Thoughts on TV shows, movies, a Netflix comedy, being childfree, sexuality and other life updates

I recently watched the live-action version of The Lion King and I’ll start with this: I’m happy that they didn’t take out the very beginning song that’s in the original version of this movie. But it hurts my heart that they got different-sounding singers to sing “The Circle of Life” and other popular songs in the movie that they should’ve left alone. That being said, I did love Beyonce’s singing parts as well as her acting scenes. To me, she really did sound like she felt every word she sang/delivered…and that’s important. Whereas the person who’d played Scar, in my opinion, didn’t do that role justice. I was of course happiest to see that James Earl Jones played Mufasa; and even though he’s much older now, he did fantastic!! That being said, the little kid who’d played baby Simba this time around, had moments where I thought he was a decent actor. But he was no Jonathan Taylor Thomas though, that’s for sure. I know, I know, people might want to be harsh on me because I’m coming down hard on the live-action version of The Lion King…but it pisses me off that Disney doesn’t just let the classics be classics. Like, get creative, think of Disney original shows, which Disney has done…so clearly, they aren’t exactly starving for good content…or are they? I say that sort of jokingly…but mostly seriously.

In season one of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the Dark Lord visits Sabrina, Hilda, Zelda and Ambrose. But he’s disguised as someone else, probably in the hopes that Sabrina won’t recognize him later on in the show. But as the show goes on, we the viewers find out that on October 31st which is Sabrina’s 16th birthday, she’s supposed to sign the Book of the Beast. And the beast is just another name for the Dark Lord. But when the Dark Lord is visiting the Spellman household, he tells Sabrina that no matter what happens, she’d always have the ability to make her own choices. But then on the night of her birthday which is when she’s supposed to sign the Book of the Beast, the Dark Lord changes his story…and that prompts Sabrina to run away from this event that the witches and warlocks call someone’s ‘Dark Baptism’.

I recently watched a Netflix original show that was called Fortune Feimster: Sweet and Salty. The comedian was a gay woman who’s from the south. She definitely has the southern twang that many folks from the south have…and usually I don’t like the sound of said twang. But in this particular comedy show, I found it to be more than just tolerable. This woman joked about everything from her sexuality, to her mom and she did all of the jokes in a way that allowed the love she has for her mom, to shine throughout the entire show. And while I’m someone who does cuss and who believes that using such language is one fun thing about being a grownup, I’ll say that watching this Netflix special where the comedian rarely cussed, really did fit the vibe of the show.

In an FB group for members of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) who are in the LGBTQ+ community, I posted a thread that reads:
So I’ve done this 1000 times, where I’ll go to the “create a post” link in this group, start typing something out and then discard the post. But I’m making myself write here, for real, now. People say things often to me like “I believe your someone special is out there.” And TBH, I feel like that’s just something folks say to people…just as something to say as a filler. I’m 32 years old and I’m not getting any younger…yet I’m single as can be. I have a lot of love to both give and receive, I’m a fun outgoing person…but single I remain. So I’m just posting here, I guess, cause I have nowhere else to go. But this sucks, it really, really sucks…cause I’m a confident person who lights up whatever environment I’m in, no matter where I am.

A couple well-meaning comments were posted on my topic, one of which said something along the lines of “I’m sorry you’re feeling lonely.” My response to that comment reads:
Loneliness is not the right word though. I have lots of friends, mostly on social media nowadays, that I interact with regularly. I’m not wanting for human contact. It’s more just knowing that our world is set up to make people think that there is a person out there for everyone, and I just don’t believe that’s true. Not for me, anyway. And like I say in this post, I’m fine with that sometimes. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a relationship just to be in one. But at the same time, I mostly see everyone in romantic, loving relationships. That makes it hard to feel hopeful for my own situation.
Another comment on this thread said something like “I can help you find a therapist if you want.” So my response to that comment reads:
It’s not really anything a therapist can help with though. It’s more just, this is a shitty feeling/a shitty place to be in over all…and I’m sick and tired of it.
But again, the person just totally misunderstood where I was coming from. But that being said, at least I know that I can’t turn to that FB group, now.

In Childfree by Choice, one of the members posted about a movie called We Need to Talk About Kevin. And I ended up engaging in a discussion with her about it which starts off with me saying:
I’m watching it now–although, I’m totally blind so I find it pretty hard to follow. Like, the amount of dialogue in the movie is pretty rare/doesn’t seem to reflect some of the bad things that Kevin does. Like, I get that Kevin pooped his pants and that he may have put drano in his little sister’s eye…but that’s about all I know for sure. And Hulu doesn’t have audio description which is basically what would narrate the movie for blind people. I’d be interested to continue commenting here with you so that I can perhaps learn what I’m missing out on.
And that was as far as the discussion between us has gone.

In this same CF group, someone posted a thread about someone treating them like shit and then folks telling this person to keep the asshole in their life. Someone responded to this thread saying something like “that’s bullshit. You don’t have to take anyone’s shit.” The response I wrote to that comment reads:
This, so, so much this. Specifically the part you said about not forgetting or forgiving. That’s exactly how I am…and I wish more people saw that sort of thing as being OK, rather than interpreting it as us holding grudges against folks. Emotions are never constant, no matter what said emotions happen to be. It’s society that interprets anger or not being a dormat, incorrectly. I know I’m preaching to the choir here but I had to reply.
This person then replied to the original poster of this topic, saying something like “the people you’re calling your friends don’t sound like friends at all, since they are basically advocating that you allow someone to treat you like shit. So I responded to that comment saying:
Exactly!! There are plenty of other options for this woman to get what she needs, that are not her using someone who she otherwise doesn’t give a shit about. The same thing can be said for when people want to join this group who regret having kids or who want to learn about being CF. This group is not for that; but there are numerous other resources in the world that such people can turn to, in order to learn what they want to learn.
The person I’d been going back and forth with agreed with what I’d said.

In this same FB group, someone posted about the fact that their husband has a coworker who’s encouraging her husband to have kids. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I don’t understand why people with kids are adamant that childfree people have kids. But I echo what someone else here said: tell the man with a kid to talk to your husband about kids when this dude’s kid is a teenager or in its terrible twos…

In this same FB group, someone created a thread where they offered their living space to CF people in need; this person was a man. And that’s relevant to this discussion because on this particular post, a woman commented saying that she doesn’t become friends with men because she’s married to a man and she doesn’t want other men hitting on her. And my response to what she’d written was something along the lines of “how narcissistic it is of you to assume that every man you may associate with, would want you sexually. And also, lady, have you not heard of gay women? Because I hate to break it to you…but women are perfectly capable of flirting with you/coming onto you. But perhaps you’d be OK with that” 😛

In this same FB group, someone posted a topic asking if folks were in open marriages. My response to that topic reads:
To the OP of this topic, thank you so much for posting this. As someone who’s polly-curious myself, I’m happy to see at least a few supportive folks on this thread. But that being said, also being a realist, I’m not sure if ethical non-monogamy would work for me. Because while I love time with great people, I love my alone time just as much. So maybe if anything, I’d be solo-polly. It’s complicated as fuck for me though because if the right person or people came along, I could definitely see myself living with long-term partner(s). But also, it’s hard enough for me to even find one partner, LOL.

In the FB group called Disability Wisdom Discussion Group, someone posted a topic asking how they as a disabled person could change someone else who’s disabled. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
The thing is, you can’t change your friend. You can, however, change the way you think of her/react to how she lives her life as a disabled person. That doesn’t mean that you agree with or even like how she lives, though.

In this same group, someone created a topic asking how people referred to theemselves using another human or a dog to guide them. What I wrote in response to this, with some expansion, reads:
I’ve honestly never heard of the term “human guide” until reading this post. Personally, I was taught to say “sighted guide.” But that being said, I do get and agree with just saying “guide” or “human guide.” The hierarchy of sight has honestly never made sense to me, even though I never felt comfortable saying that outright until I became an adult.

But before I go any further, I think it’s important for me to talk about what the term “hierarchy of sight” actually means. So there are people, both blind and sighted alike, who believe that a person having eyesight means that folks who are totally blind are lesser people. Put another way, the hierarchy of sight presumes that blind people are incompetent human beings. It is not true that being blind means that one’s life is of a lesser quality. It is not true that being totally blind is, or should be, a death sentence. But yet the hierarchy of sight model that I was taught at the Texas School for the Blind, drilled into me that limited though my eyesight was, I should cherish that eyesight to the fullest…because without it, I’d be nothing. And so for years, I believed that truth. I didn’t know any better, after all. But once I’d found out about the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in 2006, that opened my world to new possibilities. And one of the new things that I started to get a taste of then, was that I met totally blind people who were in leadership/powerful positions. And while it took me years and years to actually decide to stand alongside the NFB as a Federation member, I’m glad I made that choice.

One of my FB friends posted about the fact that people randomly touch their hair/body without this person’s consent. Here’s my comment, with some expansion:
Because of my disabilities, people think they have the right to touch me whenever they want to, and believe me, they do just that. I’m kinda surprised that I haven’t slapped anyone’s hands away TBH. But using a stern voice and giving them a death look, I guess does the trick 🙂
But even so, it’s nerve-wracking to have to deal with this on a regular basis. And my rule of thumb, is to tell folks that if you wouldn’t touch an able-bodied sighted person’s body without their consent, the way you desperately want to touch mine without my consent, then don’t touch mine. Period!! Your intent does not matter; put another way, respecting my personal space/that my body is mine to decide what will and won’t happen to it, is always the answer. ALL OF THE TIME!!

On Twitter I recently wrote the following thread which reads:
So I didn’t write about this on Twitter as it was happening cuz IDK if folks here really care. However I’m writing about it now cuz if anyone shares these types of experiences, it may be helpful to know that you aren’t alone. So a week or so ago I was deathly ill; like, by the…time I went to the clinic I go to for most of my medical needs, the provider I saw literally told me I was dying, all cuz I’d run out of my medication which I couldn’t get a refill of until I saw a medical provider at this clinic. But the thing was, I didn’t even know that…I’d missed an appointment with my regular medical provider. Cuz the clinic doesn’t call patients to let them know about upcoming appointments which is usually fine cuz I receive text message alerts. But this particular time, I didn’t receive an alert of any kind. So when I…finally did see a provider, this provider literally told me that I might not have made it another day cuz the medication that I take is literally the difference between me being a functional human being&me not functioning at all. So I’m writing this thread for a couple of…reasons: 1, if people tell you that they have to take medication in order to function, don’t fucking shame them for that; don’t argue with them about *their* experiences/what they’re told by medical professionals on their team. 2, if you can’t say anything supportive to…them then keep your mouth shut. Period!! Cuz it’s already tough to live with several health issues for me as it is. I don’t need armchair doctors giving me more shit to deal with. 3, if you have any chronic health conditions, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. I know…that living in this truth can be isolating as fuck, which to be honest, is exactly what’s encouraged me to write this thread. I hope it helps someone. Please know that you are loved, folks; I don’t have to know you personally to feel that way. I’m here for you to reach out…any time you want or need to. Social media is powerful&so too, is love.

Yesterday morning someone brought me the one piece of mail that I had; no joke, it was literally one thing. But I’m writing about this one thing because it’s something that’s important to me, both online and offline: equal access. And what was it that I’d received in the mail, you ask? Something in Braille that was from the state I live in. And the reason that equal access is so important to me, is because my disabilities don’t mean that I’m incompetent. They are simply my lived reality; so when I get mail that’s in Braille, no matter who it’s from, I feel like I’m an equal citizen in this world. But when I don’t receive that equal access, I feel alienated. And that feeling is one that I don’t think anyone should ever have to experience. But yet so many of us do experience it, and on a regular basis, at that. It’s fucking ridiculous.

But what’s insane to me about this, is that when I lived in San Antonio Texas for over five years, the insurance company I had there never gave me documents in a format that I could read. And once I’d learned what my rights were, I fought and fought and fought for them to do so. But unfortunately for my sake, all they did was to fight me right back, constantly denying me information about my own fucking life. I was reasonably asking for something that was readily available to me. No one would have to go out of their way to allow me this equal access; these folks just didn’t want to give me that right. There was an organization called Disability Rights Texas that I had on my side for awhile…but the state of Texas just didn’t give a fuck about that either. If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, then I sugggest you educate yourself on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), along with specific state laws, as the laws may vary somewhat from one state to another. So needless to say, I’m glad that the state I live in now, gives me equal access to information, at least some of the time.

Awhile later that same day, one of my ASL one classmates came to help me do my homework. There were a few different assignments I had to complete, mostly requiring me to watch a DVD which was a bit frustrating. Because unfortunately, my MacBook Pro doesn’t have the ability to play CDs or DVDs. LOL. But I got through those assignments and then moved onto the most difficult assignment: having said classmate video me actually doing specific signs.

So I don’t remember if I’ve said this in my blog before, but the particular app my professor uses for students to upload their videos onto, is called Go React; I’m writing those two words separately so that people who use screen readers will know exactly what this app is called. But the way the app name is written, it’s all one word, so it’s written like thiss: GoReact.

And so, the initial problem I’d had getting GoReact, was that when I’d click the link using the Canvas app that would lead me directly to GoReact on the AppStore, the link was not clickable; at least, not from my screen reader’s viewpoint. Like, I’d go to the files on said app, then to the syllabus on said app and then I click the link that was supposed to take me directly to get GoReact. And so, I ended up having my classmate go through the steps for me to actually get it onto my phone. And then from there I created an account for myself, practiced signing what I could sign of the alphabet with my classmate and then had them film me signing the alphabet as best as I could. We also did have some technical hiccups along the way though, like the fact that the process to complete assignments using GoReact wasn’t straightforward, the way we might think it should be. And if I’m remembering things correctly, how my classmate finally got it to work, was by recording the video, uploading the video to GoReact and then the app showed our professor’s name/the particular ASL class we are taking.

This morning I had to go to school for a meeting with the OSD Director and the person who was going to be my aid. But first, I had to call the school to let them know that I’d be running a bit late. Because there was an area my driver had run into where road construction was blocking the path. And then it turned out that I’d forgotten to tell my driver that I’d need to go to the main college campus, not the campus that I’m going to for this semester. And so we ended up having to turn around which made me arrive at school much later than I would’ve liked to be. But that being said, everything in this meeting mostly went well. I’m still having a tough time convincing the OSD director to fully support me in taking this particular class…so we’ll see how things go in class tomorrow. I’m anticipating a total disaster.

That being said, I wrote the following FB post that reads:
It’s 2020 and people need to GTF outa my way!!! For 30 years of my life, I’ve been a fucking dormat when it came to allowing toxic people to hurt me; I’ve held my tongue all the time, even when I didn’t want to do so…because ‘women are supposed to be polite’. And I’m gonna fuck shit up now and say that, when it comes to my access needs, if having someone copy-sign for me, someone who knows no ASL, mind you, doesn’t meet my access needs, I’m going to get my access needs met another way. Now, I’ve used the words ‘my access needs’ a lot in this post. Y’all know why? Because ‘my access needs’ are just that, my access needs. Having an interpreter who’s fluent in American Sign Language, and likely who also has interacted with the Deaf-Blind community, is probably the best option for me. I’m going to try this OSD’s way tomorrow…but if my access needs aren’t met, then I’m gonna speak up and speak out. I hate that I’m having to deal with this…but I care about humanity and the progress of humanity…so I’ll be damned if I’m gonna allow myself to be stuck. I’m 32, I’m voting blue…and if you don’t support me in every way…well, that will not stay quiet. I’m believing and receiving, y’all…:-)

This afternoon I had an appointment with my Primary Care Provider (PCP). And during this appointment I asked for them to write a referral for me to see a grief counselor. Although, I’m not sure if the person I’m going to see will be the therapist I haven’t gone to in like, forever or not. So that will be interesting. I also told my PCP that I’d seen my neurosurgeon last month and that everything has been stable with my shunt since then. I made sure to tell them that I’m scheduled to see my neurosurgeon again in July, unless something in my life changes beforehand. And unfortunately, whenever I’d asked my provider if they’d received the paperwork that my caretaker had dropped off to the clinic last week, they said that they hadn’t seen anything about me on their desks at all. However I did get the name of my PCP’s assistant and was told by her specifically, that she’s the one who takes care of all of his paperwork. So hopefully sooner than later, this fiasco will end in a positive way AKA me getting my access needs met. Cause this has gone on for far too long already!!

Assorted podcast thoughts, frustrating life updates, TV shows, website updates and women’s rights

So I recently re-read the “About Me” page on my website. Because I couldn’t remember whether I’d included the fact that I’m blind in it or not. I knew that I’d covered pretty much everything else in said section about myself that I’d thought was important. And honestly, I don’t even know what made me have a sudden insight to re-read that part of my website…but it’s common for me to have those kinda insights randomly and for no real reason at all. So I just go with the flow and hope that I can write things down if need be, before I forget them altogether. And I’m much better now, about making sure I write insights down right when they come to me. And the fact that I’m better at this, is thanks to the FB Claircognizance group that I’ve been a member of for awhile now.

Friday morning I started freaking out, given the fact that the ASL tutor who was originally supposed to help me inside and outside of class, said they couldn’t actually do so anymore. Because the thing is, I have homework to complete for said class, in addition to the actual practice using ASL. But the audio version of the main textbook that Bookshare has, doesn’t seem to include explanations for how to do certain assignments. For example I know that with my very first homework assignment, I’m supposed to choose a strategy that’s listed in the student workbook (which is separate from the textbook itself) and once I’ve selected a strategy that I’m going to work on for the next few weeks, I’m supposed to write a few sentences about why I chose that particular strategy. But unless I’m missing something, I don’t have access to that specific information. And so long story short, that’s why I started freaking out on Friday: because I had no idea how I was going to be able to complete my homework assignments that are due this Wednesday during class. But after calming myself down, I thought of one solution: I could send a message to all of my classmates, in the hopes that one of them would be willing/able to help me with our homework. And fortunately one of them said they could…so we’ll meet with each other on Monday. Because Monday is a holiday which means no school for us.

That same day I wrote the following thread on Twitter which reads:
Some folks call this date Valentine’s Day. I call it Single Awareness Day. That’s been me every year; and I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll be single forever. I’m too severely chronically ill of a person for anyone to stay with long-term. No joke. As soon as whoever I’m with…at any given time sees me deathly ill in the ICU, that’s the end of my relationships. So sometimes I feel sad cuz I’d love to have the companionship that being with a partner provides…& then I get sick&remember why I’m single. It’s hard enough for me to deal with being…deathly ill, so I can totally understand why other folks don’t, and haven’t, wanted to deal with it either. There’s no sexiness whatsoever in seeing a partner deathly ill. I’m just grateful that I do know what love feels like&that I have plenty of it in my life.

