Some questions on my spiritual awakening journey

In the Claircognizance FB group I’m in, someone recently posted a topic asking group members to help them with a project for their school. They said that they have a list of questions that they were looking for detailed answers to…and being that I’m a writer, who also loves helping people whenever I can, I jumped on this opportunity.
So below, I’ve posted the questions and my answers to each of them. There are only four questions and answers…but as I said, they’re lengthy. I hope that folks enjoy reading them, at least as much as I enjoyed filling them out!!
Question 1: when did you discover that you were going through a spiritual awakening and how did you become aware that you had spiritual gifts?
Answer 1: I’ve always known that I was worlds different from people, in that I had awareness on some level that I felt things far more deeply than others did. But yet, I knew that this particular thing was complex and probably not something that I could openly discuss with people. But in another sense, as I’m thinking back on the ability I have to deeply feel others, I feel like said ability helped me through the years of abuse that I suffered at the hands of both sides of my family of origin. And what I mean by that, is that even a small part of me felt like I was special because I had this ability. Because it was obvious to me that most people didn’t experience the world feeling people’s every emotion/inherent goodness or ugliness, as I did. But that being said, I’m not a spiritual person. However I’d say that two years ago was when I started to have an awakening about the fact that I had uncommon abilities. This was also the time when I first learned of the word empath and started to discover that I was an empath myself. I learned about this through having friends who knew that they were empaths and who also had the language to explain this concept to me. Soon after I’d started learning about this gift in particular, I joined groups on Facebook where I knew I could unite and feel like I belong with others who have this gift. And one of these empath-specific Facebook groups was ultimately where I discovered that I havve other “abilities” in addition to being an empath.

Question 2: how do you feel knowing you have these abilities? And do you think that everyone possesses these abilities?
Answer 2: before I had language and knowledge about the various abilities that I have, I felt confused and like I was deranged. I also felt isolated and lonely because I knew in my heart then that no one would understand this difference about me. But then, fast-forwarding to two years ago when I began to learn that actually, there were tons of people with gifts like being an empath and Claircognizance, I felt a huge sense of relief. But yet, there are also times when the knowing AKA Claircognizance happens in my life…and it freaks me the hell out because it always happens so randomly. And sometimes, the knowing is super detailed; and other times, I can just literally feel in my own body, what people around me are going through. And honestly, sometimes I feel like these abilities are burdens to me. But then I realize and think about how these abilities allow me to deeply connect with others, in ways that perhaps they don’t even understand that there’s language to explain these concepts. And lately I’ve been embracing that I have these abilities because I now have a deep understanding of how these abilities can be used on my journey of self-betterment. But also, I can use these abilities to help make the world a more compassionate and loving place where others can thrive.

Question 3: do you use your abilities in everyday life? If you do, how?
Answer 3: As far as me using my abilities in everyday life, that’s hard to say. Because for one thing, it isn’t like I think to myself “it’s time to turn on these uncommon abilities that you have…and to turn them on right now.” But then again, as I’m thinking about it, I would say that using my abilities is so second-nature to me now, that using them just…naturally happens. And so yes, sometimes I use them to determine the energy of someone I care about. Like, there are times that it’s obvious to me that someone is having a hard time in some way, shape or form. But I’ve really learned how to harness these abilities of mine in such a way that I can immediately assess the person’s headdspace/troubles and then have an exact awareness about whether it would be safe for me to push for more details or not. I’m even getting to a point where I can let people know that I know what’s going on in a compassionate way, without them feeling like they have to talk about it.

Question 4: how do you think experiencing a spiritual awakening and having these abilities can help someone?
Answer 4: while I’ve touched on how I think the abilities I have can be used for the greater good of the world at large, as well as for myself, I can use what some people refer to as my “healing energy” to show people that no matter what their demons are, they are not misunderstood by every human being. I also know that for myself, being on this awakening journey these last two years has allowed me to grow as a person in ways I never even knew were possible. As I’ve said in my previous answers, I’ve found a community of other folks who like me, have these kinds of abilities. And within this community, we all support each other wherever we are at any given time. And that in itself is huge because personally, I love being on this awakening journey which constantly teaches me about myself and how deeply and fully I can love others.

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.

Reasons why I never want to have, or raise, kids

I have no desire to go through pregnancy.
I don’t want to be responsible for a human being other than myself, in any way, shape or form.
I thoroughly enjoy the myriad ways that I can deeply and lovingly connect with people, that have nothing whatsoever to do with kids.
I had a shitty childhood and therefore I now want to give myself the best possible life I can.
I thoroughly enjoy doing adult things, like having sex whenever I want to and being able to love romantic partners/to do things with them and only them.
The fact that I won’t even have to think about losing my identity as an individual, the way that parents often lose theirs when kids are in the picture.
The fact that I believe that motherhood is not meant for every single woman who exists.
The fact that I love spending the little bit of money I do have after bills, on myself and on folks that I care about.
The fact that I’m honest enough to admit that it’s hard enough to take care of myself, at times.
The fact that I flat out don’t believe that having kids is an accomplishment/something that’s praise-worthy.
The fact that I believe that my life is meaningful because I say it is, rather than allowing society to tell me how to feel about my choice not to have kids.
The fact that I’m the only one in my life who creates meaning, and that this also holds true for every other individual in the world.
The fact that I firmly believe that my worth is not tied up in what my vagina can physically do.

Potential music news, podcast thoughts and looking back on many things

On Twitter, I recently posted a tweet that I’m going to expand on here, given that this is my blog. What I wrote reads:
If I tweet something using the words “men are” or “men do,” I shouldn’t have to tell you that I’m not saying “all men.” You should have enough of an understanding that the reason I say these things to begin with, is cuz enough men do this or say this, to warrant me to talk about it. And also, I mentioned someone in this tweet who like me, is a feminist. I’ve been following this person’s tweets for awhile now and I’m glad that they are speaking out all the time about the ways in which men are shitty. Because it’s important to call men out, most especially because calling them out is literally the only way that many of them will actually examine their harmful behaviors/harmful actions.

