Assorted thoughts on atheism, being childfree, podcast thoughts and self-expression

When I was a kid, one of the book series I loved to read was called The Baby-Sitters Club. There was even a TV show in the 90s of the same name. This TV show was based off of these same characters, though I honestly don’t remember much about the show itself. But that being said, when I found out that Netflix was coming out with a Netflix original version of The Baby-Sitters Club, I was elated!! And so fast-forwarding to now: Netflix has finally released this show on its platform. And upon watching the first couple episodes of it, I fell in love with many of the actors immediately. I love how this show has been updated in terms of the times our real world is actually living in; like, the girls within the Baby-Sitters Club have cell phones. These girls also seem to have beliefs that align with feminism which is also lovely.

In an episode of the Multiamory podcast, the show’s hosts Emily, Dedeker and Jase talked with their guest about what it means to define oneself as someone who’s on the spectrum that is asexuality. And something huge that this discussion has brought to my mind, is the importance of speaking with one’s potential significant others about whether you are a sexual person or not. Multiamory’s guest suggested that especially if folks are on the spectrum of asexuality, it would be helpful for such folks to be honest about exactly what that means for them individually. This particular discussion has gotten me thinking about how one of the words I use to label my sexual identity, is the word “demisexual.” And what “demisexual” means is that I have to have some form of a connection with people, before I can have sex with them. I don’t have to be in love with people I have sex with though, which I’ve found can be a misconception that people have about this particular term “demisexual.” But that being said, that’s why it’s important for people to openly share their experiences with things like sexuality or religion or non-monogamy: because as I’ve said numerous times before, speaking up and out is the only way we can change the world for the better.

In another Multiamory episode, Jase, Dedeker and Emily talked with the day’s guest about the very controversial subject of dating as someone who does relationships much different than many folks do. And one thing that this guest touched on that’s important for me to mention here, is that for some folks, myself among them, being totally honest with people from the start is the way to go. So like, an example of this in my own life, is how I say on my online dating profile that my potential partners need to be accepting of people with disabilities (PWDs) as I’m a PWD myself. And even though it isn’t socially acceptable for me to say that so bluntly, it’s necessary nonetheless. Because I’ve wasted tons of time in my life already, and I’m not willing to do so anymore, in any way. But that being said, I’m sure that life will still hand me people who are toxic…but mostly, I’m a firm believer that whatever you put out into the universe, will come back to you tenfold. And so, the easier it becomes for me to live in my truth, the more I’ll in turn attract the right kinda people into my life.

In a recent episode of the Short Wave podcast, the hosts of this show actually let other podcast hosts take over their show for a day. And the story that was told by the guest hosts, was relevant to what we as a world are going through right now: people not wanting to follow the rules that the governments within countries are encouraging us to follow. So the story that’s being told here in this Short Wave episode, is one in which a woman who thinks she’s healthy, actually turns out to be deathly ill. But this woman is so fucking stubborn that she repeatedly disobeys people’s orders to allow herself to be tested for bacteria. The people who are doing their best to convince her that no one wants to harm her, cannot seem to hold her for any amount of time, as she fights everyone as hard as she can. And so eventually, this woman whose name is Mary, does have it proven that she’s sick with bacteria that’s contagious. But then as time goes on, she eventually dies from having pneumonia. And how this story is related to what’s currently happening in our world, is that there are individuals who are intentionally disobeying the rules that governments of countries are encouraging people to follow. And while I’m typically someone who doesn’t follow rules just because I’m supposed to, I do follow the government’s rules, or the rules that the World Health Organization (WHO) has put out. Because when it comes to lessening the number of people who are diagnosed with Covid 19, I absolutely want to do my part to keep as many people safe as I can. The only risks that I’ll take in life, are ones that I can be reasonably certain will have a mostly good outcome: relocating from one place to another, for example, has had a mostly good outcome.

In a recent episode of the Hidden Brain podcast, the show’s host Shankar Vedantam told a story about how decades ago a teenage black man was accused of committing a crime that he didn’t actually commit. Throughout this story, we as the listeners hear about how multiple people are and have been supposed criminals, simply due to the color of their skin. The main man that this story is about is named Fred; he was ultimately convicted for a crime that he knew nothing about. He spent decades behind bars, even though as I’ve said above, he was still a kid when this crime was committed. And so, the main question that’s being examined in this particular Hidden Brain episode, was whether teenagers should be considered criminals as adults; and in my opinion, they (teenagers) should not be. Because as this Hidden Brain episode so eloquently points out, kids oftentimes don’t know any better. Children’s brains are literally not developed, in the same way that adults’ brains have had time to develop. This truth is important to acknowledge here, because people cannot be held responsible for something that they are incapable of emotionally understanding. So in the law holding this adult man to something that he was accused of doing as a teenager, the law assumes that this now-adult man has not grown up at all since that crime had been committed. Hell, when the jury had found the main person in this story named Fred guilty, just because he didn’t show that he felt bad about this murder that he’d been accused of, the jury’s verdict was incorrect. Fred was not the one who’d committed this crime; and it shouldn’t have taken decades for the law to catch up to that truth.

I think it’s important for me to talk about my own journey where becoming more informed on racism being a real problem in our world is concerned; because truth be told, the concept of racism is something that’s fairly new to me. Because to start, I’m a white female. So for most of my life, I grew up hearing things like “people only go to jail or prison because they deserve to be there.” This sort of thing was said numerous times by my family of origin, but also, I’ve been in romantic relationships with people who have espoused these same harmful beliefs. And so this means that for nearly all of my life, I didn’t know how to think critically about something like racism, which I was totally unaware of. But then in fall 2019 when I was in a class that introduced me to sociology/the reality of this very thing, my life was forever changed. I became conscious about subjects like racism and I learned more about how sexism is also a hot-button issue…and for a good reason, at that. It was also in this class that I learned exactly what white privilege meant, among other things. And so ever since I’ve taken that particular sociology class, I’ve become much more outspoken about these sorts of things on a regular basis, now. And TBH, I love speaking up and out on issues…when I feel my voice matters most. I think it’s important to say something whenever we see something, because that is the only way that we can change our world for the better.

Something in the book COMING OUT ATHEIST that stands out to me, is how its author Greta Christina points out that people have misguided ideas about what religion really gives the world. More specifically, many people’s fear about what they’d lose if they didn’t have religion in their lives, is so great that such people seem to find it unbearable to think of anything else besides their limited and limiting perspective. But yet I know through my own personal experience being a life-long atheist, as well as through having read other people’s stories related to their atheism, that religion of any kind literally does not give anyone anything that they can’t find in other communities. Well, except the part where religion of any kind advocates that people believe in a higher power or souls that will exist forever. Because the thing is, people don’t have to believe in a higher power, spirituality or souls of any kind, in order to be ethical human beings. But spirituality, a higher power and souls, are literally the only things that religion of any kind gives people. And quite frankly, as an atheist, I don’t believe in any of those things. But also, through having read atheist-related literature for many years, I know that there are tons and tons of atheist communities that exist, both online and offline. But as is true for many things in life, it can sometimes take awhile for us to find people within communities that we can come to think of as being a part of our tribe. But it’s helpful for us to have patience throughout such frustrating times, and to remind ourselves that we are not alone. All in all, I’d definitely recommend that people read this book, if they want to learn about atheism or if they are someone who wants to be an out atheist themselves…or even if they want to express their support of out atheists whom they care about.

Another book that’s by Greta Christina that I’m currently reading, is called The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. And one of the very first things in this book that resonates with me, is how she talks about people living in the here and now rather than in the past or in the future. The reason that this stands out to me, is because for much of my life, I lived in terms of thinking about my past and my future. Like, I truly thought that that was the only way to live. But also, I lived as someone who viewed the things that were happening in my life as things that I had no control over whatsoever. But in fall 2017 when I started going to therapy, that particular action of mine was what’s lead me exactly to where I am now: the driver of my life, to the extent that that is possible.

What I mean by this, is that I no longer think that my destiny has been planned or that some higher power knows my every thought or my every need…much less that this supposed higher power has a long list of the things that he/she/it is keeping track of, that make me a failure in her/his/its eyes. Because if that were true, this god must love seeing people in pain. At least, that’s what I used to try and convince myself of, back when I was still trying to outwardly appear as a hardcore Christian. But now that I no longer have to worry about keeping that fake attitude up, I’ll admit that the reality, harsh though it may be, is that suffering is a fact of life for everyone. Now that I’m no longer willing to believe that everything happens for a reason, I openly talk about how there are tons of things (and people) who can make life suck. Now that I’m no longer willing to lie to myself or others about there being lessons for us human beings to learn whenever we go through what can be the shittiest of circumstances, I feel more comforted and secure than I ever have in my entire life. I don’t have anything like religious guilt or pressure to not take responsibility for what happens to and in my own life, gnawing at me or flat out eating me alive. Now that I’m not trying to convince myself that my body doesn’t even belong to me, I’ve truly started to love my ability to make choices about what does or doesn’t happen to my body. I feel great because I’m a powerful woman whose carried myself through tough shit that would make many folks crumble; and I’ll continue to carry myself through hell and back, because that’s just who I am. No deity gets credit for anything about my life…and words can’t express how comforted that makes me. Hell, I have more inner peace as an atheist than I ever had when I was trying to force myself to be religious.

Another thing in this book that stands out to me, is how its author discusses the way many atheists view death. Like, one point she brings up that I honestly hadn’t given much thought to before, is this idea that seeing people cry when someone they love has recently died, is something that should be avoided at all costs. On one hand, I do think that funerals as a whole can be depressing as fuck; but at the same time, people crying because they’re grieving, is a natural part of the human experience. And so, as the way I think about this particular thing shifts, I’m actually thinking of the fact that folks having a healthy balance of sadness and celebration as those things relate to funerals, is what I’d personally want to happen when I die. Because I definitely don’t want anyone to deny their raw emotions of crying because they’ll miss me; I want them to be totally genuine about whatever they are feeling. I’d want my funeral to be a literal safe space for folks to speak however they need or want to speak. I’d want my funeral to be a place where folks can discuss the things that were huge parts of my identity: my atheism, my being polyamorous, my gayness, my liberalism, my love of all kinds of music ETC. I’d want people to openly discuss all of these things at my funeral/memorial because every single one of these things informs how I live my life every day. Like, I’m polyamorous because I wholeheartedly believe that adding as much love to my life as possible, is something that will help make my life most meaningful. I want people to openly discuss that I was a staunch atheist because my atheism, too, informs how I live every day. Like, the fact that I know that this life is the only life I have, helps me intentionally create the life I know I deserve to live. My liberalism as well as my gayness are both important to discuss at my funeral because human rights are a real and valid thing, whether it’s racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia ETC that we’re talking about. Because the truth that many white folks don’t want to acknowledge, much less stand in unity with, is that all human beings ought to have the same rights as one another. The fact that I love all kinds of music should be discussed at my funeral/memorial, because music is one of the only universal languages in the world, in my opinion.

Something else in the book called The Way of The Heathen that stands out to me, is how its author Greta Christina discusses the fact that on dollar bills here in the United States of America, is the printed phrase “in God we trust.” I think I’ve heard at some point prior to seeing that particular phrase in this book, that such a thing was thrown in our faces by the United States government…but I honestly didn’t remember that, until reading about it in The Way of The Heathen. And quite frankly, I share Greta Christina’s viewpoint: that no government, whether in the US or otherwise, has the right to tell its citizens what to believe. If people within country governments want to believe in a higher power or believe in a specific religion, it is their individual right to do so. But governments as a whole have no fucking business forcing their beliefs onto their citizens. To do so is unethical, not to mention unconstitutional, at least here in the US. And so, all this being said, I wish that I still had eyesight. Because if I ever had cash on me, I’d love to have opportunities to cross out the “in God we trust” language in front of people that I’m doing business with. I think that form of confronttation would be incredibly powerful, yet probably somewhat uncomfortable too, both for me and for the people I’m doing business with. But as Greta Christina also points out in this part of this particular book, confrontation doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad experience.

Because the thing is, it’s healthy for us human beings to sit with our discomfort; in fact, sitting with our discomfort is something that can ultimately help us become better human beings. And while I’m speaking about the subject of confrontation, I think it’s important for me to reflect on how my thoughts about the idea of confrontation have shifted through the years. Because honestly, for much of my life, confrontation has been something that I’ve had a negative view of. Like, I’d regularly avoid confrontation as much as was humanly possible, as my family of origin displayed confrontation in threatening, truly mean ways, from what I can recall. But as I continue to go through life, the way I think about confrontation has evolved. Because even in reading this book The Way of The Heathen, its author Greta Christina gives some great food for thought about how if we human beings would allow ourselves to live out our truth, even when it’s uncomfortable for us to do so, people will likely take note of that in a positive way. I also love how Greta Christina points out that whether you believe in a higher power or whether you don’t, those particular beliefs will open up a can of worms so to speak. I honestly hadn’t thought about that at all before, but it makes total sense.

In one of the childfree Facebook groups I’m in, someone created a topic about not liking this very group because some people’s posts got on their nerves. What I wrote in response to this person’s annoying criticism reads:
Here come the tone police again. Many of us come to this very group to express ourselves as honestly as possible, and for myself personally, I despise kids. I would never wish harm on them or their parents, but I’m not going to act like I enjoy spending time with them, either. You have a choice about whether you want to respond to topics that you see here…and no one is forcing you to reply to posts that you don’t agree with. It’s called being an adult and knowing what your limit/boundaries are.

I recently had a conversation with one of my friends that was thought-provoking. More specifically, I told this friend how outwardly expressing myself has become a creative thing I truly enjoy doing. Because I honestly used to find myself feeling really upset and frustrated at the fact that my multiple disabilities would often cause me to get what I would call the wrong kinda attention from people. But since I’ve been here in a liberal-leaning state, and since I’ve also mentally been able to get rid of my bad storage space from all the bad/toxicity I’d had inside of me for 30 years, it’s become easier for me to find new ways to express my individuality. This is something that I never even dreamed would be possible, given what a hellish upbringing I endured at the hands of my family of origin. But that being said, here I am, constantly finding new creative ways that I can outwardly express my individuality. That’s empowering!!

More Unsolved Mysteries stories, a rant and reflections on my atheism, sexuality and republicans

Yesterday, I made the following post on my Facebook page; but first, I want to say that I’ve added to it, being that this is my blog. What I’ve written reads:
If your response to black lives matter is “all lives matter,” take yourself off of my friends list, NOW. It’s funny how people can post something so insensitive as that particular statement is, yet say that they don’t get into political/religious discussions with people. Like, I’ve literally seen people say both of these things in the same fucking breath!! Give me a fucking break!!! You’re only fooling your damn selves, people. Because even though I’ve sat by silently when you’ve spewed your venom in the past, I refuse to do that from here forward. As a blind person, I have far more vision than you do. Proud. Black lives matter. Don’t be a dick. Human rights are a thing.

