Why I don’t feel as pressured to love and be loved

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Shortly after moving back to Los Angeles in September 2016, I had sparked a curiosity regarding the way I receive love. In September, I was a mess. I’ve had a lot of uncomfortable seasons in my life, but they were never able to break me down quite like the events of this past summer. It makes a lot of sense that “Words of Affirmation” and “Physical Touch” were the top two. In seasons of “very shitty and vulnerable”, words of encouragement and cuddles are exponentially more valuable and sought after.

When I get really honest with myself, I’ve never enjoyed dating and casual sex. I’m socially awkward and have zero clue how to relate to men who aren’t my friends. I learned about men through my two best friends I met in first grade. They are exceptional humans now, but quite inappropriate and unfiltered (just like me) as kids. Although I have a lot of feminine qualities, my approach to dating mirrors more closely to an insecure man who so desperately just wants to meet a nice person who isn’t going to key his car or try to kill him in his sleep.

I had gotten a bit too comfortable with pervy vernacular as a young person and never quite transitioned into how to have a conversation “like a lady”. I used to think I was a “sexual deviant magnet”, but recently realized that the common denominator was always me. Since I never felt attractive growing up, I dated with a lens of being overly grateful for any attention from the opposite sex. At the same time, I didn’t allow myself to want anything more than what I felt I deserved: not very much.

Since moving back, I learned a lot about what I genuinely seek in relationships (both platonic and romantic) from people who have lived with me either through AirBnB and house guest situations. One of my biggest fears in life is coming home to a place that doesn’t feel like home. My anxiety about living arrangements started while I was researching Long-Term Care Insurance for a public awareness campaign I had worked on as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Being completely dependent on someone in a negative environment is an absolute nightmare. It’s something very few people think about until they reach a stage of their lives that require assistance for Activities of Daily Living (ADL) like bathing, toileting, etc.

The desire to come home to a home that felt safe and fulfilling became a HUGE priority for me. I made every effort to create a home that makes me happy and meticulously selected the people I chose to share in this space. I was happily surprised to learn that I enjoy living with someone and not all experiences will be like before. My recent experience was by far the most healing because I unexpectedly learned how to create more opportunities to prioritize my needs/wants. While a lot of people can figure that stuff on their own, I’ve always required a lot of guidance with the self-love stuff. I’ve been so fortunate to be surrounded by very kind people (through friendships and work relationships) who have shifted my perspective on how to love and be loved in return.

It doesn’t surprise me that the way I prefer to be loved has shifted. I’m no longer in a place where I feel loved primarily through words and cuddles. Now that I feel more comfortable receiving love, I have opened up to trusting that people don’t typically do nice things because they “feel bad” for me.

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“How to Love” by Lil Wayne best describes why I didn’t feel brave enough to invest in healthy relationships until now. I knew I needed to work on how to receive love when I listened to this song and thought, “damn, Lil Wayne gets me”.

We are all constantly evolving and love doesn’t have to last forever. Sometimes we meet exceptional people who show us how to love and be loved in return. Experiences will motivate us to shift in the people we keep close in our lives. For the first time in my life, I don’t feel pressured to have the next relationship last “forever”. The experience of sharing your life with someone who “loves you just as you are” is worth the risk of being heartbroken and sobbing to Taylor Swift’s Back to December in your underwear next to bottle of cheap Prosecco (unfortunately, this is real life sometimes). Be brave and don’t settle for anything less than the feeling of “home” (whatever that may be for you!).

Why I Feel “Friends with Benefits” Does Not Work

I don’t need a lot to be content in life. I have a beautiful home, wonderful friends and a promising new career in the making. Life is good. In addition to the above, I require basic needs like a peaceful environment (which I have now compliments of the best roommate ever!) and showers twice a day. I am pretty neurotic with hygiene because kids were mean to me during my childhood and I feel really self-conscious about body odor.

This morning I woke up at 5am upon waking from one of of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months. I jumped in the shower to find out there was no hot water. I was furious because it was the second time it happened in a week. I was so desperate for a shower and googled things like “how to shower without hot water”. Most responses involved “suck it up and deal with it” or “just use a lot of deodorant”–both options that are 0% helpful and not going to happen.

I started boiling water in hopes of having a bath until the water came back for a proper shower. I wasted about an hour of my morning obsessing over a shower I wasn’t going to have until later. At a certain point, I gave up and accepted the reality that I would need to explore other options. As I was sitting in my bathroom feeling defeated, I thought about a conversation I had with my life coach and friend, “Dare to be Bad” author and amazing creative genius, Michael Leoni. A few weeks ago, he had what my colleague Jeff refers to as a “come to Jesus” talk.

It got real #QuickAF. He told me that I needed to work on the way I fall in love with potential romantic partners. Two months ago, I left a party early because I was so desperate to spend the evening with someone I didn’t want to admit that I had liked as more than a friend. I realize now that it was pretty shitty as I always keep my commitments with important people. It was a HUGE reality check because I knew I had really fucked up. Once again, I had compromised myself to accommodate someone who just saw me as a stepping stone to someone he wanted to be with long-term.

I really respect Michael for so many reasons. In addition to having a level of cognizance I rarely see in people (especially in LA), he is also immensely talented and so kind. We clicked straight away and it was one of those “yeah, we totally hung out in a past life” feelings. I’ve had that with a few people in my life and it’s always been one of those VERY easy, reciprocal friendships that just make my life brighter. While SEVERAL of my friends have told me to move on from this obvious train wreck, I finally started to realize I have fallen back into the pattern of chasing something that doesn’t exist: my perception of a love that isn’t real.

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Although I’m pretty good when it comes to offering advice to friends, I’m horrible in navigating my own relationships. When I have a relationship, it’s mostly about fucking around and sometimes that leads to my boyfriends (or their new girlfriends) threatening to kill me and my pets. While only one weirdo wanted to kill my bunny Sir Thomas Poops A Lot, I feel that once is enough motivation to change my ways.