Something else that’s happened on Twitter lately, is that there’s been an announcement that there’s going to be a Christina Aguilera event happening online in a few weeks. But other than that information, I don’t know anything else about said event. Well, accept the fact that said event won’t cost any money for concert viewers.

Another musically-related thing that’s happened on Twitter recently, is that Stacie Orrico, who’s one of my favorite singers of all-time, has made a few appearances on social media lately. Now, many people probably don’t know this but Stacie has never been someone who enjoys social media. And so TBH, it’s interesting to me that she’s trying to use social media now; but I think that’s great!! Because quite frankly, before these recent social media posts of hers, I’d given up on the hope of ever hearing new music from her again. Like, I’d literally been thinking about this myself recently and felt myself alternating from being sad about this truth that I thought might be reality, to feeling grateful that she’d released several songs back in 2012 and for a few years after that. And the thing is, given what a stan I am of her music, I’ve been trying hard not to get my hopes up about her releasing more music. But try though I may, I haven’t been successful at this. And that’s frustrating because I love getting excited about things; but yet, I also have past experiences that prove that even though Stacie has said that she’d likely release a new album back in 2013, that hasn’t actually happened. And I know that her life has been filled with raising kids and enjoying married life…and she seems happy about where she is in her life, now. But as someone who loves her voice to the extent that I do, I really do hope that she does release more music soon.

I wrote the following FB post on my personal page yesterday which reads:
Five years ago today, I had a shunt revision. Five years ago today, my life also became harder than I could ever imagine. It’s a lot harder for me to walk than it used to be, and I don’t know that I’ll ever get over that particular grief. But at the same time, I have people in my life who took care of me five years ago; these folks are still in my life today and are some of my favorite humans ever. And while there’s no telling how long this shunt will last, the one thing I know for sure is that I have more of a loving support system than I felt I had five years ago…and that is the best gift EVER!!

In the Childfree by Choice FB group, someone asked why many childfree people hate kids. While I know that I don’t owe anyone an explanation of why I feel the way I do about kids, I happily posted a response to said question. What I wrote to this person reads:
It’s OK that you like kids, just like it is OK that some of us, myself included, cannot stand them. The biggest thing for me is that they take time away from adults, so much so that those adults completely lose their identity as individuals. Kids are also loud and annoying shits that think everyone’s world revolves around them…and that everyone’s world should revolve around them. Really, what’s to like about them? That is the real question…unanswerable though it is.

Also in this particular FB group, someone posted a topic about a relative of theirs not respecting their decision to be childfree; the person who’d posted this topic wanted to know if they were the one with issues around this. The response I wrote to them reads:
Obviously, this relative of yours does not understand where you are coming from, though. I can tell this by the fact that they continue to pressure you but also, at the fact that they get defensive every time you tell them that your decision is yours alone. Sounds like it is way past time for you to set boundaries with them on this, because nothing they could ever say will change your choice about what happens or doesn’t happen in your life. It seems like this person needs you to spell it out bluntly for them: I’m no longer going to discuss this choice about my wanting to remain childfree with you, relative/I don’t care what you want for my life, relative. If the person in question reacts defensively to your boundary-setting, know that that is their problem, not yours. The only thing you can control is yourself. I hope things start looking up for you soon.

I’ve been engaging on a post on FB that someone on my friends’ list wrote. This person is not originally from the US but they do of course have an opinion about how the current US President runs things here in America. And some folks have commented on this post, who can’t stand that someone who isn’t a US citizen is unafraid to put their opinion out into the world. And the folks who think that this person should keep their mouth shut because they are not a US citizen, seem to feel threatened by the topic poster’s perspective. So myself and several other folks have gone back and forth with them on this. And one of the people saying that the poster of this topic should keep quiet, asked me why I wasn’t saying that Jo Biden is a pig. The response I wrote to that person’s question reads:
I’m silent about Biden because this thread is not about Biden. But for the record, I think Biden is a pig, just like your lover 45 is. You don’t know anything about me, but just because I do enjoy engaging in fruitful discussion, I will say that I am a member of several minority groups. I have multiple disabilities and I’m a gay woman. I’m also a woman who’s been sexually assaulted on repeated occasions, by multiple people. So, I have actual lived experience to back up what I’m saying, rather than just believing what I’m spoonfed by Faux News.

On a different note, I figured that I’d talk about a particular experience I’d had a few years ago that’s related to how people can be traumatized by religion/religious people. Because this was something I’d been recently reflecting on, in terms of how far I’ve come since then. But also, I think it’s important to discuss this on my blog, given that one of the reasons I’d created this blog to begin with, was to speak openly about the things people do wrong when it comes to the way people with disabilities (PWD’s) are treated by much of society. This religiously traumatizing story definitely falls into that category, for sure. And interestingly, I’m still so traumatized by this story that I’m not even going to use this organization’s actual name because I don’t want to receive pushback from them. I mean, I’m sure they wouldn’t find me unless they Googled my name or knew about my website…but the trauma that they’ve caused me is so deep that I just don’t even want to chance them discovering what I have to say about how awful they treated me.

So, now for my personal story of my time with this organization: there was an organization in San Antonio Texas that I’d wanted to mentor youth with. Now, keep in mind, this whole thing happened at a time when I was still trying to convince myself and other people that I was religious. But anyway, this particular organization claimed that it was doing good things for the youth of today…but yet they were actually being hate-filled people. In fact, in one of the questions I was asked in my initial interview as a potential mentor with this organization, the question was something along the lines of “if a young person told you that they were gay, how would you respond to that?” If my memory serves correctly, I said that I’d respond in kind. But the thing was, this mentorship program which had the word Christ in its name, by the way, didn’t like my honesty. And unfortunately for me, that discovery wasn’t the end of this awful organization’s crapiness towards me.

