On my personal FB page, I wrote the following status which reads:
To society at large, please stop congratulating people on weight loss, most especially when you don’t know whether said weight loss was intentional, nor do you know the “why” behind folks’ weight loss. This is mainly on my mind right now because I’ve read people saying that the singer Adele looks amazing, due to an apparent weight loss she’s gone through. But perhaps she struggles with eating disorders, perhaps she has some medical condition that causes her to lose weight…or something else entirely. I don’t know the “why” behind her weight loss myself, but I do know that society at large has a toxic view of the concept of weight, whether it’s weight gain or weight loss. Losing weight should not be something that people see as an accomplishment, unless you are specifically told by someone that they see it as such. Because with Adele specifically, maybe she was happy when she had more weight on her. Demeaning people or celebrating people for weight-related anything, especially when people have not made it clear to anyone whether they see weight-related things as celebratory, is harmful rather than helpful. Please check yourself, folks. I know people who drink this societal kool aid are often well-meaning; but I think that we need to start changing the way we think of weight as a concept. Because most times, we don’t know what a real tragedy it might be for folks who struggle with weight.
Also on my personal FB page, I wrote the following status:
I had an insight recently that I thought some of you might enjoy thinking about. If I could sum myself up in one sentence, that sentence would be: “I fuck shit up!!” This could be taken in terms of the fact I’m a non-conformist. It could also be taken in terms of me being unapologetic about who I am…even when people call me crazy for speaking my mind. But “I fuck shit up” could also be taken as I move through the world as someone who people want to be more like, simply because over all, I am love❤️ 🤗 ✨ 🏳️🌈
In the Childfree by Choice FB group I’m in, someone asked if group members have wanted to remain childfree because they had a toxic family of origin. The response I wrote to that topic reads as follows:
For me, the fact that I come from an incredibly toxic family of origin, that truth did absolutely inform my decision to be childfree. I was and am very much of the mind-set of “the abusive cycle ends with me…no questions asked.” But in terms of your question about how one’s family of origin feels about our decision to be CF, I’ve been full no-contact with my family of origin for a few years now. And quite frankly, I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about my life choices. I’m happily living my life, they are living theirs.
Someone wrote a response to that comment of mine, saying that they feel similarly about their life. And then, what they said encouraged me to add this:
I was literally just having this very conversation with my therapist. I was saying that I have intentionally made it my life’s work so to speak, to be an introspective person who continues to grow and evolve. I explained to them that my family of origin, toxic though they are, they did teach me about who I do and do not want to be.
On this same topic, someone brought up the fact that they feel like only people who have been through this kinda situation, get why they want nothing to do with their toxic parents/family of origin. And the response I wrote to that comment, with some more added to it, reads:
Oh hell yeah, I absolutely get where you’re coming from on this!!! I totally feel the same way about my situation with my bio mom in particular, and all of the other toxic family members of mine. In fact, I used to feel really pissed off, and sometimes I still do, when people say ignorant things like, “well, what about if your bio mom dies?” Well for me, the answer to that question is, “that would not be my problem. And not just that, but I have no regrets about any aspect of how I’m conducting my life.” Because really, and this is something that people don’t ever seem to think about, which is that my toxic bio mom has the right/the ability to make different choices for herself than the ones she’s made in the past, just as we all make choices every day about who we will be in the world. The burden of reconciliation should not solely fall on the adult child; that shit needs to stop, like, right now!!
In this same FB group, someone posted a topic where they asked group members if we could relive another year again, which one would we choose. And the response I wrote to this question, with some expansion, reads:
I’ve always hated questions like this, to be honest, mostly because these kinda questions promote this idea that folks living in the past is a healthy thing. But in actuality, the opposite is true: people continuing to move forward through life, is what is healthy. So that being said, I truly feel like every year that I get older, I become a better person overall. And you can’t beat that!!!!
