The Unappreciated, Accidental Romantic Upside of Being Solely a “Freezer” and a “Fawner”

a white chest freezer with its top lid open
Image by osseous / CC BY

I recently wrote an essay called “It Was Terrifying the First Time I Dated Someone Who Was Really Good to Me.” Here’s an excerpt:

I was used to being self-reliant. I had been conditioned my entire life to never ask for help because it meant being sharply criticized by others or told that I was weak for asking.  » Read more

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Are There Situations Where Too Much Support Can Be Worse Than a Lack of It?

a lollipop in a mug
Image by Steven Greenberg / CC BY

I remember the first time I heard the term “secondary gain.”

I was transcribing charts for a large hospital system. I had recently transitioned to a floating role, where I had a primary hospital account I worked for but had been considered flexible and capable enough to work basically anywhere. To cover other people’s time off.  » Read more

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Sometimes It’s Easier to Recover Out of Spite Than Out of Self-Love

it's a black T-shirt with white letters that say "this is what recovery looks like"
Image by Portland Prevention / CC BY

2003

“I can’t go without shaving down there anymore,” she says. “And it has nothing to do with feminism. Or being anti-feminism. ”

“Oh yeah?” I say. Because I don’t know what else to say. Over the months we’ve worked together, she’s become progressively more comfortable around me. Probably because I never freak out about what she says,  » Read more

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