Unexpected chaos on many fronts, assorted podcast thoughts and other fun stuff

This past Wednesday, one of my local friends was kind enough to take me to school. The reason I needed this person’s help was because I’d gotten home too late from the previous day’s doctor appointment and was therefore unable to schedule a ride to and from school Wednesday. But that being said, this friend of mine could only take me too school; I had to figure out how I was going to get home that day. And what I ended up doing, was making an announcement in American Sign Language class, asking my classmates if any of them would do this favor for me. Through having my aid help me explain the situation to my professor, I’d gotten permission from them (my teacher) beforehand, to use my speaking voice for this situation. Fortunately one of my classmates was able to take me home, after our class had finished for that day.

But going back to talking about my last appointment at the medical clinic that I go to for most of my medical needs, my therapist suggested that I see my primary care provider within the next week or two, because of how scary things are becoming with Corona Virus. My therapist, who I’m sure was made aware of my recent health scare where I couldn’t get my medication for a time, was literally reminding me not to put myself in that position again…because there might not be a next time for me. So they urged me to see my primary care provider ASAP so that the two of us could figure out how we’re going to ensure that I don’t run out of medication again. So when I hear people saying that we shouldn’t worry about this Corona Virus and what it might do to people, it drives me batty. Because I’m one such person who’s considered medically fragile…and that means that me not having my medication would literally be life and death for me. And so, it’s great if other human beings don’t have to worry to that extent…but then they should shut the fuck up about those of us who do have to worry about what our lives could look like in the near future, if we don’t take the necessary precautions.

Going back to our actual American Sign Language class time this past Monday and Wednesday though, we learned a lot about shapes and more about how to describe people, places and things. As a blind person, the entire shapes part of this class in particular, is tough. Because TBH, I’ve never had enough eyesight to understand what colors look like, much less to grasp understanding of how to draw shapes, especially complicated ones. But that being said, I feel like I’m getting a bit better every time I practice American Sign Language or use ASL in class. So hopefully, that good luck streak continues to hold true for me throughout the rest of this class. Because I am realizing some ways in which I’m continually growing as a person, just because I’m in this class. And one of those things that’s new for me, is that given that we have to be mostly silent in ASL class, I treasure my speaking voice and other people’s speaking voices, much more than I used to. But also, me taking this class has helped me become more comfortable pointing to things/acting things out, to sometimes help clarify visually what it is I’m trying to say. I also have a better understanding of how deaf people prefer to communicate with hearing people, if those hearing people don’t know enough ASL to hold an in-depth conversation. And these things I’ve learned, are things that can be transferred into my life as a whole which I think is pretty neat.

Backing up a bit again, though: Tuesday evening my left wrist, my left arm and my left hand really started giving me awful pain. I knew that this unwelcome change was due to the drastic change in weather here, from hot, to cold and rainy. But I also knew that this unwelcome change happened because I’ve been using my left hand and my right hand to learn ASL…and even though my right hand has a mind of its own, I still try my hardest to make it participate in this experience. But all that being said, when I’d gone to school this past Wednesday, this pain was even worse. But even so, I was a trooper and stayed as involved in my practice of ASL and my class-time in ASL, as my hands would let me. But afterwards, I made the difficult decision of telling my assistant that I should stay home and rest the next day, Thursday. Because I kept thinking of how if I kept my body working hard, my body might shut itself down unexpectedly and in an even harsher way than I would like. And TBH, in the past, it was hard as hell for me to listen to whatever my body was telling me, at any given moment. It was hard for me to do this because I still wanted to believe that I could force my body to continue living exactly as I’d wanted to live. But what’s changed for me now, in regards to how I respond to my body, is that I no longer feel that listening to my body is wrong. I no longer feel frustrated as severely as I once did, about the truth that my body literally cannot function the way many other folks’ bodies function.

Thursday morning I received an email from school, informing me that the person who’s in charge of student life-related things on campus, denied the request I’d made to not have to pay the health-related fee that’s usually required for all students. Unfortunately though, there was no explanation in the email I’d received, about why this answer was given to me; so I replied to the email to ask for clarification. And what I was then told, was something along the lines of “well, in order to have qualified for this waiver, you would’ve had to meet the criteria that was specified on the form you filled out.” So I then responded by saying “IDK if you remember but I’m blind; so I was unable to read the criteria on the print form that someone filled out for me. But if you would be so kind as to type it up in the body of an email, I think I will then be able to know exactly why I didn’t actually qualify for this waiver.” And I haven’t heard from anyone since then; but what I’m left thinking, was why did this person encourage me to fill out a waiver, when they might have known that I don’t qualify for it? Because I do realize that I hadn’t actually met this person until the day I’d went in their building to find the person I was told I should talk to…but that still doesn’t explain why I wasn’t advised against completing this form. Ugh.