In the Childfree by Choice FB group, I responded to a topic where someone discussed the fact that they don’t think everyone has a right to have children. What I wrote in response to that topic reads:
I completely agree with you. I also come from a family of origin that, on both sides, was abusive/toxic in other ways. I’ve honestly never understood this mentality that ‘everyone deserves good things. Nope, there are actually people in the world who do unforgivable things, and nothing in the world can change that, or make it go away.

In this same FB group, someone posted a topic about how they’re frustrated because they haven’t been supported in the fact they want to get their tubes tied. The response I wrote to this topic reads:
I’m sorry you are going through this. I was lucky that a doctor tied my tubes when I was 26. I hope you are able to eventually find someone who will respect your decision and treat you like someone who knows what the fuck she’s talking about/what she wants for her life. I was on the pill for years, even after I had my tubes tied…cause it regulated my period. But then I had an experience with the pill that nearly killed me, so I haven’t taken it since then; that was in summer 2018. Anyway, I wish you the best; please keep us posted. We love being able to celebrate with folks who get Tubal Ligations/other birth control (BC) procedures.

Also in this FB group, someone posted a topic about women choosing to breast-feed their children in public. The initial response I wrote to that thread reads:
While I’m never gonna have this issue personally, I’m all for women breast-feeding their children publicly; breast-feeding is natural. But if you’re among the crowd of folks who say “I’m offended by it,” then you shouldn’t have a right to eat in public either. And also, if you’re among the crowd of folks who sexualizes breast-feeding, you’re part of the problem.
I then saw that someone had replied to my first comment saying something like “I’m disabled and can’t stand seeing women breast-feed their kids.” I responded to that woman’s comment saying:
Sorry, not sorry, but your comment doesn’t make me feel any differently about this issue. I have multiple disabilities myself and if I wined about every way in which the world does not accommodate me, I’d be a miserable person. Disabilities or not, a woman breast-feeding does not harm you or anyone else, in any way. If you really can’t stand to be around something so normal as babies eating, then as I said in my original comment, you shouldn’t eat in public either. Perhaps you should even search for childfree places to go to…
This same person then responded to my comment saying that they’d deleted their comment because they didn’t want to argue with me. But I wasn’t arguing; I was simply calling things as I see them. So anyway I responded to that comment saying:
You are easily offended, clearly. Evidently this group is not for you, if you can’t handle such honesty. An opinion is one thing, but then to delete your comment because you see a response to it that you don’t want to see, is childish.
Someone then replied to that comment of mine with a meme that said something like “when you’re writing something to post on social media and then you don’t post it.” And so I replied to that person’s comment saying:
No one was arguing with this person though. I was simply sharing my honest thoughts with them. She’s the one who brought up arguing.

In a recent episode of the Multiamory podcast, a couple of its hosts Jase and Emily talked about different meanings of what it means for people to be codependent. And honestly, I kept thinking about one particular romantic relationship I was in, where the guy I dated was just like my bio mom…though I didn’t come to that conclusion until a couple years ago now. But one thing in this Multiamory episode that stood out to me, is how Emily and Jase pointed out to us as the listeners that people who’ve had tons of trauma in their childhood, will likely have said trauma stay with them in their adulthood. And that thought process makes sense to me because for the most part, we human beings tend to do things because they are familiar to us. So even though at the time of me dating this guy, I had no concept of him being familiar to me in any way, much less that he was exactly like my bio mom, I did know on some level at least, that he’d treated me like I’d always been treated, by most of my family of origin. But he was verbally abusive, controlling and quite frankly, he probably would’ve gotten physically abusive if I hadn’t left him when I did. But the main thing I thought of related to him that this Multiamory episode brought up for me, was that a huge part of his abuse was him trying to convince me that I had no individuality/that I was less than him…because he was a man and I was a woman. And come to think of it, this particular thing was also true, with regards to the relationship with my bio mom and I; and so with each of these relationships, the only way these people’s abuse would stop, is if I asserted myself by letting them know that I deserved better treatment than the bullshit treatment they’d put me through; this was how I handled the situation with this ex-boyfriend of mine: I let him know that we’d be going our separate ways…and that that was that. But when it came to how I chose to handle the relationship with my bio mom, it took me a couple years after seeing her in 2015, to cut contact with her completely. Because I knew that I had some work to do on myself, like going to a good therapist…because this wasn’t something that I should do alone. And so in the fall of 2017, after I’d been going to some great therapists for some time, I realized that in order to stop being reminded of these unhealthy behaviors from numerous toxic people in my life, I’d have to physically remove myself and those people from my life. And that being said, doing that wasn’t easy, by any means. And along the way, I definitely had fleeting thoughts of guilt/feeling like I was a bad person for cutting folks out of my life. But in addition to having great therapists in San Antonio Texas from late 2017 to the end of January 2018, I started to feel comfortable with the fact that as an adult, I had every right to make different choices than the ones that had been made for me as a kid/adult through my 20s. And that’s just it: once I was comfortable with how powerful I could be in my own life, there was no stopping me from living as my authentic self anymore.

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, the host Ira Glass first started the show by talking about an app that allows people to create alternate universes; the way he explains it though, is to say that in one box that this app has, there’s text that says something like “in this universe I will” and then leaves space for the person to fill in the blank. And then in another box that this app has, are the words “in this universe I will,” again leaving room for someone to fill in the blank. And so the person who’d showed Ira Glass this app, tells him to think of something that it’s difficult for him to make a decision about, but that he really wants to do. And so Ira Glass decides that in one universe, he’ll have a beard and in the other universe, he’ll get rid of his beard…and then upon filling in that bit of information using this app called Universe Splitter, he talks about the fact that there are some scientists who believe that this universe is not the only universe that exists. I find the concept of this app fascinating…and the same goes for the fact that there could be other universes in the world. I mean, that isn’t actually something I’ve thought about much, before this point.

But then the next story that Ira Glass tells, is about how a father and son bonded over their shared love for thinking about other universes as an escape from the hellish life that they lived in this particular universe. And in this story, the son talks with Ira Glass about how it was his father who’d gotten him to think about the possibility of other universes, because it was he (this guy’s dad) who used this as something he could let his imagination go anywhere with. And so as this guy continues telling Ira Glass the story of the relationship between him and his dad, one poignant story is how his dad had eventually gotten an aggressive form of cancer that the doctors were saying would be impossible for him to recover from. And as this son is telling this story, he talks about how his dad loved a specific coffee shop…and how the two of them went there one day, even though the father couldn’t enjoy eating or drinking anything, at that point. But even so, the dad ordered a coffee for himself, drank it…and then had a horrible experience coughing it back up because his body truly could not handle anything that wasn’t through a feeding tube. That being said though, the dad didn’t seem to regret what he’d done. And I think it’s safe to infer from this particular story, that the dad had been thinking about being in different universes, as he chugged his cup of coffee down.

In the next segment of this podcast, Ira Glass has a couple people help him tell the story of what happened between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, when Bill Clinton was president in the late 90s. Now, I was a kid when this happened…but as an adult, I’ve read accounts about it, including watching a TED Talk that Monica Lewinsky herself, gave. But that being said, for anyone who doesn’t know this story, Monica Lewinsky was an intern for President Bill Clinton…and the two of them had a sexual relationship with each other. And TBH, I want to talk about the fact that there are multiple layers to this entire story, because there’s definitely a lot to be said about it.

So first of all, at the time Bill Clinton was president, Monica Lewinsky was a young adult. And one of the things I remember her saying in the TED Talk she’d given, was that part of her couldn’t believe that someone with so much power as Bill Clinton had, was her boss. I can also understand, as a woman myself, how she might have also felt like she’d do whatever it took, to help keep him happy. Because the thing is, we’re socialized as women to put others before ourselves. And so, when I think of her as an individual, I also think of all the ways in which we’re socialized as women, to stay quiet and do whatever men tell us to do. I’m not saying I agree with that mind-set–and if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you should know that I don’t believe that to be true. But I can sit here and think about how overwhelmed Monica Lewinsky probably also felt…and how she probably didn’t want to get any shit talked about her as an individual, so she tried to tread as carefully as was humanly possible. And I’m ultimately glad that she told her story because keeping it inside of her was probably quite traumatic.

But so, going back to this particular episode of the This American Life podcast, one of the men who’d told this story about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, talked about how he was asked to write a speech for President Clinton, that he (President Clinton) might give after he’d finished testifying about this particular situation that he’d found himself in. And the guy who’d written this speech for President Clinton, talked about how proud he was of what he’d written. He even reads most of the speech on this episode of This American Life, because it was fairly short. And in said speech, he’d written what he’d thought President Clinton would’ve, or should’ve, wanted to say…which was both a straight-forward apology and words that this guy thought for sure, Bill Clinton would resonate with. But it turned out that what Bill Clinton actually said in the speech he’d given, was not even close to what this guy had written for him to say. In fact as this guy who’d written the speech describes, President Bill Clinton urged the American public to act like they hadn’t even known about his affair with Monica Lewinsky which I thought was fucked up; Clinton said that he believes that his affair with Lewinsky was private family business. But the thing is, when you are a public figure as he is, you forego your right to privacy. Because part of what comes with the territory of being president, or having any other type of status that is well-known to the world, means that people are going to judge the things that happen in your life. There is no way to opt out of that truth, as a well-known person; you can certainly work to undo the harmful ways in which you are viewed…but even then there’s no guarantee that folks will take you seriously.

And in the next segment of this podcast, a story is told about a birth mom not being able to tell her identical twins apart. And this happens because of hospital staff changing both of the twins’ diapers from cloth ones to ones that could be thrown away. And this particular detail is significant because this mom had created a system to help her identify her babies individually. The system she’d created, was that she’d not only used cloth diapers on them but also, she’d used different colored pins on each of the twins diapers. But then when the hospital staff changed the kind of diapers that the twins had on, that changed everything…or so it seemed. And in fact throughout these twins’ lives, everyone always wondered if they were really who they thought they were. And then when the twins were in their early 40s, they found someone who could help them figure out the truth. And thankfully, they were exactly who everyone had thought they were…and I’m glad about this outcome because their lives would remain the same, rather than being turned upside down, as everyone was scared might happen.

In the last segment of this show, a story is told about a girl from another country who’d been adopted by an American family. And this girl went through much of her life feeling like there was a huge hole inside of her. And so she eventually gets to a point where she searches and finds the woman who’d given birth to her. And she and this woman end up meeting and spending time together…but the adult child doesn’t seem to get to a place where she feels a real connection with her birth mom. And TBH, I can totally understand that, most especially because her birth mom hadn’t been in this grown woman’s life for much of her life. And so, the fact that her mother seemed to want the two of them to get along as if they’d known each other forever, and loved each other forever, really bugged me. And then hearing this story forced me to think about how all of my parents (biological ones and my step-parent) all see me the same way: as someone who’s unimportant to them. But that’s fine with me; I’ve done such hard work on myself within these last few years, that I feel the same way about each of them. I don’t care about who they are, nor do I care about the things that happen in their lives. And that won’t ever change.

In another episode of This American Life, this one inspired by Harvey Weinstein’s recently being in the news, several stories were told about a few different women who’d all been sexually harassed by the same man. And this man was someone who’d worked for a publication called Alternet. And all of these women’s stories about their experiences with him, had a common theme: none of the women knew about one another, and all of the women thought they were the only ones in this guy’s romantic life. And also, another thing that these women had in common with each other, was that they’d all been told by this man that he could give them job opportunities that no one else could or would; and TBH, hearing them say this makes me think back to the documentary entitled Surviving R Kelly: because all of the young girls in said documentary believed that they’d each be given a chance to succeed in the entertainment industry. And much like what happened to the girls in Surviving R Kelly, this particular episode of This American Life painted what I think is an honest presentation of these women: none of them were responsible for what happened to them by this asshole in the entertainment industry.

But the thing is though, the majority of society can, and does, only blame the victims. And so TBH, that’s one reason why I’d decided to listen to this episode of This American Life: because I’m passionate about this sort of thing. I’m passionate about the fact that for the most part, when we as women say that we’ve been sexually harassed, we are telling the truth. I understand, both through my own personal experiences, as well as those of other folks, that being sexually harassed is not easy to talk about…for anyone. I understand that the things that most of society thinks about women, in relation to sexual harassment, are mostly thought because no one has bothered to tell them any differently. But that being said, that doesn’t make those thoughts/beliefs that men have, OK or even correct. In fact, victim blaming is an incredibly toxic thought process; it’s dismissive of the very real experiences that we as women have. Such a belief also communicates to us as women that men think that they (men) know better about the things that we as women go through, because we women are “too emotional.” That particular phrase is one that I’ve heard too many times in my own life to count…and my response to that phrase is “fuck yeah, women are emotional about things like getting sexually harassed!! We’ve been violated in multiple different ways and most likely, many different times as well. Fuck yeah, women are emotional, most especially because numerous men have told us repeatedly, that our lived experiences don’t matter to them. Fuck yeah, women are emotional, when we’re told by numerous men, hell, even just by one man, how we should define our sexuality. Fuck yeah, women are emotional, when we think about the fact that many of us have great work ethics…but the amount of money that we get paid makes us feel like we’re actually second-class citizens. Fuck yeah, women are emotional, because more often than not, we’re told by men that we say things in bad taste, or we should not be quite so honest, or we have no right to show our anger, or we are not as valued as they (men) are…and on and on and on. And I highlight all of this to both say and show, that it’s fucking hard to be a woman!! But yet women like me, and me specifically, continue to be who we are, knowing that who we are will piss some people the fuck off…but also, we know that we are strong together…as well as for each other. We have to be, because most men certainly won’t be…

In season one of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, one of the first things that we the viewers see, is that Sabrina and Harvey are a couple. And the two of them are at a movie theater, where they happen to run into Ms. Wardwell, who’s their teacher at Baxter High. And so as these introductions to these characters are being made for the viewers, shortly afterwards, we learn that Sabrina has to make a tough decision for herself, once she turns 16-years old. Because it’s in season one, episode one, that we the viewers find out that Sabrina is half witch, half human…and ultimately she has to choose which one of those worlds she wants to be in forever.

And so, shortly after that heart-wrenching thing is established in this show, we the viewers watch Sabrina’s first meeting with the Weird Sisters whose names are Dorcas, Agatha and Prudence; this is the first time I’ve mentioned them on my blog though, so I’ll give folks some background on the three of them: mainly, the three of them have been tasked with trying to get Sabrina to not attend The Academy of Unseen Arts. And then as this show progresses, the Weird Sisters antagonize Sabrina throughout the rest of the show; and in fact, the Weird Sisters are often behind most, if not all, of the horrible things that happen to Sabrina.

Life updates, podcast thoughts and more childfree thoughts

Tuesday evening one of my close friends and I hung out for a bit. We went to the local ice cream place that I’d recently mentioned in my blog. And I got a chocolate dipped cone, with chocolate ice cream. And while this particular place is supposed to be a fast-food place, we waited in the drive-thru for nearly 10 minutes. So that was a bit frustrating. But the ice cream and its cone, were both just as delicious as they were the first time I’d had them.

But before we’d gotten ice cream, this friend of mine wanted to see if they could take off one of the wheels on my wheelchair, in the hopes that doing so would allow my wheelchair to fit in their Camaro easily. But this friend doesn’t usually take apart things with their hands, and they even told me so themselves. But still, I didn’t want to be rude by suggesting they not even try this. So I just let them try, knowing that it likely wouldn’t work well at all…and it didn’t. So this friend of mine came to their own conclusions about what a hassle this particular thing was. But that being said, it was still a disaster because it took us over an hour to get my wheelchair to a place where it would be usable for me again. But even so, it will be a bit wobbly, until my friend can come back to my house and fix it. Ugh.

Wednesday morning my ride was a bit late picking me up from my house; and as if that wasn’t frustrating enough, I barely made it to class on time. That’s always incredibly frustrating to me because I’m the type of person who likes to be early rather than late. But the good thing out of this, was that I’d already gotten one of my classmates’ phone numbers during Monday’s class period. So I texted said classmate on Wednesday to let them know when I’d be on-campus that day. And unfortunately, as I said above, I made it to school right at 11AM that Wednesday. But thankfully my classmate had already told our professor that they’d be bringing me to class. But that being said, I still hate being right on time, or a few minutes late, because both of those things look bad on me as a student/as a person in the world.

I wrote the following FB post Wednesday afternoon that reads:
A recent realization I’ve had about myself: sometimes my heart is much bigger than what I think my actual abilities are, or might be. I don’t fucking know what I’m doing in ASL…but my spirit is determined to at least pass this class…somehow.

A bit later that same day I wrote another FB post which reads:
It’s amazing how someone infantilizing you can turn your world around…and *did* turn my world around. The Director of the OSD and I, along with my ASL professor, had a meeting today about how things would move forward for me in this class. And the OSD Director’s infantilizing me…odly, made me confident and self-assured about learning this new language. I got this…and I’m sure none of you fuckers doubted me…but for a brief moment, I doubted me. But my doubting myself was only because I felt like if I asked people to repeat signs or tell me audibly what signs meant, that these things would mean that I couldn’t keep up with my professor/the other students in class. But my access needs *do not* predict my ability to learn, or to succeed at this new adventure I’ve decided to take myself on. I’ve literally made every single thing happen that I’ve wanted to make happen in my entire life, and this will not be an exception. I’m going to get good enough at ASL that I can converse with people, build lasting friendships/relationships with people…and allow me to experience happiness in a different way. I am a lioness, hear me ROAR!!! Oh, and doubters, BEWARE!! Hurrican Chelsea is alive and well 😂 😂 🤗 😌 ❣️ ❣️

Yesterday morning I got a phone call from OSD’s Director; during this conversation that the two of us had, I was informed that the ASL tutor who’d been arranged to help me inside and outside of class, had called OSD this morning to say that they couldn’t actually do this assignment. This made me livid because as of Wednesday, everything had successfully been set up for this to work out. And IDK why, if this person had been recommended by another department on-campus, this person met with the OSD Director themselves and was even prepared to meet with the three of us sometime soon. So after I’d spoken with the OSD Director in the morning, some time went by, before he’d called me again. And the two of us ended up speaking with each other a few times, just talking about updates to this frustrating as fuck situation. So the latest update from yesterday (Thursday), is that there’s someone who’s going to copy-sign for me, inside and outside of class. This means though, that the person copy-signing does not actually know American Sign Language themselves. And TBH, this makes me a bit nervous, given that I don’t have much understanding of ASL yet myself. But hopefully things will work out with this person…and I’ll make sure that I speak up, if my access needs are not completely being met as extensively as I need them to be.