And then this morning I followed up with a Facebook post that reads:
Long post ahead, but please stick with me. Since the person who made that insensitive BLM post didn’t remove me from their friend list yesterday like I’d asked them to, I’ve done the deed myself. The older I get, the less I can tolerate bigotry of any kind; like, I’ve tried and tried to understand republicans…and I’ve kep republicans in my life and let them not talk about my gayness, my atheism or my fundamentally different political beliefs…but all of these things are essential parts of who I am…and I don’t want people to silently tolerate them, the way I’ve allowed folks to do in the past. These things about me deserve to be out in the open, just like the rest of me is out in the open.

I don’t fill my timeline with atheist-related things because I don’t like it when people tell me I’m wrong for believing as I do. I’m honest about my atheism though, and everyone on my friends list loves me for me…as far as I know. LOL. But I don’t need nor want to deepthroat folks with this part of myself because my atheism is quite a personal part of my journey. I’ll happily talk about it whenever it comes up, but that’s the extent of it. People know I’m a good person who is unafraid to be her authentic self…and that’s good enough for my tribe. I know many of my friends are deeply religious…and I love them no less for that. Every individual gets to decide for themselves how they want their path to look…and we all should embrace that truth more.

So while I refuse to celebrate the USA flag today, which is the biggest visual symbol I know of that embodies hate, I do celebrate my own independence, and my friends/tribe for being the individuals that they are. I had a chance to write a letter for a friend who’s trying to become a US citizen recently…and I could not have been happier that they trusted me to have their back. I think of my family of origin and of how those folks are the most hate-filled people I’ve ever known. I’ve tried and tried to understand how they arrive to the conclusions that they do, as the extremists that they are…and I’ve finally realized that you can’t make sense out of nonsense. But all this to say, I’m proud of who I am and of who I continue to become. I celebrate myself every day…and I celebrate those I love every day too. So I’m officially saying that today should be renamed to Celebrate You Day!! Love is power. We are all POWERFUL!!! Let’s continue to fuck shit up for the better, folks 👭 🏳️‍🌈 🥳 👭 ✨ 😘 🥰

Something I’ve been thinking about lately as it relates to my atheism, is how my views around kids being indoctrinated with religion have shifted through the years. Because there have been times when I’ve felt like kids should be taught by their teachers from a young age that no person believes in the same exact things as one another. Some grownups are Christians, other grownups are Muslim and other grownups are not religious at all. And yet still other grownups, myself among them, identify as staunch atheists. But nowadays, I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of schools or colleges, to teach people anything religious in nature, as required learning. I’d be fine with schools and colleges having elective classes that are religiously-oriented…because that specific option would allow people the agency to choose exactly what they want to learn. Whereas, from before I’d even started elementary school, I can vividly remember being forced to pray and say the Pledge of Allegiance (both on a daily basis). This sort of bullshit didn’t stop until I’d gotten to the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). But the saddest part of this whole situation, was that no one had ever told/taught me that I actually had the right not to pray, or to not stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance. And back then, I had enough knowledge to have assessed the grownups around me correctly, to know that it wouldn’t be wise for me to ask questions about why we do these specific things. I just stayed quiet, hoping that somehow, someday, someone would validate these feelings of mine.

But that being said, when it comes to religion or spirituality of any kind, parents should teach their children that people believe different things. Parents should expose their children to the different ways people do religion…and to the different ways that people do atheism, for example. Children should have access to folks from all different walks of life anyway, who can help them as kids become well-rounded people. Kids need to have agency in their lives, and to feel like the empowered little beings that they are, regardless of their age. Because as I’ve said, no one does religion or atheism in the same exact ways. I know atheists who fucking love the holidays, holidays of any sort. They are all for that prison time…LOL…I mean, it is their right to choose to live that way. I’m an atheist who fucking hates holidays of any kind, and I likely always will. People ought to stop seeing me as a defective human that they need to fix, just because I cannot stand holiday celebrations of any kind. Because the way I live my life is my choice, period!! But what I’m ultimately saying, is that kids need to see that people don’t need religion in their lives, for them to be great people. Kids need to feel comfortable too say they are uncomfortable with hugging others, or uncomfortable with others touching them. Kids need to know that their boundaries will always be respected, no matter how old they are. These things are not options–they are examples of great parenting, which I never personally had, but which are correct nonetheless.

Something in the book COMING OUT ATHEIST that stands out to me, is the way in which its author Greta Christina talks about the differences in how folks live their lives if they’re religious…versus how folks live their lives as atheists/humanists ETC. But more to the point, if someone believes that there is no such thing as death, they’ll often take people for granted, be unsure how to regulate their emotions and even refuse to accept responsibility for the things that happen in their lives. Also, people who believe in this way, often scare themselves into believing that they have to wait until they’re married to have any sort of sexual contact with their own bodies and even other people’s bodies. But as an atheist, I never worry about those kinda things; because ultimately, I’m my own higher power. Every day, I become an even better version of myself than I was the previous day. And every day, I’m happiest because I trust in my ability to always do what’s best for me…as well as for the world at large. Nothing is pre-planned, I make decisions for myself, from simple things, to big things. And I’m more than just OK with things being this way; in fact, I prefer things this way, as it is my truth.

Someone I’ve known ever since I was in like, fourth or fifth grade recently texted me and asked what I’m reading lately. I replied to them, saying that I’ve been busying myself with other things. They then responded with “I know what you mean but I’m just trying to keep my mind off of this pandemic.” I then said “I hear you. But some of us can’t keep our minds off of the pandemic because it affects us in every way.” And I’ll add here that it’s frustrating AF that some people are so into their own worldview, that they are incapable of understanding anything outside of that. I mean hell, I kinda wish that I wouldn’t have to think about Covid 19 and all of the other things that are going on in the world…but only in terms of wishing we could rewind 2020 and go back to 2019 again.

And honestly, this brings a sort of similar rant into my mind: the fact that there are young folks in the world who claim that they don’t care about politics. Like, I literally cannot understand how that happens–politics is in nearly every part of the world. And not just that, but there’s no way to hide from that truth, in my opinion!! Music is political because singers/musicians express themselves through their music. Watching TV, Netflix or Hulu is political because folks express themselves through documentaries and such. Colleges and high schools are political because everyone cares about which student you vote for particular nominations and why you vote the way you do. And the thing is, I could go on and on and on, about how there’s no logical reason for people to not be involved in politics in some way, shape or form. But I won’t, as I think I’ve made myself clear in what I’ve said here already.

It’s ironic to me how people often say that nowadays, no one needs degrees to get hired somewhere. Yet here I, and many other folks in the world are, uneducated and unemployed. Times are seriously frustrating AF right now…especially because people not having any degrees is what makes it hard for them to even become employed in the first place!! But it also doesn’t help matters when people pressure others to attend college. These are all things that I’ve said on my blog before, but they can never be said too much. I have friends who could probably use this reminder, even if they never choose to stand up for themselves.

In episode two of the Unsolved Mysteries reboot, a story is told about a woman that unexpectedly goes missing. And throughout this episode of this documentary, policemen talk with nearly every person that’s closely associated with Patrice (the missing woman) hoping that they’ll find helpful clues along the way. And one of the very first people they speak with, is Patrice’s teenage son who goes by Pistol, though I can’t say for sure if I’ve heard his name right. So just to be safe, I’ll refer to him as P, from here on. So as the policemen are interviewing this young man named P, he (P) tells them that he’s always had a fantastic relationship with his mom Patrice. P also tells law enforcement though, that he doesn’t have a good relationship with Patrice’s husband Rob. And when P and Rob speak in this documentary, each of them says that the other guy can’t stand him; and each of them says that they have a great relationship with Patrice. But then, something just doesn’t add up with all of these things, as Patrice’s customers from the hair salon she owns, her close friends and her son and husband, all say that they couldn’t imagine Patrice just randomly taking off anywhere without first notifying someone close to her. But then as the documentary goes on, we the viewers hear P (Patrice’s son) say that a couple weeks before his mom’s disappearance, Patrice had asked her son if he could go anywhere, where would he choose to go. And P says that initially, he didn’t think much of Patrice having asked him that question. But P also doesn’t think that his mom would leave without first letting him know where she was going/how long she’d be gone.

And as this show continues, it turns out that one possible suspect in Patrice’s case is a man who’s a known criminal to the police force. This particular suspect tells law enforcement that he’s familiar with Patrice’s hair salon that she owns. But then there’s another possible suspect in this case who tells law enforcement that he’s responsible for brutally murdering and raping several women. In addition to that information, he tells police that he’d stopped by Patrice’s salon one day and told folks within the salon that he needed help jumping his car. From that point, he shows law enforcement that he’d essentially drawn a map showing where Patrice’s car had been parked at the salon, and then where he’d parked his own car in that same area. But then another disturbing discovery we learn about, is that Patrice’s loved ones and friends believe that Patrice’s husband Rob was involved in the ending of Patrice’s life. But lastly, nearly two years after Patrice had disappeared, her remains are found at a church that she’d attended. And at that point, one of the policemen on this case talked about how he feels he failed this family, for taking so long to locate Patrice’s remains. But I can totally understand why this case has gone as it has; there were so many twists and turns to it, including no one coming forward about what they might know that could solve this case once and for all.

The third episode of this show was about a family whose name I won’t even try to spell, as they were from France. In this family, there were four kids and these kids’ mom and dad. This family seemed to give the impression to everyone in their town that they (the family) was deeply religious and loved each other deeply. But as this story continues, we the viewers learn that this family’s eventual disappearance changes everything. But what’s interesting about this whole thing, is that when the bodies of the mom and her four children are found by law enforcement in their family home, enough time had gone by to allow the dad/husband to get away from their residence without a trace. This of course perplexed everyone in law enforcement who was on this case, but also, it perplexed people who’d known this family well…or who’d thought that they’d known this family well.

As this episode goes on though, we the viewers learn that the father in this family had seemed to be planning to kill his wife and children. This bit of news comes as we learn that this father/husband acquired a rifle that had previously been his father’s. And upon acquiring this possession, this father/husband then taught himself how to use this particular rifle. But the thing was, prior to him gaining this weapon, he’d never even used a weapon. But that being said, on one particular occasion when he was at a place that allowed folks to practice shooting guns, he asked someone who worked at this place about acquiring something that would mute noises of guns going off. And then a bit later, that’s when we the viewers can infer that he (this father/husband) was the one who’d killed his wife and kids…and then literally left the town they lived in, leaving no evidence behind, besides the bodies of his wife and kids. And that, of course, made it look like a crime hadn’t even been committed.

The next episode of this documentary was about a young man named Alonzo who’d unexpectedly disappeared. He’d actually been at a party with some of his close friends, the same night that he’d gone missing. But interestingly, Alonzo had driven to this party with one of his friends; and then a bit later, this same friend of Alonzo’s left the party for a bit, to find a place where he (the friend) could buy cigarettes for himself and Alonzo. And although this friend of Alonzo’s had designated someone else to take Alonzo home, in the event that he, Justin, didn’t come back to the party they were at, in a reasonable amount of time. But instead, what ended up happening, was that no one took Alonzo home, as far as anyone could tell. And so not surprisingly, Alonzo’s close friends and family members thought that something bad had happened to their loved one, Alonzo.

But the thing was, when Alonzo’s immediate family members had literally done all they could to convince law enforcement that Alonzo had likely been murdered, law enforcement fought these folks back, hard. In no uncertain terms, law enforcement told this heartbroken family that they needed to settle down and stop bothering people whose job it is to get to the bottom of stories like this one. But then there came a point when the policemen changed their tune with this family, saying that it would be fine if as a family/community of folks who’d wanted to see results of this mysterious story, they’d conduct a search on their own. I suspect that the police department gave this family the permission they’d wanted to have all along, because they (the policemen) didn’t actually think that the family would find anything worthwhile about Alonzo’s disappearance. And so, that’s exactly what these folks did: searched the exact area where the party had been had, the last night that Alonzo had been seen by anyone. But sadly, by that point, nearly a month had already gone by. But that being said, almost immediately after having started this search, someone who’d volunteered to help find Alonzo, let the crew know that this volunteer had found Alonzo’s body, in a shed/creek that was near where the search teams were, at that time. Sadly though, nothing further is known about who or why Alonzo was murdered. Although, it’s suspected by many people that Alonzo was a victim of a racially-charged crime. People suspect that this could be true because the town where the party was at, is a small town in the south which not only means that everyone knows each other but also, that people were racist.

The next Unsolved Mysteries story was just OK in my opinion. The story was about several people claiming to have seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in whichever town or state that they lived in. And many of these people also claimed that they knew others would find their claim about a UFO appearing, impossible to believe…yet they all seemed to hold out hope that in watching this particular documentary, folks would see their side of this controversial issue. But it’s my personal belief that people are quick to attach meaning to things that they can’t understand; so when these people saw an object that they couldn’t identify, instead of just letting that be OK, they attached possibilities to it…because they’d love it if literally everything in the world were explained in ways that everyone could understand. But no one likes to sit with that extreme discomfort, for any amount of time. But the thing is, if folks who thought this way took some deep breaths, they might realize that patience will give us information we’re seeking. Why? Because science ALWAYS gives us answers. It may take a long ass time for science to give us answers…but it will absolutely do so nonetheless.

The last Unsolved Mysteries story was about a family of 6 girls who were raised by their mom; that being said though, their mom seemed to be quite a toxic person. What I mean by that, is that their mom would move from relationship to relationship, as far as her dating and marrying men was concerned. But then whenever she (the mom) would determine that she was ready to move onto the next man, she’d do so without hesitation. But throughout the show, two of this woman’s daughters talked openly about how tense their home environment often was, given how frequently they (the kids) would have to lie because their mom would tell them to do so. And then as the show goes on, we the viewers see one of this lady’s children confide in someone that she (the daughter) knows that her mom committed a murder. But then, this mom finds out about one of her daughters having confided that secret to someone…and this daughter then mysteriously turns up missing. And the way this episode is structured, it’s obvious to me at least, that this daughter was likely killed by her mom because of what she (the daughter) knew the horribleness that her mom had done.