At the moment, my friendship that Michael and I discussed feels like a bad marriage on its way to divorce. A month ago, I wrote him a very awkward email confessing my “more than friends” feelings and he told me he only saw me as a friend and “understood how hard it is to like someone who doesn’t return your feelings”. I was so embarrassed, but I didn’t want that to take away from a friendships we’ve fostered for many years. I’m not sure what it’s like for other people, but when someone tells me they don’t like me back, I’m okay. I’ve had A LOT of practice with rejection and it doesn’t sit the same with me anymore.

I also don’t believe in the concept of “unrequited love”. WTF is that? One-sided love isn’t real. Yeah, there are many stories of people who “fought” for someone. Well, great. I’m sure it’s really swell to finally win someone who probably just got tired of being on Bumble and forced themselves to feel okay about entertaining a relationship that might organically come together.

I have a few friends whose parents were in arranged marriages and it worked out nicely. The difference there likely stems from starting with a clean slate. Your family (hopefully) is very thoughtful of the match and the couple hopefully had a good attitude about it and opens up to the possibility of love. One thing that is obviously missing from relationships in 2016 is that we have a hard time gauging the fine line between “not compatible” and “compatible, but needs some improvement in communication”.

America is a very wasteful country. We always want the new TV, the new Louis Vuitton purse, the new new new, etc. We have the same practices when it comes to relationships sometimes. We are motivated by our own ego instead of what’s best for the team. I know this is all easier said than done, but I think this may be why several of my ex-boyfriends want to “try again”. On social media, I appear to be a non-committal bitch who treats men like disposable Tupperware, but the truth is that I’ve always operated better in a monogamy and I work really hard to do my part to sustain my relationships.

I don’t fall in love easily. Most friends think I make horrible decisions when it comes to boyfriends, but the truth is that they mostly heard the bad stories and never really got to know them on a personal level. With the exception of my friends Koko, Angela and Annie, none of my friends spent a lot of time with anyone I’ve dated. I know that’s weird, but I’m working on it!

We have a tendency to only draw from two types of perceptions when we fall out of love:

A. Longing – an unrealistic collage of happy memories completely missing the many points of why it didn’t work out.

B. Fuck off – also an unrealistic view of a relationship that was actually not ALL bad. For me, I always went on Plan B as a defense mechanism because I didn’t want to feel the pain of missing my best friend.

When I look back at the commonalities of my past boyfriends, they all had very kind hearts (with the exception of one who was a rebound). I’ve always been insecure about being a Little Person and it’s still hard for me to believe someone would feel proud to be seen with me. While I’ve never had a “conventional” relationship, all of my partners had the capacity to see me as a person and affirmed me in ways that weren’t common on most days. These guys were always very encouraging of my dreams. They supported my “silly” goals and we would often find ways for me to get there.

Recently, I’ve tried to get back into non-committal mode because as Michael pointed out, I had become enamored by someone who didn’t return my feelings. Unfortunately for me and my high sex drive, I can no longer enjoy casual sex. I long for a healthy, monogamous relationship with someone I may share a health insurance plan (marriage and stuff).

On my way back from the 2.5 hour commute from work last night, I revisited my talk with Michael. He was right. I had fallen hard and wasn’t able to truly embrace and appreciate my own gifts because I still sought validation from someone who is going out of his way to reinforce that he’s just not that into me. Whenever we talk now, the conversation is solely about who he’s trying to date. I want him to be happy, but the consistent reminder that I’m not someone he wants has reached a point of being annoying and rude.

I think a lot of people find themselves in the “friend zone”–being that temporary space filler until someone better comes along. It’s a really stupid place to be and the decision to leave is an important one. The really awful aspect of “unrequited love” is that it leads you to believe that it’s actually “love” when it might not be. Although there is a chance it could evolve into something more, the reality is that being benched in the “friend zone” is only okay if you’re willing to SOLELY play the role of the friend. Having expectations of being anything more will only slowly kills your confidence and stop you from meeting someone who wants you on their team. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t exist.

Download the Bumble app RIGHT now and create your next mistakes great experiences! In my opinion, people are much cooler there! Tindr is fun, but that’s mostly for getting your dick sucked and since I don’t have one, I deleted it.

A Few Reasons Relationships Get Weird

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Prior to my abrupt move to Los Angeles via Hawaii, I reconnected with a man I met when I first moved back to Honolulu in 2013. In typical 2000s fashion, he sent me a message on OkCupid, but unlike previous “hook ups”, he started the conversation with more than the boring, “hey.” I was instantly smitten by his profile photo and immediately contributed to the budding conversation. We didn’t meet in person for about a month and mostly kept in touch via texts and occasional phone calls.  When we finally met in person, we had one of those serendipitous connections I only saw in movies. I asked him to meet me in my car because I felt insecure. I didn’t want our first meeting to include kids teasing me, ignorant comments, etc. that typically happens when I’m in Hawaii. I really liked him and just wanted a chance to get to know him without the everyday garbage of being “different” in Hawaii.

Within two minutes, he leaned over to kiss me. In my 20s, I would’ve been fine with instant gratification. However, this time, I just wanted to get to know him first because I genuinely wanted to get to know him. Instead of telling him the truth and revealing my desire to have more than just another hook-up, I got weird and said something along the lines of, “whoa, I don’t even know if you’re not just here to drug me and steal my kidneys (I had just watched a weird episode of Nip/Tuck). I have a habit of making really intense comments when I feel vulnerable. Some people think it’s funny while “well-adjusted” people think I’m crazy. I’m sure both parties are correct!

We took things very slowly for about another month. Since I only really knew how to be in non-committal partnerships, I often wondered if he was even attracted to me. A few years prior, I met a 20-year-old UCLA student (when I was 25) near his dorm room because I didn’t want him to know where I lived. We seemed to have a nice conversation, but nothing happened. When I arrived home, he sent me a text and told me that he wasn’t attracted to me enough to have sex, but he wanted me to drive back and give him a blowjob. While I do have self-esteem issues, driving from Hollywood back to Westwood was absolutely not going to happen (mostly because gas was so expensive at the time). I can’t remember if I responded or not, but that child pissed me off and I was done with young, socially awkward frat boys).