The other shitty thing this organization did, happened after I’d done that interview with them. They organized a meeting with me, with one of their people and a Principle or Assistant Principle at one of the elementary schools I might have been a mentor at. And even though I knew that this particular thing was going to be a disaster from the minute it was organized, I didn’t feel strong enough then to share those feelings with anyone. Instead, what I did was I listened to the lady who’d interviewed me, tell me that the Principle or Assistant Principle at this particular elementary school had some concerns about me. When I asked this woman what she’d meant by that, I was told that people were concerned about me being a mentor…because of the fact I’m disabled. But the thing was, this lady didn’t even want to say the D-word, disabled; she simply fell all over herself to avoid the truth. Well, long story short, it was like pulling teeth, for me to drag the truth out of her!! One thing I do remember saying in my favor during this conversation though, was something like “I really don’t think it’s necessary for us to have this meeting, simply because you all are not familiar with people with disabilities you know, being functional human beings.” And then I went to this meeting, dreading every minute of it from the very second I was first made aware of it. And so, what was done to me that was so humiliating, was that while I was sitting in the office of this elementary school, waiting to be seen, the lady who’d interviewed me told me that once my name was called, I was to stand up and walk towards this school employee, who spoke like, two words to me…and whose voice I was supposed to remember the location of and then walk towards. Now once again, I want to say that this voice that I was supposed to walk towards, had only spoken just a few words to me. But even so, I did exactly as I’d been instructed to do.

Now, let me tell you, dear blog readers, the reasons why this whole experience was literally the worst public humiliation of my life. First of all, this organization who I’ll remind you had the word Christ in its name, claimed that the organization’s mission was to bring people to Jesus Christ. That in itself is already problematic as fuck, especially given that this organization didn’t accept people in the LGBTQ+ community which they’d made quite clear to me in my initial interview with them. But also, the fact that they made me as someone with disabilities go through extra things that people without disabilities didn’t have to go through, was beyond ridiculous. Because they could’ve done Google searches to see how people with disabilities live functional lives, just like non-disabled people do. Or better yet, they could’ve reached out to the person with disabilities that they were in contact with, me, and allowed us to have a meaningful conversation with each other. But instead, it seemed that they’d already had their minds made up about how this situation was going to turn out, literally from the first time I’d met with them in-person. And TBH, after all the hell that they’d ultimately put me through, I didn’t want anything to do with such an organization anymore, anyway. But even so, as I’d said above, this whole experience hurt me to my core. Like, this whole fiasco happened at a time when I was still suffering from internalized homophobia, which of course didn’t help matters. Well, I take that back: this fiasco did help me have even more internalized homophobia, I’m sad to say.

Within this last week, something that I forgot to write about, was the fact that I logged onto my school account to check when my registration date was going to be for this upcoming fall semester. And once I’d gotten that date, I put said date in my calendar right then because I didn’t want to risk forgetting it. Because quite frankly, I’m done lying to myself that my memory is so good that I’ll remember important dates. But honestly, what has actually helped me commit dates to memory, is writing them down in my calendar. Funny how that happens!

And in other news, while I’d thought that my Apple Music subscription as a student was verified as I’d been told it was, I was wrong. And how I’d found this out, was due to the fact that every time I’d open the music app on my phone, a message would pop up saying that I only had a few more days to verify myself as a student using this particular service. And so, I sent an email to the person from the third-party company who’d told me that everything was verified. And in the email I’d sent this person, I directly asked them if my student membership was verified as they’d claimed it was, why Apple Music would pop up with an alert saying otherwise. But being that I’ve yet to hear back from them, I decided to use my caretaker’s eyes to check this situation out yet again. And what he discovered, was that all that needed to be done was to enter in my Apple ID information. And then once that had been done, my Apple Music student membership was fully verified. Wow, how incredibly frustrating this whole process has been, though even that’s putting it mildly.

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, Ira Glass first told a story about some different families who’d responded to Corona Virus very differently from one another. And in one of these stories, someone who’s in the medical field creates a video documentation for her husband that she wants him to be able to hold onto if something bad happens to her. And in this video documentation that she’d created, this woman lays out literally every awful thing that could happen to her; because she doesn’t want her husband to be traumatized by what she might physically look like, if she gets horribly sick. But then a sort of related story that’s told about a family in a similar predicament, is that one of these family members has Corona Virus. And this family member seems to take comfort in the fact that his family members are keeping in constant contact with him…to check on how he’s doing.

But then Ira Glass tells a totally different story, this one about an undocumented person’s journey in the United States. It was interesting to hear this story because as this woman tells it to us as the listeners, at least from my perspective, I feel like no matter what it is that she’s gone through, she’s determined to do whatever she can to make the most of the cards she’s been dealt. And the thing is, not only does she have to deal with the fact that she’s an undocumented person in the US, but she also has demons of her own in the form of mental health differences…and also, her ailing parents. But all that being said, I love the sound of this woman’s voice; oddly enough, it’s very calm-sounding.

In the next story in this episode of This American Life, someone who works with Ira Glass tells a story about how over a decade ago, someone who was in high school at the time, rigged many of the categories of the available awards for the senior class contest that numerous schools participated in. And in this particular story though, the guy who was responsible for doing this at the high school he’d gone to, seemed to be the only person who’d gotten worked up about this situation all these years later. And throughout the time that this story is being told about what he’d done, he’s shown to be quite an unfeeling person. This surprised me because to be honest, I’d thought he’d feel bad about it…but that wasn’t the case at all. But personally, I cannot for the life of me, understand why someone would even want to go to such lengths to rig a fucking popularity contest. Like, doing so wouldn’t have any affect on him whatsoever. But maybe he wanted the attention that he ended up getting from this particular podcast. Who knows. It was definitely weird to me, for sure.