In a topic in Childfree by Choice, someone posted an article that talked about how artificial intelligence (AI) can help people move through grief. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I know I’ll be in the minority here, but who are we to judge this method? I’m going to school to become a therapist who helps people through grief and trauma…and sometimes what may help one person, may be considered unconventional by most folks. But I personally, can totally see how having this AI represent this woman’s deceased daughter, could help her heal. Denial can be crippling…and that seems to be true for this woman’s story.

In this same FB group, the moderator posted a topic about how someone who has children wanted to join this group. And like the last time this happened in this particular space, I initially said something along the lines of “I seriously don’t get how people who regret having kids think that joining a CF group is somehow going to help them understand anything about said life choice. I mean, this group is full of us CF folks talking about our distain for kids–it isn’t an informative type of space. If this person wants to learn about this life choice, there are much better resources that they could learn from than our group.”

What I’d said was clear and to the point, right? Nope; another member of said group felt that they had to comment on this thread to let people know that the person this post was about, happened to be related to them. I’m not sure why they felt the need to even bring that up though. And so, then I replied to said comment, saying something like “I don’t care who this person is, this group is not for people who regret having kids. It is called Childfree by Choice for a reason; and in addition to its name, the group’s rules state this clearly too. And in response to that comment of mine, someone asked myself and other folks who had similar responses as I did, if we’d paid attention to the fact that a member was related to this recent rejected person. I of course said something like “I fully understand that this person wanted to join this group, in the hopes that they could learn about what it’s like being CF. But if they’d looked at this group name, they’d see right away that it’s called “Childfree by Choice.” And also if they’d paid attention to the group name, they would’ve realized that that phrasing means that people who are fence-sitters or people who are just curious about what it means to be CF but who are not CF themselves, should know that this particular group is not the place for them. Period.” I then added something like “if this person wants to have a group of people who like her, regret having kids, or who want to learn about what it’s like to live as a CF person, then this person should create an FB group called ‘I’m not childfree but wish I was.” That’s the only way that such people could find each other…and to me, that’s common sense. It’s not a hard concept to think about or understand.”

After seeing that particular response of mine, the person who was related to this recently rejected group request, felt the need I guess, to attempt to guilt-trip myself and other folks who had the same perspective about this as I do. And then a couple more folks in this group trash-talked those of us with strong perspectives about the fact that this is a black-and-white issue: only people who are childfree, can be allowed in this group. The reason things are this way, is because if the group moderator starts making exceptions for certain groups of people, then yet other people will eventually beg to be let into the group. And then before we know it, those of us who are childfree, won’t have our safe space anymore. No thanks, I for one would hate for that to happen, especially in this group I’ve come to love dearly. Like, I’ve finally found my CF home in this group…which is one of the best feelings in the world.

Now, just for clarification purposes, the reason I didn’t copy/paste exactly what I’d said on this particular thread, was because there are so many posts made in this particular FB group in a day, that it would be damn near impossible to find that particular thread again. And also, as it was, that very thread had so damn many comments on it to sift through…and that would’ve been an absolute nightmare for me to do. So I’m sure there will be times in the future where something similar happens, so just keep that in mind, if you regularly read my blog.

In this same group, someone posted a topic about how they feel that them having kids would screw up their ability to live freely. And the response I wrote to that topic reads:
What you’ve said here resonates with me sooooo much. And although I’m currently single, I feel the same way you do, regarding kids being total relationship killers. And also like you, if I do ever date someone again, I would want to spend my time and energy with them. I’d want us to be able to have sex whenever we want, go on vacation whenever we want ETC. But also, I didn’t receive a lot of love for most of my life, so I would want to be able to fully love and care for my partner, and kids would make that impossible.

In this same group, someone posted a topic about how coworkers of theirs continue telling them that they’ll change their mind about wanting kids. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
It’s funny but also true, that people who say such things don’t know what they are talking about. I’m the same as you though: as soon as I find out folks have or want kids, I let them know that there’s no chance of us dating…regardless of how cool they just might be. In fact, it’s hard for me to even continue talking to potential people to date, online or otherwise, once they say “yes” about the K-word. That may sound weird, being that I have friends who have children and I truly love some of these friends as people…but my love for them exists because I know that they are good parents. But I’m tough, I guess you could say, on folks who could be potential mates for me, who already have or want kids…because I know who I am and what I want out of life, thank you very much!!

In the Disabled Feminists FB group, the person who runs said group asked us to post something that we love about ourselves. And the response I wrote to that thread reads:
I know you asked for us to name just one thing that we love about ourselves…but if you know me by now, you know that I’m a confident person. So with that being said, I love my brutal honesty. I love the fact that I’m a confident person, as it’s taken me years and years to get to this point. I love the fact that I’m outspoken about causes that are important to me. I love that I’ll stand up for my friends or anyone else, when I see wrong is being done to them. I love the fact that I’m unapologetic about who I am, every single day. I love my fierlessness. I love that I’ve allowed myself to flourish, even though both sides of my family of origin are crappy. I love the fact I love fully and with my whole heart, all the time, no matter who folks are. I love that when I connect with people, I connect with them deeply. I love the fact I’m an energetic person whose energy/enthusiasm lights up whatever environment I happen to be in at a given time, along with everyone in it.

On Twitter, I wrote the following thread which reads:
‪A Demi Lovato stan came after me cuz I said that she (Demi) has not always had a mature-sounding voice, nor has she always been a singer who can belt. I’ve listened to things that Demi has sung as a younger person and I’m not a fan of those things at all. But in the last few…years, Demi Lovato’s voice has started sounding great. If any of you Demi stans see this, I promise you, the world will not end, simply cuz I’m not generally a fan of her music. You all will still be OK and I’m sure Demi will make music for years to come. Perhaps you should‪…learn how to not go after someone, just cuz they say something that you don’t like. Perhaps you should try to understand that you also don’t have to respond to things that make you angry, just cuz you see them. Many of you are probably much younger than me but you’d do well…to at least give some thought to what I’ve said here.

I’ve been talking with someone on Twitter through exchanging messages back and forth with them. And we got on the subject of living/having a social life. And the response I wrote, with expansion, reads:
I share a house with people, but we are all responsible for ourselves and we live our own lives. And personally, I prefer to keep my social life outside of my house; I’ve learned that if people you live with know you/about your life, they can use shit against you…and will do so, if they are given the opportunity to. And it’s kinda sad that I’ve had to adapt my life in this way because I’m generally a friendly person who loves getting to know people. But when you’ve been burned time and time again, and in soooooo many different ways, you can’t even count them, that part of your truth alters the way you live and even love. But that being said, my caretaker who lives with me, is the only one I’m close to. He’s like a little brother to me. And I love that.

On a recent episode of the Love Someone with Delilah podcast, the host Delilah talked with an artist. And this artist, along with Delilah, both encouraged people to find whatever forms of self-expression they most love…and to then do that thing regularly. And TBH, listening to this episode of the show made me reflect on how much I hated art as a child. More specifically I hated doing anything that would make my hands dirty. And to this day, I still hate that particular aspect of art. But as a kid, I always loved the final products that my hands themselves had made. And even now as an adult, I’m certain that I’d hate the physical act of using clay, play dough, paper mache or any other type of thing that could make my hands dirty. And now as an adult, I doubt I’d ever go near anything that would make my hands dirty, if I can avoid doing so. Because I have other forms of self-expression that suit me much better. Ahem, I’m a writer, first and foremost. And I’m a firm believer that folks shouldn’t get into any type of social media or any other thing, if their heart is not truly in whatever said thing happens to be. And I bring this up now because I think it fits in perfectly with what this episode of Love Someone with Delilah, focused on. Because the thing is, I’ve had numerous people ask me recently if I plan to get a YouTube channel for myself…and the answer will always be a resounding “no!” Writing is what I’m good at, what I’m passionate about and something I doubt I’ll ever stop loving and needing. And there’s this toxic belief that I’ve had said to me along the lines of “people probably pay less attention to your blog because YouTube is the thing that’s most popular right now.” And the reason that I say this particular belief is toxic, is because no one should do things that they aren’t comfortable doing, whether we’re talking about getting into romantic relationships with someone they barely know, or whether it be using a form of social media that they don’t like or that they don’t feel comfortable using, or whether it be encouraging folks to go to college, when they’d rather go to a trade school of some sort…and on and on and on. People deserve to live the exact lives they want to live, that would make them happy.

In yet another recent episode of the Love Someone with Delilah podcast, the host Delilah talked with an author named Dani Shapiro. And the discussion that these two women had with each other was honestly far more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. Like, I found Dani Shapiro to be super relatable, when it came to the life she lived and the life that I’ve lived. Because both she and I had situations with our biological families that were incredibly complicated and incredibly secretive. In fact Dani Shapiro has created a podcast where people can call a number that’s been set up for folks to record secrets of theirs that they want to tell the world about. I remember seeing this particular podcast in Apple Podcasts before, but it didn’t move me then. So even though that was the case, I did keep track of episode titles of said podcast for awhile, to see if there might eventually be one I thought it would be worth listening to. And there may have literally been one that I’ve listened to, that I’m pretty sure I also blogged about. But that being said, I may give it another listen at some point because I want to see if there are other ways to contact the host of the show Dani Shapiro (who’s the woman that Delilah featured on this episode of hers, Delilah’s podcast.

Numerous childfree thoughts, Hidden Brain podcast thoughts, being supportive and life updates

I posted a thread on Twitter which reads:
‪If you feel that you have to tell people how great you are, then you aren’t that great…period!! This thought of mine comes to me cuz of a recent Twitter discussion I saw/participated in. And in this discussion, folks were talking about someone in the blind community whose TL…is filled with this person shit talking people/saying how lonely they are. But the thing is, this person is lonely cuz of who they are; they are a shitty person and folks get to see/know that very quickly, including me. But a mistake I made in having this person in my life…pretty recently, was that I thought I could explain things to him, like medical issues I have that make it agonizing for me to be on an airplane…or that I could explain to him that for some folks who identify as gay, myself included, the word gay doesn’t necessarily mean…that they only date people of their particular gender. But no matter how articulate I was, no matter how much time I took to try and help this person understand different perspectives than the ones they have, they were an immovable object. So I’m writing this here to say to…folks, if you know who I’m talking about, don’t even waste your time/energy on this piece of shit. They bring on every shitty thing that happens in their life completely on their own. If you’re someone like me whose been repeatedly hurt by him, I hope you know that you are…not alone. Also, I hope you know that the problem is not you, even if he tells you it is/tries to make you feel like it is. He has no clue how to be a friend to anyone, including himself. We deserve better than that and I just wanted folks to know I’m on their side.

I posted a thread in Childfree by Choice that reads:
So I’m coming here because I know this is a safe space for us CF folks and I’d like to know others feel similarly as I do. I have woman friends who like, desperately want to have crotch goblins! Like, they pay money repeatedly to do IVF treatments or whatever they are called, because these women feel like their mother fucking identity is tied up in what not-so-magic and oh-so-disgusting things their vag can do. Barf barf barf barf!!! I’m not a violent person…but FUUUUUUUUUUUCK, I wanna slap some people. I will never understand the desire to create another being…and for what? So that you have something that you perceive will take care of you when you are old? And these mamas don’t see that they are being selfish, in wanting to create brats. But yet, I’m the bitch for calling kids “brats?” I think these mamas must’ve fallen on their heads at some point in their lives cause they have this whole thing backwards. And also, I just feel sad for women who feel like as I said above, their identities are all tied up in their vaginas. Like, it hurts my soul. And so, I just want to create a thread where we can talk about this openly…cause I definitely need to.

In one of the comments I responded to on this thread of mine, someone said that they don’t get why people even want to get pregnant. The response I wrote to that comment reads:
Yeah; I also don’t get people’s desire for kids!! I love sex, but pregnancy/kids, fuck no!! There’s a reason I had my tubes tied as early as I could…and I love myself for being honest about this part of who I am. Because for me personally, being CF is a huge part of my identity.
Another comment on this thread that I responded to, talked about how they have no idea why folks go to such extremes…just to create a fucking human being. My response to this comment reads:
My response to this is something that is toxic…but hear me out. I think many folks go to these extremes because they have this stupid idea in their heads that biological child equals more meaningful child. And also, perhaps they’ve convinced themselves that spending money on IVF is justifiable; whereas, to spend money on a human being that they probably feel is not technically theirs, is immoral. This is just what I’ve heard some folks say, before.
And yet another comment on this thread talked about how this other person knows exactly how I feel. My response to what she said reads:
OMG, this story mirrors the story of the FB friend I’m particularly thinking of in this post. This woman openly talks about her infertility struggles on her FB page and gets sympathy/empathy from sooooo many people, it’s fucking unreal. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to see how fucking kid/baby/adult child centric our society is here, in the United States. IDK how it is in other countries, though. And also, this friend that I’m mainly thinking of in this post is someone I never see because we live in different states. But much like the woman you’ve described in your comment, this woman I know, also has mental health issues. I need more CF folks in my real life…cause it drives me batty to read so many breeder’s posts about their kids.
And yet another comment that I responded to on said thread, talked about how fucking difficult it is to watch people be self-destructive, by having kids. My response reads:
I’m totally with you, in saying that it hurts sooooo bad to watch people self-destruct by having kids. Like, the fact that as someone who has multiple disabilities, people think those disabilities make me less human…but that if I had kids or became pregnant, people would all of a sudden treat me as an equal. Ain’t that some shit? And also, while I’m at it, ain’t it some shit that as a single woman, I get less food stamps…but oh, if I popped out semen demons, I’d get more food stamps? So as a single person, my need for food somehow changes? LMAO.

Another comment on this CF thread that I responded to, talked about how rediculous it is that people willingly put themselves through hell…just so they can give birth to a child. My response to said comment reads:
I feel the same about IVF being disgusting. I see people’s infertility as nature’s fucking clue to these dummies to not fucking reproduce. But they just don’t get it!! They claim to want spawn so bad that to them, it’s worth all the tears, all the heartbreak ETC, that they regularly put themselves through. Yes, I think it’s an active decision on their part. IDK how they refuse to take nature’s hint, seriously!!
Another comment I responded to, suggested that I tell people they’ll regret having kids. The response I wrote to this person says:
The sad thing is, even if folks do regret having kids, they’d never say so. Instead, they’d go to FB and post about how they want to pull their kid’s hair out, or their own hair out/how they otherwise want to somehow get rid of their spawn. But if I or someone else so much as suggested that such a feeling is them feeling regret about this life choice they made, I would be seen as the psychotic one. LOL. Sad and disgusting, really, TBH.
Yet another comment I responded to on this thread, talked about how people bring God into this sort of discussion. My comment reads:
Exactly right, about them blaming God for other things…but going against his will if they themselves desperately want children. I also love how people say things like “if God wants you to have kids, you will,” as though we have no choice in the matter. Someone told me something along those lines the other day actually, and said it’s fucked up if people are CF. I said to them “well, then guess we’re no longer friends, because I’m proudly and loudly CF. I had my tubes tied when I was in my mid-20s because I’m a non-conformist.” That was pretty much the end of that discussion.

Another commenter replied to this post, saying how people’s argument about us human beings having free will is interesting because folks who believe that free will is a thing, seem to only believe in it in certain instances. So for example, people with such beliefs will say that most things are “God’s will,” until it’s their infertility we’re talking about. Because when it’s their infertility on the chopping block, somehow they see themselves as the ultimate judge on how they handle this particular thing. But if they get in a car wreck or get hurt in some other way, those things are God’s will. They have no logical explanation for why they flip-flop from time-to-time. And something else that this commenter pointed out that I think is worth mentioning, is that the entire reason that people get into this frame of mind of wanting to have children biologically in the first place, is because society has trained us human beings in a sense, to believe that children of ours can only be meaningful if we conceive them ourselves. And that’s also why you rarely, if ever, hear infertile people who want kids deciding to adopt kids…because these folks have convinced themselves that their own fucking genetics are what make a child theirs. It’s rediculous!!

Another topic I commented on in Childfree by Choice, talked about how someone feels crappy because relatives of theirs found out that they’ll be having a baby literally two days before the original poster’s wedding. The response I wrote to this post reads:
You have every right to feel the way you do about this, I want you to know that. It sounds to me like they did this to you on purpose, which I think is also fucked up!!! I mean, they even ASSumed that you’d be happy for them, rather than being focused on your wedding…which is as narcissistic as anyone could get. I’m sorry this is happening to you; I wish there was something I could do to make sure you have all the love and happiness on your wedding day…but all I can do is send you a virtual hug. I hope that somehow, you are able to find peace on your special day and on these days in-between. Please keep us posted on this.

Yesterday morning when it was time for me to go outside to wait for my ride, my caretaker happened to be coming to my room to let me know that my ride was already outside of the house. I was glad about this because I knew that meant that I’d likely get to school early, rather than late, as I did on the first school day. The only frustrating thing though, was that once I’d actually gotten to school, I didn’t know where to go. But being the resourceful person I am, I found someone to help me get to my classroom; this person ended up being someone at school who cleans the campus. And this person said that they wouldn’t be able to help me after doing so this time, because apparently, they technically aren’t allowed to help students in this way. But thankfully, they were nice about it; they got me to an area close enough to my classroom, where I just sat in the hallway listening to music/quietly talking to people while I waited for my professor to arrive. And fortunately, one of the people I’d been talking with in the hallway, happened to be a classsmate of mine which made it pretty easy for me to know exactly where the classroom was actually located.

And in this particular class period, we students started to learn how to introduce ourselves using American Sign Language. Our professor first demonstrated to the class how to finger-spell each person’s name using ASL and since I’m blind, the professor finger-spelled names into my hands. This particular gesture showed me what it would actually feel like to experience American Sign Language as a blind person. So the specific phrases that we worked on in class today were “what is your name,” “my name is” and “nice to meet you.” But we also worked on learning how to sign numbers one through five, as well as how to sign the word “numbers” itself. We also learned how to sign the word “letters” and then we were told that there are different letter categories in American Sign Language like fist letters, for example. And what fist letters are, is letters that require you to use your fist to form certain letters. This was our first day physically doing sign language but surprisingly, I kinda got the hang of it. And also, I practiced signing/copying two interpreters who signed with me, as well as with my professor/other students who also signed with me. And TBH, I feel like some of the signs are easier for me to perform than others which is to be expected, I think.