Eight years later, I still feel weird when a man doesn’t make a move on the first date. Before I met this serendipitous dreamboat, I had never met a man who didn’t try to have sex with me on the first date. As I learned more about dating (reading books like “Why Men Love Bitches”), I started waiting to have sex because men do tend to lose interest (and respect). While all situations are different, there is value in getting to know someone on a deeper level before engaging in sexual stuff. I know I’ve stayed WAY too long in bad relationships because I was too lazy (and afraid) to find someone new.

There are many reasons I’m weird in dating. Some people think I’m a sex addict, but the truth is that I never really learned how to date. I went on my first date when I was 22, much later than most women. I didn’t have the opportunity to make those silly mistakes when I was in high school or undergrad. I felt ugly for most of my life and when I finally met someone who thought I was okay, I took a crash course in finding my sexual identity. While I personally feel that waiting until marriage to have sex is a bad idea, I do agree that one’s first sexual experience will definitely have an impact on one’s sexual identity.

I have another friend who also had sex for the first time at age 22. She waited for different reasons (religion? had comprehensive sex-ed? wasn’t weird?) and her boyfriend create a very special evening for her because he was definitely raised right (and probably cuddled his Mom). He booked a beautiful hotel at a resort in the North Shore and it turned out to be one of the most memorable evenings of her life. When I heard that story, I felt awful because it made me sad for my 22-year-old self because my first time wasn’t quite as nice. I was 30 when she shared her experience and I had finally reached a place in my life where I felt ready to settle down.

When I was 22, I was even more socially awkward than I am now. The first person I had sex with worked across the hall from my office. I was completing one of my mundane tasks and broke their Xerox machine for the 5th time that week. I had met this Sailor (I worked at a Naval Clinic) on my first day. He had gone out of his way to arrange a better parking spot for me and I just thought it was because people in the military had manners (unlike the rest of America!). I remember thinking he was so handsome and kind. …but a man like him would never like someone weird like me.

As he repaired the machine, he asked me if I wanted to see a movie. I almost vomited on the floor from shock. I said, “yeah, that would be cool”. He wrote his number on a post-it and asked me to text my address so he could pick me up after work. In my mind, I thought he was a nice guy who felt sorry for me because I kept breaking everything. I also thought maybe he wanted a new friend since he was in an unfamiliar city. While a VERY small part of me thought that maybe he liked me a little, I didn’t let myself get excited.

He picked me up at exactly 6:00pm and he was super hot. He wore a dress shirt and picked me up in a white Toyota Celica (which was super cool in 2006). We saw Talladega Nights and he grabbed my hand. I was so nervous and perspired so much. It was so bad he had to wipe my sweaty palms on his overpriced denim. He rubbed my back and I was panicking because I didn’t think it was a date. I was zero experienced in the dating department and didn’t want to appear inexperienced at my age. I imagine this is what boy virgins must feel like when they first have sex with a pretty girl. It’s really exciting, yet horrible at the same time.

On the way home, he leaned over and kissed me when he stopped at a traffic light. I had only kissed one other person and had no idea what I was doing. I just followed his rhythm and tried my best not to throw up. When we arrived back at my parent’s place, things escalated quickly. Within five minutes, he gave me my first orgasm by just touching me. Ten minutes later, I was on top of him on the driver’s seat. Was it hot? Kinda, but also really painful. It hurt so bad, but I didn’t want him to know I was a virgin. In the middle of it, I asked him, “uhh, can we do this later?” He saw that I was bleeding and asked me if I was a virgin and I lied. I told him that I just needed to go home because I had to meet friends later (which was true). We made out for a little while and I went home super horrified. As I rode the elevator up to the sixth floor, I was so mad at myself for allowing a stranger to have sex with me without a condom AND bleeding all over a hot guy. I was sure he would never talk to me again and it would be so awkward at work.

I was so surprised that he called me the next day. I had no idea why. I didn’t even call him back right away because I was so nervous. I eventually called him on Sunday in fear of having that inevitable conversation in person at work. He was very sweet and asked to see me again. On our second date, he invited me back to his place and we just talked for a bit before he asked me if we could finish what we started on Friday. I said okay and we had sex again. In the middle of it, I got weird again and asked him, “why do you like me” WHILE he was inside of me. He kissed my neck and said it was because I was “a nice girl”. I bit my lip to stop myself from laughing. As if it wasn’t awkward enough to ask someone mid-sex why they like you, it would’ve just been mean to laugh at such a sweet comment.

We saw each other a few times before I moved to Los Angeles. Two weeks after we started seeing each other, I received an email from his ex-fiancée who had hacked into his email. I received ALL of his e-mail exchanges with about four other women. He had a school girl fetish and asked all of us to wear stockings and Mary Jane shoes. I was too insecure to dress up because I thought he was some kind of pedophile freak and didn’t want to encourage that. The other girls, however, didn’t have a Little Person hang-up and wore their outfits proudly. I was admittedly really angry, mostly because I was so stupid to have unprotected sex with a man who was with a bunch of other women. I was also pissed because I had a lot to do before I moved to LA and now had to get an STI (at the time STD) screening before I left.

Instead of being honest with my feelings, I got crazy with him and told him exactly where to go without thinking about how that would impact him. Yeah, he wasn’t honest about seeing a bunch of girls, but the truth was that I didn’t even ask. I would see him out on the patio frantically trying to explain himself. I felt bad for his main girlfriend because she was so hurt and had reasons to feel deceived. She broke up with him and I’m pretty sure the other girls were pretty upset as well. I, however, enjoyed the intimacy with him and continued to sleep with him until I moved to LA.

Even though it wasn’t a cool thing to do, he later confided that he didn’t have faith in relationships because his fiancée had cheated on him with his friend while he was deployed. At the time, I couldn’t understand how anyone could give up on love because of one horrible person. Now that I’m older, I get it. I was once someone who believed in love and wanted nothing more than to find the love of my life, settle down and raise a family. Along the way, I met people who significantly impacted my perception of relationships and became jaded. I had been non-committal for years because my bad romance conditioning defined me as a person.