Over all, my thoughts on this Unsolved Mysteries reboot, are that it was very well done. I love how the creators of this Netflix documentary used the same music as the actual Unsolved Mysteries TV show used. I also love how the Unsolved Mysteries reboot didn’t have someone hosting the show–I would’ve been upset if they’d found someone to replace Robert Stack, the Unsolved Mysteries TV show’s host. Because as I’ve said before, Robert Stack is irreplaceable!! The creators of the Unsolved Mysteries reboot also stuck as closely as they could to the TV show of the same name, in terms of the way the show was mapped out. Like, the Unsolved Mysteries reboot stuck with the documentary style format. But all this being said, I’m quite nervous about whether the world as a whole will love this show as much as I have, though. But I hope it does, as I want to continue seeing more episodes of it!!

Assorted TV show/podcast thoughts, and controversial thoughts on being childfree

When I was a little girl, my Oma and I enjoyed watching the show called Unsolved Mysteries with one another. Back then this show was hosted by a man named Robert Stack, though I didn’t actually know his name until I’d gotten much older. But sadly, by the time I was a teenager and Googled something like “the host of Unsolved Mysteries,” Robert Stack had died from a heart attack. He was only in his 80s then; and even to this day, I still feel like we’ve lost a legend when he died. And so all this being said, when I found out that a reboot of Unsolved Mysteries was going to be put on Netflix, I felt mixed emotions about that. But thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by this reboot. And given how much I loved this show as a kid, I’m going to write about each episode that’s in the reboot of it.

So in the first Unsolved Mysteries episode, a story is told about a couple who was deeply in love with one another and who’d gotten married to each other. Throughout this episode, we the viewers learn about this family’s life, both as it relates to the extended family members and the new family that this couple’s marriage had started. The newly married couple’s names were Allison and Ray; and Ray’s extended family was made up of his two parents and at least one sibling of his. I say at least one sibling, because only one sibling of Ray’s was featured in this documentary. And when this story first starts out, we hear Allison talk about how she and Ray had recently relocated from one state to another state, because a long-time friend of Ray’s named Porter, had promised Ray a good job with good money for him and the family that he’d be starting with Allison. But then as this story goes on, we as the viewers start to become suspicious of Porter and of Porter’s business.

So let me set the scene for you folks, now. As I’d said above, Allison and Ray had chosen to relocate to the state that Ray’s friend Porter lived in. Everything seemed to be going just fine in Ray’s and Allison’s lives, until one day when Ray unexpectedly went missing. And as it turns out, once Ray’s body was found, the local police department seemed to easily declare Ray’s death a suicide. But the thing was, the circumstances around his body being found were weird as fuck. Ray’s body was found on the top of the very roof that housed the building where Porter’s business was located. And not just that, but Ray’s body had seemed to have been placed inside of a hole on the roof. But then as journalists and police detectives and Ray’s family did investigations of their own about Ray’s disappearance, that’s when things became unnecessarily complicated. Because as I’d said above, this state’s police department continually claimed that what had happened to Ray was a suicide. Yet, literally everyone else who came to care about this case or who’d been connected to Ray somehow, new otherwise. Hell, even I was certain as a viewer, that the police department in this town had the verdict for this case totally wrong.

And so not surprisingly, as this story continues, we the viewers learn even more tough things about this case. Because what this eventually starts to look like, is an intentional murder. The evidence that suggested this possibility, was mainly the fact that Ray’s long-time friend Porter refused to talk to the local police department as well as the film crew of Unsolved Mysteries. Also, upon hearing that Ray’s body had been found, Porter made sure that his employees stayed silent, including himself. But in addition to those things as evidence that this was not a suicide, was the fact that some of Ray’s personal items were in the vicinity where his body had been found; but these personal items of Ray’s were not damaged at all. And so to me, all of these things combined, create the answer to this story: Porter was either involved in Ray’s murder, or he (Porter) knows information about who was responsible for Ray’s murder…and also, Ray’s belongings that were at the suspected crime scene were likely put there after the murder of Ray actually took place. These things are not hard to take note of in my opinion, and I’m not even someone who solves cases for a living.

Correction: when I wrote about the Netflix show entitled The Good Place, I misspoke about the number of seasons that this show actually has. The correct number of seasons it has, is three. But that being said, the way this show ends is fucking weird.

As I’d said before in my blog when I talked about it, calling The Good Place by that particular name is a trick. The main demon who’s responsible for repeatedly tricking residents of The Good Place, always does his best to give us the impression that he plans for the human beings’ eventual discovery of the truth…but he’s of course lying. But the weirdness in this show comes at the very end of season three, when Eleanor and Chidi who are soulmates for each other, have to lose their memories in order to reboot The Good Place again. Well actually, Chidi is the only one who has to lose memories; it’s just sad that that has to happen because both Eleanor and Chidi are allowed to see how them being soulmates actually happened in one of the previous reboots that the Demon Michael had set up. And so needless to say, I’m not sure if this weird ending in The Good Place means that there’s more of the show to come…or not.

So, the TED Radio Hour podcast is now hosted by a woman named Manoush Zomorodi. And honestly, even though she’s been the host of this podcast for a few months now, it took me awhile before I listened to her host this show. Because quite frankly, I went through a period of feeling like TED Radio Hour wouldn’t be worth listening to, now that its original host Guy Raz had moved onto doing other things. But once the world was placed on lockdown, I started trying to get myself to warm up to Manoush Zomorodi, the new TED Radio Hour host. And I’m proud to report that I have warmed up to her. I’m excited that a woman hosts this show, mostly because it’s important as a woman myself, to see other women doing things that change the world for good. And even though I don’t write about every TED Radio Hour episode that I listen to, I write about all of the ones that move me, whether I’m moved in a happy way, an angry way or a sad way. Because ultimately, giving support to people’s ideas, mind-sets/perspectives that are different from mine, helps me grow and become an even better version of myself.

An episode of TED Radio Hour that stood out to me, was one in which Manoush Zomorodi talked with different people about how the world’s current crisis known as Covid 19 can actually be used to make people think differently about things, than maybe they ever have before. So for example, one of the neat ideas that was expressed in this episode of TED Radio Hour, was that people who own businesses or folks who are at the top of the business chain so to speak, should place listening to their customers at the forefront of their good business practices. Instead of talking to groups of people who don’t actually have anything to do with making businessess better, it ought to become second nature to truly operate for and with, the people who do and could, make people’s businesses thrive. And OMG, another thought I just had on this subject matter, was that if every college campus in the world had to have a board, it would be awesome if all of the board members were college students. Its college students’ wouldn’t necessarily all have to be current college students; the board could also have past college students. I think that this idea of mine would be hugely beneficial to myself and others because it would be empowering to see real people in our age group who are being our cheerleaders. Because mostly elderly white men are likely going to die soon anyway…so there’s no reason for them to give a crap about younger college students’ success. I’m sure that some elderly white men do care about the success of younger college students; but those folks are the exception, not the rule.

But yet another great idea in this episode of the TED Radio Hour podcast, was for human beings to reframe how we think of certain professions like maids, dishwashers, waiters/waitresses ETC. Because as this person so truthfully points out, these types of professions are thought of as less than other jobs. Hell, I remember that even in my own life, many folks within my family of origin have expressed to me that exact thought: that these types of jobs are meaningless…or that the people who work in these professions do so because they literally cannot do anything else. And such thinking is faulty thinking, mostly because jobs are jobs, period!! Every single thing in our world is able to be done because yet other people have jobs that help us all unite as one collective force. So even though folks don’t usually think about this so specifically, myself included, I think this way of thinking should be placed at the forefront of everything. Because as human beings, we all work together collectively, to make, or break, the way life functions for the entire world.

In another episode of TED Radio Hour, Manoush Zomorodi talked with people about loneliness. And the very first thing that this episode made me think about, was how when I’d first arrived to this new state, I felt awful. I think the main reason why I felt so awful for what felt like forever, was because I honestly didn’t even expect to be lonely. I know that probably sounds weird to some folks, but I literally had not planned for this particular feeling. And truthfully, I guess I did what I often do: I focused so much on the good parts of life, the good parts of being a college student ETC, that I totally miss the not-so-pleasant things I’d likely also experience. Because that’s just it, loneliness is a part of the human experience; there’s no escaping that harsh truth. I say harsh truth because two years ago which was the last time I remember being lonely, I tried to find something that would make that loneliness disappear. But in hindsight, what would have been a more productive use of my time, would have been for me to realize that loneliness wasn’t a sign that I’d remain lonely forever. Because, even as my then-boyfriend assured me, a small part of me knew that establishing yourself in a new place takes time…no matter who or where you are.

Another story in this TED Radio Hour episode that resonated with me, was one where a woman talked about creating a sense of community where she lived. But before I go any further, I want to say that this woman was a building designer. And so, given that that was her profession, she not only created the building that became her community, but she also made sure that the people who lived in this community truly felt safe, heard and seen. And honestly, what this woman’s story brought to mind for me, is how in a recent blog post of mine, I wrote about how I envision creating a community of people around me who love and take care of each other. I said this because I’ve thought about things in depth, where this is concerned: it would be wonderful to not have to stress about who will take me to the Emergency Room, when one of my health issues flares up. It would just be a weight off my shoulders, to know that I don’t have to question whether someone will be around when I truly need help with something. And so, when I heard this person on TED Radio Hour talking about this very concept of creating one’s own community, I smiled. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who thinks that this way of using one’s resources well, will help people be generally happy and loving.

The last story in this TED Radio Hour episode that moved me, was one where a woman talked about how given this current Covid 19 crisis the world is experiencing, we ought to find new ways to be creative. And of course, hearing this particular thing made me happy, as I’ve been doing the same lately. But one example that this woman gave of a way she’s become creative, was that she’d journal about the things she’d been feeling, given that she’d had to be isolated due to serious health issues of hers. She also said that if it weren’t for Covid 19, she might not have been motivated to push herself in new and exciting ways. But then she talked about how this project of hers actually encouraged other people to tap into their creativity. Some people wrote a daily journal about what the isolation they were feeling, made them go through. Other people created art projects every single day, for a few months’ time. And yet other people chose to sit on their porches and enjoy the weather, a cup of coffee or tea and even read books.

In a couple different episodes of the TED Radio Hour podcast, Manoush Zomorodi talks with people about whether or not human beings will learn from the world’s Covid 19 crisis. And so, I’m going to talk about what I think about that question, and if you know me well, you probably won’t be surprised by what I have to say about this…which is mainly that I’m skeptical that our world will become better as we move through this Covid 19 crisis. Because not only does the world’s history repeat itself, but people seem to forget about how bad events like this actually were in our lives, once the events have gone away. And so while I’m generally a positive person, my thoughts about the future state of our world are very cynical. It would be lovely if people took this current crisis as a valuable learning experience for themselves/others, and maybe some folks will do exactly that…but I’m not going to be Ms. Positivity, the way I once might have been. Because realism, not positivity, gets us through the rough times.

In an episode of the Cognative Dissonance podcast, the show’s hosts Cecil and Tom talked about how the United States president held a cup of water at a recent rally of his. Now, the reason that Cecil and Tom were talking about what a sight this was to see as far as the two of them are concerned, was because Trump is so egotistical as to think that people are fucking happy that he (Trump) can hold a fucking cup of water. But the thing that this part of Cecil’s and Tom’s podcast made me think about, is when in my own life, my family of origin used to tell me that I hold utensils the wrong way. Now, these people used to tell me this specific thing so often that something like this which doesn’t really matter, was something about myself that I became hugely aware of. But of course I’ve always held utensils differently than other human beings–I’ve had Cerebral Palsy since birth!! And this life story of mine relates to the story I’ve just told about Trump’s arrogant ass, in the sense that my family of origin tried to make a big deal out of the way I held utensils…when no one should give a flying fuck about something so trivial as the way someone holds silverware.

But that being said, the issue with president Trump not being able to hold a glass of water, is not ridiculous. I think it’s great that people are talking about this sort of thing, because the way this buffoon conducts himself, has a lot to do with how he runs or doesn’t run America. And the sad thing is, I know that I’m in the minority as a disabled person, to openly say that people are absolutely right to assess Trump being unfit to be in office due to his seemingly ill health, both in terms of how he moves around as well as how he speaks, slurs his speech ETC. Because like it or not, all of these things have everything to do with his seeming fragility…and all of these things indicate that he should not be in any position to continually harm America.

Something I don’t think I’ve talked about here much, is the subject of whether I feel scared as a childfree woman, about what will happen to me as I get older. I’ve mainly seen this particular question brought up on Facebook groups for childfree folks. But honestly, when I think of myself aging without having children of my own, I’m totally fine with that. For one thing, I’m polyamorous so I know that because of this particular truth of mine, I’ll have people around me as it is anyway. Because I’m good at bringing the right people into my life, now that I’ve had tons of experiences with toxic folks and lovely folks. But also, I have the particular perspective I do on aging as someone who will remain childfree because I’m confident in my ability to choose and keep the right people in my life. And given that I’m direct in my offline life too, people decide I’m not worth their time when they find out that I’m a staunch atheist/polyamorous/as liberal as they come. And I’m honestly not complaining one bit, as me choosing to be out about literally everything, makes my journey in life a lot easier. Because where I used to be in the closet about multiple things in my life, it was hard as fuck to be me. But now that I’m no longer living a lie in any way, I don’t feel that way anymore.

But before I go any further with this subject matter, I want to clarify something. When I say that I’m out about everything in my life, I don’t mean that I talk about all of the ways I’m different on a regular basis; yet, when many folks hear someone say they’re out about something, folks often do interpret that as meaning that this person regularly discusses these controversial subjects with others. But for me, being out about everything in my life, simply means that I’ll talk openly about things with anyone who truly wants to learn about why I believe what I do. But the second someone I start being vulnerable with starts to bring religion into the discussion, in the sense of demeaning me because I believe differently than they do, that will put an abrupt end to our discussion. I’m not going to allow people to walk all over me in any way, the way I used to in the past. Being totally open about who I am, means that I’m not going to lie or stay silent about anything, anymore. Being out about who I am, means that whenever I hear someone being homophobic, or saying that anyone who is not Christian will go to Hell, I’ll speak up/fully support the folks who are being discriminated against. Because nowadays, what’s become truly important to me, is living in my truth, all the time. And so with that change in my core values, not speaking up and out about people’s harmful behaviors would be physically painful for me.

But going back to talking about being childfree, I think that people having kids just so that they (the parents) will potentially have someone to take care of them when they become elderly parents, is literally the most selfish thing in the entire world. And this is where yes, I remind people that I’m someone who thinks that it is immoral to have kids. There are billions of humans on Planet Earth already; we don’t need to continue over-populating this planet with more of them. Adoption agencies exist for a reason. We human beings ought to use that particular resource without question, if we can afford to do so. And the same applies to children in the foster care system: plenty of those children could use truly loving families too. Because the thing is, there are plenty of folks in the world who’d love to give back in these ways; and even though I’m childfree personally, I do fully support children as a whole being placed into healthy environments that allow them to thrive and grow into happy human beings. And I wish that even more folks would share the particular perspective about this that I have.