In another recent episode of This American Life, the show’s host tells a moving story about how patients are currently being treated in hospitals. As Ira Glass is narrating this story though, I feel happiness which is kinda weird to me. I say that it’s weird because the story that’s being told about how people who work at hospitals are doing what they can to give families of relatives with Corona Virus good memories of their deceased family members. More specifically, some of the medical professionals in hospitals have been writing things down to personally give the families, because they (the medical professionals) wanted the families to know that their relatives were cared about by those who’d cared for them at the hospitals. And honestly, I think that whoever it was that had this idea, was thinking of hospital patients as human beings which made my heart smile…because in most other cases, that sort of thing is a rarity. Even my own personal experiences being a patient in hospitals have dictated me not being taken seriously, several times throughout my life.

And similarly, in another story that’s told on this particular episode of This American Life, we the listeners learn about a man who dealt with his grief from losing loved ones in a thoughtful and kind way. And what he did, was create a phone booth at his house that allowed him to pretend like he was actually talking to loved ones of his that had died. Of course though, the way he and others from Japan would describe this phone booth he’d created, they truly seemed convinced that their loved ones could hear them (their living relatives) and respond to them (their living loved ones). And for years, this phone booth has been a place for people to allow themselves to grieve however they need to, for as long as they need to. But personally, while I can understand how this kinda thing provides some folks the comfort they’ve been seeking, I don’t agree with the beliefs that people from Japan have, of their dead loved ones going off to an actual place or being able to communicate with their living loved ones, once they (the dead family members) have died.

In the last story in this episode of the This American Life podcast, we the listeners hear a story that’s about two adult siblings who are estranged from one another; and the only reason the two of them visited one another recently, was because one of their relatives had arranged for them to do so. And as this story was being told, my stomach literally hurt because I could feel that this particular relative of these older men selfishly wanted these two relatives to sort out whatever issues they’ve had with each other for all of these years. And when I say that I could feel my body reacting to this guy’s forcefulness, I mean that my entire body felt for the two older men that this guy was trying to force his agenda onto…because in my own life, I’ve been through this very thing. Because for most of my life, I was made to feel like keeping my bio mom around was something I had no choice about. And then within these last several years of me going from tolerating church-goers’ guilt-trips about this, to realizing that such people were toxic as fuck, just like my family of origin is…this issue of my bio mom has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to face. And the reason it’s been so difficult to deal with, is mostly because of society’s harmful views that a woman giving birth to a baby is what makes her a mother.

Exciting music news, and podcast reflections

In an episode of the This American Life podcast, Ira Glass (the host of the show) first told a story about a woman who’s a therapist. And given these weird times that the entire world is currently in, many of this therapist’s clients literally have nowhere to turn in terms of getting some space from their romantic partners. And so, by the time that many of these couples see this woman therapist, they (the couples) are really struggling to keep their relationships with each other together. And so, as Ira Glass, along with this therapist, are demonstrating for podcast listeners how discussions go in this therapist’s office, we’re able to get a glimpse of how these couples that we’ve heard, actually become stronger as a unit. And this part of this episode of This American Life is moving to me, because in some of these cases, the fact that the world has literally forced people to slow the fuck down, is what also forces couples to communicate with each other in a helpful manner.

In the next segment of this episode of This American Life, a story is told about what at first seems like a love story. But as the story continues, we the listeners learn that there’s a lot more than love in this story. It turns out that a man from another country was married to a woman from a different country than him; the two of them had two children together. But unfortunately, the country that the man was from, was hated by the country that his wife was from…and that fact made their story one of tragedy. Because both of their children ended up getting taken away from them and the wife was likely imprisoned, for being in a country that she was not a native of. And while it seemed like this couple’s story might have a happy ending, that wasn’t actually the case. And in fact, the last bit of information that this story provided us with, was to say that the country in which this man was originally from had encouraged its citizens to totally stop talking about this man and his family, even if they had information that would make this man happy. I definitely cried; and in fact, I cry easily nowadays…much more easily than I used to. And that’s kinda surprising because when I was younger and far less of a crier, I was told that I’d mellow out, the older I become. But the thing is, whenever I’ve been told that, the people that have said that to me don’t know that I’d kept a lot of shit in, for most of my life…and that it’s only been within these last three years that I’ve learned that showing emotion is a great thing, no matter what it is I’m feeling or the complexity of my feelings.

In the last segment of this episode of This American Life, someone who works with Ira Glass, follows up with a paramedic that Ira Glass had spoken with on another recent episode of this show. And during this particular conversation with this paramedic, someone asked him (the paramedic) if his job has become any easier, now that it’s been a week or so since this pandemic has gotten so serious. And not surprisingly to me, he said that his job has not changed…but then also, he said that that particular truth is not a bad thing, as it shows his humanity. And I definitely agree with that.

In the latest episode of the Hidden Brain podcast, the host of the show, Shankar Vedantam talks with a man in the medical field. This man and Shankar specifically talk about loneliness being a very serious problem in our world. This man tells Shankar Vedantam a story about how as a young kid himself, he witnessed firsthand what it meant to deeply connect with another human being. In this particular story that he tells, he shares that his parents are also in the medical field; and one of their patients had just died. And so, even though this had happened late at night, this then-child, along with his siblings and parents, drove to the house of the family who’d just experienced this devastating loss. And even though this guy’s parents, the two medical professionals, didn’t know the wife of the deceased man very well, in this moment, these parents comforted her as if she was an immediate family member of theirs. And this man who’d told this story on Hidden Brain, explained that this particular experience has stuck with him because before this had happened, he didn’t realize the importance of human beings connecting with one another.

