A few trips down memory lane, a rant, podcast thoughts and more

In the latest Multiamory episode, Jase, Emily and Dedeker talk with someone who specializes in showing people the myriad ways that consent comes up in our over all lives. And one of the things that listening to this Multiamory episode brought up for me, was that this guest talked about how our bodies tend to give us warning signs that people are not good for us, before our brains actually come to that conclusion themselves. And right as I’d heard this thought voiced, I immediately remembered several people throughout my life who have physically made me feel awful; like, these people who came to mind for me were high strung individuals. These people also had no ability to set boundaries themselves, nor could they accept the boundaries of others. They were also flaky as fuck which was frustrating to me.

An example of this happening in my life, happened when I was going to a super-conservative church in San Antonio Texas, back in 2016 or 2017. In the bible study I was involved in, there was a woman as our group leader who didn’t respect a boundary that I’d set within the group. There was a form going around for group members to write their contact information on and I set the boundary with the group leader that I only wanted my email address to be on that form. Well, this lady took it upon herself to put my email address, my physical address and my phone number on said form. She even told me as much, stating that I should just be grateful for that gesture of hers…and that I should just accept visitors at my house whenever anyone from this group wanted to show up at my apartment. And at the time this happened, I had no clue how to reenforce the boundary I’d set. I didn’t even have the language to say “you know, it really pisses me off that you didn’t respect my wishes.” Instead, I just sat there helplessly, with my chest/body tensing up and my breathing labored. I was literally a passenger watching this unfortunate event in my life unfold.

But yet another thing that listening to this particular Multiamory episode brought up for me, was the fact that I still find it hard to admit when I’m hungry. I know this probably sounds like a simple thing to most people; but for me, it really isn’t. And I’ve been thinking about this in terms of examining where this particular hesitancy in me comes from. And as with what’s true of soooo many things in my life, this fear of admitting when I’m hungry goes back to family of origin toxicity. So like, I used to get punished by many folks in my family of origin when I’d tell them that I was hungry. I was made to feel like my asking for food as well as wanting food, was a huge inconvenience to them. And so, now that I’ve been actively reflecting on this particular thing, I’m going to actively work on changing it for the better. Because I realize that I’m an adult with agency…which means that I don’t have to operate the way I had to when I was a kid/teenager.

In the book More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, a theme that the book’s authors Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert repeatedly discuss, is empowerment. And what I think it means within this book to be empowered, is that all of the adults who are in relationships with each other consent to the things that happen within each of their relationships. And not just that, but I take this book’s definition of empowerment to mean that people feel safe in each of their relationships, no matter what it is that they may be expressing to their partners. And I want to highlight this particular thing in my blog because it’s been something that I haven’t actually put into practice at all yet. And what I mean by that, is that I’ve rarely turned down opportunities to be sexual with people I’ve known or been in romantic relationships or friends with benefits type relationships with. I’ve rarely gone into any relationships consciously or with a positive self-worth. I also still struggle sometimes with saying the word “no” to others. And all of these things that I’ve listed here, I’m making note of because I want to change them for the better for myself, but also for the world at large: because I know that when I become better, so does the world.

Thursday morning I had a meeting via phone with my therapist; the two of us first talked about how I’d been feeling since our last meeting, given that we’d talked about things from my childhood. So I told them honestly that that particular conversation was difficult for me to have…but that I felt I had enough tools in my toolbox to get myself through that toughness. I also explained to my therapist that I’d been able to do a tremendous amount of work in therapy when I still lived in Texas…and that that work was transformative. I told them that if other things do come up in the future that I need help working through though, I’d definitely love to have their help with that. And TBH, I felt for the first time, that seeing this person might actually be beneficial. So that was certainly comforting; I just hope that I’m right about this.