In another childfree FB group I’m in, this one called Amazing Childfree Singles, a woman posted a topic saying that she hates when people refer to her as “Mrs. So-and-so.” And the response I wrote to this topic of hers, with some expansion, reads:
OMG, I can totally relate to this!! I hate when people refer to me as Mrs. Chelsea or use Mrs. along with my last name. Quite frankly, I find this sort of thing insulting. Because not only does this particular word choice feel like it’s devaluing my singleness, but also, this specific word choice assumes that I even want to get married…which I don’t. But the thing is, I never seem to have the time or the space to engage people in a discussion about their choice of words. And so, I’m using the platform that I have now to share my thoughts about it. Because the thing is, if people don’t know how they can do better, then they can’t actually be better. And one part of my purpose in the world, is to (usually kindly) explain to folks how what they’re doing is both harmful and unhelpful.
I recently submitted a post to the Have A Gay Day FB group that I’m in, though I don’t think said post was actually put through by a group administrator. However I think it’s good to keep a record of what I wrote nonetheless. And what I’d written in said post is something along the lines of “Given that I’ve been given a hard time by some folks in the LGBTQ community for how I identify, I’d like to explain myself a bit. There’s something called the Kinsey Scale that was created to acknowledge that people can have complex identities. On both sides of the Kinsey Scale, there are extremes…and then there’s the in-between gray area that people often don’t realize exists. And so, when I identify as a lesbian, that identity doesn’t necessarily fall onto one extreme or another extreme. And in fact, I’ll let it be known that my lesbian identity is along a spectrum. This means that I don’t only have sex with women. So next time you feel like telling someone that how they identify is invalid, I hope that you’ll think of the Kinsey Scale and what the Kinsey Scale means for different people. Because each individual, for his or herself, knows exactly who they, who we, are.
I recently posted a status on Twitter which reads as follows:
For those of you who say that you’re tired of Covid19 being all people talk about, please understand that it’s actually a luxury to feel like you can talk about other things most of the time. I say it’s a luxury cuz someone like me who’s immune-compromised is literally forced to…think about Covid19 the majority of the time cuz if I get it, it’d be a life/death situation for me. This thread is not me calling out a specific person, as I’ve been seeing lots of folks lately who express annoyance at Covid19 being all-consuming for some of us. I can say…for myself that it sucks that this is where we currently are in the world. But with kindness, I’m also calling folks in: cuz I don’t like that my world has personally changed so drastically that I even have to think about the scare of me possibly getting Covid19. For those of…you who say that you’re tired of Covid19 being all some people talk about, I empathize with you. But please extend that same empathy to us&if you can’t be supportive of our predicament then please know that we’re all in this together. No one likes dealing with the changes it’s…forced us to endure. But every individual on the planet processes this shitty situation differently…so please allow people the space&the freedom to talk about it as much or as little as they need or want to. Use the Twitter features that are available to you, like muting…certain keywords that bother you. Using such tools is a valid&even healthy way to cope with this mess. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk!!
So I know I’ve talked on my blog before, about unwanted attention that I’ve gotten from men throughout my life. And generally, I’ve had people reduce me to my visible disabilities, simply because they too have those same disabilities. And some folks who have this viewpoint, seem to see nothing wrong with their thinking. But the thing is, I don’t find it one bit flattering when I receive such attention. Because the thing that I feel I’m being robbed of by people who do this sort of thing to me, is the fact that there’s soooooo much more to me than my disabilities!! And so, even when I’ve had people say things to me like “I was afraid to talk to you because you use a wheelchair,” those people are reducing me to my disabilities. And in all the situations of this nature that I’ve been in, I’ve never spoken up about how and why people doing this is extremely problematic…until now. My disabilities are only one part of my life; they are not every aspect of my life.