The most awesome part of dating someone 25 and younger is that they typically aren’t jaded yet. They have some level of optimism, especially if they’re mature and experienced weird relationships when they were like 15. I’m not so concerned about age at the moment. I really want to find someone who is ready to be in a relationship. Age doesn’t mean a thing because maturity is really rooted in self-awareness and empathy. I don’t know what’s to come, but I do know that I’m looking for a partner, not just someone to fill the space until someone meaningful comes along. I finally feel that I’m ready to be a great partner, mostly because I won’t settle for someone who is just subpar anymore.

Going forward, I will be more honest with my feelings and create clear communication (even if it makes me uncomfortable). I also want to work on:

  • Not being afraid if something doesn’t work out. Sometimes people aren’t meant to stay in your life forever, but to guide you to a lesson you’ll need to know for a significant relationship.
  • I won’t be so afraid of someone cheating on me. I want to explore dating and find out what I really seek in a partnership (like someone who will be a great father).
  • I need to date A LOT! Bring it on hotties!

If you’re in a similar situation or are dating someone weird, let Taylor tell you why it’s hard:

How to Love Someone with Adult ADHD

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At the end of my second semester of graduate school, I was so frustrated because I struggled so much to sustain attention in my classes. Throughout the day, I’d have to drink cups and cups of green tea (because I can’t drink coffee) just to stay away during lectures. I was bored to tears because social work is pretty boring shit sometimes. As a fucked up person who thrives on dark humor, I found all the warm and fuzzy stuff super annoying. I like to think I’m a kind person. I try my best not to be a cuntasaurus to people. I just don’t really buy into fluffy PC bullshit and it was a pain in my fucking asshole crevice to feign interest in textbook definitions of generalizations of humanity.

ANYWAY. In addition to figuring out I may not be a good social worker because I don’t like bullshit, I became really depressed because I was so under/overwhelmed with my school assignments. One of my favorite classmates shared that she has Adult ADHD and suggested I see the campus counseling office to have a proper assessment.

My doctor was awesome. She asked me about my childhood during the interview (because it’s usually presented early in life) and I shared that I didn’t do well in elementary school. My Mom used to think I was stupid because I would always come home with “satisfactory” or below grades with comments like “Diane daydreams a lot during class”, “Diane gets distracted easily”, “Diane always asks to go to the bathroom”, “Is Diane getting enough sleep at home?”, “Diane is really lazy and messy”, etc. Children are very impressionable and spent most of my life feeling very insecure about my intelligence. One of my triggers used to be when someone called me stupid because inside I always felt like a dumb fuck.

My doctor prescribed me Ritalin and it changed my life. I got so much done and I started losing a lot of weight because one of the side effects is a loss of appetite. I was skinnier and less sleepy. I was still bored of social work, but I could at least get things done. After about three months, I needed more and more Ritalin to sustain the same “high” (it’s basically Schedule II Meth). At some point, I started feeling like I wanted to die. I didn’t want to harm myself or others. If I saw a facebook post chain letter saying something along the lines of “share this shit with 20 people or the world ends tomorrow”, I’d be happy and spend the next 24 hours drinking moscow mules with my favorite five people waiting for impending doom.

My last year of the MSW program was absolutely miserable. I had so many beautiful opportunities and I was immensely frustrated by my inability to perform well. I landed an amazing clinical practicum at the Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) and was supervised by the most amazing clinical social worker. A lot of my classmates were jealous and I didn’t understand why he chose me because I wasn’t smart like everyone else. I had met my mentor at a National Association of Social Worker’s dinner when I received the 2015 MSW scholarship for $1,500. I was also selected to be a trainee with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other related Disabilities (MCH LEND) program. A lot of awesome things happened, but I was so engulfed in insecurities and entered my worst bout of depression I ever endured in my life.

This was everyday for nine months:

4AM – Wake up. Feeling like I want to die.

4:10AM – Shower. Still feel like I should just die.

4:45AM – Take Methylphenidate 10mg.

5:20AM – I don’t want to die as much. Ooooo I feel like I could run against Kanye West 2020! #FuckYeah!

5:20AM – Write stuff because people keep telling me to write again. I didn’t post any of this shit because it was mostly garbage since I wasn’t having enough sex during graduate school.

6:00AM – Force feed myself crackers because it’s the only thing that doesn’t make me want to throw up in the morning.

6:10AM – Leave for TAMC so I can find a parking spot.

6:45AM – Cry in my car and convince myself I am a piece of shit who doesn’t deserve nice things. Pleading with God, Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Pema Chodron, Gabrielle Bernstein (even though I don’t believe in organized religion) to help me out of feeling like I want to die everyday.

7AM – Telling myself to stop being such a little bitch because it was finally late enough to get into the developmental pediatrics department.

8AM – 3PM – Trying so hard not to have a meltdown in front of my clients. I absolutely loved working with children with special health care needs. I always thought I was horrible with kids because I was an only child. Being surrounded by them for months made me love kids, especially the ones who were ADHD because I saw my inner child in them. I also loved working with the parents because I wish someone had told my parents how to love a child with ADHD. I also assured them consistently that in addition to medication, there are tools that will make their children very resilient.

3PM – 6PM – Writing my clinical notes in the TAMC Medical Library. I don’t know what the fuck happened, but I just couldn’t remember shit. I struggled so much because I was so fixated on my insecurities and stopped listening to people when I felt judged. I also felt so horrible about disappointing my mentor because I consistently manifested my unworthiness and it was probably for him. He said it wasn’t because he’s the coolest guy in the world, but I knew I was fucked up and stupid.

6PM – 6:45PM – Drive home in Honolulu traffic. This was my favorite time of my whole fucking day because I was alone with loud music. I feel most at peace when I listen to loud music. I love my family, but they ask too many questions and all I want to do after a long day taking care of other people is to just be alone and decompress. Most clinicians understand this well, but sometimes their partners feel insecure and get upset. My parents were concerned about me because I stopped eating and I’m sure my Mom heard me cry in the shower all the time. SO there’s that.