Friday morning I had my caretaker see if he’d have any luck starting the Christina Aguilera concert using the Mixlr website or app. Because a few days prior to Friday, I’d found out from the fans who’d put this event on, that they were going to run through this same concert another time. And given that I was one of the folks who’d missed it the first time around, I was eager to finally listen to it. I made sure to get the Mixlr website pulled up a few minutes prior to the start of the concert so that my caretaker would hopefully have enough time to familiarize himself with how this website worked. And fortunately, he was able to start the concert; but even so, I tried not to get my hopes up about being able to watch the entire three hours of said event. And that was a good thing because over an hour into the concert, the sound just completely stopped. But given what I’d already experienced with Mixlr thus far, that was the End of this journey for me. I didn’t even want to get my caretaker’s help restarting the event because so much time had already gone by. But surprisingly, I wasn’t as sad as I thought I’d be. I mean, I thought that what I did get to see of the first day of this event, was awesome. This show included interviews with Christina Aguilera, as well as unreleased songs by her, as well as performances of hers from when she very first started singing…to how she sings now. It was really neat and I’m grateful that I was able to listen to part of said event.

But before anyone says “YouTube, Chelsea, YouTube,” I’ll say this: the reason I’ve made such a big deal about this Mixlr app/Mixlr website, is because this concert was only played in full using Mixlr. Now, I’m sure that if I knew the exact locations of each of Christina Aguilera’s performances that were featured in this event, combined with the names of the venues that she’d played at, I probably could find each individual performance on YouTube. But quite frankly, that’s the last thing I want to do, especially given the amount of frustration that this whole Mixlr inaccessibility has put me through. Like, I’m just fucking done with that platform!! I even unfollowed people who were tweeting about this event because I don’t even want to see any news about events that they may broadcast on Mixlr in the future.

A bit later on Friday afternoon I got my hair cut. This time around, my hair is not quite touching my shoulders; I also have a braid on my left side and a braid on my right side. And then some of my hair in the back just goes downward…but that part of my hair does also have some curls to it. So that being said, it will be interesting to see how long this particular hairdo lasts me. But that being said, I do want to talk about the fact that usually I’d stay away from having braids. Because what usually happens to me when I have them, is that my head hurts so bad that it isn’t even worth having braids. It isn’t just a simple headache that I’m talking about though. Being that my shunt is on the left side of my head, I can really feel that constant pressure that people apply when they are doing braids or a ponytail on me. And the thing is, this constant pressure I’m talking about, doesn’t usually stop, not even after the braids/ponytail have been put in. So needless to say, when my hairdresser told me that they wanted to do braids for me, I was totally skeptical of this endeavor. But I told them that because being a hairdresser is what they currently go to school for, and also because when they’ve done my hair before, I’ve gotten a lot of complements from people…so I’d let them try putting braids on me, as long as they’d agree to be gentle and compassionate, given how my shunt responds to ponytails/braids. And fortunately, having them put braids in my hair worked out a lot better than I’d expected it to.

And after getting my hair cut/braided, my hairdresser also did a full oil manicure on me which always feels nice. But for anyone who doesn’t know what a full oil manicure is, it just means that in addition to painting people’s nails, the manicurist also rubs warm oil on the person’s hands and arms. And also, the manicurist soaks the person’s hands in warm water so that their nails can then be filed and made to feel great. And as soon as my hairdresser started doing this particular manicure, I recognized it immediately–I just wasn’t aware that this kinda manicure had an actual name. LOL.

Saturday morning I had my caretaker help me purchase shoes online. I remembered the name of the company that I’d purchased my current shoes from, a few years ago. And the reason that me buying shoes for myself is blog-worthy, is because given that I wear leg braces, shoes are incredibly hard to find…unless I purchase them from this specific company which is called Drew Shoe. And this company specifically caries things for people’s differing medical conditions/medical needs. Drew Shoe’s website can be found at
https://www.drewshoe.com

After my caretaker and I’d finished ordering my new shoes on Saturday, the two of us looked into games that I used to love playing as a kid. We looked on eBay’s website, Amazon’s website and even Target’s website; the specific games I had him look for were: Torx, Henry, BopIt and BopIt Extreme. And just in case anyone doesn’t know what any of those games are, Henry is a memory game but with audio rather than visuals. Well actually, Henry does have lights on each of its 16 buttons that light up when the person playing the game gets four buttons matched in a row. So this particular game is kinda like Tick Tack Toe, in a sense. Henry’s platform is square-shaped, with 16 buttons on its surface, as I’ve said above. There is also a lever that’s located at the bottom right corner of the 16-button panel–this lever allows the player of the game to push right or left, according to whether they want to turn the game on or off. And then there’s a lever that’s located at the bottom left corner of the 16-button panel…and that particular lever controls whether the player of the game wants to play Henry by theirselves or with the game itself, acting as a second player.