Some TV show thoughts/reflections, school updates and thoughts on atheism

I haven’t talked about my favorite iPhone game called Timecrest in awhile. But something about said game that I want to take note of now, is that there’s an option within the game’s settings that allows for the game to speed up Ash’s typing speed, if the player chooses to do so. I’ve definitely sped Ash’s typing speed up before, especially when I want to play Timecrest but don’t have the patience to wait for what seems like forever, for Ash to type out their messages to me. And so, I want to bring this up in my blog now, as I thought this tip might be helpful to someone who might not want to wait and wait and wait for Ash to type their heart out. LOL.

A show on Netflix that I’ve been watching recently, is called The Good Place. This show has four seasons in it and it’s about people who have died who are now trying to figure out what their lives will look like in this particular afterlife. One of the main characters in The Good Place is a demon of some sort, though as a viewer, to me, he sounds kind. Like, his tone of voice sounds very calm. He also says with words, throughout this series, that he doesn’t have a temper. That’s ironic though, as he often does freak out when bad things happen that are out of his control. But in addition to this demon-being, there are four human beings in this show who are also main characters. The demon is supposed to keep track of the four human beings though, to make the humans think that they are in The Good Place. But as the show goes on, we the viewers learn that behind these humans’ back, the demon’s role is actually to figuratively and literally put these humans’ into situations where they both hurt and hate one another. And so, things get interesting between the human beings, especially when one of them figures out that their timelines have been reset by the demon. And to add to that hardship of theirs, the demon becomes livid every time someone figures out what’s actually happened. Because the demon never seems to plan that the human beings will actually discover the truth; he always does his best to keep them from finding out that the place they are in, is actually not The Good Place. And literally every time he (the demon) resets the human beings, he (the demon) thinks that nothing will go wrong.

My caretaker recently told me about a Hulu original show that’s called The Act; and that show definitely sounded like something that I’d enjoy watching. The Act is based on a true story about a daughter whose mom abused her. The daughter’s name is Gypsy Rose; and her mom goes by Dee Dee. And so, what makes this show so intriguing to me, is that Dee Dee forces Gypsy to pretend that she (Gypsy) has life-threatening health issues. She (Dee Dee) has Gypsy regularly use a wheelchair and a feeding tube; Dee Dee also convinces doctors and folks within whatever community she and Gypsy are in at a given time, that Gypsy has the mentality of a small child. Throughout the show, Dee Dee is overbearing towards Gypsy, not allowing her (Gypsy) to hang out with friends or to have romantic relationships with men. But even so, Gypsy does find ways to form seemingly deep relationships with men, mostly through creating an online dating profile for herself. Gypsy even tries to escape her mom’s abuse for good, by going to visit someone that she (Gypsy) met at a conference that her mom Dee Dee had taken her to. But unfortunately, Dee Dee does find the man that Gypsy had met at a conference. Dee Dee finds him at his residence, with Gypsy at his residence as well. And also sadly, Gypsy feels powerless to break away from her mom Dee Dee’s toxicity. And so ultimately, Gypsy plots to have her mom killed. And even though she (Gypsy) is not the person who actually commits the physical act of the killing, she (Gypsy) does have to serve time in jail for Dee Dee’s murder.

And now, to talk about my feelings about the show The Act, I could tell right away that the actress who’d played Dee Dee was perfect for that role. And the same can be said for the actresses/actors who’d played Gypsy, Nick, Mel, Lacy and others (who were also main characters in this show, by the way). And while I know that some of the things in The Act were definitely embellished for TV’s sake, I also know, through my own personal experiences, that some women who have children are capable of doing things that are considered unfathomable, according to most people’s standards. So as I watched this show, I really felt for the bullshit that Gypsy was forced to endure, at the hands of her mom. I could identify with the way Gypsy seemed to feel conflicted at times, in small moments where her mom Dee Dee acted like she really cared about her daughter. And quite frankly, I think that this show’s title could not have been more perfect. I say this because that phrase “the act” indicates exactly what Gypsy’s mom Dee Dee was doing: putting on a show for the world, as she (Dee Dee) likely knew exactly how people would react upon learning that her daughter was so sick. But what also makes me sad about this show, is that no one ever even thought to question Dee Dee’s or Gypsy’s actions…not even when Gypsy herself tried to tell a friend of hers about what a horrible life she’d had. It made me furious to see all of these things, because my bio mom also put on an act–she desperately wanted people to think of her as being a good mom to me. She, similar to Gypsy’s mom Dee Dee, was a devil behind closed doors. Like Gypsy’s mom Dee Dee, my bio mom claimed to others that I would never be able to live a full life, given my disabilities. She, similar to Gypsy’s mom Dee Dee, brainwashed me to the point where I’d constantly tell myself that she really did love me/that she was mean to me because I somehow provoked her. And just like Gypsy, I held this huge secret inside of me, until three short years ago.

But I’m backing up a bit now, to say that sometime between the summer of 2014, to the spring of 2015, my then-boyfriend helped me obtain records from the courts that my bio mom had gone to throughout my life. The reason I wanted him to help me with this task, is because I’d begun to suspect that there was a huge part of my story that I didn’t know the truth about. And this suspicion of mine was true for two things, one of which was the fact that when I was three or four years old, my bio mom had claimed to the courts in San Antonio that I wouldn’t ever be able to have a meaningful life, given the fact I have multiple disabilities. And honestly, when I’d read through those court documents myself, I couldn’t believe what I’d read!! But knowing what I know now, I understand that my bio mom likely said this so that she could get people to feel sorry for the burdensome disabled child of hers that was me. But also, being armed with this new information confused the hell out of me, as there were times in my life when she (my bio mom) would say things to people like that she wanted me to be as independent as I could be. BULLSHIT!!! She wanted to keep me living under her roof forever, because as she’d said in those court documents I’d mentioned previously, I would have no ability to be a productive citizen.

So now, I’m moving onto the next surprise from more court documents that my bio mom had filed, without my knowledge. After I’d had her visit me in the hospital in spring 2015, and once I’d started to see her as that particular traumatic event dictated, I experienced some anger. This was weird to me, as I’d never experienced anger before…at least, not that I’d known. But as I’ve said in the previous paragraphs, this anger that I felt, lead me to want to get to the bottom of yet another part of my story that I knew my bio mom would never tell me the truth about. And it turned out that I’d never actually been adopted by my step-dad, the way the two of them (my bio mom and step-dad) had always told me was the case. All that they’d gotten the courts to do, was to change my last name from birth, to my step-dad’s last name. Finding out this news was devastating to me, as I’d trusted my bio mom and my step-dad to tell me the truth, whatever the truth happened to be at any given time. Hell, I think most kids would believe that their parents are telling them the truth, because parents are supposed to tell them, to tell us, the truth. But even so, there was another part of me that felt relieved: I knew the truth now. And even though it still took a few years for me to become empowered enough to determine how I could create a meaningful life for myself, that did happen, thankfully.

As I’d watched this show entitled The Act though, I noticed that as each episode ended and the credits were being shown, there was always a particular article that was referenced, where people could learn more about the real story that The Act was based off of. The article that kept getting mentioned in The Act was entitled Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter to be Sick; Gypsy Wanted Her Mom to be Murdered. The article was written by a writer named Michelle Dean. For anyone who wants to read the article which was originally posted on Buzzfeed a few years ago, said article can be found at
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/michelledean/dee-dee-wanted-her-daughter-to-be-sick-gypsy-wanted-her-mom

Now, my thoughts on this Buzzfeed article: first and foremost, the direct webpage that lead to this article, was clunky as fuck with VoiceOver on my iPhone. I even tried putting my phone’s internet browser, Safari, into what’s called “reader mode.” Because oftentimes when webpages act up like this when I’m using Safari on my phone, putting Safari into Reader Mode enables VoiceOver to have a much easier time reading the text of articles, news columns ETC. But in the case of reading this particular article, Reader Mode didn’t make it easier for VoiceOver to read the text within the article. But the thing was, I really wanted to read this piece, as I was curious about how this real story actually turned out. And so, given that I felt like I had enough energy to stick with Safari on my phone for awhile, I did make it through reading the entire thing. And one thing I found out through reading this article, was that the show The Act did seem to stick as closely to the article’s summary of the real events as it could. But also, I love that this article was extensive, both in terms of telling Gypsy’s story and then letting Gypsy tell her story in her own words. In the article, she said something like “I murdered my mom because I felt like taking that course of action was the only way I could get out of a bad situation.” And I get that, in a deep way that’s damn near impossible to express in writing.

Something in the book entitled COMING OUT ATHEIST that stood out to me, was Greta Christina discussing the various ways in which people respond to being asked which church they go to. And interestingly in my own life, I can say that I’ve responded differently to said question at certain times. So sometimes I’ve directly told folks that I’m not a church goer, using a tone of voice that’s meant to show disinterest in this topic. But then yet other times, I’ve told folks that I’m not religious. And honestly when I’d use that particular phrasing with people, the response I received from most folks was for them to start telling me about how God could heal my disabilities and change my life…as if my life were already miserable or something that needed to be fixed. And every single time that I received these crappy responses from people, I thought to myself something like “I wish I could tell these nosy assholes to stop assuming that every person on planet earth is religious.” But honestly, living in conservative San Antonio Texas AKA the Bible Belt for most of my life, I just kept quiet. And I don’t know what’s more sad, the fact that I didn’t tell others how I felt about them treating me this way, or the fact that people were so fucking arrogant as to assume that everyone else believed as they did.

Regarding the subject of coming out atheist in my own life, it’s been an interesting part of my journey. What I mean by that, is that even as a young adult, I came out as an atheist to people I knew would be a safe place for me to land, or people I suspected would be open and accepting of this part of my truth. I sometimes had conversations about my atheism with some people within my family of origin; but my Oma and Aunt Loretta were the only ones who accepted that I had different beliefs than the two of them in terms of religion or a lack thereof. In online spaces though, I’d fluctuate from being a loud out atheist, to doing my best to appear born-again Christian. That probably sounds like a weird cotradiction to folks, but it’s the truth. As I’ve said, living in the Bible Belt for most of my life, really caused me to go through hell internally with regards to lots of things…not just with regards to my atheism. And it also didn’t help that my family of origin constantly told me that any belief other than Christianity was invalid, not to mention immoral. But something else that I think made this crappy mind-set tough on me, was that when I lived in San Antonio for years, I could never even visualize an end to this torment. I’d literally resigned myself to what I thought would always be true: that these were the cards I was dealt…and that that was final…whether I liked it or not.

Yet something else in this book that stood out to me, was Christina’s point that things should never be one-sided when atheists are interacting with religious folks of any kind. So for example, if religious individuals want atheists to shut up about their atheism, it’s reasonable for atheists to ask that religious folks keep their religion to themselves. Similarly, if religious folks try to insist that atheists attend their churches, mosques, temples ETC, it’s within reason for atheists to demand that religious folks attend atheist conferences or any other kinds of atheist gatherings; it would even be within reason for atheists to encourage religious folks to read books that are specifically about atheism and specifically written by folks who are atheists. And it’s sad to say this, but before reading these particular words in this particular book, I hadn’t ever considered holding religious people to the exact same standards that they’d hold me to; and in fact, I’ve thought the opposite: that I’d be being rude if I told them exactly how I felt about them trying to convince me that my way of living was somehow wrong. And my reason for thinking this way, was because as I’ve said before, I didn’t want to act like them. But in reflecting on this now, I also think that this particular problem felt so big to me because I lived in the Bible Belt for so long. That being said, I do agree with this book’s author Greta Christina, that holding religious folks to the same standards as the ones they hold atheists to, should happen much more often than it does. I definitely want to become better about holding religious folks accountable, as that’s a step in the right direction toward unity as a whole.

Something I’ve been thinking about since I’ve been reading this particular book COMING OUT ATHEIST, is how I hate the terms “unbeliever” or “non-believer.” I know I’ve said this on my blog before, but it cannot be said enough. I’m not a non-believer. I believe in many things. I believe in myself and in my ability to always make the best possible decisions for myself. I believe in my medical team, current and future, to always have my best interest at heart. I believe that I’m worthy of all good things, and of adding limitless love to my life, for the rest of my life. I believe that sex is literally one of the best things on Planet Earth. I believe that sex positivity is one truth that helps make the world a better place. I believe that other human beings are generally good. I believe that others will make the best decisions for their lives that they can, as the individuals that they are. I could probably continue thinking of more things that I believe in, but I’m sure folks get the picture…so I’ll leave it at that.

I recently sent a message to my medical provider to ask them what their thoughts would be about me potentially returning to the campus I attend, in the fall. They said that this decision would ultimately be mine to make but to let them know what I’d ultimately decided. And so I wrote them a response. I then wrote the following Facebook status which reads:
Do I miss human contact? Yes, a bit. But am I willing to jeopardize my health at any point this year…just so multiple someones at school can get a paycheck from having my physical body there? Past Chelsea definitely would’ve not valued her health as much as Present Chelsea values her health. But Past Chelsea was not armed with all the needed information that would’ve been required for her to make informed consent. My medical team is still doing telehealth-for the foreseeable future…so my decision is made about what I’ll do for school in the fall.

But going back to the fact I miss human contact only a bit, I’m truly enjoying this time of isolation. I’m loving learning more about myself in ways that I might not have so easily thought of otherwise. I’m loving the opportunity I’ve been given to find new ways to express myself, both in writing and in other ways. I’m embracing this stillness rather than taking it for granted, simply because embracing it helps me feel as stress-free as possible. And in this time of worldwide uncertainty, a few things I know for sure is that I love myself, I have people in my life online and otherwise who love me…and no matter what, both of these things will never change. That is a huge comfort; please remember this for yourselves, too, that you are loved all of the time; you are worth being seen and heard all of the time. And lastly, you really do matter!!

Within the last week, I sent an email to the person who’s scheduled to be my instructor for this upcoming fall semester at school. Because in the mass emails that have been sent to everyone within school, the faculty has been encouraging us students to get in touch with our professors if we have any questions about how specific classes will be conducted. And so, given that I’m an immune-compromised person who is unwilling to put her health in jeopardy, I wanted to reach out to this instructor and give them a chance to tell me how this particular class will take place. Because although not likely, there is at least a chance that this class will be done using the Canvas app which is totally accessable with VoiceOver on my iPhone. But just a few days later, I received an email notifying me that I could be dropped from this class, if I don’t pay for the class soon. But we’ll just see what happens, I guess. Because I don’t feel like logging into my school account, as the college’s website is clunky as fuck, for this Voice Over user.