Throughout this recent insane happening that is the Corona Virus, my school has been keeping everyone updated on what this makes things look like for us students education-wise. In fact yesterday the President of our school sent out a mass email saying that all classes were going to be canceled this coming Monday. I thought that was a bit odd, considering that just a day or two prior to this, they’d said we should be fine. But mostly, I feel happy that they’ve made this decision because that gives my left wrist/left arm more time to heal from this extreme muscle fatigue. And this coming Monday, our school has said that they’ll give everyone more of an answer about what our future as students is going to look like. I’m very much looking forward to that because I personally, hate being in limbo like this. And I know that I’m not alone in this way of thinking.

Something I’ve been pondering about the Britney: The Zone experience I had the last day in February this year, is the fact that as a Britney Spears stan who happens to be blind, I gained a lot of insight about Britney’s most popular music videos. Like, before attending this event, I honestly didn’t have any clue what was in any of her music videos. And before I’d heard of the Britney: The Zone event, I’d honestly never thought about asking someone sighted to watch her music videos with me and tell me about them as we’d watch them. Like, not being able to participate in this particular activity, was just something I’d accepted as a fact, without question. And so, going to this Britney: The Zone event totally opened up my world, even in terms of learning even more about why Britney Spears is such an iconic person. For example, not many people in the world, at least not to my knowledge, openly talk about how Britney was and is a feminist. To my knowledge, not many people in the world openly discuss the fact that Britney Spears has been on house arrest literally since I was almost out of high school, or by the time I was already out of high school. And so, along these same lines, many people are not aware that the reason Britney Spears was put on house arrest, was simply because her father and other folks in Britney’s life, greedily want the money that being Britney Spears brings into their pockets. I mean, Britney herself has talked about this happening, and even the media/entertainment industry itself, have written about the court dates Britney has had and will continue to have about this issue. And so, this is something very real that’s happening in Britney’s life even today…and it’s truly heartbreaking for those of us who think she’s a genuinely good person. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Britney has always been a huge support of those of us in the LGBTQ+ community. I mean, seriously, it’s true that most of us Britney Spears stans and even folks who just consider themselves fans of hers, are mostly gay/lesbian.

I’ve just been thinking about how it’s been awhile since I’ve written about songs that I love and I thought I’d include some songs here now, especially given all of the turmoil the world is in right now. Part of how I’m going to make this activity fun for myself though, is that I’m not going to get into why I love these particular songs. I may do so in a future blog entry, though. And one more thing: these songs might not all have been released this year (2020) but may have been released a year or two before 2020.
1. “Invisible Chains” by a girl named Lauren who was/is a member of the well-known girl-group called Fifth Harmony. Lauren’s last name is difficult to spell and I don’t even feel like looking it up but I will say that she does use her first and last name for her solo songs. This song “Invisible “Chains” can be found on the soundtrack entitled “Birds of Prey: The Album.”
2. “I’m Just Gonna Love You A Little MoreBaby” by Summer Walker. This song can also be found on the “Birds of Prey: The Album” soundtrack.
3. “Girls Need Love” by Summer Walker. This song can be found on Summer Walker’s album entitled “Last Day of Summer.”
4. “Toxic” by Kehlani; this song is currently a single.
5. “Man” by JoJo. This song is currently a single but will ultimately be featured on her upcoming album that will be called “Good to Know.”
6. “Heartless” by The Weeknd. This song is on his album entitled “After Hours.”
7. “Only the Young” by Taylor Swift. This song is featured as a single from Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary entitled “Miss Americana.”

