Assorted podcast thoughts, reflections on being childfree, my writing and other stuff

In an episode of Multiamory where the hosts of the show Emily, Dedeker and Jase discussed things that people who want to be in traditional relationships can learn from folks who want to be in non-traditional relationships. But before the three of them got into that list of things, they talked about some ways in which society believes toxic things about how people’s relationships should be conducted. So one of these harmful beliefs, is the belief that there’s one person for everyone/that every single individual wants to live traditionally. Another of society’s toxic beliefs that was mentioned in this episode of Multiamory, was the belief that if people’s dating relationships are not serious in the default way of said relationships following the pattern that society thinks they should follow, that devalues those relationships. This is a harmful belief because as I’ve said before, not every individual wants the same things for their lives. It’s also harmful to view things in such a black and white way because people often don’t know that they actually have the freedom to create their relationships however the hell they want to create them. Like, unless folks are told that sort of thing by someone like me, it’s common for many people to not even think to question their beliefs in any way. And yet another way that American culture in particular believes something harmful, is by taking the stance that being in a serious relationship means that by default, all of one’s already-existing relationships (whether familial, close friends ETC) shift, simply because their romantic relationship is supposed to take priority over every other relationship they have. And TBH, I don’t agree with that, even though in all of my past romantic relationships I’ve lived among those who just live by the default monogamous way.

But as I think I’ve mentioned on my blog before, in the last romantic relationship I was in, I had tons of conversations with my then-boyfriend about the fact that I knew that monogamy wasn’t for me. In these conversations between the two of us, I’d explain to him that I needed to be with women. And in each conversation of this nature, he’d express that he was a traditional person who stands by the fact that he wants the woman he’s with to be monogamous, just like he is. And so, ultimately, he and I broke up with one another…which I’m glad about. Because we really were not right for each other at all, despite what some people seemed to think. And the thing is, I realize now that I could’ve been honest with him before he and I even started dating, so that he could then make an informed decision about how to proceed. But at the same time, I enjoyed the connection that he and I’d formed with each other; and said connection even lead me to think that maybe, just maybe, I could be monogamous, after all. And even here on my blog, I have moments of writing when I’ll be thinking of how society has taught us (which includes myself, of course) that tradition is always best. And so, I’ll have fleeting moments where I’ll write that I want to have one traditional romantic relationship…but honestly, I’ve known for years that I’ve identified as polyamorous. I’ve been tossing around the idea of making a blog post about why I identify in this way and about what’s encouraged me to embrace this difference in myself. But I first wanted to admit this truth: that I don’t believe the idea of “the one” is romantic, the way we’re taught to think it is.

Something else in this Multiamory episode that stood out to me, is that Emily brought up the fact that Mike Pence (who’s the Vice President here in America) never rides elevators with women other than his wife. And hearing her say that, made me realize that I’d actually listened to this particular Multiamory episode already. LOL. But that being said, I’m glad I listened to this episode again because I’d completely forgotten about the fact I wanted to write about the awful Mike Pence. Because while there are many reasons why he’s an awful person, the one I want to highlight now, is the one where as I’d said above, he refuses to ride elevators if women who aren’t his wife. I mean, I almost find that laughable, but then I remember that it’s true…and then it makes me angry!! Because what Pence is essentially saying in operating this way, is that he can’t bother to control his sexual desires, and also that he doesn’t believe that women other than his wife can control their sexual desires. But what I’m also thinking about this, is how fucking arrogant it is that Pence automatically thinks that women other than his wife would even want to have sex with him!! It’s like, “trust me, Mr. Pig, you take away women’s sexual urges, as soon as we’re in your presence. You have nothing whatsoever to fucking worry about!!”

