In an episode of the This American Life podcast, the guests on the show talked about how here in the United States, Corona Virus has literally taken over our world. There were several stories told about people who work in the healthcare field who are having a rough time because they can’t even touch the human beings that they’re trying to keep safe. There was even one story that was specifically about a husband and wife who were both sick with symptoms of this virus…and because of that crappy circumstance, this couple’s little kid could only see one of its parents for a time. It was a really sad episode to listen to and it definitely made me get teary. But at the same time, listening to this particular episode of This American Life also made me feel good, just knowing that I’m not the only person who is experiencing/has experienced a wide array of feelings about this unwelcome change in my world, in the world as a whole.
But then on the opposite side of the spectrum, I recently read a post on social media where someone bitched about the fact that people are complaining about how the Corona Virus has forced us to become isolated from people that we don’t already live with. And so, in response to that person’s post, I said something like “LMAO, you’re complaining about the fact that people are complaining; yet you probably wouldn’t classify what you’re doing now, as complaining. The reality is that this virus fucking sucks…and I’m not someone who’s going to stop talking about that truth just because someone’s going to get their panties in a wad about it.”
I then added something like “if you aren’t someone who has had to deal with how shitty this virus has taken over our lives here in the US and otherwise, I hope you realize what a place of privilege you’re coming from.”
In an episode of Multiamory, the show’s hosts talked about privacy versus secrecy; the main thing they brought up that I could relate to, was telling people I’ve dated information that was never mine to share. And what the Multiamory hosts said that got me thinking about my own past patterns, was that it’s a human thing to share everything with our romantic partners; because society really conditions us to hold people we date in high regard, including attaching meaning to this idea that we don’t hide anything at all from our partners. And personally, I’ve been guilty of viewing things this way, in every single one of my romantic relationships. But in reflecting on that, after being made to think about it in the context of sharing things that have not been mine to share, I want to change that way of being, in the future. So instead of continuing to let society dictate how I conduct my romantic relationships, this is something I definitely want to change for the better.
Another aspect of this Multiamory episode that made me think, was in regards to the fact that in several of my romantic relationships, my partners have wanted to keep our relationship status quiet. And that was something that even though I internally hated, I never let those feelings be known to anyone. And in thinking about the why behind this choice I made multiple times, the only thing I can say for myself is that I had a low self-esteem for most of my life. And so, the way that that translated into many of my romantic relationships, was by me not speaking up in situations that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable…like being kept secret as someone’s romantic partner. But nowadays, if I ever do date anyone else, I feel like I’m strong enough now, that I wouldn’t tolerate someone wanting to keep our relationship status secret. Because I value myself more than I did in the past and also, because I in turn feel that people should love saying they are my romantic partner.
But to elaborate on what felt so hurtful about someone I was dating wanting to be secretive about us as a couple, it was this idea that it was OK to hide a decision that we as adults supposedly made together to be a couple…yet my partners, whether they were men or women, didn’t even seem to think twice about this being unethical. In fact, I ran into this very problem pretty recently with an ex-partner. And even though again, the two of us were adults, they still created chats with me that were secret, they still wanted to call me their girlfriend…even though they’d tell me that they were in a relationship with someone. I could’ve confronted them about it but I chose to walk away. Because it was an automatic dealbreaker that they were going behind their current partner’s back. But this time, what was different about the way I handled this situation, was that I chose to leave the situation as soon as I figuratively saw that it was becoming trouble. Whereas in past situations, I’ve wasted time sticking around with shitty partners.
In another episode of Multiamory, this one discussing online dating, the main thing that stood out to me referred to how people classified their dating profiles. So, in other words, Multiamory’s hosts said that one of the wrong aspects of this that people spend too much time on, is trying to create the greatest profile on whatever website/app they use. And what the Multiamory hosts say folks should do instead, is to get opinions from their close circle about whether their online dating profile does who they are, justice. It made me smile to hear them say that, because I too, believe that this particular advice is excellent. Because for me personally, at least I know that my dating profile truly represents who I am, now. Because the last thing I’d want to do, would be to create a perception of me that’s false in some way.