A random yet pleasant dream, more podcast thoughts, book reflections and life

I want to talk about some specific things in the Netflix show called The Society that stood out to me. One thing I felt very strongly about, was about the character named Campbell. When we the viewers first see Campbell interact with a character named Elle, I could tell that something was really off about him. And then as the show goes on, we get to a point where Campbell tries to kill Elle by pretending to have her drown in the bath tub at one of their homes. But not surprisingly, Campbell tries to convince Elle that he didn’t actually mean her any harm in doing that. She believes him; but then as the show continues, one of the kids tells Elle that if she wants to prevent Campbell from hurting anyone else, she (Elle) would have to murder him. And interestingly, Sam (who’s Campbell’s brother) also tells Elle and other kids that he (Sam) has known for years that Campbell is a danger to himself and others. And so, what actually ends up happening to Campbell, is that Elle tries to kill him, just as she’d been told to do by one of the kids. I can’t remember who it was that told her that helpful tip, though. All I know for sure, is that Elle made Campbell’s favorite kinda pie which she’d intentionally poisoned. And she’d planned for him to be the only one who would eat that pie; but instead, what happens is that Campbell insists that he and Elle take the pie to the place where most of the kids usually hang out with one another. She does her best to discourage the two of them from doing that, but things don’t go her way. In fact, many of the kids eat her pie, as does she…and everyone of course gets deathly ill. And as more kids are getting sick from the poison, Elle realizes that she’s in over her head with this situation. So she then confesses to Allie (who is essentially the leader of all the kids). Elle tells Allie that she (Elle) doesn’t deserve to stay with everyone, because of having poisoned the pie that she’d intentionally made to murder Campbell. But Elle also tells Allie that she (Elle) truly didn’t want anyone besides Campbell to get sick from the poisonous pie. But TBH, after all this happens, things are quite different between all of the kids. Like, no one seems to know who to trust anymore, no one knows why there are kids just randomly dying and no one seems to want to rat anyone out for being the perpatrator of the murders that happen throughout the show. And that’s literally where the first season of this show ends, with us the viewers being left on a cliffhanger about lots of unanswered things.

But once I’d finished watching The Society in full, I Googled something like “deaf character in The Society actually deaf.” Because when I’ve watched some shows in the past, I later learned that said shows didn’t actually have disabled actors in them…even when disabled characters were actually a part of the show. And that deeply troubled me, as people with disabilities deserve to be seen in mainstream media, just like anyone else is. So I was elated to discover that the deaf character in the show The Society, was indeed played by a person who’s deaf in their real life. And honestly, in reflecting about that now, I think who better to play disabled characters than actual disabled people!! I used to say that for myself, I’d hate it if I were type casted. However I’d honestly much rather be type casted than not, as non-disabled actors playing disabled characters is wrong for a few reasons, one of which is because non-disabled actors have no fucking clue what it’s like to live in the world as a disabled person. This makes such folks unfit for these kinds of roles, unless they’re able to talk extensively and work extensively with disabled people, to learn how to best portray their role of a disabled character. But even then, I don’t think that having able-bodied people play disabled characters should ever happen intentionally; another reason I think this is because having able-bodied folks play disabled folks gives society the wrong message of “it doesn’t really matter to the directors to type cast folks, as actors are actors.” But the thing is, the roles won’t necessarily look real or believable if the actors don’t have any lived experiences to pull from that makes those roles done better than well.

In an episode of the TED Radio Hour podcast, the new host whose name I don’t know how to correctly spell yet, talked to us the listeners about a few different ideas that people have about how to make the world a better place. In the first story, the host of the show talks with a couple folks who live in China, about how the Chinese government differs from the United States government. And the main point within this particular story, is that China as a whole has a community-oriented mind-set, whereas the US has an individualized mind-set. The main person who talks in this story though, openly shares how both America and China, think that the way the other country handles things, is poorly done. In the second story though, a woman talks about how in America, it’s actually more valuable to take care of people within minority groups, especially being that folks in minority groups are rarely thought of as valuable human beings who deserve to live functional, happy lives. But the next person that had something to say on this episode of TED Radio Hour, was my favorite guy EVER…NOT, Peter Singer.

An example that Peter Singer gave of his moral beliefs, was to say that he believes that it’s better to allocate money towards curing blindness for numerous people, than to give one person funding to get a guide dog. Another thing he said, was that he’s totally behind human beings allowing themselves to be put in contact with people who have Covid19…so that these volunteers can get said virus themselves…and them have themselves be test subjects as to whether vaccines for Covid19 will actually work to get rid of it. And with both of these examples, my thing is, who the hell does Peter Singer think he is, to spew such venom in the world? Who the fuck died and made him King Peter, decider of every individual’s moral compass!!! I know I’ve said this about him before, but he needs to exit stage left and at the snap of a finger, he needs to disappear from view…and never again be able to display what a monster he is.

The last person who’s a guest on this episode of TED Radio Hour, was a man who discussed that in order for the world to change what’s happening in it, people ought to rewrite the stories that we as a society tell ourselves. And that’s something I can relate to, as that’s been a huge part of the work I’ve done on myself these last few years: allowing myself to unlearn harmful thoughts and behaviors of mine…and then start/continue learn ing how I can become an even better version of myself than I’d ever imagined possible. And so, as this particular subject matter relates to what this guest on TED Radio Hour says about people of color (POC) is that he tells people of color that they too, have the right to make their individual and collective stories be what they (POC) want them to be…rather than POC feeling powerless to create the changes in the world that they desperately want to see and be a part of. And again, even though I myself am not a person of color, I do share people of color’s vision in terms of feeling hopeful that our tomorrows, that other people’s tomorrows, will be made up of no more police brutality, no more racism, no more homophobia and on and on and on. I personally have to keep feeling hopeful, as hope is one thing that keeps me going.

A recent episode of the Multiamory podcast talked with the day’s guest about how for some of us, a lot of our struggles in our lives come from religiously-oriented trauma that we’ve experienced. In addition to that though, shame follows closely behind the religiously-oriented trauma for me. A powerful example of shame in my own life stemmed from the fact that I was constantly told by people in society that I was the one who was totally responsible for the fact that I didn’t have a good relationship with my bio mom. But even though I was a child through much of this kinda talk, I had no earthly idea what a healthy relationship was even supposed to look like. I mean, even into my late 20s, I let the majority of society pressure me into keeping my bio mom around because I felt like it was better to have her around than to not have anyone in my life. But the thing is, what hindsight has taught me, is that I wouldn’t have been alone, even if I’d gotten numerous toxic people out of my life back then. That belief of mine was just a fear that my mind probably created, simply because I had a strong fear that literally everyone I knew would abandon me, at some point…all because my bio mom was never there for me in a meaningful way.

But that being said, it’s only been within these last few years that I’ve learned how to create and maintain healthy relationships with others…not including my bio mom and other family of origin folks. And it’s honestly been through reframing the way I think about forgiveness, that’s allowed me to forgive myself. Because the sad thing is, no one even told me that I ought to forgive myself, until fall 2017 when I started going to therapy. I know that’s probably hard to imagine for some folks, but it’s true nonetheless. And honestly, it’s ashame that most people are quick to blame the adult child for him or her not having a healthy relationship with their bio mom, instead of looking at the bio mom in question. But now that I think about it, it shouldn’t surprise me too much, as most people victim blame folks for getting raped or otherwise beaten up/abused. But that kinda shit needs to fucking stop, across the board, like, yesterday!! And what needs to happen, is that people ought to believe the folks who say that they’ve been assaulted. People ought to stop telling folks things like “well, you dressed like a slut, so how would you expect people to respond to that?” People ought to quit telling people to get over grief, sexual assault and other traumatic events that they’ve gone through. Because starting from a place of belief rather than mistrust, is the right step forward.

But in addition to what I’ve already mentioned in the previous paragraphs, I felt internalized shame growing up. And I know that that internalized shame was also brought on by much of society’s putting all the blame/responsibility on me to figure out how to fix my bio mom’s and my lack of a relationship with each other. But put another way, no one ever told me that my bio mom herself could also make different choices about how she treated me. As I’ve said above though, I had to hear that particular truth from several therapists as well as from friends of mine who I trusted, in order to actually believe in that truth myself. But nowadays, I feel like I’ve come full circle: I’m now the one who’s telling people that they don’t have to keep toxic family of origin around, just because the majority of society tells them that they should. I do what I can to empower people, as feeling empowered wasn’t something I had access to growing up.

But to be honest, hearing this episode of Multiamory brought up how much of my life has actually been spent battling internalized shame or shame that’s been done to me by others. And it was nice to hear that I’m not alone, as that particular truth can be hard to remember sometimes. And not just that, but I don’t think about this sort of thing often, as I don’t believe that it’s good to constantly think about the past. But I do feel like I say this a ton in my offline life, but the world would become a much better and brighter place if people always felt safe to share everything with one another. But unfortunately, I think that we still have a long way to go, where progress as it relates to this sort of thing is concerned. Hell, I don’t think we’ll make near the amount of progress as we should in my lifetime…but I hope to be proven wrong.

Now, I’ve gotten myself into thinking about what the world would be like if instead of abstinence-only education, adults told children the truth about sex being a normal and fun part of life for everyone who chooses to have it. If people gave children the honest truth about the different kinds of birth control that are available to folks, telling children that we grownups are fully aware that many of them will want to be sexually active…and that we’d be OK with them being sexually active, as we want them to have pleasureable experiences. If teachers told little boys as well as teenage boys, that they are never entitled to women’s bodies, just as women/other gendered folks are never entitled to anyone’s anything, that would be such a positive flip for our culture. If children as a whole were taught that consent does not just happen once a day, and that they should constantly be checking in with their sexual partners…and that their partners should constantly be checking in with them, there would likely be a lot less communication mishaps. If people felt safe enough all of the time, to ask people close to them if they’ve ever had experiences where they’ve consented to anything under pressure, that gesture alone would likely help people heal in a huge way. I know that for me, it’s been empowering to realize that I have a lot more power in my own life than I used to think I did.

In an episode of the Love Someone podcast, the host Delilah talked with a woman who’s trying to start an organization called Operation Happy Nurse. This particular organization would help nurses with creative things that they (nurses) can do to help themselves unwind after having worked long hours. Some of these things that this nurse has already talked about that will likely be powerful, are starting a book club, using adult coloring books and even having message boards where nurses can go to be heard by other folks who are nurses that are going through similar things as one another. I think it’s great that the woman who created this nonprofit organization, is willing to do what it takes to help others in need. Aside from the fact that she’s a nurse herself, I think that now more than ever, we as a society need to find and create more ways to be compassionate towards others…and ourselves. Because as I’ve said on my blog before, uniting with one another is what will make the world better than it was before we were a part of it. We don’t have to like the way republicans believe the world works, to accept that republicans and democrats fundamentally see the world differently than one another. But we also don’t have to let folks walk all over us, either. And I think more people could stand to hear these truths spoken out loud.

In an episode of the This American Life podcast, the show’s host Ira Glass and coworkers of his first told a story about a firefighter who was very vocal in sharing his opinion that firefighters as a whole should change the way they operate. This vocal man realized that there was a lot of things that were wrong within the fire department such as racism and sexism. And being that he was a non-conformist, he did what he’d thought was the right thing: spoke up about his non-traditional beliefs and fought hard for the changes that he wanted to see fire departments make. He had some supporters behind him, but mostly, people were pissed off at him rocking the boat so to speak. But in reflecting about this choice of his at a later time, he acknowledged that maybe he had unreasonable expectations, in that he wanted to see positive results happen at the snap of a finger. And of course, life doesn’t actually work that way. And ultimately, what ended up happening to this guy, was that he was fired from his fire department. That news honestly made me sad because I very much identified with his mission. But also, I wish more people had taken the time to try and understand where he was coming from, rather than seeing him as the bad apple that they needed to get rid of, just because they didn’t understand him/why he had the particular point of view about the fire department culture that he did.

The last story on this episode of This American Life, was about a girl who was starved of her mom’s attention. This girl talked about how her mom preferred to play an online game where she (the mom) could create the family that she’d wanted. And the girl named Katie whose story this was, also discussed how in this online game that her mom was playing, the Katie person didn’t look like Katie looked in real life. And in Katie’s real life, she (Katie) became so disturbed by this online gaming habit of her mom’s, that she (Katie) decided to take matters into her own hands. One day while her mom was sleeping, Katie totally did away with her mom’s online family creation. She accomplished this by literally making this family’s online house burst into flames. And once that had happened, Katie was literally the only one in this online family who was left. And while she (Katie) knew that taking this particular action would be risky, she hoped that doing this would make her mom wake up to how harmful this online family creation of hers (the mom’s) had become for her family in real life, including her (the mom) even though she (the mom) didn’t realize it. And honestly, this story resonated with me, as for many years, I tried to win my own bio mom over. But literally nothing I ever did, accomplished that goal of mine. But thankfully, I eventually realized and accepted the truth: that my bio mom would never see me as the light that I truly am. And honestly, my life has been much better since then. Like, a huge weight has seriously been lifted off of my shoulders since I’ve accepted that.

I’ve recently started reading another book that’s by Greta Christina (one of my favorite authors). This book is called COMING OUT ATHEIST: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why. For any blind readers who might find this particular detail interesting, the entire phrase in the title “coming out atheist” is written in all caps. I’m guessing that it’s done this way for emphasis; but also along those same lines, one of the first things that Greta Christina mentions in this book that stands out to me, is that some people who are atheist intentionally don’t capitalize words like “god” or “he” or “him” when these words are referring to the specific higher power known as God. I bring this particular thing up because it’s something that I honestly hadn’t thought about questioning within myself. And yet something else in this book that I hadn’t thought about much in awhile, is the reason behind why I don’t usually proclaim my atheism much in my offline life. And one of the first things that Christina correctly hits on, is that some of us atheists think to ourselves “the last thing I want to do, is to be just like Jesus-freak Christians who constantly shove the message of God down our throats. Because if I were to openly discuss my atheism, doing that would be no different from the kinda Christians I’ve just mentioned.” And I’ve honestly been one of these people who hasn’t spoken out about these beliefs of mine in my offline life very much for this exact reason. But that being said, Greta Christina does have a valid point in this book though, in suggesting that folks who are atheists be unapologetic about that truth…even if they rarely engage others in deep discussions about this truth. I could totally see how this suggestion of hers really could and does make a huge difference in the world, though.