In an episode of Multiamory that I listened to recently, the guests on the show talk about an app that they’ve created for people who are into non-monogamy or who are exploring the idea that monogamy is not the only valid way to be in relationships with people. This app is called #Open and for anyone curious how you’d actually pronounce that app name, you’d use the word “hashtag” and then the word “open.” And this website can be found at
https://hashtagopen.com

And just to be more clear on this app’s purpose, this app was created by people who themselves believe that monogamy is far from the only way to have healthy relationships with other individuals. And a huge thing about this app that’s different from other apps/dating platforms, is that they don’t gather data from places like Gmail, Twitter or Facebook. And instead, what the #Open app developers do, is encourage people to use this app of theirs and then to help spread the word about said app. Because as you may be able to imagine, the #Open app developers don’t and haven’t, gotten much societal support about this venture of theirs. In fact, many of the services that are competing with the #Open app, have flat out said that they don’t believe that the #Open app developers are being ethical with this venture. But yet, these same services that say that they value people’s honesty, apparently only value honesty if it fits with their views about what is moral and what is immoral. And that’s really unfortunate because as I’ve said before, in this post and other posts I’ve made on ethical non-monogamy, people don’t all have to choose to live their lives the exact same way as one another. But to be honest, I doubt that we’ll see a day in my lifetime where all kinds of alternative relationship styles are actively embraced by society. But what I do know for sure, is that I will personally continue to be a sex-positive person as well as a relationship-positive person, both in my writing and in my offline life. Because I wholeheartedly believe that that is exactly what will make this world a truly inclusive place.

In another recent episode of Multiamory, its hosts talkked with a guest about the way our world generally views people who commit crimes as being bad people. But the main thing that this episode of Multiamory talked about though, was that people committing crimes is not necessarily a black-and-white issue. And I agree with that statement, to an extent; like, there really are instances of people committing crimes, due to those folks experiencing hard times that they don’t know how to solve…and maybe they are even terrified to ask anyone for help. But the part of this discussion that I felt became problematic, was when the guest said something along the lines of “the answer should never be for us to make others suffer, just because we ourselves have been made to suffer.” And I think that it’s fine for that person to believe that for themselves…but to act like there is no such thing as good people and bad people, is incredibly naive. Like I’ve said in my blog numerous times before, there are people in the world who are evil. And for those specific people, I’ve never truly seen them do good things out of the kindness of their hearts. In fact, I’ve seen those specific people literally live for hurting other human beings. But that being said, going back to something I did agree with this guest about on this episode of Multiamory, if people want to change for the better, they absolutely can do so. But where many of us humans go wrong with this way of thinking, and I’ve been guilty of doing/believing this myself, is that I’ve said things like “I want my bio mom to be to me whatever I need her to be, at any given moment.” But the thing I’d always avoided believing or thinking when it came to this issue that’s so close to my heart, was the truth: that she (my bio mom) literally may not be capable of EVER being who I may want or need her to be. And now, I know that that is the truth: that my bio mom never will be capable of treating me the way I used to long for her to. But while that truth has hurt me deeply in the past, now, I’m comfortable with that part of my truth…because I’m comfortable with myself, most of all. But to say that I wish any of my toxic abusers well…that would be a fucking lie. Like, all of those folks are literally strangers to me, now. And just as I’ve said holds true about my bio mom, all of the other toxic folks that make up the rest of my family of origin/extended family included, have shown me how they think of me…which is to say that most of them have me blocked on social media. But the thing about that, is that now that I know how they feel about me, even though they didn’t have the gaul or balls to tell me outright themselves, I know through their actions. And so that being said, knowing what I’ve learned about them within the last few years, I have no desire to get in contact with them ever again. It’s a mutual feeling between all of us though…and it feels great for me, to be honest.

In the podcast entitled Cognitive Dissonance, one of that show’s hosts recently talked about how they are childfree. This made me happy to find out, because I’d just assumed that this person had kids. Because this person and the other host of this show, have been friends with each other for years…and I just kinda thought that they’d share their love of kids too. And so, when I heard Cicil say that he doesn’t particularly like kids on a recent episode of their podcast, I inwardly jumped for joy. Like, I’m just so conditioned, I guess, due to much of society’s kid-centric/baby-centric views, that I can’t and don’t even hide my distain of kids from people, if it comes up in conversation. Now, that isn’t to say that I would harm children or that I’d wish them ill-will. Because as I’ve said before on my blog, I’m not that kinda person. But I’m certainly not going to pretend I like kids, the way I used to…because that is wrong. It’s wrong because everyone deserves to live in their truth, as long as that truth isn’t harming anyone, including themselves. It’s wrong, in the same way that it would be wrong of me to intentionally hurt other human beings, just because specific human beings have intentionally hurt me.