Within the past week, I’ve had my caretaker get me some treats from outside, since I literally cannot go outside myself. And one of those treats was coffee and a chocolate croissant, both things were from Starbucks. I’d asked him to ask a Starbucks employee if they still had the smoked butterscotch latte…but he was told that that particular drink was seasonal. And TBH, I thought that that was what my caretaker would be told. But thankfully, he did get me a white chocolate mocha latte which was delicious!! And then something else I’d had him get as a treat for me, was an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate, that also had chocolate ice cream on it. There’s a local place here that has that exact thing on their menu and I’d been craving that for awhile now. And that too, totally hit the spot!!
Tuesday evening I logged onto my school email account to look at the suggested course advisement for my next couple of semesters at this college. And so, the course I ended up registering for, was one about public speaking. I forgot to look into professors who teach this subject ahead of time though, so I just picked a time slot that I’d be happy with…and I’m hoping for the best in terms of who the professor will be for said class. But also, I’m hoping that this upcoming fall semester will be done in-person, though I’m trying to prepare for the fact that that may not actually be the case.
Wednesday evening one of my classmates from American Sign Language (ASL) texted me to ask for help with homework assignments. Part of me felt slightly annoyed about this happening because I experienced a pang of envy about the fact that this person is still able to participate in this class when I’m unable to do so. But at the same time another part of me was happy because this classmate reaching out to me in this way made me feel included in this class. And so, I made sure to articulate that to them because I’m hopeful that they’ll continue doing that until the end of class happens later this month…which is coming up much faster than I thought it would.
Thursday morning I talked with my therapist; in this particular session of ours, I shared information about how my relationship with my mom-figure first came to be and also how it evolved over time. I talked about how before I’d met this woman, I spent years romanticizing what it would actually look like in my life, if I ever had a mom-figure. I explained to my therapist that even though I heavily romanticized this particular thing, I eventually came to find that the reality of what it was like was very different. I then gave my therapist the example of how having this mom-figure in my life became so strong because I shared a ton with her about what it was like for me growing up in such a dysfunctional family. But also, I didn’t try to put my relationship with this woman into a specific kinda box; instead, I gave space for the two of us to grow into something that was real and authentic. And I’m happy to say that the lived reality of this whole thing coming into existence, felt great to me because there was no pressure on us whatsoever…and this truth is what’s ultimately shown me for sure that I identify as polyamorous, most especially because not all relationships that I have with other human beings will look the same. And quite frankly, that’s something that I embrace wholeheartedly.
Later that evening one of my friends who’s blind and uses a screen reader to engage with technology like iPhones or Macs, asked me if a particular word was spelled incorrectly in my last blog entry. The word was “severed,” and it was not spelled wrong. So I ended up explaining to this friend that for whatever reason, the individual voices that VoiceOver on the iPhone allows you to choose from, all have different ways of pronouncing things. So VoiceOver Voice A may say the word “sever” incorrectly, while VoiceOver Voice B might say this word the way it’s supposed to be pronounced. But then somewhere down the road, VoiceOver Voices C and D may also pronounce this word in yet other ways that folks wouldn’t necessarily expect them to. And this is something that I actually figured out myself years ago, when I got tired of using a specific VoiceOver voice and wanted to use a new one. But until my friend had brought this particular thing up in this discussion, I don’t think I would’ve thought to explain it to people. So thanks, friend!!
There’s something I’d like to clarify about what it means to be polyamorous, as it occurred to me that some people may not be familiar with this concept. So by definition, the word “polyamorous” means that all people who are involved in said practice, are consensual adults. So this means that if someone who claims to be polyamorous has partners who don’t know about each other, then this person is not actually polyamorous, even if they claim to be. In fact, partners who don’t know about each other is what is commonly referred to by folks as cheating. And cheating is not an ethical behavior, period. There is no gray area about the meaning of these things.