Within the past week, I logged into the MyChart app because I wanted to delete the messages that I no longer needed to keep. So I’d put VoiceOver’s cursor on one message at a time and then I’d swiped down with one finger. And once I heard VoiceOver say “delete,” I tried to delete said message. But upon doing that, MyChart brought up a message on its screen that said something like “it isn’t possible to delete messages that you haven’t read yet.” So I had to go through all of the messages that I’d received; this process was not quite as bad as I thought it would be. But I’m hopeful that either MyChart comes up with an option that allows people to select multiple messages to delete at once…or that MyChart will allow people to swipe down on each message and delete each one individually whether those messages have been read or not.

Also within the past week, I had a dream that I was a student at the college I want to go to, after I get as much community college out of the way as I can. And in this dream, I vividly remember being at this big university, hanging out with people and enjoying the environment as a whole. And honestly, it makes sense that I’d dream something of this nature because I’ve been thinking about this particular dream of mine a lot lately. Because given how things are currently so uncertain in the world, I feel like this big life goal of mine, someday making it to an actual university, might not ever happen. And I hate that, as I truly want to continue furthering my education.

Also recently, I had my caretaker create a custom-made phone case for me. This particular discussion came up between him and I because I was thinking of more ways that I could be creative in terms of how I outwardly express myself. And so, one of the things I immediately thought to do, was to create a phone case that I felt represented who I am. So I took some time to think about how I’d like to design said phone case and I ultimately came up with a design that I liked: the words “I’m gay,” with a mostly clear phone case. I wanted to have the mostly clear case because I wanted people to still be able to see my yellow iPhone. What I didn’t learn until I actually received this phone case though, was that the lettering on the case was done in black. And also upon receiving this phone case, I noticed that this case is thinner than my other phone case is. The thinness of this new one took me a bit of time to get used to…but over all, I love it!!

Assorted book, TV show and podcast thoughts

I just finished reading a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. This book is buy a man named Mark Manson and this time reading it for me was the second time doing so. The main message that I’ve taken away from this book this time around, is that human beings figuring out what they truly care about in life…and then living their lives with those values in mind, is how to live well. I totally agree with that truth; it’s something that’s helped me keep my own core values in mind, both as they currently are and as they evolve. I love the way Mark Manson’s blunt approach demonstrates to his readers that he means exactly what he says. If you’ve read my blog for long enough, you know that I too, value straightforwardness, over trying to use pretty-sounding language that causes what you’re saying to lose its urgency and meaning ETC. Hell, I used to use such confusing language myself; but within these last three years, I’ve really decided to change that part of myself. Because quite frankly, what I was doing was essentially helping myself break my own heart…because I cared too damn much about how others saw me. Whereas now, the only thing that’s important to me, is living my truth, every second of every day; and I know that doing that will definitely piss off people. But I also know that the right people, the folks who are my tribe, will love this about me because they’ll know that I love this about me.

But that being said, something about this book that I found incredibly frustrating, was that the book was mainly written for people who ascribe to America’s traditional hetero-normative culture. And along with that, the author of this book talked shit about people who have casual sex and non-monogamous sex. Like, on one hand, he talked about how he’d had such relationships himself…but how now that he’s in a monogamous marriage, casual sex became among the things that he now hates. This rubs me the wrong way because I don’t think it’s respectable for people to negatively judge something that’s different from how they live, especially when they used to do said thing themselves. Look, I get that Mark Manson is probably happy in his monogamous marriage; that’s great!! But instead of saying something in this book like “I’m happy in my marriage but I don’t judge folks who live differently than I do,” he chose to be an asshole/exactly like the kinda people he’d continually claim to despise throughout this book.

Yet another thing in the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck that stood out as problematic to me, was Mark Manson’s belief that human beings are not worthy or special in any way. I take that way of thinking as being ironic, being how in this very book, he encourages people, several times at that, to care about things and to care about fellow human beings. I personally believe that each individual in the world has things to teach others, whether those teachings are good or bad. I also believe that us creating a legacy for ourselves and others, that will live on even after we’re dead, is a good use of one’s time. Mark Manson seems to suggest that all of these things are pointless. And that is ironic because he fucking wrote a book in which he gives people advice on the best way he thinks fellow humans ought to live their lives.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately, is how in the book entitled More Than Two, the book’s authors kept coming back to something that I think is important to remember and discuss: the fact that in being polyamorous, we who are poly could get to a point where we unintentionally objectify human beings that we are or will be in relationships with. Hell, I do remember writing about this sort of thing on my blog before, just not in these exact words; because I do remember a time not too long ago in my own life when I realized that I was trying to build a person in certain ways…but it didn’t take me long to realize that I was headed right towards acting like most of my family of origin had acted towards me. And almost immediately, that particular realization stopped me in my tracks: because I didn’t and don’t want to live like those people do. But ultimately, I brought this up in relation to the book More Than Two because I love the way that the book’s authors articulated this concept of the importance of not treating people like objects. It’s really a great reminder and one that I definitely needed! Because until I re-read that particular book/listened to tons of Multiamory episodes, I didn’t think about how me trying to custom-build the kind of people I wanted to be in romantic relationships with, was actually harmful. But I’m glad that I had this wake-up call nonetheless.

More Than Two’s authors also stress to their book readers that we ought to move away from thinking in terms of staying in relationships that are not adding to our happiness…and start thinking in terms of allowing all of our relationships to evolve into whatever it is that they are all meant to evolve into. I honestly loved this part of this book because it was validating in terms of acknowledging the fact that this adjustment wouldn’t be easy for folks to make…but it would likely be worthwhile. I love that these authors acknowledge that this is an option that is available to people, besides just monogamy.

In a recent episode of Multiamory, Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about how living with romantic partners can sometimes become like living with our parents. I was filled with excitement when I heard VoiceOver on my phone read out that they were opening up this specific can of worms. Because this is something that I’ve thought about quite a bit myself; in fact, it’s one reason why I will likely never live with any of my romantic partners. Not only do I love my alone time and my own space, but I also love that that space was and is something that I totally create myself. Because oftentimes, when I’ve shared living spaces with partners of mine, I’ve not only felt like their moms…but I was often expected to do things that were and are physically hard for me to do. And as I’ve said before, in literally all of my past relationships with people, romantic or otherwise, I didn’t know that I had the right to speak up for myself. So I just let a lot of shit slide, that I could’ve actually spoken up about, if I’d known that speaking up was actually possible. But upon reflecting on this now, I realize that this view I had, was given to me by my fucking family of origin.

I feel like nearly all of my unhealthy responses/behaviors exist because I’ve had such bad examples as role models. I mean, I know for a fact that many folks in my family of origin see marriage as a trap/as something that is not meant for anyone to enjoy. I also know for a fact that many women in my family of origin believe that men as a whole would not be able to function, if it weren’t for those women mothering them. I know for a fact that many women in my family of origin blame other people for their problems; I know this because I’ve seen these people do that, more times than I can count. I know for a fact that numerous women in my family of origin believe that they are always right, simply because they are Christians. And so, I knew that I’d have fun writing about this particular episode of Multiamory…because family of origin bullshit is something I have plenty of stories about. LOL.

But backing up a bit, I want to say that something else that rubs me the wrong way about living with romantic partners, is the way that people think of couples. Like, whenever I’ve lived with folks in that particular context, people who’d see my partners and I, would assume that neither of us is an individual any more, because we’re in a romantic relationship with each other. And hell, I myself have even been guilty of subconsciously allowing myself to believe that as being the truth. But nowadays, I find such assumptions annoying and toxic as fuck. No one should ever lose themselves, whether they are married, pregnant or otherwise in relationships with people.

I want to go back for a second to talk about how through my family of origin, I was made to believe that literally all men were incapable of doing things for themselves. I vividly remember many of the women in my bio family constantly reminding the men in their lives how to be adults…and honestly, I never thought to question that particular thing until I became an adult myself. And so, what I started thinking about, was how the men behaved when these women would treat them this way. And right away, I realized that the men in their lives probably felt helpless and frustrated. But for the longest time, I didn’t know how to go about changing myself so that I wouldn’t fall into this same trap. And sadly though, I mostly stopped treating men this way in the last romantic relationship I was in. It was incredibly difficult to change this within myself…but I knew that I didn’t want to treat men in a toxic manner, just because I saw my family of origin do so for years.

In a recent episode of the Invisibilia podcast, the host of the show told a story about a man in another country who had become popular…but in the worst possible way. What I mean by that, is that he was one of many targets made by big companies. So this man received thousands upon thousands of emails, text messages and phone calls a day. He’d also had complete strangers showing up at his house on a regular basis. It was insane; but it turned out that this harassment that this man dealt with for years and years was still going on even earlier this year. But thankfully, people in power started doing what they could to help make this harassment stop. But honestly, it was interesting to me because the constant evolution of technology continues to make this sort of thing easily accessible to people who want to do bad things. And that’s something about the world that I hate with a passion.

But that being said, hearing this particular story on the Invisibilia podcast, made me think about a couple times in my own life where I became extremely paranoid. One of those times happened at the church I recently talked about having Bible study with. In fact, I believe that the reason this happened, was because of the elderly lady who didn’t respect my wishes to keep most of my contact information private. And so, what happened was that a month or so after I’d met one of the newest members in this group, I received a call from a police department. Now, I knew even then, that policemen don’t just randomly call strangers. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it was that I’d done for them to call me. So when I called the policeman back, I let him tell me what was going on. And it turned out that one of the women in this Bible study group I was a part of, the woman who was the most recent new group member, in fact, had apparently been stalking me. I was told by the policeman that this woman had gotten all of my information from the roster that had been passed around within the group. And honestly, I knew that something like this was totally possible; that was why I’d said to the group that I only wanted them to have my email address. Because honestly, I’d gotten a horrible feeling about the group’s newest member when I’d met her. But even so, I never expected any police department to call me.

But anyway, going back to the story of the phone call I’d gotten from a policeman: when I was asked by him if I knew this lady’s last name, I said that I didn’t. And so, it was at that point that he told me that she’d claimed I’d helped her steal a car. The policeman then assured me that he’d already looked into who I was. So he knew that I’m blind, he knew that I was a poor person and he knew that I received help from the Blind Services department in San Antonio. He told me all of these things specifically, as I didn’t say much to him, other than giving him my name and saying I was returning his call. And then once he’d given me the information I’d hoped he’d discovered, he let me know that he just wanted to call me because he thought I deserved to know the lengths to which this creepy woman had gone to try and hurt my reputation. And even though this conversation with him was scary, I did my best to not let that fear show itself. I remained paranoid until I finally moved out of that apartment though, because of this lady but also because of my family of origin.

Speaking of my family of origin, many of these people were another reason for my paranoia at this same apartment. And so, what happened with these folks likely happened because my Oma (grandma in German), Oma’s friends or my Aunt Loretta told the bad folks where I lived. Because at that time, my Aunt Loretta and Oma visited me regularly. Sometimes the two of them would come to my apartment together, other times I’d go to one of their houses and yet other times one of them would come to my apartment. But back then I didn’t understand that my bio mom was still a relative of theirs, even though she was abusive to me. The only thing I knew, was that somehow my bio mom and other family members who I didn’t want to have that sensitive information, did have that information. And unfortunately, I also didn’t understand back then that I didn’t have to keep toxic people in my life, even if the toxic people in question were related to me by blood. So I didn’t stand up for myself and once my unwanted family members started showing up at my apartment, I was miserable there. My PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, became what felt like the worst it’s ever been. And even more unfortunately, I remained miserable and paranoid until January 31st 2018: my last day in that apartment…and my nearly 7th year in said apartment. It was definitely no way to live.

A show that my caretaker recently told me about, is called The Society; and I binge-watched the entire season of the show in just a few days. The reason it took me a few days to watch it though, rather than just a couple days to do so, is because this show’s contents are heavy…and because I feel everything so deeply as an empath, I needed to take breaks from watching this show. Hell, I often need to take breaks from watching most things, for this particular reason. LOL.

But now, I’ll go into what The Society is about: it’s about a group of high school children who are mysteriously taken to a place that looks exactly like the town they came from. But in this place that they’d been taken to, there are no adults there at all. And so, the children have to work together to figure out how they’re going to survive. But being that they are teenagers already dealing with hardships, they all experience additional ups and downs with each other…and the fact that they have to figure out how to create this new world for themselves, only compounds their wide range of feelings. So needless to say, I’m ready for season two of The Society to be released. But I’m not sure when that’s going to happen.

What my dream home would be like…

In thinking about what kinda design I’d like my dream home to have, I’ll start by saying that money isn’t an issue here. I’m just writing this post for fun and not-so-secretly hoping that someone who could actually make this happen reads this blog post. I know that’s a longshot, though. But at the same time, I do also know that there are people in the world who want to help people meet their needs…so one of them could be pointed to this post of mine.
But anyway, given that money isn’t an issue here, I’d like to have a small one-bedroom house all to myself. I’d love for my house’s entryway to have a stair-free flat-ground into and out of the house. I wouldn’t mind if at most, there is a small lip in the threshold of the doorway that my wheelchair could easily move on or off of. And then, as folks who are sighted walk into my house, they’d see a huge picture kinda high up on the wall of a train. This picture would take up a lot of wall space. But below that picture though, folks would see a huge picture of a horse. This picture too, would take up a lot of wall space. And then right as folks would turn the corner that goes into the living room area, they’d see a medium-sized waterfall. And in case this is unclear to anyone, trains, horses and waterfalls are three things that I’ve always loved.

In my living room area, there would be no pictures on any of the walls, as I’d want folks who visit me to fully absorb the audio sounds within this room…and allow themselves to totally relax and enjoy these experiences. But I do envision having a BlueTooth surround sound system, like the ones that movie theaters have. But my surround sound system would be different, in that I’d also want said system to be voice-activated for literally everything from its setup, to resetting itself if need be, to adding new BlueTooth devices to it. This surround sound system would have the capability to have an unlimited number of BlueTooth devices connected to it at any time. This amazing system would have its own built-in virtual assistant named Farty McFaddin, similar to, but better than Alexa or Siri combined. One thing that imaginary Farty McFaddin would be able to do that neither Alexa or Siri currently does, is that it would tell me how much battery is left on whichever of my BlueTooth devices I want to check the status of at any given time. This system would also make a sound that would let me know when any of my connected devices are about to die. These settings could be brought up by me saying “Alexa, Siri or Farty McFaddin, open my customizable settings.” And any of those virtual assistants would be able to walk me through changing whichever settings that I want to change. In addition, this system would have a charging dock on it for my phone; and it would make a different sound to let me know when the device finishes charging. But also, Farty McFaddin could call a service like Life Alert, if I ever fell down or somehow got seriously hurt at home…and I needed immediate medical attention or the police’s help.