One of the most frustrating things about being in this class, at least right now, is the fact that no one can use our voices, unless our professor permits us to do so. Because when hearing people like me are in the presence of deaf people, it’s considered rude for anyone to use their voice. And I find that a huge culture shock for me, especially because being blind, I use my voice 24/7; and given that I don’t even feel a little bit comfortable in deaf spaces, there’s a certain depression that I go through in such spaces. And TBH, IDK if that’s something that will change with time or not. But my whole reason for putting myself in this class, was because it’s important to me to always do things that challenge me. And what I’m realizing now, after two days of being in this class, is that I need to readjust my expectations…because I’m not going to just be amazingly fluid at ASL within the first few weeks, even. I may never be fluent in ASL; but it’s more important to me that I’m trying to open up my world, instead of just accepting that blind people and Deaf people are cut off from one another. Like, if I make a C in this class, I’ll be damn satisfied because I know what a hard worker I am and have been.

This morning I used the VoiceDream app to read through one of my textbooks for ASL one; because I have a couple homework assignments to complete before next week. But from what I’ve read of this book so far, VoiceOver reads the sections like “homework 1.1,” but it doesn’t seem to read the different options that I have to choose from. So like, I know that in this homework assignment, I’m supposed to choose from a list of strategies and then write a paper on why I chose a particular strategy. So I’m hopeful that I can figure out how to make this work before next week. Because if I can turn in this assignment early, that would be awesome.

This same day, my caretaker told me that he’d dropped off a form at the clinic I go to; the form he’d dropped off, was one that I’ve been wanting my doctor to fill out for awhile now. But a year or so ago now, which was when I’d first gotten what I’d thought was the correct form from the DMV, it turned out that that form was not the right one after all. And so then life just kept happening and I kept forgetting to have someone go back to the DMV to get the correct form…until these last few days. And fortunately, my caretaker delivered what I hope is the right form to the medical clinic, this time around. My doctor wasn’t there at the time though which meant that my caretaker just left the form with someone else at said clinic. But thankfully, having access to the MyChart app which is fully accessible with VoiceOver on my iPhone, means that I could easily send a message to my Primary Care Provider and ask them whether they’d received that form. So that’s just what I did. Now, I just have to wait on their response which could take up to a few days. But man, I must say that using the MyChart app really is a life saver for me. I hope that it continues to stay completely accessible with VoiceOver on my iPhone.

Also this same day, one of my best friends emailed me a list of volunteer opportunities that can be done from people’s homes. And one thing on that list that jumped out at me right away, was a resource called 7Cups which can be found at http://www.7cups.com
This resource allows its members to get in touch with people who can support them however they need to be supported in that moment. So I of course registered as a listener which is what 7Cups calls the folks who support 7Cups members. And almost immediately, I realized that even the 7Cups app for the iPhone was going to take some getting used to. Because it’s incredibly clunky…and not every link tells you what it’s for. Instead, what I hear VoiceOver say aloud is “unpronounceable” or “link” or even “link unrecognizable.” So this particular issue is definitely going to be something I write to 7Cups about. And hopefully with my help, they’ll be able to fix this issue for the better.

But that being said, I did have some slight frustrations, in signing up with this service; more specifically, the website was so clunky using Safari on my iPhone, that I ended up accidentally creating two accounts. But thankfully, this website recognized this and then asked me which account I’d like to keep (the member account or the listener account). And since I love supporting people, I opted to keep the listener account that I’d created. And once that had been done, I had to participate in a 30 minute training using the website as a listener; the kinds of questions I had to answer were “what does active listening mean? How can you help someone feel supported in whatever it is that they’re going through when they reach out to you” and so on. I even messaged back and forth with a chat bot who pretended to be a real person…and I had to write responses to this bot about how I’d respond in kind to the things that it was saying. And then from there, that’s when I logged into 7Cups using the iPhone app which was also clunky, as I’ve said above. But I chatted with someone for the first time and honestly, I came away from that experience feeling like I’d done exactly what I’d signed up to do: offer support and compassion to another human being. And IDK if I’ll ever know how they received our chat…but it felt rewarding to me, for sure.

In a Hidden Brain episode where Shankar Vedantam discusses the importance of checklists, the first person Shankar tells a story about is a surgeon. And in this story, this surgeon was performing a surgery that he’d done many times before; and things unexpectedly turned chaotic during this operation. Because it was a tumor that this doctor was removing…but the tumor was in a part of this patient’s body that could kill him, if it was hit incorrectly. But as it turned out, the doctor this story was about, had gone through the steps with everyone…and fortunately for this doctor’s sake, one of the people who was also in charge was paying attention. And although this patient’s surgery was successful, it was successful because the person who’d been paying attention had prepared for things to go wrong…just in case they actually *did* go wrong.

And then a bit later on in this Hidden Brain episode, this surgeon that Shankar Vedantam had brought up at the beginning of the show, came up with the idea to create checklists for medical facilities. And this surgeon then discussed how numerous folks felt like the checklist idea at medical facilities was an insult to their intelligence. But that wasn’t how this surgeon saw it at all; and so, the people who agreed with him that such a change would be a welcome one, stuck together to advocate for the importance of checklists, in terms of the checklists being a tool that people can use in addition to using their brains. And when I heard this concept simplified in this way on Hiddden Brain, I smiled big.

Because TBH, I’ve been that person myself, who used to not set reminders, create grocery lists ETC, until there came a day in my life where I realized that I’m just fooling myself into thinking that I can remember every single thing I have planned, or that I can remember every single homework assignment I need to do for a particular college class, or that I can remember to not get so caught up in a day that I completely forget to take my medicine. And so once I admitted to myself that I literally don’t have the brain power to remember every single thing in the world that I said or have to do, I forced myself to start using reminders/timers/alarms. And so now, I even try to encourage others to use timers/reminders/alarms because the technological advancements that exist in our world today, already make these things possible for us to do. And so too, will be the case for technological advancements that will exist in our future…and we human beings can either choose to grow alongside said technology…or be left behind because we don’t want to bother learning with the world, as the world learns with us. And personally, it’s a no-brainer for me: I choose every day to grow alongside the technology that exists/will exist…because you can only bring about change if you are willing to embrace change yourself, first and foremost.

In another Hidden Brain episode, this one about politics and how people misunderstand what they, what we, really should be doing as it relates to politics, Shankar Vedantam talks with a man who studies this very thing as his job. And the two of them talk with each other about how many people in the world treat politics like it’s a baseball game that they can watch. And what was meant by phrasing things this way, was that people say they want to be informed on current events but then they’ll watch news on the TV…and the news channels primarily talk shit about whatever political party they are against. And so this man painting this picture of politics as a game in a sense, really made me think a bit differently. Because TBH, before this point, I didn’t think about politics being a game to some people. But the thing about this particular Hidden Brain episode that really resonated with me, was this man talking with Shankar Vedantam about how we as a society should focus on bringing people together to stand alongside us and then show these people how to bring about actual change, in terms of the things we wholeheartedly believe in. And I loved hearing that perspective, not only because I think it’s true, but also because it’s important to shift the way people think about politics/issues that truly matter in the world.

Finishing season two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, podcast thoughts and other reflections

In an episode of Hidden Brain that was political in nature, Shankar Vedantam talked with a couple people about how an individual’s political beliefs are influenced by the ways in which they think about issues that we’re facing and issues that we have faced in society. I loved hearing this perspective because it’s something I hadn’t thought directly of, before. I mean, I have many beliefs that indicate my affiliation with a particular political party over another, but I’ve never actually thought something like “I vote blue so this is how I have to believe.” But rather, I think about and have thought about specific issues in-depth…and along with that, I ultimately believe what logically makes the most sense to me. So for example, the issue of people who are citizens of other countries, coming to the United States to create a better life for themselves and their families, is a no-brainer: those people have just as much right to be here in the US, as those of us who were born here do. People from other countries are not trying to take anything of ours that they should not have. In fact, they, like us, know that they deserve to live happily. And this particular issue is just one example of how I agree with the thought that one’s beliefs about things is what informs each individual’s political beliefs or lack thereof.

And yet another hot-button example of how my beliefs about issues happening in our world, influence where I stand politically, is true equality. I believe that everyone in the world deserves the same rights, whether people are in unconventional relationships, whether people are in the LGBTQ+ community, whether or not people subscribe to a particular religion or no religion at all…and on and on. All of these things I’ve mentioned here, are things that I passionately believe should actually be our lived realities. This particular issue, just like the one I mentioned above, is also a no-brainer to me. I don’t have to think hard to come to the conclusion that every single person in the world deserves to have the same exact rights. Put another way though, gay people deserve to have the same rights for their marriages that heterosexual folks have for theirs. This is not an opinion, it’s a fact.

In my last blog entry, I realize that I didn’t specifically tell you folks what Mom’s memorial was like. So first of all, Mom’s husband and one of their boys shared stories of their life with her. And then the person leading the event encouraged others to share things with everyone, if they’d like to do so. And while I’m usually a great public speaker, speaking at this event to the entire crowd was just not something I’d wanted to do. I mean, quite frankly, I also didn’t think I could speak well then because my tears would flow constantly, without stopping. But another thing, was that I honestly didn’t want to tell the world the story of how Mom had affected my life. Because I don’t believe that the whole world needs to know that part of my story.

Also, in the last blog entry I’d posted, I didn’t talk about the fact that I’d come up with a plan to interact with my ex-boyfriend as little as possible. Because my ex-boyfriend actually introduced someone to me who’s now one of my local best friends. And so needless to say, this local best friend of mine, is one of the children of the woman I called “Mom.” But as far as I know, my ex-boyfriend rarely associated with my best friend’s family. Like, my best friend and I became closer to one another than my best friend has ever been to my ex-boyfriend. But that being said, I was pretty confident that my ex-boyfriend would show up to the celebration of Mom’s life, if for no other reason than to show his support for our mutual friend. But also, I figured that my ex-boyfriend may show up at this event because he’d figured that I’d be there. So needless to say, I’d had several conversations with this mutual friend of ours, because I wanted to ensure that I had a back-up plan because I’d rather be safe than sorry. And also, I’d thought long and hard about the boundaries I’d want to set for myself because again, I didn’t want to find myself in a sticky situation with my ex-boyfriend.

And so, the way I’d wanted things to play out, was that if I interacted with my ex-boyfriend, I didn’t want any kind of touch from him, other than a handshake. I also didn’t want to say much of anything to him, other than short, meaningless things like “hi” and “how are you?” And fortunately for my sake, things ended up turning out exactly how I’d wanted them to which was a nice surprise. But even so, the few seconds that I did interact with my ex boyfriend, were incredibly uncomfortable for me. And TBH, I’m hopeful that if I happen to run into him again sometime in the future, that our interactions with each other will be less awkward for me. Because I want nothing to do with him, ever again.

In addition to people sharing stories with each other about Mom at her memorial, there was a band at the event that played live music; the people in the band had known the host family for a long time. And the music that this band played, was great; I loved the singer’s voice and the way the band as a whole sounded. The banter between the musicians and singer made me smile too.

In season two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, there’s a part where The Academy of Unseen Arts is putting on a talent show. And in said talent show, Sabrina’s warlock boyfriend Nick pretends that he’s a magician. And one of the things he does to help him pull these tricks off, is have students at The Academy volunteer to participate in his magic tricks. And Sabrina happens to be one of the witches who volunteers; but the magic trick she volunteers to help Nick with, goes horribly wrong. And Sabrina ends up getting badly hurt; and then a bit later on in the show, we the viewers learn that Sabrina comes back to life good as new.

Something else that happens in season two of this show, that stood out to me, was that one of Sabrina’s aunts was proposed to by Father Blackwood (who is the High Priest at The Academy of Unseen Arts). And so then, given that Sabrina had been trying to avoid Father Blackwood herself at all costs, she did everything she could to try and stop the wedding between him and Sabrina’s aunt from happening. Because as this part of the show goes on, we the viewers eventually find out that Father Blackwood has the aunt of Sabrina’s that he’s married to, completely under his control. And so Sabrina and her other aunt work with each other to undo the enchantment that’s been put on Father Blackwood’s new wife. And the way that the two of them undo the enchantment, is by altering a music box that contains a figurine of Sabrina’s aunt that happens to be Father Blackwood’s wife. So Sabrina and her other aunt smash the figurine to pieces…and that’s what ultimately broke the enchantment that Father Blackwood had put in place.

And then later on in season two of this show, Sabrina figures out that Ms. Wardwell who was a teacher at Baxter High as well as a principle at Baxter High, has been the one who’s been controlling every evil thing that Sabrina has done. Sabrina also figures out that the reason that Ms. Wardwell has been doing this, is because she (Ms. Wardwell) wants Sabrina to make a prediction come true that she (Ms. Wardwell) has known about for some time. And so Sabrina and her cousin Ambrose work with each other to determine whether there’s a way for them to create an evil twin of Sabrina, in the hopes that having an evil twin could fool Ms. Wardwell. And fortunately, Sabrina and Ambrose are successful in creating an evil Sabrina; but neither the good Sabrina nor Ambrose, realizes that there’s actually an evil Sabrina in the world now…until the evil Sabrina starts creating evil clones of Sabrina’s friends and otherwise putting the good Sabrina’s loved ones in danger. And then as if these things aren’t complicated enough, it turns out that what we the viewers think is Ms. Wardwell, is actually Lilith (the Queen of Hell). And also, it turns out that Lilith is competing with Sabrina in a sense because she (Lilith) wants to be the one who is the Dark Lord’s greatest sidekick.

And yet another thing that happens in season two of this show, that I completely forgot about, was the fact that Sabrina and Harvey’s friend Rosalind (or Roz for short) has a heartfelt conversation with Sabrina. The conversation that Roz and Sabrina had that I’m referring to, was about Roz having lost her eyesight. And more specifically, during this conversation, Roz wanted to know if there was any way that Sabrina could restore her eyesight. Sabrina tells Roz that she can indeed bring it back…and Harvey, Theo, Sabrina and Roz, all crowd into a bathroom at Baxter High (their high school). And once Roz splashes her face and eyes with water, Sabrina tells her that she should have her eyesight back. And thankfully, Roz did get her eyesight back.

But as someone who’s blind myself, I can’t stand the premise of ‘blind person equals defective person’; and in fact, I’m pretty sure that folks who are actually blind didn’t come up with this particular part of this show. Or if blind people were involved with this particular decision, they were most likely blind people who’d take the opportunity to have their eyesight back, if they could do so. And that’s interesting to me because I myself wouldn’t choose to have my eyesight back, if I were ever given an opportunity to. Because the thing is, there wouldn’t be any way for anyone to tell me for certain, that I’d be able to see again. And so, that being said, I’d hate to take such a serious risk, knowing that said risk may not even work. And yes, I’m saying this as someone who misses having eyesight, every single day of my life.

To elaborate on why I wouldn’t ever want to have my eyesight back, there’s a hell of a lot more that would go into that process that people don’t think about. Or if they do think about it extensively, they never say that they do. But what I mean, in saying that this issue is far more complicated than simply regaining one’s eyesight, is that one’s brain would also have to make huge adjustments to such a change. So even though someone who’s regained their eyesight may see an object placed directly in front of them, he or she won’t necessarily know what said object is, not to mention the fact that the learning process itself would have to start from square one. And quite frankly, starting over would not be something that I’d willingly want to put myself through. I mean, hell, I’ve already had to relearn how to do things after going completely blind…and that particular challenge was difficult enough to deal with. And that change was not something I ever expected to happen in my life, most especially because doctors always said that I’d never lose my vision. But the thing I know now though, is that doctors are human and therefore, they are not always correct in the things they think or predict will happen in other human beings’ lives.

Another thing in season two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina that stands out to me, was the fact that we the viewers learn that Nick who’s also a student at The Academy of Unseen Arts, was forced by the Dark Lord to become close to Sabrina. This particular thing happening, was not something I remembered though, TBH. But even so, seeing it again made me sad. Like, up until this point, I’d thought for sure that the connection between Sabrina and Nick was totally genuine. But interestingly, as we the viewers find out this truth, we as the viewers also know that Sabrina has gone against the Dark Lord herself, in later episodes of the show. And this conversation between Sabrina and Nick, regarding Nick being influenced by the Dark Lord, Sabrina tells Nick that you can, indeed, challenge the things that the Dark Lord wants you to do. And that particular detail, is definitely one that I hadn’t recognized before.

In Childfree by Choice, someone created a topic asking how many CF folks are CF due to medical reasons. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I’m also someone who’s child free, mostly for medical-related reasons. I have numerous chronic health conditions and multiple disabilities that all make it hard as hell for me to care for myself…so there’s no way in hell I’d want to put another human being through this shittiness I’ve been dealt.

In this same FB group, someone posted a thread about families forcing teenage children to give birth to fetuses/why the original poster of this topic feels that that is wrong to do. My response to this thread reads:
It’s sickening, really, that people would rather force teenagers to have kids, rather than encouraging them to get abortions so that they can continue to be teenagers. I remember that this exact thing happened with the R&B singer Brandy; she got pregnant in her early 20s and her family cared more about protecting their image as “Christian” folks, than they cared about just being truthful. And so while I’m a fan of most of her music, I don’t like the fact that she lied…just because she thought that the world would no longer accept her if they knew that she’d had a baby out of wedlock. Such fucking hypocrites…

So I’m realizing that I really screwed myself, in deciding to have a class at my college’s smaller campus. And why I say that, is because I’ve never actually been to that campus prior to last week. And the thing is, there’s no Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) on that campus and then there’s the fact that since going to school later today will literally be my second time there, I have no idea where anything is. And that’s going to make things even tougher on me.

More assorted podcast thoughts, childfree thoughts, mixed life updates and togetherness

I recently went back and re-read my Claircognizance journal that I’d created at the end of last year. And the reason I looked at it recently, was because I wanted to see whether I’d put the weekday that corresponded with each date. And I had not actually done that; so I took the time to do so at the time I’d opened that document. And interestingly I wonder if anyone I knew as a kid who either taught me at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) or who was a student there as well, knew that I had certain gifts that other folks did not, and do not, have. I mean, no one ever asked me anything along those lines…but I knew that this particular gift, even though I didn’t have any language for it then, was exactly what made me soooooo incredibly different from other people.