6:45pm – 8PM – “Romance” (not about romance with men, romance with each other) talks with Honey Ball (my Mom). My Mom and I don’t always get along, but we’re best friends. My Dad is sweet, but he hates hearing people talk. He’s like a grumpy Englishman who lives in the countryside by choice. All he’s ever wanted in his life was a big TV and silence. Living with two Korean women was by far a really poor decision given his wants in life. He loves us unconditionally, but I know we’re really annoying.

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8PM – Shower and cry.

8:30PM – Sleep.

…same fucking thing all over again.

Shortly after I graduated, I finally had time to talk to my psychiatrist about feeling suicidal and asked her if that was normal. She said no. I switched to Adderall and didn’t want to die everyday anymore. I also investigated how to treat ADHD through diet and homeopathic medicine. Since I’m not a scientist, I didn’t do this well. I also met with a “peer counselor” who taught me how to be more organized. She was awesome. Very organized like Sherry Tanaka, MSW and I started getting obsessed with keeping things organized.

People with Adult ADHD are commonly very successful because they learn a lot about resiliency and multi-tasking early in life. They also have a lot of anxiety and do shit really fast because they’re in constant fight or flight mode. Anyone who knew me before I moved to LA knows I’m all over the fucking place. I also don’t give a fuck about what people think when I’m keeping myself busy. I need to be constantly stimulated or I’ll fall asleep or do something impulsive like binge drinking and casual sex.

Once I recognized why I needed all of this stimulation, I felt less horrible about being fucked up. There’s something amazing about being able to identify the core issue of why you’re fucked up. It also helped that I’ve worked in so many different industries. I was able to capitalize on my impassivity from my experience in social work. As a person driven by taking care of others, I am most happy when I’m in a position of service. If I thought I was beautiful, I’d surely be a high-class escort and just make thousands fucking people for money.

With the exception of prescription drugs, LOTS of alcohol, marijuana (I’m from Hawaii, that was inevitable), I’ve never experimented with drugs. I have a very addictive personality so I try my best to maintain balance through keeping myself disciplined. I will buy a bag of Oreos, eat three to feel good and throw it in the trash chute so I don’t eat the whole bag. I tried hiding it on a high shelf, but I almost fell off my counter trying to eat them again. During graduate school, I stopped going out a lot because I didn’t want to be compelled to drink alcohol. That helped out so much because I was starting to feel a lot better. I also started eating more protein versus starches and that made a noticeable difference.

For two months, I had a horrible cough that I thought was asthma. Nothing worked. My Albuterol didn’t do shit. I went to all sorts of doctors and no one knew what the fuck was making me cough. I was miserable and felt so guilty for wanting to die for nine months because I was pretty fucking sure the end was near. In Korean culture, there’s something called the “100-day cough” which I get every July for some reason. It’s so painful and exhausting.

My health became progressively better when my friend Michael referred me to Dr. David Katz. Instead of working on the manifestation of the core issues (mine was an overgrowth of yeast from years of antibiotics and steroids), he works with eliminating the core problem to allow for long-term healing. My scientist #PCF thinks I’m crazy and should see a “real doctor”, but I feel better and that’s all that matters. Chemicals have fast results, but homeopathic medicine takes more time. In the long run,  In addition to weekly visits, I’ve also been eating a lot healthier because I currently spend more time with other gluten-free friends. It’s so much easier to be healthy when the people you spend the most time with are also fucked up and can’t fucking eat break and delicious gnocchi. #FuckUsAll

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When it comes to loving someone with Adult ADHD (or anything in the DSM-5) or even your kids, stop trying to make them someone they aren’t. They likely spent most of their lives feeling like shit and outcasted by people who thought they knew more things (fuck off, you don’t). Don’t criticize them for being weird or my worst thing ever, “unstable”. Educate your damn self about whatever the fuck your loved one has going on. Don’t waste our time with your “Adult ADHD is just an excuse for lazy people”. It really hurts my feelings and I decide at that moment that I’m over that person. What’s the point of being friends/lovers/whatever with someone who thinks you’re a lazy piece of garbage? #SorryNotSorry but I’m not going to expend any energy trying to justify myself to someone who won’t even bother to open a fucking book to learn. THAT, in my opinion is lazy. Go fuck yourself! Okay, I’m done now.

Love & Cuddles,

Diane Kawasaki, MSW
Person who happens to have Adult ADHD and doesn’t give 1/16 of a fuck if that makes you uncomfortable.

Dare to Be Bad (at relationships)

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As soon as we’re born, we’re already boxed into labels. I was born a female. My father is Japanese from Honolulu, HI. My mother is Korean from Pusan, South Korea. My mentor Alan always used to tell me that we chose our parents based on what we are meant to learn during this time on earth. I love my parents a lot. I have some obvious resentment towards my mother (“Mommy Issues”) because her Korean-style of parenting didn’t always resonate properly given my predominantly American upbringing. In comparison to the stereotypical “white family”, my lifelong perception of Koreans can be summed up as #EmotionallyAbusiveAF. That was my interpretation based on unresolved hurt feelings.

A few nights ago, I met with my friend in Venice who has always been an integral part of my healing journey. We had a very similar upbringing and so many hilarious stories of our mothers who seem to lack empathy. I laughed so much I almost fell off her bar stool. A few months ago, I finally told my therapist about how I was raised. My mother was always very loving, but guarded due to her own harsh upbringing in Korea. Her abandonment issues definitely trickled into my life as she raised me.

My earliest memory was seeing her cry after arguing with my father. My Dad is the sweetest man alive, but he’s still just a human. Her expectations of him continued to exceed as he showered her with unconditional love and kindness. When he was even a tiny bit grumpy, she took it so personally and threatened to leave. I remember her grabbing her neatly folded underwear and throwing them into a bag as she told me, “Diane, you’re going to stay with your Daddy.”