In another story that this man tells Shankar Vedantam and us as the listeners, we learn about someone that this man had connected with when he was a child. So he tells this story of how he and this other kid would spend time together; this friend of his would talk about how he loved architecture and also about why it was that he loved architecture. And the man telling this story, mentions that at the time this story took place, he’d honestly taken this particular relationship for granted. And eventually, we the listeners find out that this childhood friend of his ended up killing himself because he felt deprived of human connection…or he felt like he wasn’t getting enough human connection. And this part of this Hidden Brain episode was hard for me to listen to, simply because I physically felt the awfulness of these stories that had been told by the day’s guest on the show. But even so, I think that loneliness is an important conversation for us as a society to have.

But before I go into my personal story about how loneliness has looked in my life, I want to talk about something that this man highlighted in his conversation with Shankar Vedantam: and that is the fact that as we come into adulthood and experience loneliness, we can totally feel like we don’t have control over that change in our lives. But in reality, as this Hidden Brain guest pointed out, we can actually control the way in which we respond to this unwelcome new part of life. And the way to do that, is to become intentional about keeping our connections with people we love strong; and doing this particular thing can certainly be easier said than done…but intentionality is what we have to make happen, if indeed we want to help ourselves feel deeply connected to humanity again.

And with that being said, when I very first moved to this new state, I felt incredibly lonely. And that was weird as fuck to me because honestly, loneliness was not something that I’d prepared for. It feels silly to write that down now, but it’s the truth. I’d been so busy thinking about what my life was going to look like in terms of how I’d be able to live a meaningful life, that I spent literally all of my energy on the positives of making this physical move. And so, once I’d actually gotten to this new state, I’d have conversations with my then-boyfriend that expressed my frustration at the fact he was literally the only person I knew in this state. And even though he’d tell me that this experience of mine was to be expected, that didn’t ease my depression one bit. So I made sure to keep myself busy with working on getting things in order in my new location because I knew that it would take time for me to actually get settled in. And it definitely did: but thankfully with time and through going to college, I eventually felt less lonely. But man, that time when I’d experienced the worst loneliness of my entire life, was something I felt would never go away.

In a podcast called Family Secrets that I’ve written about here at least a couple times before, I listened to an episode of this podcast that was about a woman who was terminally ill…but she’d decided to keep that news from her children. But throughout this particular story, John (who’s the husband of Marla, the terminally ill woman) tells this family story in a way that makes it easy for me to see things from multiple perspectives. So on the one hand, I can empathize with the decision that Marla made to keep this huge secret from her children who were not even teenagers when Marla’s health trouble started in their family. On the other hand though, I was in awe of the fact that Marla lived her life like she could win over cancer. I mean, I too used to have Marla’s attitude of “mind over matter,” but ultimately, I came to the realization that I was only hurting myself by living that way. But even so, this particular Family Secrets episode was worth the listen. Sadly though, Marla ended up dying in December 2019…but according to the way her husband John tells their story to Dani Shapiro (the host of Family Secrets) his and Marla’s children were relieved that neither of their parents told them that Marla was terminal. The kids even talked to a family of now grown-up children who told Marla’s and John’s kids that they were told about their parent’s awful diagnosis…and they, those children, were unhappy about receiving that news.

In yet another episode of Family Secrets, the show’s host Dani Shapiro spoke with Lisa Brennan Jobs (who is the daughter of Steve Jobs, the main founder of Apple). And honestly, the quality of this interview was not the best-sounding one; so this meant that in order for me to really catch what Lisa was saying, I had to hold my phone fairly close to my ear. But it was interesting to hear what she had to say, mostly because I’ve known that many people viewed Steve Jobs as a callous person. In fact Lisa herself even said that that was true; but at the same time, she also realized that her dad did care for her in his own way. The most moving thing she discusses though, was how on Steve Jobs’s deathbed, he tells her that he takes responsibility for the things that he’s done throughout their relationship with each other. And for her, hearing her dad say something along those lines seemed to give her closure about this situation as a whole.

Wednesday evening I talked with my therapist; they asked me a long list of questions that were designed to help them understand where I came from/how I got to where I am now. And TBH, some of the things that came up for me then were a bit uncomfortable to discuss. For example, I was molested as a child; so I talked about that and how I’d actually come to meet the person who’d molested me. And I also went into detail about the abuse I suffered at the hands of my bio mom and other family members of origin. I made sure to tie everything I talked about, into who I am now/how I move through the world now. My therapist asked me if I felt like the things I’d told them about influenced my journey as a whole. I of course said a resounding “yes” to that question. I even talked about the things I’d worked on in therapy when I was still in San Antonio Texas; and after this session with my therapist was over, I smiled to myself, just thinking about what a hell of a woman I am.

Thursday evening I talked to my Primary Care Provider; we just had a follow-up with one another to make sure that everything is going well for me. Because something I don’t think I wrote about here, was that back in late January/February of this year, when I couldn’t get my medication refilled, my life was pure hell. I was throwing up all the time and I couldn’t even sit up for a minute, without vomiting. But also, my mood was totally off, due to the amount of physical pain I was in. But the reason this all started, was because I’d unintentionally neglected my own medical care. Because since the summer of 2019, I was busy being there for the woman I call Mom. She was battling cancer and I wanted to be there for her as much as I physically could. I didn’t intend to neglect my own healthcare needs in the process of being there for someone else…but that is exactly what happened. But once I’d gotten my medication situation straightened out in early February of this year, I’ve been maintaining my medical appointments. And fortunately or unfortunately, the fact that I nearly died in February, really shook me up. And I learned that I literally cannot afford to miss doctor visits. Because when it comes down to it, I am not a healthy person.

Someone responded to the recent topic I’d created in the Have a Gay Day FB group in a way that left me feeling both conflicted and appreciative of this person’s sense of humor. Because in their response to said thread, they made what I’d initially thought of as a joke, about how I should charm women by letting them know that my senses are hightened and that that might ultimately make me a better lover. And so, what I wrote to this person reads:
While I found this comment of yours funny, just in case you really do think that being blind is a superpower, please don’t believe the media’s ableist crap about blindness. My senses are no better than anyone else’s; it’s just that I have to use them differently than most people do.