In a Multiamory episode about things that people perceived as failures within their romantic relationships, this particular episode brought up a few different reflections for me. One of those reflections was that one of the men I dated wanted me to be his caretaker. And this wasn’t even something that either of us had discussed with one another, nor was it something that I even wanted to do. But being that this was the same guy who was incredibly possessive/abusive towards me, I thought that perhaps I was the one in the wrong for not wanting to be this man’s caretaker. But the thing was, being with him felt normal because he treated me similarly to how my bio mom had always treated me. And also, I thought that as this guy’s girlfriend, I was obligated to pick up where it seemed like he couldn’t. So for example, if he’d choose to not get the medical care he needed, I felt like I was personally responsible for doing that for him. And when I felt so burnt out from actually doing that for him for a time, I felt like I’d failed in this relationship. But fortunately, as time went by, I came to the realization that as a grownup, he’s responsible for taking care of himself, just as I’m responsible for taking care of myself, as a grown woman.
Another thing that this Multiamory episode brought to mind for me though, was the fact that by default, society sets us human beings up to consider ourselves failures, if romantic relationships we’re in don’t have a specific outcome, or if we don’t get a job that we really wanted and on and on. But what I’ve personally learned throughout my life experiences, is to not have such a black-and-white way of evaluating things. So for example, when the romantic relationships I’ve been in haven’t had the specific outcomes that I’d thought I’d wanted them to at the time, that doesn’t mean that I should accept society’s view that those romantic relationships are failures…or that those romantic relationships being broken up mean that something is wrong with me as a romantic partner. I’ve had to do lots of work on myself though, to really undo these harmful beliefs that society has tried to insist I adopt. Because society has this idea that there are specific milestones that romantic relationships should have…and so, if people actually do things differently, their going against the grain should be frowned upon.
In another Multiamory episode, the show’s hosts talked about how specific characteristics were related to men and women; and it was interesting to me to hear that some characteristics that were labeled as negatively representing women for example, were things that I personally, thought of as being great qualities. The fact that women are outspoken, was one of the things that’s perceived by many men as being an awful thing about us. And in fact, I can attest to that being the way many men think about this trait in women. Because I’ve been told by men, numerous times throughout my life, that me being outspoken is something that makes me as a woman somehow less than men. And along those same lines, I’ve been told that the fact I’ve slept with more than one person in my life, makes me promiscuous. And quite frankly, I fucking hate these double standards that people who identify as men force onto me. I think it’s important for me to talk about these thoughts, especially as a woman; because as I’ve said on my blog multiple times before, women deserve to be heard…and so, if you’re someone who thinks otherwise, then perhaps you should closely examine the things that society has forced upon you.
But to list some things I find problematic about how men view women, first, there’s the idea that women are fragile flowers…so men should watch what they say to us/how they say things to us. And then there’s this belief that many men have regarding the fact that they as men, feel that they are above women, in nearly every sense. Then there’s the idea that when a man and a woman marry each other, that automatically means that the man runs everything about his life with the woman he’s married to. Then there’s the idea that many men have regarding any romantic relationship he’s in, that there are certain things he has to do, simply because that’s what you do as a man, according to most of society. There are also many men who believe that they are entitled to sex from a woman, whether they’re in a romantic relationship with her or whether they’re married to her. And this thing in particular, really gets under my skin…because consent should always be a thing we as human beings, practice. So for example, even if our partner had sex with us 10 minutes ago, that doesn’t mean that they owe us sex now. No human being is ever entitled to anything!! But that being said, the common theme in all of these things that I’ve listed here, is that there’s no equality whatsoever. And to me, that’s problematic because I’m a feminist who strongly believes that no particular gender is better than, or less than, another one. Also, as a woman myself, I treasure the fact that I’m outspoken. As a woman, I treasure my individuality, whether I’m in a romantic relationship with someone or not. As a woman, I’m not a sensitive human being that someone other than me, has to protect.