In Childfree by Choice, someone asked what our experiences were with getting steralized. What I wrote in response to that reads:
When I had my tubes tied in my mid20s, that was a great experience. The fact I knew I would have a lot of serious medical issues, was the main reason why I wanted to have this procedure. The doctor who did the procedure totally respected my decision and said that he was happy to see someone so young be so responsible.

Also in this group, someone asked if folks agree with them that it’s disgusting to hear the shit that entitled parents say. What I wrote in response to this thread reads:
My biological mom is one of these entitled parents you speak of, even though I’m in my 30s. Before I went full no-contact with her a few years ago though, the last time I saw her was when I was in the hospital. I was 27 or 28 at the time, and she tried to get my medical team to share all of my business with her. She kept saying “I’m her mother,” said very slowly for emphasis I guess. My medical team thankfully kept being a broken record and telling her that I hadn’t signed any paperwork giving her any rights whatsoever. I feel very fortunate that my medical team really went to bat for me in this situation because I’ve heard horror stories where the opposite has actually happened.
The original poster of this topic then responded to my comment. They said something like “it’s nice to see that this actually happens in the world…even though it’s shitty.” And my response to that comment reads:
I’m sad to say this, but I think this sort of thing happens way more than people feel comfortable talking about. Because unfortunately, women being bad mothers is not exactly a favorite topic in the world. To be honest, I hope for the day when this issue is not so taboo; I think people really need to be educated about it and to embrace people like mine’s situation…rather than discounting it because they themselves can’t actually imagine mean mothers existing.

In the Disability Wisdom Discussion Group, I posted a thread asking about people’s experiences doing online dating. I received some really thoughtful responses to said topic. And I wanted to talk about something that I said on this topic, that I think it’s important to put on my blog. I wrote:
I love what you said about people not being able to be brutally honest on their online dating profiles, regarding not wanting to date a disabled person. Like you, I wish that there was a better system in place for people to list that preference, just as they would list their other preferences. But I think that the world feels like it would be a dick thing to say, to admit that you wouldn’t want to date a disabled person. But really, that particular preference is just as valid as other preferences. For example, I know that, as a totally blind wheelchair user who has Rheumatoid Arthritis and lots of other health conditions, I wouldn’t date someone who primarily loved flying on airplanes/traveling to other countries…because I cannot due either of those things safely, myself. I have a shunt that’s agonizing when I fly…because the cabin pressure is too intense. And so, traveling to other countries is automatically out too, based on what I’ve just mentioned. I suppose some would say I’m heartless for my radical honesty…but I’ll take that, over putting my health in jeopardy, just for the love of another…no thank you!!

On my personal FB page, I wrote:
Blind/visually impaired friends, there are a couple text-based games that I wanna make you aware of. Timecrest is one of them, but it’s only an iPhone app. That being said, it’s free but it’s super detailed. It hasn’t gotten old to me and I’ve been playing it for at least two years now. And the other text-based game I’m just getting into, is called D&D Style Choices Game. This particular game is on both Android and iOS platforms…and even though I’ve singled out my blind/visually impaired friends here, these are both games that anyone can play. There’s so much going on in our world right now that is uncertain, but these games help make my world a bit brighter. And so, I wanted to pass the info about them onto y’all 🙂

I wrote the following tweet in response to someone on Twitter, where someone asked how folks would define the term “inspiration porn.” I’ve expanded on this term here though, since this is my blog. What I wrote reads:
Inspiration porn is when able-bodied folks take people’s disabilities and use them to make themselves as able-bodied people feel better about themselves. Like, cuz wheelchair user goes to the gym, a non-disabled person has no excuse not to go there themselves. This is horrible thinking. And the reason this is an awful way to think, is because people with disabilities, PWDs, don’t exist to make anyone feel better about themselves. People with disabilities exist because, well, two people fucked and conceived us. The fact that we have disabilities, doesn’t mean that we are broken; it is simply a fact of our lives. We didn’t want to be disabled, nor did we ask to be disabled…so when you use stupid ninja thinking to try to make us not disabled any more, stop yourself. And then sit with your feelings of discomfort and allow yourself to become a better, more understanding human being.