In the Disability Wisdom Discussion Group, someone created a topic about feeling left out from certain activities, given the times we’re in. And I wrote a response to that topic that reads:
Please try to stop telling yourself that it is stupid for you to be bummed about this. The fact that we as disabled people live in a world that is mostly not made with us in mind, really is as bad as we think it is. I think that the first thing you should do, is send a note/message to your choir director to let them know your exact predicament. I think they need to know how bummed you are about this requirement that it’s impossible for you personally, to meet. Because in my experience, people often do not realize what a real problem lack of access is, until they are hit with directness from someone in any minority group speaking up/out about it.

I recently submitted a feedback report to Apple because for awhile now, Imessage alert notifications don’t always ping as soon as I actually receive them. So this means that there have been times lately when my caretaker texts me…but I won’t necessarily be aware that he’s texted me until I physically unlock my phone to do something. So like, if I’m watching something on a streaming platform and someone who uses Imessages texts me then, I haven’t been getting those notifications until I open an app or unlock my phone. But the thing is, I’ve been forgetting to report this bug to Apple, as this particular thing has been happening since at least the past few iOS updates have hit our phones.

The singer JoJo has recently released a single called “Lonely Hearts” that’s going to be on her upcoming album. But given the amount of hype that was made about this song in particular, I expected to like it way more than I actually do. And so honestly, this has me worried that I may not like JoJo’s new album as much as I’d hoped to. I mean, I know that “Lonely Hearts” is just one song off the album that I don’t like…but she’s been tweeting a lot about how this album as a whole is going to be so worth the wait, that I wouldn’t be surprised if this album’s songs hit me differently than I’ve expected them to. But that being said, since I can’t remember whether I’ve written about the title of JoJo’s upcoming album, I’ll tell you now that it’s called “Good to Know.” And I do love that title, TBH. I think it’s perfect, considering everything that she’s been through in these last several years.

And in other music news, I recently found out that Kehlani is going to release her new album in just a couple weeks. This bit of news surprised me though, given that just a few weeks ago, she tweeted saying something like “I’m not even concerned about my new music, given the state of the world that we’re dealing with right now.” But now that she’s given us an album release date, along with the title of said album, I wonder if what she’d tweeted weeks ago was part of the plan: to keep us stans of her music anxiously awaiting more album news. She seems like a smart woman, so I wouldn’t be surprised about the intentionality of this on her end. But in case fans of hers read my blog, her new album is going to be called “It Was Good Until It Wasn’t.” That album title alone has me knowing that its tracks will absolutely be fire. I have no doubt about that because in my opinion, Kehlani is one of those rare artists who creates lovely music through and through. Like, I’ve literally created a playlist that contains all of her albums, along with the songs that have been featured on soundtracks or songs by other artists that she’s been featured on. I can’t wait to add this new album of hers to said playlist.

In yet other music news, Zedd (an Electronic Dance Music, EDM creator) tweeted about the fact that he’d planned to make one of his recent concerts available for free, on a streaming service that’s called Twitch. And of course I had to watch this concert; but unfortunately, using the Twitch app didn’t work as well as I’d hoped it would. So what I mean by that, is that I ended up having to get my caretaker to make the livestream play because it didn’t autoplay on its own. But the thing was, whenever I double-tapped to start the livestream, an advertisement started playing which made me think that the concert would start playing right after the ad had finished. But as I’ve said, that wasn’t the way things actually happened. But initially I was waiting for the livestream to start, when I told my caretaker that I didn’t want my phone’s screen to lock in the middle of my phone streaming this event. So I had him go into the settings on my phone to ensure that my phone wouldn’t time out…but then once that was done, I still needed him to start the livestream for me. And so, I’m pretty sure that the concert had already been going on for a few minutes at that point which was annoying as fuck because I feel like I missed out on some of it.

My album review of “Be Not Nobody” by Vanessa Carlton

My over all thoughts on Vanessa Carlton’s album entitled “Be Not Nobody:” this album carries with it tons of nostalgia for me. And the weird thing is, when I say that it’s nostalgic, I don’t necessarily mean that there were tons of different memories that come up for me about it. But rather, when this album came out, Vanessa Carlton’s voice was the calm demeanor I needed, given the real-life turmoil that I lived in day-to-day. There are a few artists whose voices soothe me similarly to the way Vanessa Carlton’s voice on her first album does…but the first album of hers is her best one ever, in my opinion. But also, her piano-playing throughout this album is stellar, not to mention that in all of its songs, Carlton knows exactly how much volume to apply, or how quietly to sing things. And in my opinion, that’s part of what makes this album so worth writing about.

Track #1: “Ordinary Day:” first off, I love the way the piano is played on this song; but also, the song’s lyrics really resonated with me, in that every day was literally an ordinary day that I was just trying to get through. But also, there was a small recording studio in Austin Texas at the time, at North Cross Mall, where I recorded me singing this song using a karaoke track. I loved doing that.

Track #2: “Unsung:” this song is definitely one of my favorite songs on the entire album, from its instrumentation, to Vanessa Carlton’s vocals. Whenever my bio mom, my stepdad and I were driving in their car at any given time, this particular song was one I used to listen to through headphones a lot. And I always did this not just because it helped me cope, but also because my bio mom and stepdad hated the fact that I’d turn up the music on my headphones loud enough that I wouldn’t be able to hear them if they wanted to talk to me.

Track #3: “A Thousand Miles:” this was the first song from this album that became popular, if my memory serves correctly. And even though it was played a ton on the radio, combined when I’d listen to it on a CD, I never got tired of this song. But also, this was yet another song that I’d record myself singing with a karaoke track, at the recording studio I mentioned above.