BopIt, BopIt Extreme and Torx are games that give their players different commands like “pull it,” “bop it” or “twist it.” And the objective for each of these games is that you (the player) have to do the command that any of these games gives you. So like, when Torx says “twist my right arm,” you (the player) have to quickly twist its right arm, in order to score a point. And the same thing applies when it comes to BopIt or BopIt Extreme: when either of the BopIt games commands you as the player to, say, pull it, you have to quickly pull the lever that’s on either of these games. But if you as a game player aren’t quick to make all of these gestures, whether it’s a BopIt game or Torx that I’m talking about, then you’ll lose all of these games completely and have to start them over. And I almost forgot to add that both of the BopIt games have multiple games that can be played on their platforms.

When it comes to the way each of the BopIt games, as well as Torx, looks, I’ll do my best to describe each of them. Torx has a round circle in its middle, an arm on its left side and an arm on its right side. And Torx’s arms are the only things that you can bend, twist or turn into other shapes which the game specifies. There’s an on-off switch for Torx, though I can’t remember where on the game said switch is located. But anyway, Torx has more than one game on it, though I can’t recall what the games were, other than the one where Torx directs you to twist or bend either of his arms and/or turn his arms into different shapes. BopIt Extreme has the “bop it” button in its middle area, flick it at its top right corner, twist it at its top left corner, pull it at its bottom left corner and spin it at its bottom right corner. The regular BopIt that I played as a kid was thin and cylinder-shaped, with BopIt in the middle of the platform, pull it at the bottom of the platform and twist it at the top of the platform. But the BopIt that I recently purchased from a Target store, has a handle on it. But the male voice of this particular BopIt changes its pitch and song speed, as the person has earned more points in the game. And also, this particular BopIt makes the sound pitches change as the person’s speed increases. And if my memory serves correctly, these things did not hold true for the BopIts that I played as a kid.

For the past few days, the smoke detector that’s in my bedroom has been chirping; and that particular sound was so annoying that it’s been hard for me to concentrate on anything. But my caretaker was finally able to take the smoke detector down, until we can get a new battery for it. I’m glad he was able to do that, as its constant chirping every like, 15 seconds, was a pain in the ass. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was limited in what I could do, but what I ended up doing was just turning the volumes up on my phone and on my Amazon Echo Dot. That way, I wouldn’t miss out on anything that I was reading or listening to.

Something I’ve been hearing a lot lately, is some version of “we need more positivity in the world. I’m thankful for what I have, therefore I’m not going to complain about anything.” If that’s how you get through life, fine. Do you. But with that, please understand that not everyone shares the same view as you. When I was a young adult with limited life experience, I had this particular view myself, of thinking that being positive was the only way for folks to live their lives. But as I’ve gained more life experience and as I’ve been affected by things that I once thought could never touch me, those things have caused my thinking to shift into being a generally positive person who has a healthy dose of realism added to her positivity. Because quite frankly, what I realized was that positivity won’t pay my bills. Positivity won’t be there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on because life just fucking sucks sometimes. Positivity is not ‘the’ answer. It is ‘an’ answer. Also, people not minimizing the shittiness that we the world are going through right now, would be a good step to take. Actually, people not minimizing shittiness EVER, would be great!! But it seems like that’s too much to ask or hope for.

