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.