In another episode of Multiamory, the hosts of the show talked about the role that expectations people have regarding any romantic relationships they’re in, plays in how we in turn conduct ourselves within those romantic relationships. So what I mean, is that expectations themselves are not necessarily problematic. What can make people’s expectations for their romantic relationships problematic though, is that we buy the message that society deepthroats us with like, say, when we go on a first date with someone, we hope that they are “the one” for us…simply because society has made us think that that sort of relationship structure is what every single person in the world wants. But just to clarify, when I say that society deepthroats us with such a harmful message as this, I include myself too, accepting this as the thing I aspire to have. And truthfully, it’s hard, even for me, to examine the fact that I’ve bought this message in literally every single romantic relationship I’ve had. Because speaking for myself only here, the beginning of new romantic relationships is always passionate and exciting as fuck. But hearing this episode of Multiamory makes me want to actively do something to change this behavior of mine in the future. Because it’s important to me to allow any romantic relationships I may have in the future, to evolve into whatever they are meant to be. And I don’t mean that in a religious sense like “it was fate that brought us together.” But rather, I want to allow myself to both give and receive limitless love from fellow human beings. Because quite frankly, now that I know that I am worthy of receiving love from others, no matter what form that love takes, I want to receive as much love as people have to give me.

In a podcast called Serial that I’ve talked about on my blog before, I looked up said podcast recently to see if there were any more seasons since the first one had come out a couple years ago. And there were two more seasons of this podcast, though I started listening to season three, the most recent season. But first, I’d like to remind you dear blog readers what the first season of Serial was about: it was about a case of a man named Adnan Syed who had been imprisoned for murdering his high school girlfriend. And in this particular story which took place in the state of Maryland, Sarah Koenig (who’s the host of Serial) tells Adnan Syed’s story as thoroughly as she can, in my opinion. She talks to everyone about this whole thing that she can, including Adnan himself. And when I say that Sarah Koenig is thorough in her investigation, I mean just that; she talks to Adnan Syed and people who know him, several times. And ultimately, it’s left to us as the listeners what perspective we want to take about this story. And as I’m pretty sure I said when I’d written about this story in my blog, I think that Adnan Syed did murder his high school girlfriend.

But now, to talk about season three of the Serial podcast, this season of the show was a bit different from the first one, in that Sarah Koenig discussed several cases within one particular state, Ohio. And so, a few of the cases that she’d discussed this season, focused on a specific court judge who felt that he knew his clients better than they (his clients) knew themselves. This particular judge pissed me the fuck off, mostly because his idea of helping people was to attack people’s characters/attack the life choices they made for their lives. What I mean by that, is that he’d criticize people for getting pregnant or for being parents as unmarried human beings. He’d tell them that he had the power to see to it that they’d go to jail if they became pregnant or were parents again; it was ridiculous!! He even judged people based off of the color of their skin alone, and then flat out denied that those actions of his would be considered racism. One of the people who’d been a defendant in this judge’s courtroom wrote him (the judge) a letter to help bolster his case. So long story short, hearing this particular judge made my blood boil…because I dated a guy who had the same exact attitude of this judge. He (the white man I dated) thought that people of color (POC) were just winy folks; he wouldn’t even have any compassion for them whatsoever. Hell, he even talked about gay people as if they, as if we, were not human. And I say that this way because I wasn’t out as a gay person at the time myself. And man, thinking back on this particular toxic relationship I’d been in, who knows what this man would’ve done to me, if I’d told him that I was attracted to women. I’m glad I’ll never have to find out, though!!

But going back to this particular season of the Serial podcast, there were other cases that Sarah Koenig talked about throughout this season of the show, that moved me. More specifically, there was one court case in which a young lady had gotten into a fight at a bar. And in this particular case, the lady who this case was about, had hit a police officer that seemed to not believe her innocence. And the way that this situation was set up, was that things were fine until a random stranger repeatedly touched this woman when she didn’t actually welcome such interactions with him. And so, after this man had touched this woman several times, a crowd began to gather around the two of them, to try and break up their altercation. But instead, what ended up happening, was that more people got involved with this fiasco…and this woman hit the police officer who’d seen what was happening. But it’s my belief that she’d hit this officer because she was trying to defend herself, when nothing anyone else seemed to do would resolve this situation. This case was really sad to me because this woman had recently found out that she was pregnant…and she’d recently lost her job. And so, even after having listened to this woman’s entire story, I think she’ll be on my mind, in terms of wondering what’s happened to her since this podcast has come out.