Track #4: “Pretty Baby:” this song was one of the more mellow ones on the album. And honestly, this is one love song that’s always made me smile. But interestingly, when I went back to listen to it on Apple Music a bit ago, I knew immediately that the song had been recreated. And so, not surprisingly, I have some things to say about each version of this song. I’ll start with this, though: the original album version of it is definitely my favorite version. As I’d said above in the over all thoughts section of this album review, this version of the song has just the right amount of instrumentation and vocals in it. And so, the fact that when they’d created the video for said song, they changed the song’s sound, bothers me sooooo much. Because the way the video version of this song sounds, it has a lot more instrumentation in it which makes it sound too busy. Even Vanessa Carlton’s vocals in it were changed, in a way I don’t care for.

Track #5: “Rinse:” this song was another of my favorite ones on the album, from its piano-playing, to its instrumentation over all, to Vanessa Carlton’s vocals.

Track #6: “Sway:” this song was oddly enough, not one of my favorites on the album…but going back and listening to it now, I really like it. So I’m honestly not sure why I objected to it in my younger days, especially being that it had a fast-tempo beat and fast piano-playing.

Track #7: “Paradise:” this was yet another song that I’d always skip when it would come on. But going back and listening to it now, I’ve changed my mind about it. In fact, I’d say that it’s one of my favorite songs now. And the reason I’d say that, is because I interpret the song to be talking about a girl who’s trying to survive a tough situation…which was exactly what I was trying to do when this album first came out. But honestly, this song probably wouldn’t have hit me then in the same way that it does now. Hmmmmmm, interesting.

Track #8: “Prince:” this song was yet another one on the album that I skipped when it would start playing. And when listening to it nowadays, I have no earthly idea why that was my response to this song, as I really like it now. Its beat is soft and slow at times…but then there are times in the song where its beat is fast and Vanessa’s vocals are very stressed/anxious-sounding.

Track #9: “Paint It Black:” this particular song is a remake of a Rolling Stones song of the same name. But honestly, when this album of Vanessa Carlton’s came out and literally every time I’d listen to this very song, I’d get creeped out.

Track #10: “Wanted:” this was one of my favorite songs on the album. Vanessa Carlton’s piano-playing, combined with her vocals throughout it, are really incredible. There are times throughout the song where her voice just seems to soar, without her even having to put any effort into it. And believe it or not, that just sounds neat. But also, there are times throughout this song where she’s banging on the piano and singing in an anxious-sounding way…but both of those things fit the song perfectly!!

Track #11: “Twilight:” this song has not ever been a favorite of mine on this album. It has a very slow beat and its instrumentation is just Vanessa Carlton singing, with string instruments backing her up as quietly as they can.

My review of the “Never Say Never” album by Brandy

My over all thoughts on Brandy’s “Never Say Never album:” I’m putting my over-all thoughts on this album first because I love using this particular format. So first of all, this album came out when I was a kid; but said album has always been one of my favorite albums ever. Its instrumentation from start to finish, combined with Brandy’s playful nature, combined with this uniqueness that Brandy has where she’s able to sing through her falsetto, combined with Brandy’s harmonies with herself, these particular qualities make for an amazing album. But also, this albums songs are all relatable, no matter what chronological age you are. But yet another thing, is that the album cover as I remember it, was pretty. If my memory serves correctly, the album cover is a side profile of Brandy’s face, with her dark straight hair down. And also, the title “Never Say Never” in itself, brings a smile to my face because that’s honestly a great message to put out into the world. Because none of us ever knows what our lives will be like…and it’s great to have this album as a reminder to ourselves to not be closed off to new experiences.

Track #1 “Intro:” this intro is less than a minute long but it’s a great way to start off the album nonetheless. It’s Brandy harmonizing with herself, while she’s repeating the phrase “never say never.” And that’s quite powerful for the reasons that I’ve already listed above. But mostly, I love how this intro starts off quietly, with just some slight keyboard sounds…and then the drums come in at the exact right moment.

Track #2 “Angel in Disguise:” this song is about a guy who’s cheating, but who it seems, wants Brandy to think he’s being faithful to her. I think my favorite part of this entire song, is the one in which Brandy is harmonizing with herself and the music is made to sound like water droplets. And I think that’s perfect because Brandy is singing about her tears and the rain. But also, there’s a spoken part in the song where Brandy is reflecting which I think is sexy as fuck. But personally, this song was one of the songs I’d play whenever someone broke my heart, whether it was in a romantic way or another way entirely.

Track #3: “The Boy Is Mine:” this song features the R&B singer Monica and I love how she (Monica) and Brandy sound together. This song is a playful song, at least to me…but I guess that’s a matter of opinion. I mean, sure Brandy and Monica are singing about a guy that they’re both attracted to…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the two of them are truly fighting about it. Hell, I remember playing this song repeatedly and pretending like I was fighting over guys with girls that I went to school with. But that was just it: these thoughts of mine were just fleeting thoughts; they weren’t anything I actually wanted to put into actions.

Track #4: “Learn the Hard Way;” this song is playful yet honest; and on a personal level, this was definitely one of the songs I played a lot when a guy I was with broke my heart…or when anyone broke my heart, really. Because the song’s message of ‘sometimes you gotta learn the hard way’ is so true, even though I hate having to do that, at times. LOL.

Track #5: “Almost Doesn’t Count:” this song was definitely one of the most popular songs on the entire album and Brandy’s harmonies with herself are fucking amazing. I even remember that I had an imported CD that had different remixes of this particular song on it. I’d gotten said CD from one of the music stores I frequented regularly, though I don’t remember which one that was.