While I have a lot of friends here in this particular city and state, there’s only one person I hang out with quite a bit. And so I’m surprised I haven’t talked about this in more detail, given the fact that I blog about what it’s like for me to live with multiple disabilities…but this friend of mine has a truck and two different types of cars. One of these vehicles I’ve mentioned, is a Camaro; this vehicle of theirs sits very low to the ground. And in addition to that, it’s extremely hard for me to get out of said vehicle, because of how low it sits to the ground…and then if I get out of the car and there’s a curb I have to step onto right away, that makes things even more difficult for me. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that getting my wheelchair into the Camaro is no easy task either. The chair is considered an ultra-lite wheelchair but even as small as the chair is, my friend can’t fit it into their Camaro easily. Oh, and one more thing: I have small legs but when I sit in the passenger’s side of this particular vehicle, there’s barely any legroom for me. And from what I remember about the other car this friend has, the explanation I’d give about why it’s difficult for me to get into and out of this second vehicle, is exactly the same as the one I just gave about the Camaro. Now, this friend of mine’s truck is very different: I have to lift my legs up pretty high onto the foot ledge of the truck, in order to actually get into the vehicle itself. And sometimes that’s incredibly difficult for me to do, especially if I’ve already had a long day that’s also been physically tiring. And other times, I need my friend to help me lift one of my legs up and into the truck. Wow, it’s insane to have written all of this down now, because I’m also thinking about how tired I’m getting, just writing all of this strenuous activity down. But it’s important that folks know this part of my truth, harsh and frustrating as it may be.

Thursday morning I called the person at the college I go to that’s in charge of getting students’ their books in whatever accessible format each student needs them in. I’d called them to let them know that I’d found both of the textbooks that are required for this class; I let them know that I’d found them both on Bookshare (a resource for people who cannot read print). And then given that this person is also blind as I am, the two of us talked for a bit about how when Bookshare first came onto the technology scene, said resource was awful. Like, the quality of books that Bookshare workers/volunteers had scanned/put into formats that screen reader users could use, was horrible quality. But thankfully, as the years have gone by, Bookshare has worked hard to ensure that the quality of books that they put out, is more than barely passable. And when I say “barely passable,” what I mean by that, is that they put in more of an effort to make their books as free of typos and other errors as possible. Now, that being said, I’m not criticizing Bookshare for being new at one time. Of course I understand that when technology and other resources are new, that means that there are going to be bugs and other problems that couldn’t necessarily be anticipated by people. In bringing up the fact that Bookshare didn’t used to have such great-quality books, I’m meerly reflecting on what I remember and saying that I’m thankful for how far this particular invaluable resource has come. Because having access to Bookshare as I do, means that my world is so much more open than it would otherwise be…and that’s something that truly makes me happy. Because as I’ve probably said on my blog lots of times before, I’ve always been an avid reader.

Friday morning the Director of the OSD at school emailed me, saying that they are looking for someone to be my interpretor for this American Sign Language (ASL) class I’m taking. TBH, I was shocked to read those words of theirs. But then on the other hand, I was elated, mostly because I know that the law states that Offices for Students with Disabilities are supposed to support educational goals that students who are disabled, have. And so after reading said email from OSD’s director, I responded to it letting this person know that in addition to the in-class help from an interpreter, I’d also need help from an interpreter or a ASL tutor outside of class because there will be homework assignments I’ll have, where I’ll need to watch a video and then write about what I thought about said video. So that means that I’m going to need someone to explain to me what’s happening in the video; and then I’m also going to need someone to take videos of me doing American Sign Language myself, and possibly even help me submit the videos, if the platform my instructor uses is not accessible with my screen reader. I also told the Director of the OSD that I need to add some accommodations to my accommodation form because there are things that I’ll need for this class specifically, that I didn’t need for any classes I’ve taken in the past. And one example of this that I gave them, is that I’ll need to take breaks from time-to-time because my hands have physically never done anything like this before…and so not only will they get tired easily, but they’ll also become painful because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cerebral Palsy. They said they’d add that particular accommodation to my record.

But the thing is, there’s a part of me that knows I shouldn’t be grateful for the fact that this person is now suddenly willing to abide by the law, now that I’m actually in my first-ever American Sign Language class. I shouldn’t be grateful that a service like Offices for Students with Disabilities at colleges in the United States, exists here. And the main reason I shouldn’t be grateful for these things, is because these things simply allow me to have equal access to the world that sighted/able-bodied folks automatically have access to, by default. But yet I am grateful, mostly because when people finally just support me in doing the things that I want to do, that support of theirs makes my life less stressful, not to mention it makes my life considerably less difficult than it would otherwise be. And that’s a relief because it means that I can devote all of my focus to this course, both inside and outside of the classroom.

When I got up yesterday morning I got myself ready for my new friend to give me a different-looking hairdo; this one was different for me because my friend curled my hair using a curling iron. Interestingly though, I’d taken a shower shortly beforehand which meant that my hair was still a bit wet. That was a good thing though because hair is easier to cut when it’s wet, at least from many past experiences I’ve had with getting my hair done/trimmed. And also, while my new friend was here at my house, she painted my nails a dark blue color. She even taught me something new today which was that there are nail polishes that exist in the world that have a top coat layer in them already. And so that particular kind of nail polish was exactly what she’d used on my nails this time around. As always, I enjoyed having her around; I have lots of fun with her, just talking about whatever the fuck we want to talk about.

And shortly after I’d finished getting beautified by her, it was time for me to leave with my best friend to attend the celebration of life for Mom. And first and foremost, it felt great to be out of the house literally all day long. Because I haven’t done that much lately for more than an hour at a time…so this was pure heaven for me. And TBH, this memorial for Mom was not like any other memorial I’d ever been to before. But that being said, Mom’s memorial was exactly how I’d want my memorial to be, when that time comes. The only two things that I disagreed with about this service, was the fact that it was at a church, combined with the fact that the minister, pastor or whatever his title was, said that there’s really no such thing as death…and that there’s just life after life. And you know, I have no desire to take away anyone’s views, including this guy’s…but that particular philosophy doesn’t sit well with me at all. Like, as I’ve said time and time again here on my blog, this life is the only life that we have. An afterlife is something that brings comfort to some folks in the moment…but quite frankly, is just an easy avenue for folks to take, in order not to face the reality that death truly is final. And that is there life to do with as they please; it just gets under my skin to see that side of people who it seems are more comfortable conforming to society than carving out their own path for their life.

In an episode of Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam (its host) talks with a lady who’s from Spain and who’s also musically inclined. As a child, this lady was taught how to play the bagpipes because doing so was part of the folklore where she came from. But eventually this lady started to want more for herself; so it was then that she begun to create her own music using the bagpipes. And once she’d done that, she released a few albums. And then from there, she decided to relocate to the United States. Once she’d arrived in the US, she went to school to learn how to play the piano; and while she was at the school she’d chosen to attend, she kept her life living in Spain to herself. But then one day, a teacher at the school she was a student at, asked her if she could help translate a piece of music that was in a language similar to Spanish. She had no idea what to expect; but it turned out that that song was one she knew from back home, that was very traditional in her home country. And so long story short, she ended up meeting the person who’d created this piece of music…and the two of them talked about where she’d come from. And afterwards, some time went by…and she eventually received a phone call from the guy who’d written this particular piece of music. During this particular conversation, he asked her if she’d like to join him at an event and talk about where she came from as well as how she’d learned to play the bagpipes when she was a little girl. She of course went to this event, not knowing until later, that all of the people at said event were musicians from all over the world. And the entire reason that this man brought people together like this, was because he believed that music is universal and that, no matter where we human beings come from, beautiful music really can be made using instruments that people would never even think to put together. One such example of this, is bagpipes played along with an instrument from Japan.

In the next segment of Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam talks with a married couple who come from different countries. The husband comes from the US and the wife comes from the Philippines; and the husband and wife have learned to each integrate parts of their individual cultural beliefs and practices, into their lives as partners. And hearing this particular story for me, was interesting because I personally have not had a positive experience dating someone who was of a different culture than me. But that being said, I can and do see how interacting with folks from different countries can be a great learning experience for everyone involved.

In the next segment of this Hidden Brain episode, Shankar Vedantam talks to two men who are each from different countries. Both of these men have enemies from different countries as well. But at first, one of these men decides to support the military in his country; but in doing so, that’s what makes him have an experience that opens up his eyes forever. And what happens in said experience, is that as a soldier, this man is going into people’s houses with the intention of breaking those people apart, simmply because such people have been enemies of the country he’s from, for years and years. And so there’s one time in particular, when this man sees an elderly woman fall onto the floor…and her family just looks at her with terrified looks on their faces, none of them moving to help get her back onto her bed. And when that happened, this man realized that it wasn’t worth him and these people fighting with each other…for any reason. And then that was when he stopped supporting the military in his country because he started to believe in the importance of unity rather than hostility.

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, its host Ira Glass talks to a woman who grew up in England and Nigeria; he tells her story about how she’s always longed to live in America. And then she goes into vivid detail of how she’d fantasized about the kind of person she could be in America, from how she’d act, to the way that she’d actually live her life. And she and Ira Glass then talk with each other about how she’d gotten hired at a camp and how actually coming to America was what made her decide to find ways that she could appreciate things that made her happy. And in fact, happiness is what this particular episode of This American Life was all about. And yet another thing that made this woman happy, was that Ira Glass asked her if she’d like to host this episode of the show. She enthusiastically said that she would.

The first person that she talked to on this episode of This American Life, was a man who’d found happiness in taking up gardening as a hobby. And this man ended up taking a tomato he’d planted, putting said tomato in a container to keep it safe and then taking it with him whenever he traveled places. And surprisingly to me, this tomato was a huge hit with literally all of the folks who saw it, during this man’s travels. And TBH, I thought that this particular story was fascinating because carrying a tomato around is such a seemingly small thing; but the fact that this man had created this garden of food found happiness through said garden, was neat.

The next story that was told, was about a five-year-old little boy who’d be riding a school bus for the very first time. His mom was of course in this story as well, and the two of them talked with each other about this new excitement. Part of the reason that the boy whose name was Cole, was so excited, was because he has a big sister that’s a few years older than him…and he desperately wanted to do the things that she was able to do, like have his personal space respected, in more places than just his bedroom. And I must admit, I thought this story was adorable; the kid’s speaking voice sounded so cute.

The next person that’s a guest on this episode of This American Life, is an elderly woman whose found genuine happiness in the small things. She’s currently in her 70s; and after having taken care of her children and her deceased husband for years and years, she’s finally ready to do the things in her life that she’s wanted to do for herself, that she couldn’t have done while raising children or taking care of her husband. And something that she really enjoys, is traveling to different places; hearing this story warms my heart because I believe that every individual should live whatever life they want to live, as long as they are not harming themselves or others.

Another person that’s a guest on this episode of This American Life, is a lady who works at a zoo, making sure that the animals there, are taken care of. And although I’m not a huge animal person persay, I did enjoy hearing this particular story. There were some interesting animal noises that I don’t think I’ve heard before; and the zookeeper that was the main focus in this segment of the show, was very soft-spoken. But at the same time, she was totally genuine; it was obvious from the second she’d started talking, that she loved her job with her whole heart which honestly left me wishing that more people would learn to enjoy their jobs that they are not even entitled to have.

The last guest on this episode of the This American Life podcast, was a woman who’d experienced what it was like being happy for years; and then just randomly, a day came when that happiness completely disappeared. And so she didn’t know what to do, other than to pretend that she was still genuinely happy. And surprisingly to her, that worked for a bit, until eventually she became too distraught to do much of anything. And being that I’ve had days, months and even years of being depressed to the point of not wanting to even stay alive. And there have been countless times throughout my life that I’ve been so down/that I’ve questioned my purpose in the world. But given how all feelings ebb and flow if we let them do so, my severe depression was no exception to that rule; and so it was lovely to hear a story about another woman who’s been through something similar to what I’ve described here about my own life.

On Twitter I wrote the following thread which reads:
I find it insulting when as a content creator, people don’t value my work/what I have to say, the way I value those things. Like, if you’re gonna ask me to write something for your blog and then just sit on the piece that I took time to write for you, that’s a waste of my time. That being said, I’m well aware that I can’t make other people do things. And quite frankly, if folks don’t believe in what it is I’ve written for their blog then I’d rather not even be featured on it. But all this being said, it’s disrespectful to me to just have folks sit on…my writing. And I’m reminded of exactly why for most of these 2 years blogging publicly, I’ve never been featured on anyone’s blog, nor have I had anyone featured on my blog. Cuz I just know internally that no one will ever value my writing the way I do. That’s a harsh fact!!

An FB friend of mine posted an update on their page, saying that they’d recently lost a pet. This person loved their pet, similarly to the way in which I love most human beings. What I wrote to them reads:
Hugs to you. I won’t tell you that it’ll get better because no one can know that; but I will tell you that I know that you were the best dad ever to her. I’ll treasure the time you and she came to Arkansas to visit me when I was there in 2017. Allow yourself to grieve as much as you need to. I’m only a message away 💖

I recently wrote a response to someone in Childfree by Choice, on a topic where a person discussed not wanting to have kids because they have numerous medical issues that make it impossible for them to take care of kids themselves. And the response I wrote to that thread reads:
Thanks for posting this; what you said resonates with me so much. I have multiple disabilities myself, in addition to multiple chronic health conditions that can all become life-threatening at any moment. And like you, I’ve never wanted to have kids, for the exact same reason as you: the fact that the possibility exists that I’d hurt the kid because my hands/arms give out or something. And also like you, I wouldn’t want to have kids when I already know that I’ll never be able to take care of them on my own, due to the cards I’ve been dealt with in my life. I also agree with you that it would be selfish for us to have kids, knowing these things about ourselves.

In this same FB group, someone posted a thread asking folks if they’ve ever thought to lie to a doctor, in order to get permanent birth control for themselves. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
No, I haven’t done that. And TBH, it breaks my heart to hear that you would even consider not telling the truth. If a doctor does not support what you want, that does not mean that your desires are invalid. Find a Doctor Who respects and excepts your truth…

Going back to school, podcast thoughts, more thoughts on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, living as a childfree person and some minor ranting

Something in my second time continuing to watch season two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina that stands out to me, is that whatever happens at Baxter High (the high school that Sabrina and her human friends attend) closely mirrors what happens at The Academy of Unseen Arts. And so for example, when Baxter High students are studying Romeo and Juliet so that they can perform said play for their entire class, students at The Academy of Unseen Arts are also practicing a play with each other that they are going to perform for the entire school. And the thing that makes this so significant, is that the Dark Lord has come to Sabrina when she’s at her home…and he’s asked her to do something bad as a way to prove her loyalty to him. Because the thing is, Sabrina had signed The Book of The Beast AKA the Dark Lord’s Bible. And in performing that particular gesture, she’s committed herself to the Dark Lord forever. And so this is why, when she outwardly refuses to do the first bad thing that he wants her to do, she and her loved ones/friends suffer awful consequences, one of which is the Dark Lord putting a claw on Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend Harvey’s chest.

And interestingly the way in which we as the viewers learn this bit of information, is through the fact that Sabrina and Harvey end up having to be partners with each other for Romeo and Juliet that’s being put on by Baxter High. And in this particular scene where the two of them are practicing their lines, both of them get to a point where they’re overcome with the romantic feelings that they still have for each other. And personally, I think this scene is hot. But I wish that it had been even hotter; like, I think it would’ve been great to see them having sex and enjoying each other as human beings/animals.

In the episode of Hidden Brain that I’d recently talked about regarding plot twists, Shankar Vedantam and the lady he was talking to, discussed how another movie could be tied in with this particular conversation. This movie was called Usual Suspects; and one of the first things I need to make you all aware of, is that this story is about a criminal that the police are trying to find. And it turns out that the man who’s narrating the story, is the man the police are looking for. But this man himself, isn’t even aware of that; or at least, we as the viewers are lead to believe he isn’t. And yet another thing in Usual Suspects that’s meant to play a trick on the viewers, is the fact that the narrator appears to be physically disabled throughout most of the movie. But at the end of the movie, this same character can be seen walking without any difficulty which as the woman who’s a guest on this Hidden Brain episode points out, the writers of this movie did because they know that most people think of folks with disabilities as less than, simply because we’re disabled. And it makes sense to my mind that writers and such would think to do this because it is very true. And in fact, one of the biggest reasons that I’ve created this blog, is because I believe that many of the things that I have to say, are not said by many folks…and so I think that’s what makes it urgent for me to want to get my message out there constantly, no matter what it is I’m talking about.

And speaking of Hidden Brain, I noticed that there are still several episodes of this show that I haven’t played in full; and yet other Hidden Brain episodes I just flat out can’t remember if I’d ever finished in their entirety. And so I just wanted you folks to know that I’ll be listening to those episodes from the beginning, from this point forward. Thankfully there aren’t so many Hidden Brain episodes that it seems like I’ll never catch up…but at the same time, I’ll admit that I’m a bit nervous about how long it’ll take me to finish catching up with said podcast. LOL, I know that probably sounds weird. And I’m also trying to figure out how I’d even gotten behind on the Hidden Brain podcast to begin with; but honestly, I don’t even have a clue. LOL.

The Twitter account called BlindUnfiltered that I’ve written about here before, recently posted that the person who runs that account feels too overwhelmed. They explained to folks that there are numerous people criticizing them and trying to make their life difficult…and that they don’t want to continue to deal with that. And a big part of me applauds this person for knowing themselves and not being afraid to say exactly what they both need and want. But on the other hand, that particular Twitter account provided me with a lot of joy. So I’m definitely going to miss it, if it does get discontinued for good.

On Twitter, one of my followers on that particular social media platform recently tweeted something saying that Dunkaroos cookies are coming back. I tweeted Dunkaroos on Twitter, saying:
You were seriously my favorite cookies as a kid!! I’m 32 now&I’m a lil nervous I must say, about whether they’ll taste as amazing as they did when I was a kid. But I swear, I say all this with so much love in my heart and oh, how I hope you still rock my tastebuds.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone posted about how they feel that having group moderators will totally ruin the group. The response I wrote to that reads:
I’m with (name omitted) here 100%. Who the fuck is to say what bullying is? If the person who’d created this group or one of the other moderators doesn’t like an opinion from say, me, they could just block me or say I’m being a bully, just because they don’t like what I have to say. And if that’s the case, I definitely want to be told where else to go…cause that is rediculous. We’re all adults here…we don’t fucking need babysitters!!

A little while after I’d posted that comment in said group though, I decided to leave the group altogether. Because I’m at a point in my life where I fully understand that some things are only meant to stay in our lives for a short amount of time. And one such thing for me, was this Blind Bitching FB group. Because TBH, when I’d first joined said group, it was very different than it is now. And what I mean in saying that, is that given the fact that there are moderators in the group who have flat out said that they want to pay attention to the things that people say, and given the fact that what constitutes as bullying to one person, may be very different to another person, both of these things mean censorship to me. And so as I’ve said before on my blog and in this particular group, we’re all adults; we don’t fucking need to be treated as if we can’t handle our emotions. And these things are why I don’t want to be part of a group who polices folks in this way. Because this kinda treatment is incredibly unhealthy.