At 5-years-old, I didn’t understand the nuances of marriage and felt the intense need to keep things the same because change always made me feel so unsafe. I would grab my own neatly folded underwear and added it to her bluff bag and begged her to take me with her. She would throw my panties on the floor and told me that she was going to forget me and my Dad and have a new family. It was my first experience feeling disposable. At the time, my Dad was probably just waiting for her to find her grounding. He was always good at creating space for her to just process her insecurities. He had no idea how it affected me because at the same time, he had to protect his own heart and he could not deal with women crying.

She did this a few times throughout my childhood and I started to get accustomed to the show. In addition to that spectacle, she went on a few business trips and I slowly learned that she would eventually come back. Since I didn’t have siblings, I was under the impression that it was normal to throw away your family when husbands fuck up somehow.

My father is a very kind man. He was very close with his mother and treated her so well. I was mostly raised by my paternal grandmother and she showered me with so much love since she always wanted a daughter. Although I never received praise from my own mother, I was so fortunate to have a grandmother who saw me as valuable and consistently reminded me that I was lovable.

Since I lived in a time before Netflix and Hulu, I would constantly watch Disney movies on VHS to pass the time. My parents didn’t sign me up for activities and most of my childhood was spent watching Disney movies and Nick at Night (which is why I probably have the personality of a 75-year-old Sicilian woman). Most of my early education regarding forming relationships came from movies and television. For a long time, I sincerely believed my Mom was my stepmother. In comparison to the moms on Nick at Night, my Mom’s parenting was a lot more similar to that of a Disney stepmom. While I perceived her parenting as physically and emotionally abusive, her intention was always to make me a better version of myself–tough fucking love.

Recently my cousin told me that her Mom (my mother’s sister) shared that Korean Moms don’t want to set their children up for disappointment. Although Koreans are intense, they are typically extremely loving and nurturing when they aren’t planning their daughter’s plastic surgery or teaching them to be a good wife (because a woman’s role is to keep the house clean even if you work the same amount of hours as your husband). My Mom didn’t praise me while I was growing up. A part of me believes that she never wanted me to be too complacent. Our relationship is chaotic and high maintenance, but we’re a lot better at separating our individual issues from our interactions. As I shared a delicious meal with my friend in Venice, I finally came to the realization that My Mom loves me so much and did the absolute best within her capacity.

I spent so many years feeling unloved and unworthy because I felt my mother resented me for having a disability and not being a beautiful Korean goddess who she could sell (marriage) to a rich man who will buy her an E-Class Mercedes and provide a wealthy life that my Dad wasn’t ever motivated to provide. Her dream for me was like any mother’s dream for her daughter: to be happy, whatever the fuck that means. My mother’s version of happiness equates to wealth and beauty. My father’s version of happiness has always been being a father and that’s a role he’s always handled so well.

Shortly after I was born, I think my mother had symptoms of postpartum depression. She would wake up really late and struggle to fulfill her standards of being a housewife. My father would tell me all sorts of stories of how much he enjoyed waking up and seeing me. He would feed me and care for me so my Mom could rest. My Dad’s level of compassion and empathy is incredible. I’ve always understood his actions as love, which is a huge part of why I was able to accept the way my mother expressed love. I think I made a good choice in choosing my parents. While I am pretty fucked up, I feel grateful that I have the capacity to feel and learn in ways that would otherwise not be possible.

Last week, I had lunch with my friend who is a fellow Korean-American and she gave me the best advice ever: “Diane, embrace your fucked-up-ness”. She also went into the importance of not defining myself by Mom’s actions/words. Those seeds she planted resonated so much throughout the week.

Not coincidentally, I started watching Hulu’s Casual with a close friend who is staying with me. We watch an episode every evening before we go to sleep (in our own rooms–relax Carol, if you’re reading this). During one of the episodes, someone said something along the lines of “children spend their whole lives waiting to hear their parents tell them sorry, while parents wait for their kids to tell them thank you.” My friend has heard me talk so much raging shit about my Mom over the last week and I felt like the biggest fucking cuntasaurus when I realized how horrible I’ve been to my Mom.

I allowed my own insecurities (based on the outcome of my own interpretations) to turn into a #MomHater. I absolutely do not hate my mother. I actually love her very much. She’s a beautiful woman who devoted her life to create so many opportunities for me. She would always tell me that having me made her a better person because I gave her a purpose in this life. She showered me with financial security and love, yet I fixated on the few horrible memories that I couldn’t accept in a healthy way.

Relationships of any kind are so fucking complicated, but I think we just do the best we can given our capacity to love and be loved in return. When things go awry, I have a tendency to be mean as shit and throw people away to protect my heart. My brother-in-law had to tell me that I was being mean to someone I currently love very much. Instead of having a moment of self-awareness, I defended myself and went on all sorts of tangents (as I often do). When I found a space of calm, I realized that I’m so afraid of expressing love through words. It scares me. The ONLY man who I can express love for safely is my father. He invested 32 years to make me feel safe. Every time I tell a partner I love him, he freaks the fuck out and cheats on me to let me know he doesn’t want to love me back.

A few nights ago, my friend interviewed me on his podcast My Unconventional Life and we discussed this telling people you love them business. I got really defensive and shitty at a certain point because I felt so uncomfortable. He told me he loved me as a friend and that made me feel depressed because I’ve heard that phase so many times. “I love you… as a friend”. A functional person would say the proper thing like “I love you, too”. Being fucked up, I said “thank you”. I may have even said a more casual, “thanks” to make it as awkward as possible. The truth is that I do love him a lot. He wouldn’t be in my company if I didn’t love him. Given the subject matter of that particular interview, I was so raw from discussing all of the ghosts of non-boyfriends past. I was disappointed because I realized that I’m not cut out for casual, non-committal relationships anymore.

My functional friends are happy I’m ready to pursue healthy relationships. However, it is fucking scary. Casual sex is just a click away. It’s so easy and meaningless. Since I don’t have a car, I’ve been taking Lyfts and about 56% of my male Lyft drivers asked to come home with me. I don’t know how to tell people no so I made up some elaborate story about how my husband was on his way home and wouldn’t like that. Why the fuck could I just say “NO, YOU DISGUSTING PRESUMPTUOUS FUCKFACE, the ride home is enough.”