One of the other cases that Sarah Koenig talked about in this season of Serial, that stood out to me, was one in which there was a crap ton of police brutality committed against POC, people of color. There were actually a couple stories of this nature that were told together, simply because that was how us as the listeners could best understand these stories in full; at least, that’s what Koenig had told us. But so anyway, in both of these stories, there were POC who had found themselves in run-ins with authority figures. Both of these POC had continually gotten into legal problems and were in and out of Ohio courts. But where the police brutality comes into these cases, is when policemen add to these people’s troubles by abusing them. And when I say the word “abuse,” I don’t say that word lightly. Because in each of these cases, policemen who were involved literally and figuratively beat these POC up. And these POC in question were of course even worn down mentally by all the shit that the policemen who were involved in their cases, added to their already chaotic lives. And TBH, this case in particular was hard for me to take in, simply because of how much I felt these POC’s pain. And when I say that I felt their pain, I mean that the fact I’m an empath makes me cry whenever I hear other folks crying. And it doesn’t matter whether folks are crying tears of happiness, sadness or some other emotion entirely; I feel and experience all of their pain in my physical body.

In another story from this season of Serial, this one about a child who was in jail for crimes he’d committed as a minor, this story was one of my favorite stories of this season of the show. Like, I know that probably sounds weird because the stories that are told in this particular podcast are not all happy/feel good kinda things. But in this story specifically, it’s obvious pretty early on that Sarah Koenig comes to have a great relationship with the main man in this story. Like, she and Josh (the man that this story is about) both seem to enjoy the conversations that they have with each other; Sarah even helps Josh keep in touch with his family on a regular basis, via making three-way calls on her phone. And even through all of the chaos that’s going on in Josh’s world, I can’t help feeling like I want to celebrate his story, even though as far as we listeners know, his story hasn’t had its happy ending yet. Because to me at least, it seemed like he really did want to get away from bad environments like the ones he’d known all of his life.

In the FB group called Have A Gay Day, that I’ve talked about on my blog before, I had a recent experience in said group that left me feeling disappointed as hell, in many of the group’s members. So what had happened, was that I’d created a topic saying that I wanted to be supportive to anyone whose identities were complicated. And in said post, I let it be known that I identify as a lesbian, even though I’ve had amazing sex with men. And wow, the attack that most of this group’s members unexpectedly foisted onto me was insane. I had women telling me that by claiming the fact I’m a lesbian, even though I’ve been with men, I’m essentially erasing “real” lesbians’ identities. But the thing was, even with this unexpected reaction that I’d received from many folks in the group, I didn’t internalize the things they were saying to/about me. But thankfully, there were a few people within this group who seemed to understand exactly where I was coming from, in posting what I did. Some of those folks even said that they’d heard of gay men and women alike, having sex with their opposite gender, just for the pleasurable aspect of sex. But damn, after this experience with the FB Have A Gay Day group, I texted someone I trust a great deal who’s also in the LGBTQ+ community…and interestingly, what they told me then, was that that sort of response I’d received from many in this group was more common than either of us would like to admit. And of course, that was disheartening news to me, especially given that people in the LGBTQ+ community are already discriminated against, enough as it is.

In an FB group for people who are writers, that I’ve been a member of for awhile, someone commented on the blog post of mine where I laid out reasons that I’ve chosen to be childfree; but just to clarify, each new blog post I write, I post the link to each post in this FB group for writers. And it’s rare that people comment on my posts in this group…so I was surprised that someone commented about this post in particular. But what this person’s comment had said, was that they share my feelings on this matter. And the comment I wrote to them reads:
Yes, it is ridiculous that most of society is unwilling to accept people’s decision not to have kids. Fortunately, when I was in my early/mid 20s, I had a great doctor Who respected my desire to have my tubes tied. I gave him well-thought-out reasons as to why I wanted the procedure done, and he praised me for knowing myself and wanting to be responsible. I have disabilities which I bring up here to say that he also didn’t desexualize me which I appreciated so much. But I often hear stories where women’s wants to have their tubes tied are not respected…and that is heartbreaking to me. But like you said about yourself, I’ve never regretted this decision, nor have I changed my mind about this. In fact, I literally wake up every day, thankful that I made this decision.