In the FB group Childfree by Choice, someone made a topic explaining that a relative of theirs who has kids, continually tries to make the original poster of this topic feel guilty for not having children themselves. I wrote:
It really bothers the fuck out of me that women who have children, who as you even said yourself, consciously decided to create/keep those children of theirs, try to make us CF folks feel like we’re the assholes for telling them the truth. So no, you were not in the wrong here; I’m totally with you!!

In another thread in this CF group that someone created, the person talked about how someone who has a child, wanted to become a member of this group. The response I wrote to this thread reads:
Sounds like this person is experiencing regret at having a crotch goblin. Good on you for rejecting them; they should know better than to come to a CF group for support–after all, it isn’t our burden to carry/to cater to them. I’m sure they/anyone who feels as this person does, can find FB groups/Meetup groups or something that are strictly for folks who regret having kids. Color me harsh…but there ya have it.

In yet another topic in this particular FB group, someone posted about the frustration they experience when people tell them that there will come a time when they’ll want to have kids. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
It is highly annoying when people say this kind of thing to me too. And I’ve never actually told someone this, but maybe next time I have an opportunity to do so, I’ll say to them something like “you aren’t in my head, nor have you lived the life I live…but mostly, you don’t pay my bills so STFU.” Or even simpler, when they say “you’ll change your mind” or other similar demeaning bullshit, say “got it” and then walk away. That’ll shut them down real quick.

In the FB group I’m in that’s called LGBT+ Pen Pals, the person who runs said group made a post about people complaining about the fact that they sometimes receive letters from pen pals that are typed rather than written by hand. This person said that they hadn’t actually seen this happening in this group particularly but that they wanted to clarify this anyway. The response I wrote to this thread reads:
Thank you for posting this. Also, I would urge people to consider the fact that the reason people may type letters up is because they are blind and literally cannot write. Some blind people may have been taught to write, but some of us have not been taught to. So it is awfully judgmental of people to gripe because people type; compassion goes a long way, folks!!

Today was the second day of school this semester but *my* first day of school. And when I’d called the transportation company that provides transportation for disabled and elderly people the day before, they were able to schedule for me to be picked up from home…but they didn’t have any drivers available to take me home, after my class had finished. And so I immediately figured out an alternative which was having one of my local best friends pick me up from school. My caretaker was even able to take me to school which was nice because that meant that I wouldn’t have to leave my house quite so early, as the paratransit company would’ve required me to do, if they’d been the ones to pick me up. My caretaker was even able to help me to my class; but first, the two of us went into the Administration building to ask a staff member or a student worker exactly where my classroom would be located.

And although I’d arrived to class a few minutes late, I didn’t miss anything. The professor was actually giving us the students a pop quiz to see how much (or how little) we knew about Deaf culture. But this quiz wasn’t at all meant to dehumanize us for not knowing correct answers to the questions that were asked of us. But rather, this pop quiz was used by our instructor so that they could determine whether they’d need to explain even the most basic of concepts to us or whether they could start from us already having some knowledge. But it turned out that they started from us as students having no knowledge whatsoever. But the great thing was that after every single question, the professor went through every possible multiple choice answer and explained why each one was right or wrong. And that was incredibly helpful to this student, at least! And surprisingly, even though there were only 14 or 15 questions on this pop quiz, it took a bit of time for us to go through everything because as I’d said, the professor really took the time to give us thoughtful, eye-opening answers. Yes, I as a blind person just said I had an eye-opening experience; that is not just a literal expression but also, it’s a figure of speech that I’m sure I’ll use a lot in the future, as well.

But before I go any further, I want to back up for a second. Yesterday evening I used the MyChart app to communicate with my Primary Care Provider. I wanted to ask them when I should make a follow-up appointment to see them; and then this afternoon someone called me from the clinic to schedule an appointment. So I guess whenever it was that I’d initially called the clinic, actually got to someone who then returned my call. And so I now have an appointment to see my PCP later this month which I’m happy about.

But going back to my first day of school today, after class was over, I stayed a little while longer. That way, my professor could catch me up on what I’d missed in the first class on Monday. And so that conversation between the two of us mostly consisted of them going over the syllabus with me. But also, the two of us talked about some ways that my professor could help ensure that I have support in the classroom as well. So they asked me if I’d be alright with them talking to the entire class next week and I said that I would. I made sure that they knew that being blind is a part of my identity; I’m not sightless, visually impaired, differently-abled or any ableist term that’s designed by able-bodied sighted people to make *themselves* feel more comfortable. I’m also disabled; having disabilities other than blindness is also a part of my identity. The words “disabled” and “disability” are not dirty words–they are my lived reality. Calling them something else is flat out disrespectful to me, most especially if you’ve already been told by me why you overthinking this and choosing *not* to listen to me, is harmful. Similarly, we also discussed that being in a situation like this where I won’t know the correct form for signing things, has been something I’ve been thinking about lately. And so when I’m in this specific classroom setting or if I’m at deaf events with classmates or interpreters, I totally wouldn’t mind people I know touching me to physically show me how to have the correct form for ASL. And then while we were at it, I asked my professor if they’d mind me feeling their face so that I could feel with my hands what them making certain facial expressions actually felt like. And TBH, I’d initially thought that I’d hate feeling people’s faces, even in this particular context. Because I’m sure that many of you have seen movies or TV shows where blind people feel other people’s faces. And quite frankly, that’s just done for show. I say that because all faces feel the same as one another. But when the context behind why a blind person needs to feel a face changes, that fact alone helps shift that blind person’s perspective. At least, it certainly did so for me.

Once I’d gotten home from school today I wrote the following FB status which reads:
OK, so last week, you all may remember that I was freaking out because I didn’t have my textbooks for school in an accessible format. You may also remember that last week, I was deathly ill, and therefore incapable of thinking of resources to check for said textbooks. But just now, I checked Bookshare…and I found both of my textbooks for ASL 1. I feel great and like I really have evidence to show OSD how serious I truly am about making this happen for myself. I cannot wait to meet with them and tell them the things I’ve done since they’ve told me numerous times that they won’t support me. And you know something, I gotta say, my bio mom was onto something when she used to call me Mrs. Prepared. I still am Mrs. Prepared 🙂 😌 😉

I realize that this blog post goes back and forth from one day to the next a bit more than usual, but I’m hopeful that that doesn’t confuse people. Because I’m structuring this blog post the best I know how, especially given that there’s a lot of information in it. And so now that I’m back in school and active, sometimes things will happen on one day that don’t always have a solution that day…and so then those things will carry into the next day or even the next week or even the next month.

Assorted podcast thoughts, an interesting YouTube documentary, a huge unexpected health scare and some advice

I recently watched a documentary on YouTube that was called Trust Me, I’m Sick. I seriously loved every second of said documentary; it accurately describes different folks living with assorted chronic health conditions. And one thing in this documentary that stood out to me, was how society doesn’t seem to grasp that when people have chronic health conditions, that that actually means that such people never get breaks from being sick people. This particular thing resonated with me not only because I have multiple debilitating chronic health conditions myself, but also because I find people telling me to ‘get well soon’ is dismissive of my truth. Because there is never going to be a day where I ‘get well’ because chronic illnesses are with folks for life. And personally, I’d like to help as many people understand these facts as I can: because the more this truth about me is understood, the better off my world, and other people’s worlds, will be.

But all that being said, the best those of us who live with any chronic illnesses can do for ourselves, is to not be afraid to speak out about exactly what we regularly deal with. But something else that I’d like to highlight about my chronic illnesses journey, is that I also want folks to understand, or to try to understand, the reason behind why I’m willingly deciding not to ever actively look for a romantic partner again: and that reason is because for anyone to date a sick person like me, is a hellish roller coaster. There are times when I have less chronic pain and other times when I’m in such severe pain that I can’t even put on a new change of clothes or do anything but sit around and play on my phone or with my Echo Dot. And most of those really hard times, are not just physically hard for me but they are emotionally difficult for me too. And so TBH, I’ve seen everyone I’ve dated from the time I was 18 to now, either not want to date me because who I am is just too much for them…or they don’t truly understand what it means to live with multiple chronic health conditions. And so even now, when I think about whether I’ll ever be in a romantic relationship again, the reason I don’t think I will, is because I’ve seen how being my partner hurts my partners deeply, once they see me in the ICU fighting for my life. Not many people want to date someone who has such severe health conditions as I do…and I totally get that. Yet at the same time, if I do ever date someone again, I’d want to make sure that they fully understand what it would mean for them to date me. I’d want them to know that I take care of myself the best that I can and that I don’t want to date someone who is my caretaker. I’d want to date someone who consciously chooses to be with me every day, and who I do the same with.

I recently listened to a Hidden Brain episode about how people can use our imaginations to create different worlds than the ones we may actually live in. Hidden Brain’s host, Shankar Vedantam, first shared a story about a lady who’d found comfort in Cher (a well-known star in the entertainment industry). But before I go any further, I need to talk about this woman’s background, in order for this entire story to make sense. And her background was that as a child, she didn’t know how to read; and she was so ashamed of this truth about herself, that she’d do everything she could during school, to not have to read in front of others. And eventually, one of the teachers at her school who was apparently great at discerning that there was an obvious reason that this kid was disappearing into the bathroom during reading time, got to know this woman who was a young girl at the time.

And then the way this woman told the story about how she’d come to feel confident in herself, was to say that this teacher getting to know her helped the girl learn how to shift things in her brain. More specifically, this teacher told the young girl that there are some people in the entertainment industry like Cher, who have Dyslexia, just as this girl does. And so instead of the girl going to the bathroom whenever it was time for her class to read aloud to each other, she’d stay in class with the other students, mostly because this other teacher at her school, normalized this girl’s reading difficulty, by helping the girl come to an understanding that every human being has struggles in life…even though our struggles are vastly different from one person to the next.

In the next few segments of this Hidden Brain episode, Shankar Vedantam talked with a woman who wanted to see if she could determine what makes people believe such different things from one another. And so one of the things that this woman did on this part of her life journey, was to essentially study folks who are religious and hear them talk about how they view God. And the consistent thing that people Shankar Vedantam interviewed said, was that they believe God is real, even though they can’t see him, nor can they hear him speak. But the thing that Shankar Vedantam correctly points out, is that as human beings, our ability to imagine things can really be vivid, if we train ourselves to be that way. And so people’s believing in God, is a part of their mind that’s telling them things that they think they don’t know…or that they think they can’t know. But really, science tells us in many different ways, that our minds are incredibly powerful things. And I’m definitely on the side of science, myself.

In another episode of Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam talks with a woman about how when we human beings are watching movies or shows of some kind, there are actually things that filmmakers and people who write films, movies, screen plays ETC, know about those of us who don’t write plots for a living. And so then Shankar Vedantam and this woman he’s talking to, discuss the movie the 6th Sense and how said movie can be tied in with this particular conversation they’re having with each other.

And one of the very first things that Shankar Vedantam and this woman highlight about this particular movie, is the fact that sometimes the characters don’t all have the same information as one another. But first, I want to give a little bit of background on the movie, so this whole thing is understood by folks. The background is that the little boy in this movie is seeing a psychiatrist because he, the boy, comes from a broken home. And so when the boy in the 6th Sense is talking to said psychiatrist, there comes a point where he (the boy) decides to open up to the doctor. And what the boy tells the psychiatrist, is that he (the boy) sees people who are dead. And it is because of this that the boy totally thinks that the psychiatrist he’s talking to is alive…just like he, the boy, is alive. But the psychiatrist is, in fact, very much dead. And the second thing that’s meant to play a trick on our minds as the viewers, is the fact that this little boy’s mom is sitting with the psychiatrist; and as the viewers, we think that the two of them have probably just had a tough conversation with one another. But in actuality, neither the mom nor the doctor, sees one another…because the mom is alive and the doctor is dead. And in yet another scene in this movie that’s meant to play tricks on the viewers, it’s a scene in which we see someone who’s been a patient of this psychiatrist, shoot the psychiatrist. And upon seeing this particular thing happen, we as the viewers think that because we see said psychiatrist later on in the movie, that that means that he’d actually healed from the earlier gunshot he’d gotten. And because the psychiatrist himself even thinks that he’s alive, that mind trick only helps fuel our brains to think that he is, indeed alive, too. But as Shankar Vedantam tells us in this segment of Hidden Brain, the 6th Sense constantly gives us misinformation about this psychiatrist, in a way. Because there are several scenes in the beginning of said movie that make us think that he’s alive, simply because we take note of the fact that he’s walking around…but again, movie makers want us as the viewers to think that we’re continually being given new information, rather than for us to think that the information that we’re given, may not all necessarily be the truth that we perceive it to be.

I recently listened to an episode of Love Someone with Delilah; the guest on this particular episode was Celine Dion. And TBH, I was quite impressed with the conversation that Delilah and Celine had with each other. First of all, I love both Delilah’s and Celine Dion’s voices; seriously, I even love listening to the commercials that Delilah records (whether that was from my days of actually listening to the radio or listening to Delilah’s podcast). But also, I loved this particular episode because I got to become familiar with who Celine is, in a way I hadn’t known before. And what I mean in saying that, is that while I like many of Celine’s songs, I had no idea about the kind of mom she is to her children. Actually, I take that back: I did watch a YouTube interview of her one time when her then-husband was dying from throat cancer and in that video, she talked openly about how she didn’t make the experience of having to feed her then-husband Rene using a feeding tube, traumatic for her twins who were much smaller children then they are now. In that interview, I remember Celine explaining that she’d educated all of her children on the fact that this particular health change in their father was to be expected, given his situation. And it really moved me to hear her talk about this tough situation that way because it showed that she was normalizing this situation, even though she and her children were pretty scared of it.

Another thing that really affected me in a huge way about this latest episode of Delilah’s podcast, was the part of Delilah’s and Celine Dion’s conversation where the two of them discussed their children and how each of them parents their children. And Celine was talking about how her son who’s a young adult has a girlfriend and how she (Celine Dion) feels that it’s necessary for her son and his girlfriend to explore what it means to be in a romantic relationship with someone. And then Delilah started talking about how she doesn’t let her kids date anyone, when they’re teenagers…and that outlook of Delilah’s was similar to how it was for me, living with my bio mom. And I think that such an outlook is shitty for anyone to have because no one can save their children from things like having sex, knowing about sex or being in romantic relationships with people. And so when I see people display ignorant views like that one that Delilah has, that makes me livid!! Because putting such a strong hold on children in that way, almost guarantees for you as their parent, that they’ll do whatever it was that you’d always advised them not to do. And that particular reaction of theirs would be, and is, great in my opinion; because they are human just like you are…and they want to learn and grow, just like you do. So letting them explore things like their sexuality, means that you’re fully supportive of them forming their individuality. And I love that Celine Dion is open-minded to this kinda thing. I think how she’s raising her children will help how they see themselves in the world as human beings who can be whoever they want to be…but also, that they see themselves as human beings who know that it’s healthy to have romantic relationships with people which of course includes being sexually active if they choose to be. Because TBH, I hate the chokehold that people like Delilah and my bio mom, tried desperately to constantly keep on their kids. It’s damaging, in sooooo many ways.

Yesterday I wrote the following thread on Twitter which reads:
#YouMightBeAblestIf like a new housemate of mine who I’d met last night, you’d be amazed that I, as a blind person, could put a fucking spoon to my fucking mouth to feed myself. But that’s just stupidity. I’m blind, not incapable of such a task. Just cuz my fucking eyes don’t…work the way yours do, doesn’t mean that I cannot function. Of course I have to do many things differently cuz I can’t use my eyes the way many folks can and do use theirs…but your eyesight doesn’t make you a more valuable person than me. And if you think that it does…then I suggest you seek out blind people like myself to correct your misconceptions about us. If you’d rather continue to be ablest then I have no problem saying that you are part of what makes life a zillion times harder for blind/other disabled folks.

I wrote the following comment on FB, in response to a topic someone posted in a group called Adult for Ladies 18+). This person was talking about how they’re currently dating someone that they aren’t actually interested in. And in fact they’re interested in being with someone else. What I wrote in response to this person reads:
Being true to who you are, means that people’s feelings will get hurt from time-to-time. There is no way you can ever avoid that; but it is important that we as individuals, live our truths, whatever those truths happen to be.

As for how to go about breaking up with the person you’re currently with, how you break up with them is totally up to you. I mean, if you aren’t good at having tough conversations with folks face-to-face, then maybe writing a letter about this and then giving it to the person would be best.

I wrote the following comment in response to an FB friend’s status update about losing a loved one. My comment reads:
Grief is a lifelong process and something that will never go away, even though our society tries to tell us that it does and should. It will not get easier either; at least, that’s been my experience for as long as I’ve grieved for loved ones. Hugs!!

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone created a thread about how said group is going to run nowadays, being that there are now moderators from within the group, who are policing people’s every move. And on this topic, someone brought up that they keep people they call friends in their lives because they think that it will be scarier to have no friends, than it is to have people who call themselves ‘friend’ but are not, in fact, your friend. So that being said, the response I wrote to this particular comment reads:
It’s better to have no friends, or just a couple of friends who treat you well, then having shitty people in your life who call themselves friends…but are not friends at all. You deserve better than that.

In an FB group I’m a member of called Disability Wisdom Discussion Group, I wrote the following response to someone who needed support for what they are going through. My response to them reads:
You are deserving of whatever you feel you need, including using a wheelchair some of the time. In addition to being blind, I also have cerebral palsy and a whole host of other severe health conditions; I use a wheelchair mostly, along with a white cane. It took me lots of time to work through the shame that is probably similar to what you are currently experiencing. But I’m just a message away, if you need/want a friend, validation or anything else. I understand this is difficult to realize and accept that our bodies change…but you are not alone. I’m 32 now, and was just a bit younger than you currently are, when my body started changing drastically. Hugs.

In the FB childfree group I’m in called Childfree by Choice, someone made a topic talking about how they think that people who have kids later in life, claiming they needed to have children, are rediculous. My response to that thread reads:
I will never get tired of my life being about me; I’m 32 years old and literally until two years ago, I let both sides of my biological family abuse me constantly, physically and verbally. And then I realized that the greatest gift that I could actually give myself, would be to cut those people off and essentially go off the grid from them, blocking them on all forms of social media and changing my number. I have been able to find happiness, true happiness, every day since then…and that will never change.