A month ago, I would’ve been happy to play with a new stranger. When I’m really depressed, I enjoy having meaningless sex with more than one partner. It’s a lot like eating a whole bag of potato chips. I indulge to satisfy myself and then I want to throw up because I feel so disappointed. The one thing I don’t like about casual sex is my inability to orgasm. I didn’t have this problem when I was in my 20s, but now I can’t mentally focus on a person I don’t love wholeheartedly. I have a pretty high sex drive and I honestly would rather get a “Fucking Machine” because fucking machines don’t try to drown me in small talk and they stick to the objective of fulfilling an orgasm.

My Mom always told me never to get married and just have a lot of boyfriends so I won’t get attached and risk being hurt. My Mom is a hardcore love addict. When we weren’t talking, she had a meltdown because she was so afraid of losing me. The truth is that I’m just like my Mom. All I’ve ever wanted in this life was to love and care for one person and have a family. As soon as my attention is divided, I lose the ability to care about someone. I spent so much of my life being non-committal and choosing partners like Gladware tupperware. If I lose it, fuck it, I can just buy a new pack of three tomorrow.

People are often surprised by my “lifestyle” because I’m not a conventionally beautiful woman. I have a physical disability and I’m not attractive to most men. The one lure of me is fulfilling a bucket list. I’m Asian and a Little Person. Separately, those categories populate A LOT of porn. When it comes to sex, that’s what casual sex does to me. I’m just a disposable fuck toy until someone better comes along.

When I was working at my last social work job, I worked with a lot of women who experienced domestic violence. I don’t know why, but a lot of the women and men I worked with felt comfortable to share their stories (even though my role was to find them jobs). I suppose they felt safe since I have the capacity to be empathetic and listen. I also have my own experiences with being in an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) situation.

Shortly after my first non-boyfriend in England told me I wasn’t the one, I gave up on relationships because I felt so unworthy of love. I immediately started fucking around with a guy I met in a Yoshinoya parking lot because he told me I was pretty. I yearned for someone, anyone to give a fuck about me because I felt so alone in this world. We had a very contentious non-relationship for about six months. I was basically a free hooker he’d fuck sometimes when he was in the mood. He enjoyed my naivete and introduced to all sorts of sexual situations that made me so uncomfortable. Since I felt so ugly, I let it happen for months.

When I’m completely honest with myself, I never enjoyed casual sex. It’s awkward and my anxiety doesn’t let me stop thinking about all of the Gonorrhea and Syphilis I have growing in my body until I go to the STD clinic. I endured disgusting non-committal men who would be terrible fathers because I conditioned myself to believe I was unworthy of a man who wanted to have a family with me. I was really better off just focusing this energy on a functional heroin habit. Same thing, really.

Over the last few weeks, I started reflecting on why I’m suddenly so excited about being in a committed relationship. I initially thought it was because all of my friends have found amazing partners, but I think it’s because I’m so tired of being with people who don’t give a shit about my happiness. I also recently had a glimpse of what it would be like to be in a healthy relationship. I’ve been living with the kindest person I’ve met in Los Angeles. He is the first person who hasn’t tried relentlessly to take advantage of me.

For my fucked up mind NICE = SCARY AND WILL GO AWAY DON’T GET ATTACHED!

He’s everything that I didn’t let myself want because it seemed so unattainable. When people tell me that I’m “a great person”, I interpret that as I have a cool personality, but I’m not attractive enough to fulfill someone in the context of a committed relationship.

The only person who has ever told me he wanted to marry me was a narcissistic friend who considered me his best friend. Although I don’t personally find him physically attractive, it really hurt me when he told me that he could marry me but wouldn’t be able to have sex with me because he wasn’t attracted to me. While the feeling was completely mutual since he wipes his asshole with hotel towels instead of taking a shower, his words reinforced that I’m just a fun person who isn’t pretty.

I don’t think anyone should be surprised that I’m guarded. Every time I tell someone I want to be in a committed relationship, they throw me away or tell me they aren’t wired for commitment. Yes, we humans get bored of fucking one person. That’s understandable, but sex isn’t everything. Orgasms don’t make a home. Jizzing on your tramp stamp won’t raise beautiful children who are contributing members of society. In my opinion, sex outside of a relationship should only be sorted out through a financial exchange. If my partner was bored of having sex with me, I’d buy him a hooker because there is no emotional investment opportunity (unless you’re a dumbfuck who thinks hookers love you).

I’m done with entertaining men who consistently let me know that I’m not enough. Want an open relationship? Okay, cool. I wish you the best, but I don’t want to settle for that. I don’t want my children to have to deal with crazy girlfriends threatening them (as I’ve experienced). It’s just too hurtful for children to get caught up in that drama. While I’m sure it’s possible to have positive sexual experiences with people devoid of emotion, I know myself well enough that my past won’t allow me to organically allow that to happen. I’m just too fucked up. I have so much to learn in this life and I don’t feel my energy needs to expended to condition myself to be okay about sex for fun. I’m just going to get a fucking machine and call it a day.

One missing piece of my quest to find love has always been unclear intentions. Writing clear goals has always helped me stay on track, here are my love goals. The person I spend my life with (it’s fucking possible, just don’t be a cunt about it!) won’t check off all these qualities, but it at least provides some direction in my journey to find love. Instead of fucking random people I meet in Lyfts, I just want to spend my life with someone who has a kind heart and keeps me in check. I basically just want a Sherry Tanaka, MSW with a penis. Thanks Universe, bring it on!

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Love & Cuddles,

Diane Kawasaki, MSW

 

Dear (—): Thank you. Love, Diane.

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I read this message two nights ago and was absolutely fuming with resentment. I initially felt so irritated due to my interpretation of his blatant lack of self-awareness. As Lahna mentioned during the Perfect 10 Podcast, I didn’t share his name. The only people who would be able to identify him are the few friends he’s met. Although we were seeing each other for nearly two years, he consistently referred to me as his “friend”. At the time, my self-esteem led me to make the decision to accept I wasn’t worthy of being recognized as his girlfriend.