Something else that stood out to me in an episode of Multiamory, discusses the subject of us as human beings having tons and tons of things. The reason I found this particular subject worth talking about on my blog, is because I’m the sort of person who tends to get rid of things that I don’t use or that I don’t immediately need. And when thinking about this truth about myself, I’m aware that I come from a family of origin where both sides of said family had people in them who have accumulated tons of shit throughout their lives. And so, while back then I didn’t know that there was specific language to talk about this, I did internally assess why my family members of origin had this kinda behavior. And what many of these people had in common with each other, was that they all seemed to be attempting to fill a void within themselves. But also, I noticed that a few of these people in particular, had such crowded fucking living spaces that it was damn near impossible for folks to even walk around in. And so, from the standpoint of someone who has physical mobility issues as I do, trying to make my way in those specific spaces, seeing this way of life really became something that shaped how I personally, wanted to live. And then, add my blindness into me trying to get around in these spaces…and that made things even more challenging!! But needless to say, even things that we perceive as being negative, as this particular thing was for me, can be great teachers in our lives.
But all that being said, it’s interesting that this issue has come up for me because I can admit that there are things that I’ve attached lots of emotional value to, throughout my life. And even now, there are times when I find myself thinking about physical things I no longer have. Because for whatever reason, I’ve attached a deep meaning to my high school diploma, or to the items that my soulmate TJ had given me before she died, or to the things that TJ had written for me…and on and on and on. And the thing is, the actual memories of these things have not gone away, nor have I forgotten the details of any of them. And so, as I’m writing about this right now, I’m trying to ask myself why I’ve attached so much meaning to physical objects. And TBH, the only thing that comes to mind, is that I’ve been conditioned to do this, by society as a whole. But even so, maybe the fact I’ve written about this now, can be fuel for me to actually go through my things to see what I can get rid of.
For the past few days, I’ve been binge watching season three of a Netflix show called Ozark. And in fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve written about said show on my blog before. But I think it used to be hard for me to explain to you dear blog readers what the show was actually about. But now that I’ve seen the entire third season, I can explain it just fine. So, what said show is about, was a family who’d repeatedly laundered money and committed other crimes for the Mexican drug cartel. The show was insane because both the husband Marty, and the wife Wendy, were lying to their two children, Jonah and Charlotte, about what they (Marty and Wendy) really did; and they (Marty and Wendy) both tried to convince Jonah and Charlotte that everything they, Marty and Wendy, did, was done for the benefit of their entire family. But not surprisingly, Jonah and Charlotte eventually let their parents know that they knew way more of the truth than their parents had ever been willing to tell them. And in fact, season three of Ozark literally ends with Jonah shooting part of the inside of their family house. It was fucking insane!!
I recently wrote the following status on my FB page which reads:
FYI, for any tech-nerds who have an Amazon Echo Dot, if you don’t know where your phone is, you can say”Alexa, where’s my phone?” And she’ll call it for you. Also, apparently she uploads your contacts and I just called a friend of mine using Alexa…and this friend is an Android user who does not have an Echo device…#TheresYourHandyTipForTheDay
I recently replied to an FB friend’s status update in which this friend asked how folks are currently doing. The response I wrote to this post reads:
I want to start off by saying that I’m blind and have cerebral palsy. In addition to those things, I have lots of chronic health issues that could become life-threatening at any moment. I say this so that people will hopefully have an understanding of why I say this next thing. I’m not a praying person, but since this serious virus has become a huge thing, I’ve literally been praying daily that I don’t have to be hospitalized when all this mess is going on. And it doesn’t help that I’ve seen other folks with disabilities say that some people in the medical field find us easily disposable. As for how I’m taking care of myself through this, I’m making sure to take lots of deep breaths whenever I start to feel stressed or worried about what might/could happen with any of my health issues. I’m also watching a lot of things on Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus. Listening to all kinds of music is also one of my favorite passtimes. I’ve also been reading books and writing about podcasts that I listen to, shows I’m watching and have even started to write album reviews of albums that have really touched me.