On Saturday morning I wrote the following post on my FB which reads:
OK, so while I made a post the other day about how great CBD oil is, it doesn’t do shit for chronic migraines. So even though I’ve had CBD oil for the past few days that lessens my chronic arthritic pain, I have migraines every day. Because my prescription medication is literally what makes me not have daily migraines. My caretaker was sweet enough to physically go to my doctor’s office today and tell them why I missed my appointment: because I’ve been dealing with the loss of a loved one…and they were at least kind enough to make me an appointment for later this evening. It’s gonna be a long day…but the current thought that’s repeatedly going through my brain, is “I wish that my body didn’t require me to have to take a daily prescription to stay alive and be functional.” But it does require exactly that…and so I need to always go to my primary care doctor appointments, no matter what. I know that for sure now, and I’m logging this here so that I can remind myself of this…or so that one of you lovlies can help remind me if need be…

I wrote another update about this health scare situation of mine on FB which reads:
So I know it’ll be scary to read this health update from me but I am really sick. My doctors always warned me that I should never not have this medication because it would make me deathly ill. Well, deathly ill has been my last few days. I made it to the doctor vomiting profusely and so in addition to my typical prescription, they prescribe me Zofran so I can get better ASAP. I can’t even drink water…and I seriously, want, to, die. If you could please send good thoughts, prayers (whatever you can), I need them really bad. This is awful 😩 😭

I wrote another FB update on this situation which reads:
My organs are shutting down…and I’m fully alert. I lost complete control of my bladder last night and all I can do is sit up and throw up. It’s getting hard for me to speak…but my mind is working and technology AKA my Bluetooth keyboard, is my savior. I still have to wait hours for CVS to open and I’m just getting worse and worse. School starts tomorrow and well, I don’t see myself being able to make it…

Sunday I wrote yet another FB update about this scary health situation of mine; what I wrote reads:
Went to the hospital today and they gave me Zofran, food and water. I was able to keep everything down. I am very much alive and on the mend. I love you all and appreciate your concern. I will never let this happen to myself again. My doctor did literally tell me last night that I was dying, so I had no intention of playing around with this. I won’t make it to school tomorrow but hopefully, I’ll be able to start Wednesday. I just need to rest.

Yesterday mornning I wrote yet another FB update about this recent scary situation which reads:
Sleep, I feel like I hadn’t had you in years, how truly wonderful you are!! And so now that I’m on the mend, I have some reflections about that scary situation I unknowingly put myself through. First, I’m no longer gonna allow myself to feel defective because I’m someone who has severe health issues which require me to visit all of my doctors on a regular basis; I’m no longer gonna allow myself to think unhelpful thoughts like ‘other folks rarely go to the doctor so I should be able to be just like them, in that way. Because the thing is, I’ve been socialized to feel these things because as a woman, I’ve not been taken seriously by medical professionals, when I lived in Texas; like, in 2016 when I was back and forth between hospitals for nearly that entire year, the medical professionals would always tell me that they thought I was faking shit. Well, October 27, 2016 was when some test results told us that I tested positive for Systemic Scleroderma. That was the day before my birthday that year…and I was relieved that they’d found something. But TBH, I just knew that they would because the assorted symptoms I was experiencing (tremors in my hands, similarly to what people who have Parkinson’s Disease have, I had this weird disturbing cough that was unexplainable, I had weird speech difficulty, I didn’t have control of my bladder, nor could I feel my body when I had to poop) and these were just a few things that were not right with me, at the time. And the doctors didn’t take me seriously then, until I’d told them that I couldn’t feel anything that was going on with my rectum.

But that being said, this particular experience was not the only time I’d ever not been believed by medical professionals. And so that is why, when I had this most recent experience due to being off of my medication, I held the bowl I’d been throwing up in when I was at the doctor’s office…because I wanted the doctor to see right away that I was in some serious shit. And thankfully she did; she even told my caretaker and I that I was literally dying. But I was grateful that I was able to think about how I could ensure that this situation was resolved…because I knew that if I could do that, then the doctor wouldn’t have to waste time trying to figure out how sick I was, nor would she have to waste time possibly badgering me about why I’d let myself get into this predicament in the first place. Because I’d told her exactly what’s been happening in my life lately, to cause me to neglect my own self-care. I also made sure that she’d put a note about this in my chart so that the person I usually see would know the scoop as well. Because that’s the thing: I’m usually on the ball when it comes to taking care of myself; and so it’s important to me that my medical team always knows what I’m going through…because keeping them up-to-date on my life is the only way that they can give me the best possible care.

And so all this being said, I’m no longer gonna try to convince myself that I can function alone, without constant medical care. I’m gonna start to believe with my whole heart that I always know my body best…because I don’t think I fully trusted that my medical team would listen to me this time, due to my numerous past shitty experiences with medical professionals. I’m gonna make sure I tell people I love them because I do, whether we’ve known each other for months, days or years. I’m gonna trust that if I’m meant to be in a romantic relationship again someday, that that partner will love and accept me, the full package that is me…and I’m gonna trust that she and I will both take care of ourselves and each other not out of a sense of obligation, but because that’s what people who love each other, do. I’m gonna continue to trust that my friends will literally or figuratively kick my ass, like many of you did on social media yesterday, if need be. And by the way, I totally regretted posting that honest update about exactly what I was going through…but I only regretted it because my thoughts were all dark. Because on one hand, I didn’t care of I died. But on the other hand, there was a small part of me that wanted to live. But that’s what being without this medication does to me: it makes me Eeyore’s twin. Thanks for being my friends and for loving me. I love each and every single one of you with all of my heart 🤗 💖 🏳️‍🌈 ❤️ 😇 ❣️ 🌈 ✨

TV show thoughts, a fun adventure with a friend, controversial opinions and other reflections

When I posted my last blog entry, I forgot to talk about how some of the MyChart appp settings are weird. So the first time I’d tried to put in for a medication refill, I submitted a refill request through said app. And then since I didn’t have any luck getting the desired results with that method, I tried another one. The MyChart app has yet another setting that’s called something similar but instead of “request a refill” there was a link called “refill prescriptions.” So I used that link, in the hopes that someone from my primary care clinic would get back with me. But that particular option didn’t provide me with the desired results either. But thankfully that same day that I posted my last blog post, a close friend of mine took me to get a natural partial solution for my chronic pain situation. And what I mean by saying that, is that CBD oil somewhat helps lessen my chronic pain. But that being said, I still have chronic migraines every day which sucks more than words can express. So the last thing I did to hopefully change my situation for the better, was to request for a scheduler from the clinic to contact me about scheduling an appointment; when I’ve done this particular thing in the past, I’ve been unsuccessful. But hopefully this time will be different because I really need for it to be. I’m just glad that the MyChart app continues to be accessible with VoiceOver on my iPhone.

The same day that this friend of mine and I’d went to get CBD oil though, the two of us also went to a local place that serves ice cream and other fast food/drinks. Because I’d been craving chocolate in some form or other…and I was surprised that the ice cream that this particular place had, totally hit the spot. What I’d ordered then, was a chocolate dipped cone with chocolate ice cream on it as well. And I’d never been to this place before, so I had no idea what to expect. But OMFG, I’d totally go there again and get the same exact thing!! In fact I think this place is my new favorite place for ice cream; yes, even better than Cold Stone Creamery, and less expensive than Cold Stone Creamery, at least by a little, I think.

And as if that wasn’t an exciting enough food adventure/adventure over all, that same day, I also tried some limeade or lemonade that my friend had…that also had mint in it. I forget whether it was limeade or lemonade for sure though; but no matter which one it was, I don’t usually like either of those things. But that being said, I’m game to try things at least once, for the most part. And I say for the most part because I’m never going to try oysters, for example. Why? Because I already have an understanding that their texture is slimy and that is more than enough information for me to know that I’d hate them with a passion. And so I bring that up on my blog right now because I’m talking about my likes/dislikes of food. And so when I’d recently tried my friend’s limeade or lemonade that also had mint in it, I’d prepared my friend for the fact that they’d probably see me make a disgusted face as soon as the drink touched my lips. But surprisingly to me, the exact opposite happened: I actually liked the drink’s taste. I don’t know if I could say that I liked it enough that I’d get an entire cup of it myself…but it tasted much better than I was expecting for it to, for sure.

I finished watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season three in its entirety. And my thoughts on it that I haven’t talked about here yet, are that this season of the show in particular, was incredibly action-packed. Like, Sabrina was going back and forth between the different realms which included Hell, her life as a high school teenager living with her aunts Hilda and Zelda and lastly, her (Sabrina’s) life at the witch and warlock academy. And to me, the fact that this season of the show alternates between these realms, that definitely makes the show more fun to watch. I mean, at one point in the show, there were multiple Sabrinas; one Sabrina was from the future and another Sabrina was the one in the current time. And how this particular thing even came to be, it happened because the current Sabrina had to fulfill a mission for/within Hell. And so in order for her to complete the mission’s tasks, she figured out that she’d have to go back in time. Because there was a specific thing that Sabrina needed to get, in order for her to be crowned Queen of Hell. And once she’d gotten the gold and taken it back to Hell, it turned out that a bad guy who was named Caliban, one the title of King of Hell. so it was at that point that current Sabrina went to be back with her aunts Hilda and Zelda as well as her cousin whose name was Ambrose. But when Sabrina gets back home, she discovers that both of her aunts are dead…as well as the entire town. And so at that point, she and Ambrose work with one another to come up with a solution to change the things that happen to that town for the better. And thankfully, the two of them do end up figuring out how to go back in time. And when they do so, Sabrina’s Aunts Hilda and Zelda, as well as Sabrina’s friends from the high school she’s been going to, are all brought back to life. And so the show literally ends with all of the townspeople being grateful to be alive and together again.

I then decided to start watching season two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And in doing so, one oF the first things I noticed about this season of the show, was that Sabrina’s friend who went by Susie then, eventually came out as Theo. But I wouldn’t have put two and two together, had I not decided to watch this show backwards. But that being said, it’s interesting to watch Susie’s transformation into Theo…because Harvey and one of his classmates named Rosalind (or Roz for short) have a conversation with each other about how everyone should think of Susie now, in terms of Susie/Theo’s preferred gender. And yet another thing in season two of this show, that I didn’t remember, was the fact that while Sabrina has just started going to the academy for witches and warlocks, she decides to nominate herself for a high position in the academy that’s typically only given to people who identify as men. And of course, her classmates and her teacher at the academy, are all shocked that she’d be so bold as to make such a move right away. But seeing this part of the show a second time around, made me happy because I’m a feminist myself and I’d honestly forgotten about this particular thing even happening in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. But that being said, the excitement I’d felt didn’t last long, due to the fact that every time Sabrina and Nick, her opponent also trying to become the student at the academy who was in a high position, someone sent evil demons to Sabrina, with the intention of harming her so severely that she wouldn’t be able to participate in the competition. But each time this happened, she (Sabrina) made the demons disappear altogether. But even though she did so, she was still unable to win the title she’d hoped to win, at the academy.

In the season finale of the show I’ve been watching called Emergence, I felt like this particular episode was jam-packed. Like, it seemed like the show’s creators wanted to fit a lot of content into this one episode which I thought did go very well. And I honestly had no idea what to expect for the season finale because there have been so many twists and turns so far, that have thrown me for a loop. For example, in Emergence’s season finale, we the viewers discover that Jo and Alex seem like they’d like to give their marriage/relationship another try. But Alex ends up letting Jo know though, that under no uncertain terms is he going to continue to live in Jo’s house while she (Jo) figures out whether she wants a relationship with anyone at all. And TBH, I was happy to see Alex stand up for himself in this way because he hasn’t really done so before. But also, it felt quite emotional due to the fact that Jo, Alex and Mia (Jo’s daughter) had no idea what was going on with Piper. And it turned out that Bennie and Piper were actually trying to find Jo because the two of them (Bennie and Piper) knew that Helen was looking for Jo…and so Bennie and Piper wanted to find Jo before Helen found Jo herself. And fortunately, Bennie and Piper do find Jo; but immediately after they do so, Bennie and Piper both die. And it is at that point that Alex suggests to Jo that she (Jo) take the bracelet off of Helen’s dead body because said piece of jewelry might be able to help bring Piper back to life. And although Jo seems reluctant to heed this advice of Alex’s, she does so…and doing that exact gesture does in fact bring Piper back to life. But I want to back up for a second, to say that right before Piper dies, she tells Jo that she (Piper) was grateful to have been a part of Jo’s family. And TBH, hearing Piper say that, nearly brought me to tears. And basically, that was how the Emergence season finale ended: with Piper being brought back to life.

Today I watched the Netflix documentary called Taylor Swift: Miss Americana; and to be honest, I was not at all prepared for the wide arrange of emotions that said documentary would take me on. I mean, being an empath as I am, this means I can just feel someone’s energy…and this can happen from time to time, even if I don’t know the person personally…and even if I’m not actually physically near the person. And watching this particular documentary was one time where I felt Taylor Swift’s every emotion and just understood exactly what she’s gone through to get to where she is now. And in addition to me being able to feel her perspective and energy throughout this documentary, I was also experiencing my own life-reflecting of my journey of becoming a Swifty (what Taylor Swift calls her biggest fans). I vividly remember purchasing her debut album for one of my female cousins on my biological dad’s side of the family. I also vividly remember another of my female cousins on my biological dad’s side of the family being a huge fan of Taylor Swift within the first few years that she (Taylor Swift) had burst onto the music scene. At this time, I myself was not a huge fan of Taylor Swift as a whole, though I did love some of her songs like “Teardrops on My Guitar” “Jump Then Fall” and “White Horse.” But in watching Taylor Swift’s documentary Miss Americana, I cried during most of it; the moment I started crying, was when Taylor Swift was on the phone with a woman I think was her manager…and this woman was telling Taylor that she hadn’t even been nominated for Grammy Awards for her album entitled “Reputation.” And I immediately picked up on the fact that when Taylor said the words “I’m fine,” after hearing this news, she in fact, was not fine. She in a sense took it personally that she hadn’t been nominated for any Grammy Awards because her entire career up to that point had been spent with her self-worth being completely tied up in how other people “loved” her. And for my blind friends, I put the word love in quotes in the previous sentence to signify that how others thought of her was literally her entire identity. And so this documentary shows that there eventually came a point where she realized that living that way really hurt her in the end. And in fact she openly talks about how the moment that changed how she lived, was the day that she’d gone to court. Because as she explains in the documentary, the fact she’d so publicly experienced multiple situations in her life where men assaulted and stalked her, showed her how important it was for her to use the platform she has, to help encourage others to speak out about such things. And so then when things were hot and heavy about the possible incoming president in 2016, that was yet another time when Taylor Swift decided to open up about more things that she as a woman herself, stood for, like equality for everyone in the world. And I for one, was happy to see her take public stances on the things that she believes in. To me, these changes in her reflected the fact that she’d grown up, in a huge way. But also, seeing these changes in her really impacted me, especially as a woman myself. I truly came to respect the hell out of Taylor Swift…and I will continue to do so as she, and I, continue to grow as women who are strong for each other as well as for ourselves. And that being said, I’m sure I have a lot more thoughts about Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, as well as my journey as someone who’s come into being a Swifty. But this is all I have for now, because I need more time to process things, after having watched this documentary. Because it truly impacted me in a more profound way than I even thought possible.

I wrote the following thread on Twitter which reads:
I’m still mad about the Kobe Bryant situation; specifically, the fact that a fucking reporter was fired for telling the fucking truth which was that while Kobe may have been a great basketball player and done other great things, he also did something horrific that cannot be…denied or swept under the rug. A person can do some great things, while also doing something horrible/unforgivable; that is a fact. And to those folks who’re saying that Kobe was never convicted of sexual assault, if you’d actually read up on that, you’d know that he paid…the woman/her family what is known as hush money. That means that at one point, Kobe himself willingly acknowledged that the woman in question, as well as himself, flat out had different versions of the sexual experience they’d had with one another. This is also a fact that…can be looked up by folks who do their research just as I’ve done. But that’s not gonna happen by anyone who jumped on me about this; I know this cuz people would rather claim that I have no tact cuz doing that is easy, not to mention quick. But here’s the thing: I’m not the…one who raped someone. I’m not the one who caused a woman irreparable trauma which she’ll still live with, even though Kobe Bryant is dead. To say this truth is not tactless; it’s honest. It’s heartfelt. It’s love: cuz when much of the world doesn’t care to remember this fact, I am someone who does. As a sexual assault survivor/survivor of numerous other kinds of trauma myself, my heart aches at the thought of what this woman and her family will endure for the rest of their days. My heart aches for this woman cuz a well-known man used and abused…his power/status to violate someone in a horrific way that could never, and now that Kobe is dead, will never, be made right for her/her loved ones. IDC who hates this honesty of mine, what I say is true. I wish I could help this lady in some other way than supporting her…via social media. But since I can’t, I’ve just gotta hope that my honesty about this whole situation encourages more folks to do their research to find out the truth about things, rather than wearing their rose-colored glasses, simply cuz doing so is more bearable for them.

I then posted this same exact thing to my personal FB page and ended up engaging with a few of my friends about this situation. The first friend of mine said that I clearly didn’t have empathy for Kobe Bryant’s family. I wrote the following response to that which reads:
You are entitled to your opinion. I feel the way I do and I’m not going to hide it. I will continue to speak out about how I feel, because I believe in the things I say, including this. I know I’m not alone in my thinking and I don’t need everyone to agree with me in order to feel validated.
This friend then said something to me along the lines of “I just wish you’d understand that the author who wrote this article was being heartless, in writing such a thing. The response I wrote to that particular comment reads:
I do understand that that is your opinion. But we could go around and around about this; I wish you and others would have empathy for this poor woman who will have to deal with this unspeakable trauma for the rest of her life. It would do people well to remember her and think of her during this hard time, but it is uncomfortable to think about her so people would prefer to focus elsewhere. That is a huge reason why I speak up…cause it is insensitive not to remember her and to toss her aside.
This friend of mine then tried to convince me that the employer who’d fired this lady for writing such an article, was well within their right to fire her. I wrote the following response to that which reads:
I completely disagree that her employer had every right to fire her. If everyone shit on people because they didn’t like what they said, the world would be nothing. People, including this shitty employer, need to accept that when they hire people, they are hiring them because they believe in the person, whether they agree with them or not. Because as individuals, each human being has a right to their opinions and a right to speak their truth. I too am a writer…and I know that people won’t/don’t agree with things I write about or post on social media about. But that is life. And that is my point, that the underdogs should be supported, not cast aside because the person who harmed them has died. Part of that woman died, I’m sure, when she was assaulted…and that truth needs to be told, heard and believed. Period.
My friend then tried to say something along the lines of “well, what if someone said these types of things about someone you cared about or loved, like Britney Spears?” I wrote this response to them which reads:
People do say things like that Britney Spears is a horrible mom and other things about her, and have done so for years…but the same can be said for numerous other folks. Not everyone likes me as a person but at the end of the day, I love myself and I believe in the things I do/say…so that’s all that matters to me. It’s fine that you/others don’t share my perspective of caring about this woman that Kobe Bryant raped, though I don’t know how you can say I’m the one who lacks empathy…but a difference of opinion doesn’t mean we have to fight or that we can’t be friends.
This friend agreed with me on that point but tried continuing to convince me that I’m wrong for being so honest about the Kobe Bryant situation. It was at that point that I realized that I’d said all I could say to them about this obviously heated subject matter.