I am so grateful I wasn’t able to respond to this message because I would’ve sent him a long, bitter diarrhea message fueled by my own hurt feelings. Last night, I spent the evening with a friend in Venice and it was such a healing experience. I’ve had an extremely short fuse and have been taking out my frustrations on everyone who put me in the slightest uncomfortable position. I’ve been a monster and didn’t give half a shit about how my actions would land on innocent recipients of my cray-cray.

I won’t go into detail on what I shared on the Perfect 10 Podcast, but if anyone is interested, episode 141 is available here: Perfect 10 Podcast with Lahna Turner. After taking some time to digest this unexpected message, I realized my own responsibility and the consequences of staying in an unhealthy relationship. Since I’m not able to reply to his message, I’m going to write him within this post. He may never read it, but I hope he does.

Dear (I’m still not going to blast your name because I’m not a cuntasaurus):

Please accept my apology for creating an outcome that hurt your feelings. I’m 100% #SorryNotSorry about sharing my personal stories with my friend Lahna Turner on her podcast. If you didn’t like that one, you’re really not going to enjoy my upcoming interview Nigel McGuinness’ My Unconventional Life podcast. So, #SorryNotSorry in advance.

Instead of regurgitating the stories I’ve shared on Perfect 10, I want to thank you for being in my life for our season together. After a relationship ends, we humans have a tendency to only remember the memories that were fueled by intense emotions. While you brought a lot of joy in my life, I’ve long struggled with my interpretation of the elements that inevitably led us to part ways.

This will get long and boring, so I’ll keep it straight-forward:

  • Thank you for teaching me how to love and nurture a partner. Although I was never officially your girlfriend, I enjoyed taking care of you. I loved every moment of experimenting with cooking and cuddling you when you were sad.
  • Thank you for introducing me to Dirt Nasty. He’s awesome.
  • Thanks for encouraging me to pursue my own projects during a time I only got Asian hooker roles and begrudgingly went to Christmas Elf auditions. It meant a lot to have someone believe in me when I had a hard time feeling worthy of more.
  • Thank you for teaching me to love in a way that made me uncomfortable. Although I didn’t enjoy some of our “experiments”, I genuinely felt happy to deliver options that made you happy. I also felt honored that you trusted me to see facets of you that you didn’t feel comfortable sharing with others (or maybe you did share those with the 20+ sluts you met through Craigslist).
  • Thanks for meeting my cousin Carol. She enjoyed meeting you and appreciated that you gave me a glimpse of how to be in a relationship.
  • Thank you for making me laugh a lot. I enjoyed your company and loved having you around.
  • Thanks for giving me a caricature of yourself for Christmas before you left for Florida to visit your family. It was an odd choice for a present, but it was the first time I received something thoughtful from someone I love. I no longer have it anymore because Koko got mad at me for being depressed about losing you and forced me to smash it with a hammer. As you know, I’m super scared of broken glass, but way more fearful of Koko screaming “DAMMIT DIANE, DO IT, DO IT RIGHT NOW OR I’M GOING TO PUNCH YOUR FUCKING FACE”. It was a decision based on pure survival.

I’m sincerely sorry I hurt your feelings. I wish you the very best in your next (or current) relationship. I know you really fucked me up, so I’ll also include some tips on how to not let whatever I did to fuck you up, fuck up a potential perfect partner for you.

1. Don’t be afraid to tell her and show her you love her. Love is scary shit, but the depth of intimacy you’ll have is worth the risk. Don’t worry about rejection because the right person will always reciprocate your love and create safe spaces for you to be just as you are. You really are a wonderful person and will make a wonderful boyfriend/husband to someone special (it won’t be me for SURE). Taylor Swift said it best, “We’re never ever ever ever getting back together”. I don’t know how many evers there are, but I hope that makes it clear.

2. If your partner has moments of insecurities, don’t tell her “it’s because your Dad didn’t tell you that you’re pretty enough”. People have low self-esteem for all sorts of reasons. I don’t have Daddy issues, I have Mommy issues. You should watch Casual on Hulu if you’re curious to know why I haven’t had stable relationships and chose a narcissistic career that thrives on adoration from strangers. If your partner is sad, let her know that you love her just as she is. I think you should also watch Bridget Jones again. You were always more like Hugh Grant, but Mark Darcy is a much better role model for healthy relationships.

3. Love yourself. The right person will see you as the sweet, fun person that’s always been there within you. Tell yourself on the daily that you are worthy of a healthy relationship with someone who lets down their guard and makes it work with you.

4. If you get bored of your partner, talk about it. If something bothers you, say something. If you feel the urge to explore other options on Tinder or whatever, talk to your partner and perhaps it’ll be a good time to sort out whatever is going on or pursue an open relationship like Will and Jada. While it did bother me that you led me to believe we were monogamous when we weren’t, I was also sad I missed out on opportunities to explore my own sexuality. Don’t worry, I spent the last few years dating and meeting new people. I now have a clear sense of what I want in a partner because you “motivated” me to seek random sexual partners so I could dull the pain of the void you left behind. It was a lot of fun and I think I finally figured out that I yearn for stability and a family of my own. Thanks!

I think you’ll be fine with the other stuff. We’re both completely different people now and I feel like we wouldn’t even have anything to talk about anymore. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I’ll try not to talk about you on podcasts anymore. You’re not the only one I mentioned so I will likely get other random emails from the ghosts of non-boyfriends past. Thanks for prepping me to not impulsively tell all of them to go fuck themselves. I know this post isn’t very nice, but it’s significantly more cordial than what you would’ve received two nights ago.

Thanks for everything. I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore. According to the Huffington Post, it’s not a good idea anyway. Have a look!

If Your Ex Wants To Be Friends, They Might Be a Psychopath – emphasis on MIGHT. I already did the Hare Psychopathy Checklist on you and you’re okay, but I think it’s probably better to just move on with our lives and be happy with other people who don’t have to also deal with a complicated past.