So for example, I could say “Farty McFaddin, call for help.” And from that point, my virtual assistant could ask me “would you like to call from this particular BlueTooth device that you are currently using, or from your phone?” Then using only my voice, I could speak aloud which device I wanted it to use. But also, if I was in a situation where I needed to call for help because someone was actively hurting me, I could say “Farty McFaddin, buy me a cookie” or some other random phrase. And Farty McFaddin would know that that particular phrase is code for “get me help but do it silently,” as I’m unable to answer any questions right now. And if that were to really happen in this dream house of mine, I’d probably have to deal with the police showing up as well as the paramedics showing up. But I’d rather have too many people arrive than none at all.

I’d also put a bad-ass stereo system in the living room area of my house, as I’m quite an audio nerd. But just as a reminder, this particular room in my house would be designed for folks to unwind and enjoy these experiences. And even though I’m talking about an entirely different system now, the same exact specks that I’ve mentioned above will apply here. However I’ll put all of the specks here again. That way, people can easily get the full context.
So this stereo system of mine would be voice-activated for literally everything from its setup, to resetting itself if need be, to adding new BlueTooth devices to it. This system would have the capability to have an unlimited number of BlueTooth devices connected to it at any time. It would have its own built-in virtual assistant named Farty McFaddin similar to, but better than Alexa or Siri combined. One thing that imaginary Farty McFaddin would be able to do that neither Alexa or Siri currently does, is that it would tell me how much battery is left on whichever of my BlueTooth devices I want to check the status of at any given time. This system would also make a sound to let me know when any connected devices are about to die. These settings could be brought up by me saying “Alexa, Siri or Farty McFaddin, open my customizable settings.” And any of those virtual assistants would be able to walk me through changing whichever settings that I want to change. In addition, this stereo system would have a charging dock on it for my phone; and it would make a different sound to let me know when the device finishes charging. But also, Farty McFaddin could call a service like Life Alert, if I ever fell down or somehow got seriously hurt at home…and I needed immediate medical attention or the police’s help.

I’d also love to have a spacious bathroom that my wheelchair could comfortably fit in and move around in. And also in this spacious bathroom, I’d like to have a walk-in shower with railings all around the shower area, with a foldable seat that’s attached to one of the shower walls. That way, I’d have the freedom to choose when I want to stand up/when I want to sit down. Having a spacious bathroom would also give me plenty of room to take my leg braces off before I shower…and plenty of room to put them back on once I’m out of the shower. In the bathroom, I’d also have a huge BlueTooth speaker. And said speaker would have the same exact specks as the items have that I’ve prreviously mentioned. This BlueTooth speaker of mine would be voice-activated for literally everything from its setup, to resetting itself if need be, to adding new BlueTooth devices to it. This BlueTooth speaker would have the capability to have an unlimited number of BlueTooth devices connected to it at any time. It would have its own built-in virtual assistant similar to, but better than Alexa or Siri combined. One thing that this imaginary virtual assistant would be able to do that neither Alexa or Siri currently does, is that it would tell me how much battery is left on whichever of my BlueTooth devices I want to check the status of at any given time. This BlueTooth speaker would also make a sound to let me know when any connected devices are about to die. These settings could be brought up by me saying “Alexa, Siri or Farty McFaddin, open my customizable settings.” And any of those virtual assistants would be able to walk me through changing whichever settings that I want to change. In addition, this system would have a charging dock on it for my phone; and it would make a different sound to let me know when the device finishes charging. But also, this speaker system could call a service like Life Alert, if I ever fell down or somehow got seriously hurt at home…and I needed immediate medical attention or the police’s help.

In addition to the things that I’ve already mentioned about this imaginary but lovely dream of a house for myself, I’d have accessories throughout the house that are connected via BlueTooth to my Amazon Echo Dot as well as to my phone. These particular accessories would allow me to say “Alexa, turn off the lights in the entire house.” Having the ability to do this would come in handy for me, most especially because whenever I’d have guests over at this imaginary house, most likely those guests would be sighted…and I know that sighted people always turn on all the lights that are available to them. So once sighted folks have left my house, being able to quickly use my voice to make sure that all of the lights are turned off, the windows and blinds are closed and the shades are pulled down for privacy, would truly be awesome.

But something else that these accessories could do for me, would be that they could allow me to control my home thermostat and my home heater, using only my voice. So I could say “Alexa, what is the current temperature in my house?” And Alexa could speak aloud the answer to that question. Or my phone could tell me the answer to that question, by popping up a notification on my phone that VoiceOver would speak aloud to me. Alexa or my phone could then ask me “would you like to change the house’s temperature?” And I could use my voice and say yes or no to that question. And if I do want to change my house’s temperature at any time, after hearing my “yes,” Alexa or my phone could ask what I want to change the temperature to…and then whichever device I was using at the time could change the temperature to whatever I want it to be. But in addition to that, using the home app that Apple has already created, I could control the thermostat and the heater at my house…even if I’m away from home. I could also say “Alexa, make sure that the front door is locked” which would allow me to work smarter rather than harder.

If I ever wanted to cook myself a little something, I could have a robot in my kitchen that would do the physical labor of the cooking process for me, such as transferring things from the stovetop into the oven…and even transferring things from the oven to a flat surface like a counter. There would only be one button on this robot, and this button would be to wake the machine up. There would be a small toggle switch on this robot that would have three settings: it could be pushed all the way to the left, it could be pushed to its middle setting and it could be pushed all the way to the right: its last setting. The setting on the far left could be for kitchen-related things, the middle setting could turn the robot completely off…and when pushed all the way to the right, the robot’s last setting could signify that I want the robot to read print mail aloud to me. But before I go any further, I want to also say that the countertops in my kitchen would be lower than normal. That way, I could comfortably sit in my wheelchair and have the freedom to choose when and how long I want to stand. But also, the stove, the oven, the dishwasher, the microwave and the toaster, would all be voice activated. All of these items would also speak aloud to me though, in terms of walking me through each of their assorted settings and making me aware of what options are available if say, I want to use particular settings on specific devices all of the time. For example, I know that I like my toast to be a bit crunchy; so I’d probably set my toaster’s default settings to ensure that that preference of mine happens by default, unless it’s changed by someone. I also know that when using a microwave, I’d want my microwave to speak aloud its assorted options, as I’m using its touchscreen. So like, the microwave could say “popcorn” to let me know that the button I’ve pressed is the one that pops popcorn. And the same thing would apply to the defrost button: I’d hear my microwave say “defrost” and I’d know that that action is what my microwave is doing right then. But in addition to these things, I’d also have an ice maker and a water filter that could be refilled when needed, by this robot I’ve been talking about.

And just like every other gadget in my house, this robot that I’ve talked about in the above paragraphs, would mostly be voice activated…for everything from setting the machine up, to resetting the device if need be, and letting me know when its battery needs to be recharged. But if this particular technology works as it would work in my mind’s eye, this robot would put itself on its charger every single time it’s finished helping me with whatever it is that I need it to do at any given time. Like, as soon as I’d say “Robot, read the piece of mail that I’m holding,” it would do so easily, having no trouble deciphering the print…even if it was hand-written print that was on the mail. And so, once the robot had read my mail aloud to me, it would ask “is there anything else I can help you with?” And if I answered “no” to that question, the robot would say “OK, I’m going to sleep,” and then move itself right to its charger, until the next time when I’d push its wake-up button.

In my laundry room, I’d have a washer and dryer that are both voice activated…for everything from setting each of the appliances up, to resetting each of the appliances if need be. This washer and dryer combination of mine would automatically have its default setting set to voicing aloud what’s on the screen of each machine. The dryer in particular would monitor the lent holder. A voice would speak aloud when it was time for me to dump the lent holder’s contents into a trash can, saving me from having to bend over and check the lent holder for myself. This washer and dryer combination would have a thermometer on its inside that would tell me if the clothes in each machine were not all the way done, if the clothes were too wet or if either machine wasn’t working as it should be.

Weird dreams, thoughts on disability, school, world happenings and more

There are a lot of fucked up things happening in the world right now but as I’ve said here before, I’m not looking at social media unless people tag me in things or tell me to look up something specific. But that being said, I do want to acknowledge that I never thought I’d live in a world that’s so broken, from the United States President, to the Republican party and its supporters. But we do live in such a world unfortunately…and the only way I’ve found to best take care of myself, is through writing about other things, through thinking about other things. But I’m acknowledging this now, as I don’t want to give the idea to anyone that I’m unaware of the collective heartbreaks that are currently happening, or that I don’t care about the horrible things we’re currently facing worldwide. I do care about these things deeply…and I hope that somehow, some way, the world as a whole does see a productive way to end this fiasco sooner rather than later.

But interestingly, my caretaker recently asked me why I thought people have been protesting/destroying businesses lately. And I told him that I think these things are being done because taking these specific actions are likely the only way that people feel they’ll be listened to by the world at large. I made it clear to him that I don’t think that the ways in which they’re getting their message across are necessarily healthy for anyone. Look, I’m all for people protesting/doing what they feel is needed, to hopefully solve a problem that’s gotten out of hand. Hell, I myself have even protested in public, several times in my life. But the reason I’m against these sorts of actions as things stand in the world right now, is because Covid19 is still very much with us. And so, even though what’s been in the news as of late, is strictly about the protests/murders of African-Americans, that does not mean that Covid19 has disappeared. No one knows when we as a world will be recovered from Covid19, or if we even will recover from it. But I personally choose to take the high road and have hope that all of the world’s current insanity will only be a distant and unpleasant memory for us, at some point.

Something else that I haven’t written about lately, is the ever-changing positions that the college I attend, has gone through in terms of whether anyone will be allowed on campus in the near future. And I get it, things change rapidly because more hiccups happen in the world, possibly more things give people with power reasons to slow down that they might not have predicted at first. But for me, no matter what the college I attend ultimately decides to do in the near future, I’m going to follow the advice of my medical team. And for me, that course of action is non-negotiable: because in my past, I’ve tried to live as someone who could make myself not give into my serious health issues putting me in a hospital at any given time. I’m ashamed to say that I drank the harmful societal Kool aid: this belief that said serious health conditions would only get in the way of me living my life if I let them do so. It didn’t help that I had toxic people in my life who mirrored that same way of thinking. But thankfully, I’ve realized, mostly through my own experiences, that that simply isn’t the way things work. Or put another way, my serious health conditions I have, will be with me for the rest of my life…whether I like that or not. And the only thing about that truth that I can control, is regularly keeping up with my medical appointments and then keeping my medical team aware of everything I’m going through. And even though it somewhat pains me to have been given such tough circumstances in life, I’m no longer willing to lie to myself and act like that is not actually true for me. I don’t have to like all of my truth, to accept that ugly things are as much a part of my truth as good things are a part of it.

Speaking of things that I haven’t written about here in awhile, the idea I’ve had about having a custom-made walking cane for myself has had some new developments happen. Mainly, the person I’d originally asked to create this cane for me, has had to put their woodwork creations on hold for an unknown amount of time. So upon finding this bit of news out, I went through the entire message thread between this person and I; that way, I could save all of the information I’d need about this custom walking cane creation that I envision for myself. And once I’d saved that info to my phone, I sent a message to the friend of mine who’d helped me pick out the Britney Spears outfit that I’d purchased late last year. In the message I’d sent this friend, I asked them if they’d be interested in helping me search for a company or individual that could make this dream of mine come true. My friend said that they’d be happy to help me and then gave me the website and name of a company to contact. This friend of mine also spent some time looking for a design that would allow me to scream my LGBTQ love to the entire world; but this friend told me that finding a rainbow design to fit this purpose/walking cane was actually proving to be much harder than they’d thought it would be. So I emailed this business that my friend had given me the contact information for, told this business that I’m blind and asked if they’d be OK with me sharing my idea for the walking cane and potentially asking them other visually-related things. They responded saying that would be fine but TBH, I’m pretty nervous about what their answer might be, given what my friend had said about not being able to find LGBT-pride designs that were made for other people’s walking canes.

The phrase “different abilities” disgusts me!!! I’m disabled, not “differently abled” or any other fluffy jargon that many sighted people often use to make themselves feel better about the existence of people with disabilities. I know I’ve blogged about this hatred of mine pretty recently, and I know that it was when I was reading the book entitled When God Rescripts Your Life. But I think this sort of thing cannot be said too much; because the majority of the world still treats us as disabled folks like aliens. The majority of the world still desexualizes me as a disabled person. There are even folks in the world who are so ashamed to call me disabled, that they’ll use phrases like “you have special powers” because that phrase likely makes them feel better about their interactions with me. And so to me, such phrases totally erase my identity, similarly to the way someone might tell a person of color “I don’t see your color,” erasing their entire identity…just like that. So if you’re someone who wants to do better, please do. If you aren’t sure what you could do to become better, ask me; I’ll happily have as in-depth a discussion about it as you would like us to.

I had a recent dream that I was back at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). In this dream, TSBVI was exactly how I remembered it, when I was a student there. But also, in this dream, I had eyesight…and that part of this dream will be meaningful a bit later on. So at first, I was in the cafeteria hanging out with some friends; but then I rolled myself to the big gym, where the occupational therapy/physical therapy department was located. But as I was on my way to the big gym, I heard a familiar voice. But when I said hi to the person as they walked right by me, it was as if they didn’t even know that I was there. But then when I’d finally gotten to the big gym, I could tell right away that there was a piece of paper covering the little window in the door of the OT/PT department; and I wanted to know what it was. But I woke up before I could get the answer to that question. Weird dream, I know.

I had another weird dream recently that I woke up from feeling dazed. But also, even though I was awake after the dream had happened, I was still like, unable to register that I’d just had a weird dream that was scary…but that even so, this dream wasn’t reality. But anyway, what I remember of the dream, was that I was at an unknown place with at least two strangers. And these strangers both knew that I was an atheist. And each of them felt like it was their duty to convince me why I should believe in God. I also remember the three of us having a conversation about the fact that all I wanted to do was to go to my grandma’s house…and these women both saying that they wouldn’t allow me to go back to my grandma’s house, unless I told them I believed in God. And it was as if they’d paralyzed me; but then I awoke from the dream…and that was the end of that weirdness.

I recently wrote a short status on Facebook that I’m going to expand on here. What I wrote reads:
A powerful insight of a sentence that sums me up perfectly is: Death informs how I live my life!! And what I mean by this, is that thinking daily about the deaths of people I deeply care about, has a huge affect on how I live my life/how I move through the world. But also, the fact that I think of my own eventual death on a daily basis, informs how I live my life/how I move through the world. Because thinking about these things intentionally and consciously, helps me be mindful of how I treat people; because ultimately, what I want to leave behind for the world when I die, is that I was someone who stood up for things I thought were right. I want to leave behind that I was someone who frequently reflected on her life and strived to be the best version of myself that I could be. I want people to be inspired by the fact I didn’t take any shit from anyone, no matter who it was that we’d be talking about.

