling out of the speaker. I dart back to the living room. » Read more
In spite of the fact that we haven’t seen each other in years, I still think about my therapist Sue every now and then.
On the surface, we shouldn’t have worked well together therapeutically. Because we didn’t have much in common. She was a mild-mannered person with Biblical verse plaques sprinkled on the walls of her office. » Read more
Whenever he buys me ramen, he always picks up the fancy kind. Well, half-fancy is probably closer to the truth. It’s still instant ramen. Just not the kind with the single brick of noodles and the foil packet of flavored salt. But the kind that has four packets inside.
The trusty foil packet is there of course. » Read more
Surviving abuse can be one of the most lonely experiences there is.
That’s because in most people’s eyes, you can’t claim your abuse without naming your abuser. The suffering is real, but unless you have a bona fide monster to pin it on, it gets argued away (see just world bias). » Read more
PQ 16.1 — When my partners have competing desires, how well do I express what I need? Do I make sure my own desires aren’t lost in the shuffle?
There’s a certain kind of story I grew up believing: No sacrifice was too great for love. In fact, my own personal picture of love required a large sacrifice. » Read more