The second friend of mine who’d commented on this particular FB status, actually explained to me why they think people have expressed frustration with my stance on this, so soon after Kobe Bryant’s death. And the response I wrote to that friend reads:
I’m sorry if you felt that I was attacking you directly; I honestly was not. You are someone I think highly of and I’m glad to call you a close friend. But I hope you understand where I’m coming from, when I say that my whole non-conformist viewpoint of how I should be in life, is challenge most things, this included. So while I do understand that our culture views me having this conversation now as being toxic/bad, I believe that it is important for me to do so now, simply because as I’ve said, who I am/want to be, is someone who doesn’t just accept things because tradition or any other typical reason to accept things. I want to make people think and part of me doing that in this situation, is getting out of their one state of ‘he died so we should all grieve’, and getting them to think about the other side of the coin, unpleasant as it may be/feel to them.

The third friend of mine who’d commented on this discussion actually expressed their support of me, saying that they understand I find most people’s reactions to this situation to be rediculous: because people are only reacting this way because Kobe Bryant was a well-known person to most of the world. So the response I wrote to that person’s comment reads:
Exactly, FUCK THAT!!! People hate to sit with the discomfort this causes, no matter when I/others bring it up. It matters not, just as you yourself have said, that I’m bringing it up in his death; they wouldn’t want me to have brought it up while he was alive either. They’d say “his wife and kids…” and I’d say “yeah, and the girl he raped.” So yes, it’s highly problematic that people are calling me insensitive!! Thank you for getting me/speaking out along with me. I’m getting pushback probably because I’m a white woman…and you know, we women should know our places…and should NEVER talk about a bad thing someone did…EVER. Because…well, that somehow makes us the villains. Yeah, nope. Just because my bio mom did literally one good thing in her life, create me, that does not mean she should be called mom or that she’s a good person. It literally just means that yes, she did one good thing.

I wrote as good of a description as I could on Facebook of my new look. The description reads:
For my blind/visually impaired friends, the pictures I recently posted of me are of me with a new haircut, with my hair no longer even touching my shoulders. Before this most recent haircut, my hair was maybe about halfway or more down my back. Also, I now have fake nails that our an inch, maybe half an inch, passed my real nails. They are baby blue, if I’m not mistaken; blue is my absolute favorite color.
One of my friends who’s blind, asked for a bit more detail on my new look so I posted the following response to them:
Oh, for my hair, I had like, four inches taken off of it. So it’s now no longer halfway or so down my back but it’s a bit shorter than shoulder-length. My nails are baby blue, with a shiny blue top coat added to them.

Later I wrote a follow-up FB status update which reads:
Fake nails, buh-bye, assholes. Thank you not, for rendering me incapable of using my phone/Bluetooth keyboard. I hated every second of your experience…and I now know that when given the choice between losing functionality and looking pretty, I will choose functionality every time!! That being said, there was no way, prior to me having this experience, that I could’ve known what a hell it’d be…but good riddance to you shithole nails!! 😛
Your number one hater, ME.

When I’d actually written the second FB update though, the fake nails were still partially on my skin. The reason for this happening, was because it hurt me too much, every time the girl who’d done my nails tried to take them off. But that happened on Tuesday; she was able to remove them completely the next day. That being said, the process of her taking them off still hurt quite a bit at times. But I powered through it like the superhero some folks say I am. And then thankfully, my new friend painted my regular nails the same blue color that the fake nails were; but she added a shiny blue color to them too which sounds interesting to me.

I wrote the following FB status update that reads:
There’s all this toxic advice in the world about what to do or not do when each New Year rolls around…but the thing I hate most of all is ‘do more!’ No, folks, do less!! Do less shit out of obligation, do less as a whole because doing less means that you are living in your truth. Do more trusting in yourself because you are enough, just as you are; IDC who tells you otherwise. This year, I plan to give less fucks about who doesn’t like my loud, passionate and at times filthy, mouth. This year, I plan to outwardly be even more of a sex-positive woman than I’ve been in the past. This year, I plan to love even harder, fiercer and enjoy my life even more fully than I have in the past. This year, I plan to continue figuring out who supports every aspect of who I am and who is just…there, encouraging me to focus on the wrong things. This year, I plan to continue finding ways to both energize and reenergize myself, so that I can maximize my awesomeness and other people’s awesomeness too. And don’t be fooled, folks, even though I’ve used the words ‘I plan to’ throughout this writing, I will start living these things right away, if I haven’t started doing so already. Sit with that, folks…and if you want to change something in your own life, do so now…because right now is all we have.

In the childfree FB group I’m in, someone posted a topic wondering if they are the only ones who tolerate kids. And the response I wrote to said topic reads:
Kids like me and I’m good with them, so people equate that to me loving kids/wanting to have them myself. But I neither want to have kids, nor can I stand most kids. I’m only replying to this topic because I think it’s important to speak out about the fact that just because someone is good, kind ETC to kids, those things don’t necessarily reflect how said person feels about kids as a whole…

Assorted thoughts on being childfree, sexuality, relationships and more

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone posted a comment saying that they haven’t posted anything in said group lately because they felt attacked. My response to that person’s comment reads:
You were told by a couple of us that you are not, in fact, powerless to change your situation. That was it; your character wasn’t attacked by anyone, nor were you told to stop bitching about your situation.
And the reason I posted this comment to this person, was because it disturbed me to see them try to create something false, simply because they didn’t like what they’d been told by myself and other folks.

In this same group, someone posted a topic asking us group members if we thought actual pages should be allowed to join the group. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
While I do think that Facebook makes us think we can choose whether we want to join groups using our personal pages or group pages, I think the only thing we can choose is to use our personal Facebook accounts. But this being said, I have no idea why pages would even want to join groups.

I wrote the below post in the childfree FB group I’d recently joined. The thread I created reads:
Just wondering if there are any gay/lesbian folks here? Besides me, I mean. And if so, did your sexuality influence your decision to be CF at all? For me, it did not. It’s only been two years since I’ve been an out and proud lesbian, but these two years have seriously been the best ones of my entire life!! But it took me leaving Texas AKA the Bible belt, and then moving to a liberal leaning state, to actually feel ready to make this big change for myself. Because for so long, I tried to pretend I wasn’t gay, and most people still knew that I was!! I also have multiple disabilities, which definitely did factor into my decision to wait for myself to actually relocate, before I lived fully in my truth. And so I’d love to hear if there are folks with similar stories to mine or ones that are different from mine. I’d like for us to be able to support each other exactly where we are and share things without fear of negative criticism.

In this same FB group, I wrote another post which reads:
On a post I recently made here, some of the comments said that folks are grateful for being with their partners 100% of the time. And I wanted to make a thread about this and similar thoughts, as I think this mind-set is/can be somewhat separate from being CF. I just mean that like, we can talk about the fact that we want to be able to spend time with our partners just the two of us. Because while I’m currently single, one of the biggest reasons I’ve always wanted to be CF is because I want to dedicate my life with someone just being us as a couple. That’s a huge part of why I’m CF, most especially because I was neglected/abused from childhood through most of my adulthood. And I want to give someone all the love, time and care that most of my bio family never gave me. Because I have lots of love to give 🙂

I’ve actually made other posts in this particular CF group but I’m not keeping record of here because either I’d already done so or they wouldn’t make sense to put on my blog. For example, one of the posts I made in this group asked what other derogatory names there are for kids besides “crotch goblins” or “crib lizards.” And putting that particular post here on my blog would be weird because I’m not actually asking something or telling a story. I also shared a photo in this group that said something like “I bet no one has made it over 18 years old without having any kids of their own.” I commented in this post that I’m way over 18…and that this particular accomplishment of mine is one of the top five things about myself that I’m most proud of. So now, there’s at least some record here of the posts I’ve made in this most recent CF group I’ve joined; and in case anyone is curious, this CF group is called Childfree by Choice.

But in this same group/topic, someone posted a comment saying how frustrated they feel every time another human being can’t believe that they don’t have or want kids. The response I wrote to their comment reads:
Oh, it definitely can be irritating when people act like the life choices we make are awful…when those life choices are different from theirs. But personally, this particular thing hasn’t bothered me the way it once did, because I’m secure in myself/in my decision to be CF, that it doesn’t matter what others think or say about said choice. But that being said, I don’t want to discount yours or other people’s feelings/experiences; I hope you’ll find a more peaceful place…cause it can be very draining to be frustrated in this way.”

In this same FB group, someone posted a topic about how they find it frustrating that kids are often the only thing that people know how to talk about. The response I wrote to that thread, with some expansion, reads:
This topic really resonates with me, both in regards to not getting married/not having kids. But pets and kids seem to be most people’s only things to talk about. It’s honestly disgusting to me because there are so many other (in my opinion) fascinating topics of discussion!! Some examples of other great topics that are worth talking about are experiences people have had that have shaped who they are, the places they’ve traveled to and what they’ve seen in those places, things they’ve learned from the different variations of relationships they’ve had with others. Seriously, talking about almost anything at all would be a better topic of conversation than kids or pets. Like, I’m not a fan of gaming on systems like Playstation, Sega or other gaming consoles…but I’d much rather listen to someone talk to me about those types of game systems than listen to someone rattle on about their kids. Hell, I’d rather listen to someone talk about sports, which I also know very little about, than hear people talk about their kids or pets.

In this same group, someone posted a topic asking if people thought that carrying a human being means that you are a mother…and I’m torn on that issue. So the response I wrote to that thread reads:
If you carry a human inside of you, that means you have at least some attachment to said human. And so to me, that in turn means that you are not CF. Like, I understand that if all went as planned for situations of this nature, the person who’s carrying the human won’t be responsible for it outside of having carried it…but I guess there’s just some part of my brain that couldn’t, and wouldn’t ever be able to trust that the family I might carry for, wouldn’t want me to interact with the child regularly. All this being said, I’m not against others who may feel differently/who may go through with something of this nature in their own lives. Freedom of choice and all that…

On my personal FB page, I wrote the following status update, with some expansion which reads:
So I know I’m about to contradict myself now, when I say that I don’t believe that “the love bug” is a real thing…at least, not for me. Or if it is, there was a note on my person written in secret that says “defective, DO NOT stay!” I bring this up because throughout our lives, people tell us this sort of thing. And it’s my belief that all this sort of thing does, is create a false hope within us human beings. And so for much of our lives, we search and search and search for a companion to share our lives with…when in reality, our search often leaves us discouraged, not to mention feeling bruised from all the times that our romantic relationships in the past didn’t work out the way we may have hoped they would. And man, I’ve just gotten to a point in my own life where I care more about living fully as a single and happy person, than I do about dedicating my time and effort to searching for a life mate. Like, that isn’t to say that I don’t want to find someone to spend my life with; I’m not going back on that, at all. But rather, I’m saying that I’m going to instead focus solely on me…and if I’m ever meant to be in a romantic relationship again, then I’m going to just trust that that will happen naturally.

I wrote another update on my personal FB page with some expansion, which reads:
OK, some Britney Spears fans on Twitter recently told me that Britney herself doesn’t support the Britney: The Zone event. Apparently, this event is being put on by her management; and while I did momentarily feel like ‘what the fuck’, I’m going to that event and I’m gonna have fun. Does that make me a horrible person? I think not. And to be honest, I’ll never understand why people think that just because someone in the entertainment industry doesn’t support a good thing that’s happening, that that means that no one should support that thing. Like, another example of this happening, was the Lifetime biopic of Britney Spears that came out a few years ago. Britney herself didn’t sign onto that in any way; yet some fans of hers still watched it. I wasn’t one of them because I didn’t have a physical TV, nor could I stream it using Lifetime’s website because I didn’t have login info that would let me do so. But even so, there were Britney Spears fans who watched it and said that it was awful. But that being said, they watched it most likely because they wanted to see it. Well, so too with regards to this Britney: The Zone experience: I don’t see a reason for folks not to enjoy it, simply because Britney herself isn’t behind it.

Friday evening I finally did something that I’ve needed to do for awhile: I got my hair cut and styled nicely. Like, I’m being serious here: the last time I’d had my hair cut before this latest time, was three years ago. In December 2017, literally a month or so before I left Texas for good, I decided to have my hair done nicely. And then well, the older I get, the more reserved I become, in some ways. Like, I’m a lot more reluctant to just go to some random hair salon nowadays, because I’ve had so many awful experiences in the past where people who have styled/cut my hair made it look horrible. But fortunately, with this most recent haircut I had done, I love the style and the way it was cut.

That same day was when season three of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was released onto Netflix. So I’ve been watching it ever since then. And TBH, I feel like the latest season of this show takes some time for us as the viewers to warm up to. What I mean by that, is that it takes time to start feeling connected with the show again. Or at least, it did for me. But once it got good, it stayed good. But I also feel like this season in particular, has become much scarier than the other seasons were. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s both a blessing and a curse. LOL. But that being said, I do love the romance scenes between Sabrina and Nick and the potential romance scenes between Sabrina and Harvey. I say potential but TBH, I feel like Sabrina and Harvey have always had a thing for each other. And I’m hopeful that the two of them end up together. Because it’s like, all throughout the show, the interactions between the two of them have way much more to unpack than they act like they do.

Sunday the world found out that Kobe Bryant (a well-known sports figure) was killed in a plane crash. I shared an article on social media about this because I wanted to hold people in my thoughts who the world most likely would not think of; specifically, people who’d been hurt by him or others in a huge way. And needless to say, I ended up going back to social media to clarify why I’d shared the article I did. What I wrote reads:
Just for clarification purposes, when I posted an article on FB&Twitter earlier that acknowledged a woman who’d been sexually assaulted by Kobe Bryant years ago, I only did so to acknowledge her and other sexual assault survivors; to acknowledge the pain and suffering that they went through and may still go through on a daily basis. That being said, people need to stop acting like I wished ill-will on Kobe Bryant and his loved ones. Sexual assault survivors need to be supported too…and that’s all I meant by posting what I did about this shitty situation.

Someone on Twitter in particular, still couldn’t believe that I’d posted what I had. And I guess the two of us were even with each other, because I couldn’t get how they misunderstood what I’d meant. I then kept seeing that this person was sharing things about people not having tact, when those people shared a similar perspective as me which was annoying. But just as I usually do, I didn’t bother muting such tweets, as I’m fine just ignoring them. I then went to FB and exchanged a few comments with a friend who knows me personally, about this particular situation. This friend of mine understood exactly what I meant which made me feel better because that showed me that my communication wasn’t the problem. But that being said, I guess some people are always going to see things the way they want to see them, even if others try to explain what they actually meant. And sometimes it still just makes me uncomfortable when people misunderstand me, especially when a serious subject matter is the culprit.

Sunday also happened to be the day that I ran out of my monthly medication which sucked. Like, I was wondering why the pharmacy I use hadn’t texted me yet to let me know that said medication was ready to be picked up. Well, when my caretaker went there to pick it up that very day, he was told that there were no more refills available for it. And so once I’d gotten that specific information from him, I logged into the MyChart app that I hadn’t used in awhile. That way I could request that the medical facility I mainly go to, refill said medication for me. But TBH, until then I hadn’t ever used said app for the purpose of requesting medication refills though. So I’m literally going into this blindly, as I have no idea how prompt this medical facility is or if they are even prompt at all. I sure hope this gets resolved ASAP though because if it doesn’t, then I’ll be in a shitty predicament. Because the thing is, this medication literally helps me function; it relieves my physical pain as much as it can which also helps keep my mood stable. And when I say that, I mean that without this medication, I’m in so much physical pain that I become incredibly depressed, to the point where I actually can’t stand myself. And in case you don’t know, being in that spot sucks…and for multiple reasons, at that. And one of those reasons, is because I get headaches from hell. Another reason, is because I sleep horribly, given how much physical pain I’m in. And honestly, all of the shitiness I experience, due to me not having my medication, can be traced back to the horrible amount of pain I’m in, along with the other shitty physical symptoms I experience, like not being able to easily get to the bathroom/toilet and even sometimes having trouble speaking. So needless to say, this medication truly is what gives me life/allows me to live happily, in every sense of the word.

Yesterday the lady who’d cut my hair on Friday, came back to do my nails; and when I say that, I mean that she gave me fake nails. And then in addition to the fake nails, she painted my nails blue. And in case I’ve never said this on my blog before, blue is seriously one of my favorite colors EVER!! But that being said, it’s going to be interesting getting used to having fake nails. I’ve never had them in my life before now, so I wanted to do something that I’ve never done before. And as you may remember if you’ve read my blog for a good amount of time, you know that a huge part of why I left Texas and relocated to a liberal-leaning state, was because I couldn’t be myself in the conservative state of Texas. Now I can, even though the particular town I live in is filled with religious, mostly Christian folks. Because now that I’m used to being able to be my authentic self, there’s no turning back now!!

For the past few days, I’ve been having my caretaker put cinnamon in my coffee, as I’d been wanting to change up the way my coffee tastes for some time now. And as of pretty recently, I’d been thinking about the fact that I’d actually had cinnamon in my coffee before…and loved it. In fact I remember the exact person who’d introduced me to having cinnamon in one’s coffee; and although this person isn’t someone I associate with anymore, I am thankful for the happy times I did have with them, even though those times were a rare occurrence. But seriously, thanks to them for showing me that cinnamon in one’s coffee totally changes the coffee in such a worthwhile way! And also, if it weren’t for me seeing an FB friend’s recent status update about putting peppermint flavoring in their coffee, I may not have remembered about the cinnamon. But I also do, at some point, want to try peppermint flavoring in my coffee because something tells me that I won’t be disappointed with that choice, either.