One of my Facebook friends recently wrote something that resonated with me; more specifically, this person’s writing was about the harmfulness of the American flag and of white people from the south demonizing people of color or other folks who are in minority groups. The response I wrote to this writing of theirs, with some expansion, reads:
As a Texas born-and-raised girl myself, I very much identify with everything you’ve said here. What your writing made me think of in my own life, was how much internalized homophobia I had for 30 of my 32 years of life. I was put through conversion therapy, physically and verbally abused by multiple people, you name it. I even remember being encouraged by elderly women at church in Texas to go to specific people within this church, to have those people tell me how I could stop talking shit about the woman who gave birth to me. It was awful. But honestly, what you’ve written is powerful. It absolutely needed to be said. I’m proud that you’ve taken a stand for what you believe in and I’m proud to call you someone I love dearly. I really do hope that your words encourage white people to examine everything that they’ve ever been taught about the American flag and about equal rights for minority groups of any sort. Because being that I myself lived in the south for most of my life just as you did, I can say that it was hard as fuck for me to decide to question what I’d always been told by my family of origin. But then there honestly came a point in my life where it became physically and emotionally painful for me not to tell my truth…and so, I figured out what was important to me and then changed my life accordingly. I’ve loved my life ever since, even in the moments that have been traumatic/otherwise tough.

Within the last week or so, I’ve discovered that iHeartRadio has custom-made stations for different decades. Two of my favorite decades to listen to on this streaming service are the 90s and the 2000s. I listen to both of these stations using my Amazon Echo Dot AKA Alexa. And it seems like each of these stations is constantly adding more music and during this worldwide stuck-at-home time we’re in right now, I truly look forward to listening to the music that these stations each have to offer. It truly is the little things that matter most!!

My caretaker recently told me about a show on Netflix called The Order; he knows that I usually love things that are about magic/other fantasy-oriented shows. But The Order is not a show I’m into; not even a little bit. What it’s about though, is a school called Bellgrave that’s magic; and there’s like, a secret society within this college that’s trying to get to the bottom of why students at said college keep randomly dying. And that storyline seems like it would make for a great show…but the show is disturbingly weird. There’s this monster made out of clay that some of the show’s characters figure out has probably been tasked with killing certain people attending this particular college. But I couldn’t even make it through the second episode of The Order, as it was just too weird and horribly disturbing to me.

I’ve finally gotten my caretaker interested in watching Once Upon a Time; I’ve also been watching said show for the second time around, as my recent blog entries have shown. But interestingly, there have been times when either me or my caretaker gets ahead of the other one in the show; but both of us really want to talk about the show as things happen in it. However I’ve stopped watching Once Upon a Time right now, as my caretaker wants to try to catch up to where I’ve stopped in the show. He’s still on season three of Once Upon a Time and I’m a few episodes away from the end of season four, if my memory serves correctly.

I recently finished watching season five of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This season of the show was the final one which is bittersweet, as far as I’m concerned. But what this series is about, is a town that’s taken over by a bad villain. And the princesses who live in said town have to work together to figure out how to get rid of the villain for good. One of the princesses who lives in this town though, only discovers that she’s a warrior by accident: she’s trying to figure out how to use the sword that she has, as well as how to just be the kid that she is. But her using that sword is ultimately what leads her to discover that she has everything within her, to become this warrier princess that literally saves the entire town from this evil character known as Horde Prime. As a kid, she’s known as Adora; but when she transforms into a warrier princess, she’s known as She-Ra. And there are times throughout this series that Adora feels like she’s lost She-Ra completely…but yet other times in the show where she seems to feel empowered and ready to act however she needs to, to save her town from the evil that’s present throughout the entire show. And honestly, this show is one of my favorite shows that’s on Netflix because truthfully, She-Ra/Adora, both remind me a lot of myself. Adora is someone I can relate to because she’s trying to find herself which is hard enough to do as it is. But then, when you combine that with fighting an evil villain, that compounds the situation that much more. She-Ra reminds me of myself during the times in my life where I’m ready to fight whomever or whatever, tries to get in the way of the things I want to do to make my life fulfilling and happy. And believe me, there are plenty of people who want to attempt to steal someone’s shine, especially when the shine-stealers feel like other people’s shines are brighter than their own. But also, She-Ra the warrior princess reminds me of myself in terms of the fact that when I feel I’m right about something, I don’t back down…no matter how much push-back I may receive from others about my self-expression.

In a recent episode of Hidden Brain, the host of the show walks us as the listeners through a story about an African-American man being fatally shot by a police officer; but the situation with this man started with him unexpectedly getting out of the car that he was driving. And once he’d gotten out of the vehicle, it was discovered that someone had called the cops on him. But not only did one police car arrive to this scene; there were multiple police cars on the scene as time went by. The first police officer who’d showed up on the scene though, was the one who’d fatally shot this African-American man. And later on, it turned out that this man was not carrying any weapons on his person nor in his vehicle, even though the police seemed to think he’d likely shoot them. And so, as this Hidden Brain episode goes on, we learn that this episode’s focus is on racism/how black people are thought of within American culture as a whole.

The next thing in this episode of Hidden Brain that stood out to me, was that a college student had really been paying attention to the fact that African-American folks were treated awfully by police officers. And this guy was in college back in the 90s when this sort of thing didn’t happen in the world with the frequency that it happens in our world now. But anyway, this college student decided to create a video game where players of said game were given specific instructions to shoot people within the game that they felt were threatening to them. So like, as players would play the game, people would pop up on the game screen holding different objects. Sometimes a black man would be holding a gun, other times a white man would be holding a cell phone; and yet other times, a black man would be holding a water bottle. The game was created this way because this college kid wanted to test whether people unknowingly thought of black folks as being threatening. And more often than not, players of the game viewed black people as threats…and so they shot black folks a lot faster than they shot white ones. But in addition to this game having been created, there were visual studies that were done, with the intention of measuring biases that people were most likely not even aware they had. And interestingly, what was found with many of these studies, was that people not even being aware they had racial bias, didn’t necessarily mean that those people would allow such biases to cloud their judgment in their actual lives.

American Sign Language 101: Triumph of the Spirit, book report

In reading the book Triumph of the Spirit, I felt angry until nearly the end of the book. Although I am a hearing person, I’m also blind and have cerebral palsy. I believe that me having these disabilities gives me insights into this story that non-disabled folks may not have. I also believe I have a unique perspective on this story because I typically steer clear of reading books about people with disabilities (PWDs). Because I feel like it’s enough for me to deal with having multiple disabilities on its own, that when I read books, articles ETC, I want to read tthings that allow me to escape from my lived reality. If I’m going to use my brain to think about things, I want to think about almost anything but disabilities. But given that reading Triumph of the Spirit was a requirement for the American Sign Language course I was taking, and given how I’d come to thoroughly enjoy this class, I was actually excited to read about this person’s perspective on being a Deaf person in a world that’s structured with hearing people in mind. But honestly, I felt surprised to learn that while Deaf folks and blind folks have different disabilities, we each share the common goals of wanting the world to treat us as equals. Blind folks and Deaf folks both want to be given the same opportunities that non-disabled folks receive by default. Blind and Deaf folks want to be seen as people who have dreams of having a family, being in leadership positions where they can demonstrate their skill level and ultimately help society understand that one’s disability doesn’t have to be a death sentence.

In Triumph of the Spirit, the author Angel M Ramos openly says something along the lines of “the problem is not that Deaf people cannot hear; the problem is that hearing people don’t listen.” And within the blind community, we have a similar saying about blindness. We say something like “blindness is not a tragedy; what is problematic, are the misconceptions non-disabled people have about blind people.” Another example of the similarities between blind and Deaf people that I discovered when reading Triumph of the Spirit, is that both of these minority groups have had to fight to be seen for who they are, literally from the very beginning of their existence. There are two nationwide organizations made up of blind people and those organizations share very similar goals about how blind people should be viewed by non-disabled people. But as Angel Ramos said holds true for some folks who are deaf, everyone’s journey is different. And what I took that to mean about deaf people, was that some folks who cannot hear grow up never having learned American Sign Language…while other Deaf folks have figured out how to integrate themselves into the hearing world. And still, yet other people who are unable to hear, choose not to be a part of the Deaf community at all. Well, so too, do we have similar ways of thinking within the blind community. Some people who are legally blind, don’t like to use the B-word “blind” to describe themselves. People who believe this way ssay “I’m not blind; I have some usable eyesight.” But then there are other folks like myself who used to think in that way…but due to our life experiences, have shifted our perspectives. And then, in-between these two extremes, there are numerous variations of how blind or visually impaired people prefer to move through the world, just as I learned was true for deaf and Deaf folks, in reading Triumph of the Spirit.

Another similarity between the blind and Deaf community, is that both nationwide blindness organizations understand that part of advocating for the rights of People with Disabilities, means that we as PWDs will piss people off from time-to-time. And some of us, myself included, embrace that part of speaking out. Confrontation can still be uncomfortable for me sometimes…but as long as I’m heard, it doesn’t bother me that some folks think I’m a loud-mouth. Because even in Triumph of the Spirit, Angel Ramos constantly shows the readers how Deaf people went through something quite similar to what I’ve just described happens in the blind community. And each time Angel Ramos or other Deaf folks stood up for their rights, they seemed to come back the next time even more fired up. Each time hearing people and in some cases, other Deaf people, tried to silence these folks, Deaf people and many of their hearing allies would come together, armed with more information that would ultimately lead them to victory.

So all of this being said, reading Triumph of the Spirit was quite refreshing for me. Because as I’ve said above, I was skeptical about this book going into it…because I thought to myself “oh brother, this book is probably going to be filled with someone who’s bitter about being disabled” and that isn’t ever my thing. But fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised to find Triumph of the Spirit a fun book to read. Yes I was angry throughout reading it; but also, I was rooting for the Deaf community and waiting for the moment where their mission of wanting to have a Deaf President Now would happen. I cried tears of joy as well as anger…but mostly, I feel inspired by this book. I have a bit more understanding of why it’s such a big deal to people in the Deaf community that they have a Deaf president at Gallaudet University, whether they are hearing or Deaf. I identify with the anger that Deaf people have felt and will continue to feel, until we achieve equal rights for everyone, no matter our disability. But for me, what makes Triumph of the Spirit a book that I’ll encourage everyone to read, is the fact that every human being shares similar dreams, desires and feelings as one another. And this is true, even if we’re unfamiliar with how people with disabilities live their lives.

My polyamory journey so far, and why polyamory is part of my identity

As I may have said on my blog before, I’ve been thinking about the concept of polyamory for literally all of my adult life. In fact, the exact moment in time where this first happened, was when I was a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) from fall 2007, to summer 2008. Like, once I started coming to a new understanding, that I have the agency to create the life for myself that I want to live, my whole world opened up. And so that being said, one of the things that I first started examining, happened to be the way I thought about relationships. Because to me, it seemed natural to admit that I love multiple people, in multiple ways. And honestly, I didn’t need to see or know of folks who shared this point of view of mine, to feel validated or like openly living this way was OK to do. But while I’d started thinking about the different ways in which relationships could develop, I still had a ton of internalized stigma to work through. Because let’s face it, society constantly told me that there was only one way to do relationships: monogamy. And in addition to the internalized stigma about polyamory that I’ve dealt with for years, I also didn’t really believe that I’d be able to live as an openly polyamorous person myself. So, internalized stigma, combined with the fear I felt for so long about being different in this way, kept a strong hold on me. So for years, I’ve continued to date monogamously. But the last romantic relationship that I was in, I had multiple conversations with my then-boyfriend about the fact I’d prefer to have more than one romantic partner. I even thought that because I had conviction about this truth of mine, my then partner would understand exactly where I was coming from and be on board with this immediately. And I have no earthly idea what made me think that that’s how things would turn out, other than to say that I unreasonably expected my then partner to do something that he wouldn’t even be comfortable doing. But the good thing that’s come out of him and I having those difficult conversations with each other, is that I’m no longer willing to settle for things that I don’t truly want to have in my life. In fact, part of me becoming more comfortable with this part of my truth, has been to gain a positive self-worth. The hard work of me making that a new reality for myself, is literally the entire thing that’s brought me to where I am now: ready to live as an openly polyamorous person. And so, even though there are times when I have fleeting thoughts about monogamy actually being the right path for me, deep down, I know that that’s just my brain trying to process exactly what this choice to have non-traditional relationships will mean for my life over all. And personally, I only see one major downside to this life choice of mine: the fact that I’ll likely deal with more relationship breakups than I dealt with when I outwardly lived as a monogamous person.

And now, here are the reasons why I’m finally choosing to live unapolygetically; I got that term from the Multiamory podcast, by the way 🙂
For one thing, I don’t necessarily think that we human beings were born to be monogamous–monogamy can and does work for some folks, but I’m not one of those people. But also, polyamory is a great way to use any and all resources that are available to us; and by resources, I mean that each person in our lives has different things to offer us–one person may share a particular kinda kink with us, another person may love sharing their art with me in a way that’s accessible to me as a blind person…while yet someone else may love to go on nature walks with me. And I could go on and on and on, in terms of thinking of the benefits of polyamory from my perspective; perhaps I’ll save that for a future blog post, though. Anyway, my point here is that literally every single person that we interact with (regardless of where we physically are) has the ability to help us grow as individuals, in unexpected and life-enhancing ways. In addition to these things that I’ve already mentioned though, it makes sense for me to build a community of people around me, my tribe if you will, who loves one another/helps one another through the good and the bad times in our lives. This particular thing has become even sexier to me as I’ve gained a ton of serious health issues…and my choice to use the word “sexier” here was totally intentional. Because I think of the fact that for so long, I didn’t have a reliable family to love and who I could love in return. And while I’ve developed the skills that a survivor of any sort needs in their figurative toolbox, that doesn’t take the place of creating a community called “Team Chelsea.” Because as a monogamous person, when I’d think of my potential partners’ not being sexually active when one of my serious health issues flares up, that would hurt my soul. Like, the thought that their sexual needs wouldn’t be met for an unknown amount of time, filled me with a deep sadness and dread. I at least wanted them to know that they could have the freedom to be sexual with others. But literally every sexual partner I’ve had, whether we were romantically involved with each other or not, seemed offended that I’d so casually tell them that it was OK with me if they had sex with others, even though the sex they could have with me was temporarily non-existent. But for me, outwardly accepting that we as human beings do find other human beings attractive and that we even lust after others, even when we’re already in romantic relationships with someone, that is true love. Because in my opinion, love truly is limitless!!