In the Childfree by Choice FB group, someone posted a topic asking if people had an actual structured life plan of why they’d chosen to be childfree. The comment I wrote in response to that thread says:
There are two big reasons why I’ve chosen to remain childfree, one of which is because I’m the meaning-maker of my life. The other reason that closely follows behind this one though, is that if I do date people again at some point, I want to be able to live my/our lives together as adults who want to add to each other’s happiness. And given the fact that I come from an abusive background, it’s become incredibly important that I be able to live in my truth and love without limits. I want these things to happen for myself because I realize that I can give myself these gifts, instead of waiting or hoping even, that eventually someone else will give them to me.

In another childfree FB group I’m a member of that’s called Amazing Childfree Singles, someone made a post about people settling down and getting married, as childfree people. TBH, this person’s post read weird as fuck to me…but the response I wrote to the topic reads:
I think you, original poster of this topic, also need to understand that not everybody wants to live traditionally, like being in a monogamous relationship, living with a partner, getting married etc. Each human being creates the life they want for themselves. I’m someone who falls into this category of being non-monogamous and not wanting to live traditionally. I’ve been told by the world that this is wrong or that it somehow means that I don’t commit to people. Yet I’m committed to making myself happy first and foremost, and it makes me happy to believe that love is limitless rather than something that there is only a certain amount of.

In this same FB group, someone posted a topic saying that they don’t agree with the concept of marriage. What I wrote in response to this post of theirs reads:
I want to respectfully say that I wholeheartedly agree with you. LOL. Seriously though, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way about marriage. I too, think that patriarchal views need to be totally done away with. They are not helpful to anyone…and they certainly aren’t indicative of a progressive world. I’m very much a non-conformist, though…and there isn’t a lot that I think society has done/is doing right. For example, I believe that non-traditional relationships of all kinds should have the same rights as married folks do; I’m polyamorous and would love for any future partners of mine to have the rights to make medical decisions about my health, if I’m ever incapable of doing so myself. So yeah, you definitely are not alone in your feeliings 🙂

On this same topic, I wrote a response to a commenter who said that they believe that people have commitment issues, if they’d prefer to live with a romantic partner but not get married to said partner. The response I wrote to said comment reads:
The problem I have with your perspective, is that you come across as being incredibly judgmental. What I mean is, you seem to be assuming that everyone shares your exact views. But in reality, you leave no room for people’s differing beliefs. For example, and I’m paraphrasing here, you say that people who simply live together and don’t choose to get married to one another are non-committal. And that simply is not true; commitment does not mean the exact same thing to others, as it does to you. For example, I’m committed to making myself happy and keeping myself as healthy as possible–both of these things are always true, whether I’m single or whether I’m dating people. This idea that all other relationships in my life shift when I’m in romantic relationships is something that just does not work for me. I’m not denying you or others the right to believe differently than I do. Am I strong in my stance on this? Yes…but assertiveness/confidence does not equal being an inconsiderate bitch.
After this person read that response of mine, they said that they’d felt attacked by what I’d said. So I responded to that comment of theirs, by saying:
It seems you’ve misunderstood me. When I said that saying what I did is not being an inconsiderate bitch, I was referring to myself as not being an inconsiderate bitch. I wasn’t saying that about you. I also said that I was expressing my views, and I was simply saying that I took your post to mean what I did; apologies if you or others thought I was attacking you but I wasn’t.
Once I’d clarified that for them, they understood where I was coming from.

Sometime on Wednesday I read a tweet from Dunkaroos, telling people that Dunkaroos would be giving out several boxes of those specific cookies to the first 5000 households who preordered them. But I don’t know why they referred to this particular thing as preordering because they were giving away Dunkaroos for free. But anyway, in their tweet about this particular opportunity, I hoped that I’d be among the first 5000 folks. But unfortunately, I wasn’t…and the thing was, I’d had my caretaker try to help me submit my entry. However even though it was only 30 minutes after this offer had started that my caretaker helped me with this task, it was 30 minutes too late. That surprised the hell out of me to be honest; I didn’t think that Dunkaroos would have tons of people interested in them. I guess I wasn’t the only person in the world who loved these particular cookies, after all!! Hahaha.