In an episode of Multiamory, Jase, Dedeker and Emily talked about how guilt often functions in our lives. And for me, what came to mind immediately, was guilt that I’ve felt in past romantic relationships I’ve been in. One thing that I’ve felt guilt about, was the fact that an ex-boyfriend of mine wanted me to be his caretaker 24/7…and the guilt came into the situation because a part of me felt like I was a horrible person for not wanting to care for him full-time. But yet on the other hand, another part of me felt guilt due to the feeling I had that I’d be abandoning him if I left our relationship altogether. Because the thing was, I truly felt like the things that happened in my life were punishments for me being a bad girl. But even so, I knew intuitively, I guess, that being anyone’s full-time caretaker was not even a realistic thing that could happen, given my own chronic health conditions and my multiple disabilities which are hard enough to manage by themselves. And then on top of all of that, this particular boyfriend made me feel similarly to how I felt whenever I was around my bio mom: on edge, and like I didn’t have the right to speak out about how the relationship I thought I’d had with this man was unhealthy as fuck. And in reflecting on this now, if my memory serves correctly, it took me months, maybe even a year or more, to work through the negative things that feeling this guilt had caused me to experience.
That being said, I’ve also felt guilt about other things that have happened in my life; another example of this, is when I was an adult who decided to leave my bio mom’s house for good. The reason I felt guilty about having done this, was because in addition to my bio mom and her husband, I have two siblings that lived with her and her husband. And quite frankly, I felt like I was leaving my siblings behind, in a neglectful kinda way. But as I’ve already stated here, I was a grownup when I made this decision. And so, me having guilt about the fact that I’d in turn lose my siblings, that guilt didn’t actually serve me in a meaningful way. In fact, as I think back on this situation now, it took me several years to work through the guilt that this particular situation, in combination with my traumatic upbringing, brought on. And so, I went from feeling personally responsible for specifically leaving my siblings behind, to having the realization that I was actually only responsible for myself. And so, however my bio mom and her husband decided to communicate to my siblings about me, was their prerogative as the individuals that they are. But also, another realization that I had about this situation, was that just as I could make choices for my own life, so too could my bio mom and her husband do in their lives. And ultimately, I came to understand that there was no way to change the harshness of this situation; I learned the hard way, that the only thing I could change was how I responded to this harsh truth, in combination with how I let this situation break my character or build my character. And I’m happy to say that nowadays, the stories that my brain tells me about my siblings, are much kinder to myself and also acceptance/understanding that I don’t have to like all realities…to accept those realities as true. And my life feels much more peaceful, as I’ve come to terms about this particular reality.
Another situation in which I’ve felt guilty about, was any time when someone that I cared about has died. Like, I’d feel guilty about people’s deaths because usually, I wouldn’t have spent anywhere near as much time with them as I felt like I should’ve. And along these same lines, I understand that on some level, it’s unrealistic for me to have felt guilty because there’s no way I could’ve known what these people’s life happenings were going to be. But also, it doesn’t do good for my own mental health to fixate on this particular thing. So needless to say, my relationship with guilt throughout my life has been quite complicated. But I think that having self-reflection about said guilt is a great thing.
In another Multiamory episode in which Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about the importance of people being willing to reach out for help from a therapist or other professional who is poly and/or kink friendly, surprisingly I had some reflections that this particular Multiamory episode brought out of me. But first, I want to explain to you dear blog readers that my reflections came about because these three friends mentioned that at different times in their lives, people can need or want a specific kinda therapist. So for example, I remember that when I first started going to therapy back in San Antonio Texas, the main therapist I had, realized very early on in our sessions that I’d benefit from a tough-love sort of approach from them. And although they never put our work together like that specifically, they were able to use discernment. And TBH, going to this therapist once a week back then, was hard as fuck for me to do…because I wasn’t used to hearing brutal honesty from someone, most especially not for 45 minutes straight!! But even though it was hard for me to hear such frankness from this stranger, I would always think about the things that my therapist had said to me…and I continually reminded myself that even though I didn’t trust them much then, I had to realize that having a successful outcome would only work if trust between us was a two-way street. But thankfully, things worked out well and I took away lots of valuable tools from those therapy sessions that still carry me through my life every single day. And TBH, I’m really a huge fan of self-work/self-improvement.