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Human Parts
A publication about humanity from Medium: yours, mine, and ours.

Emotions

In Human Parts. More on Medium.

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Sometimes it is neither patient, nor kind

My love lives far away so we spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone. Hours. Sometimes entire days working, running errands together. When the silence gets too much we entertain ourselves by posing absurd, impossible questions to one another.

“Okay,” one of us might say, “I’m me, but I’m really into golf. Like my whole identity is based around golf, I have golf friends, and wear golf clothes everywhere, even to formal events. I wore a golf shirt to your dad’s funeral. You didn’t want me to, but I insisted. It’s like how I deal with some childhood…


This Is Us

The Stuck Place was a place where honesty and emotion couldn’t survive

A black and white photo of birds flying against a construction crane in the sky.
A black and white photo of birds flying against a construction crane in the sky.
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

I grew up in the Stuck Place. The main difference between the Stuck Place and any other place is that in the Stuck Place, you can’t really be your whole self. Strangely, the Stuck Place is the safe place, the love place, the family place, the “home is where the heart is” place. You simply can’t find happiness in the Stuck Place.

The Stuck Place — though I was born into it in Nashville, Tennessee — followed me to Washington, D.C., Afghanistan, and New York. Right when I thought I’d arrive somewhere new, I’d run back to the Stuck Place…


There’s so much to enrage a sane person — not just in the headlines, but in the everyday fabric of our lives

Photo: oencke/Flickr

The last couple of days I’ve been filled with rage. Nothing pathological or out of the ordinary — just some minor spikes in the normal baseline of everyday male rage. The triggering incidents were relatively trivial: a couple of man-boys wouldn’t shut up on Amtrak’s Quiet Car (these days an arena of bloody hand-to-hand fighting over etiquette), and a day later a scammer ripped me off for a pair of fake opera tickets. I was ultimately the victor in both situations: the guys on the train, after sassing me a little to show off for each other, did in fact…


Give yourself permission to feel it

Photo: Ana Maria Serrano/Getty Images

Aggressive, heavy, mean, negative, and unstable. Those are all words that might come to mind when we think of the word “anger.” That’s because anger is more than just a word used to describe an emotion — it’s actually part of what it means to be human.

In my recent work with my patients and personal life experiences, I’ve started to realize that people (myself included) struggle to embrace anger as a “normal” feeling. We’ve become a culture that is quick to judge and unable to understand the truths and layers behind anger. …


I’m no good without you.

I used to be a person who could be alone. I can be, I still can be — this I know about myself. I have no trouble being alone. Believe me when I say that I have been with a lot of people while thinking, . I am in great practice, my form is superb when it comes to being alone. I once had a friend in college confess she had absolutely no idea how I could spend so much…


It was 1979. I was six. Mom said we were going somewhere special.

I settled into the passenger seat and pulled out my portable video game. On the screen were a series of red lights that, with significant imagination, represented football players. There were no “men.” No graphics. Video games were different back then. We didn’t have a 3-D vigilante with a five o’clock shadow whose mission was to steal cars, squire prostitutes and systematically urinate on the Ten Commandments. Kids these days have it good.

Three minutes later, Mom pulled into a parking lot of McDonald’s…

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