On Friday morning I called my neurosurgeon’s office to follow up with the staff there about the letter I needed them to write for my school. And during that conversation between myself and an employee at said office, I made sure to clearly explain exactly what I needed the documentation to say. I even asked the lady I’d spoken with if she’d please email me the documentation…and thankfully, she wrote my personal email address down correctly. And then a few minutes later I received said email. But my caretaker wasn’t able to help me submit all the paperwork until yesterday. So just to outline what the entire process was like, given that I couldn’t actually go to school and turn in the documentation all stapled together, the first step was for my caretaker to fill out the form from my school that showed that I’m appealing the current hold on my financial aid money. And then once he’d filled out that form, I had him take a picture of said form and save it to my phone. Then after that step had been completed, I forwarded the email message from my doctor’s office to my school email account. Once that had been done, I had my caretaker copy/paste the person’s email address from the Financial Aid Department to the clipboard. Then once he’d created an email from my school account to this person in the Financial Aid Department and attached all of the documentation to said email, he sent the email. So even though this financial aid issue stemmed from the fact I withdrew from school in fall 2019, the documentation I supplied should cancel the hold on my financial aid funding for this current spring semester.

On my personal FB page, I recently wrote the following status which corresponds with the previous paragraph I’ve written here:
OK, those who know me well, know that I typically make the most out of shitty situations, without complaint. But there are times like now, when I feel like letting you folks into my world as a blind and physically disabled person might help you understand accessibility…or lack thereof a bit better. So, last fall as some of you may remember, I was hospitalized due to having shunt issues. I was hospitalized literally two days after that semester had started…and after my financial aid had gotten to me. And long story short, I had to withdraw for that semester. So fast-forward to this semester, the last time I was on-campus, I spoke with financial aid folks about why there was a hold on my account. They said that the hold was because I’d withdrawn from last fall; they gave me a form to fill out to appeal that decision and said that I’d also need to provide documentation from my medical team that what I’d said was true. Then, Corona Virus hit…and made getting this whole thing resolved, one thousand times harder. Because I would have to have sighted eyes to not only fill out the appeal form, but I’d also need sighted eyes to take pictures of all of the documentation and help make sure that everything had attached in an email to the person in charge of financial aid stuff. And in addition to these things, I’d also need to stay on my neurosurgeon’s office to give me documentation from their end. Now, it took me being the squeaky wheel with that office to finally get them to email me the letter I needed. I literally received that letter by email yesterday…and today, had sighted help with getting all of the things done that I’d mentioned above. As a blind person who has a physical disability/chronic health conditions, I feel worn out. It took sooooooo much of my energy…to get this done…and to get this done, I had to have help…because the process was not accessible to me as a disabled person. This should not have been something that I had to fight like hell to get done, in 2020!! I understand that there are probably folks who are not honest about this sort of thing…but FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. Why would someone lie about being hospitalized? Cause I assure you, being hospitalized is NOT sexy 😛
World, you really could do better #ThatIsAll

Something else that also happened yesterday though, was that I had my caretaker look at my Airpods because neither of them would turn on when they were in my ear. And this was something new to me and internally, I was freaking out about it. Because my thing was, did I accidentally press the button on my Airpods case and disconnect them from my phone? But when I’d brought up what had happened with my caretaker, he informed me that his Airpods have done the same thing…and that sometimes you just have to reconnect them to your phone. So TBH, hearing him say that was a relief because I didn’t even foresee that this could become a problem. And honestly, it was a bit of a hassle to fix, especially as a totally blind person. In fact, I couldn’t fix it because the only way to connect and reconnect Airpods to one’s phone, is to use the visual cue of a light shining a certain color or something along those lines.

This morning I thought to try to change the default email address for my blog-related things. It had been awhile since I’d last tried to make that happen…but based on my previous experiences with this particular thing, I didn’t think much of trying it again. So how this happened, was that I clicked on the link that said “forget this pending email address change,” as I knew that said change had never actually gone through. And once that had been done, I typed in my blog email address and for whatever reason, this time, I received the confirmation email!! And even though this particular thing probably seems small and insignificant to other people, it’s huge to me. Because it’s important to me to keep blog-related things all in one place, whether it’s for my blog or for other people’s blogs.