I’ve been reflecting on what it is that I’d want to tell people who have an abusive family of origin and what I’ve come up with is this: there’s nothing that says you have to keep toxic people in your life. I mean, society as a whole does do its best to convince us that when it comes to our family of origin, those specific people must be kept in our lives, no matter how poorly they treat us. But what I’m saying to you, fellow adults, is that you can make your own choices. Because now, you’re an individual who also happens to be a grown-up. And even though setting boundaries with others will definitely feel scary at first, having and setting boundaries will change your life…in the best of ways. It will empower you and help you move towards fully living your truth. Because as children, you, like me, might have had to develop certain survival skills just to get through life. But the thing that people rarely tell us, is that once we’re adults, that means that we no longer have to live the exact way that we were forced to live as kids. As adults, we have the power, and the right, to make different choices for ourselves in any way that we want to…as long as it’s consensual and ethical.

Along similar lines, being the black sheep of one’s family of origin can be amazing!! And I say this as someone who used to be distraught over the way my family of origin wouldn’t accept me for me. For years, I held onto this idealized version of these people that I’d created in my head. And I must say, I did, and do still, have a great imagination!! But even so, within these last few years, the way I’ve come to think of my family of origin has totally shifted. I now think of these people as human beings who actively choose not to have me in their lives. And honestly, I’m fine with that, mostly because I don’t want anyone to be in my life who doesn’t want to be in it. But also, the last time I saw one side of my family of origin, I could physically feel in my body that they only had me at their house as though they were doing me a favor by letting me be in their company. Like, the unspoken things I could feel them saying were something along the lines of “you’re related to us by blood but in actuality, we don’t want you here. You’re ruining our Christmas festivities.” I also remember all of them talking in whispers around me and being super guarded about what they discussed (or didn’t discuss) in my presence. But thankfully, before I’d left my own apartment to go to one of my aunt’s houses, my then caretaker reminded me that I didn’t have to stay somewhere that I wasn’t wanted. I’m grateful to her for that reminder because I’d told her a lot about my familial background and she knew that I’d drank the societal kool aid that gives people the fucked up message that without their family of origin, they are nothing.

And so, when I think of how my thoughts have totally shifted about how I think of my family of origin, I feel proud of myself. Because I have a much stronger self-worth nowadays than I had even three years ago…and that means that I’m able to weed out the bad apples that come into my life much quicker than before!! Like, I literally refuse to make time for poisonous people anymore. So that being said, I think of the term “black sheep” as describing someone who’s a trailblazer. I also think of this term as referring to someone who unapologetically carves out their own space in the world!! And quite frankly, I’d rather be hated for living in my truth than liked for living inauthentically.

I heard from someone at the Blind Mice Mega Mall, and I wrote the following Facebook status update about that bit of news. What I wrote reads:
Thanks for nothing, Blind Mice Mega Mall; it’s 2020, not 1800. Your website should not be so hard for blind and sighted people alike, to use. And also, it’s 2020, so you should really like, make a website that allows people to use their smartphones to download movies. Or, create an app like Braille and Audio Reading Download BARD or Voice Dream, where people have books in their cue…but when they finish them, they can delete them to free up space. I’m not a techy enough person that I know how this is/could be done, but through using the Voice Dream Reader and BARD apps, I do know that it can be done. So that being said, Blind Mice, you suck. Get with the fucking program. I’m hopeful that I can delete my account, as using the movie vault was the only reason I joined this website in the first place.
I later added:
To add to my earlier Facebook post about Blind Mice Mega Mall, the person who wrote me from there blamed my iPhone for being the problem. They said “A smart phone is wonderful, but it still cannot do everything a computer does.” Maybe not, but it *can* do what I’d asked about…again, I know this because the BARD and Voice Dream apps allow me to do this all, the, time. How’s that for not taking responsibility? LOL 😛

In the Facebook group called Childfree by Choice, someone posted a topic wanting to know about what forms of birth control folks have invested in. Someone commented on said thread, saying that they haven’t been supported in getting sterilized, as that’s what they’d want for themselves. The response I wrote to that commenter reads:
You are not too young to be sure of yourself; I don’t give a crap what you’ve heard from others. A grown woman is old enough to know what the fuck she wants. I say this as someone who was sterilized in my early/mid 20s. I had a great Doctor Who completely respected my decision and I’m hopeful that you can find one who will do the same for you. Please don’t settle for what you don’t want, just because others belittle your life choices.