Track #6: “Top of the World;” this song features Mase (a well-known rapper). I love the way this song starts out, with nothing but a bass to get people hooked to the song. But my complaint about said bass, is that the bass solo is way too short. Like, I wish that there was an extended version of this song oor some other kinda mix of this song that had more of a bass part. But other than that, I love the message this song has, of saying that just because someone is famous, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have problems just like the rest of us. But also, this song tells people that just because someone is famous, that doesn’t mean that famous folks enjoy every aspect of fame itself. And so, I think this particular song is a great reminder to folks that Brandy is no less human than we are…butt that goes for any famous person though, TBH.

Track #7: “You Don’t Know Me (Like You Used To):” this song has an upbeat tone to it, even though Brandy is talking about a romantic love interest who drifted apart from her. I’ve cried many tears while listening to this and other songs on this album, as I’ve had numerous boyfriends throughout my life that were not right for me, but who I tried to convince myself were right for me, literally every time I’d feel emotionally connected with a guy. And listening to this specific song certainly didn’t help matters, most especially not because I’ve always felt like I should stay in romantic relationships I’m in because I’ll never find someone better than whomever I was with at a given time. But thankfully, I don’t think that way any more. And so, when I listen to this particular song nowadays, I think of this song title and that brings a smile to my face. Because when I think of the fact that I want to find a woman to spend my life with, “Never Say Never” is a great motto to have.

Track #8: “Never Say Never:” this song is definitely one of the stand-out tracks on the album of this same title. It talks about how Brandy feels surprised when she catches the attention of a guy she could potentially be interested in being with romantically. And as an insecure person myself, when this particular song came out, I could totally relate to its message. But yet another way in which I could relate to this song, was in terms of how I’d think of the words “never say never” as a motto to remind myself that I’d eventually leave my bio mom’s and step-dad’s house for good. And in a way, it was kinda like I was keeping a secret from the two of them…because they had no idea what was going on in my head. Because the words “never say never” were incredibly powerful to me. I really treasured what this song says in its message; and said song brings a smile to my face when I think about it, even now.

Track #9: “Truthfully:” this song is one of the ballads on this album…and I love it. There are times throughout the song when Brandy sings softly yet sensually…and those things melt my heart every time I hear them. But yet there are times in this song when Brandy’s voice sounds powerful and confident. To me, this song showcases Brandy’s vulnerability but also communicates to anyone that she may be romantically interested in, that she wants what she wants…and that she’ll likely get hurt when people take advantage of her seemingly kind/humble nature.

“Track #10: “Have You Ever:” this song was one of the most popular songs on this album, in the eyes of many people; and while I did love the song, I honestly can’t understand why people love it/have loved it so much. As I’ve said here in this review before, though, Brandy’s harmonies with herself and the ability she uses of singing through her falsetto, make this song sound beautiful.

Track #11: “Put That On Everything:” I’d say that this song is another ballad on this album. And much like is the case for the song “Truthfully” above, this song “Put That On Everything” has a mix of vocal structure from Brandy. There are times throughout this song when her voice is soft and sensual, yet there are other instances in this song where her tone is powerful and beautifully flows into what I think the song is supposed to sound like. So, this song is definitely one of my favorite ones on this entire album.

Track #12: “In the Car (Interlude):” Brandy is getting into her car, as this song’s title suggests. And what I think is her car radio, is playing a song that’s her and her brother Ray-J singing over a fun beat. And the person that Brandy gets on the phone with, is a well-known producer named Rodney Jerkins who, if I’m not mistaken, produced this particular interlude. And Brandy and Rodney Jerkins are very playful with each other during this short conversation between the two of them. But also, Jerkins tells Brandy that he’s created another song for this particular album of hers; and fittingly, that song is literally the next track on this album.

Track #13: “Happy;” this song features Rodney Jerkins and is fun and upbeat. But it’s also playful, the way many of the songs on this album are. And not surprisingly, this particular song, as well as many others on this album, give me great feelings. It’s interesting because on this song in particular, I can hear Brandy smile as she’s singing the words in this song. Like, for whatever reason, her smile seems like it’s more pronounced in this song.

Track #14: “One Voice:” if I were to guess what type of song this is, my guess would be that this is a religiously-oriented song. And I’ve come to this conclusion based on the lyrics in this song, combined with the fact that throughout the song there’s a churchy-sounding choir singing with Brandy. But I honestly don’t even need to be able to relate to what this song is saying, to appreciate its beauty. Brandy’s voice in this song is sometimes soft and at other times, her voice in this song is quite powerful. And TBH, Brandy’s voice does something to me that’s hard to explain; like, it physically gives my body chills. But also, it’s so moving that it nearly brings me to tears, whether it’s the song “One Voice” that she’s singing or something else.

Track #15: “Tomorrow:” this song is hands-down my favorite song on this album…and probably my favorite song EVER of Brandy’s. And just so my blind friends are aware, I typed the word “ever” in all caps, as a way to help emphasize what this song means to me. So oddly enough, growing up, I could relate to this song in terms of how it hit me about like, every breakup with a guy I’d ever had. But as I’ve also said a lot within this album review, Brandy’s vocals in this particular song are lovely. The song’s instrumentation is also amazing. But interestingly, as I’ve grown and changed, how I feel about this song has also evolved into new and exciting things. But I don’t mean to say that my love for this song has lessened over the years; but rather, it means something different nowadays than it did even just a few years ago. And what I mean by that, is that up until I left Texas for good, this particular song had helped me through every single breakup of a romantic relationship that I’d had. But then, as I was taking a train from San Antonio Texas to my new home in a liberal-leaning state, this song became something entirely different to and for me. And what it’s become for me, is a big part of my truth…which is that cutting ties with the woman who gave birth to me/with both sides of my family of origin, was the best thing I’ve ever done. Put another way, leaving all of the toxic relationships I’d had with these folks behind, was the moment I stopped saying “yes” to the abuse…and when I started saying “yes” to myself. And so, every time I think of or listen to the song “Tomorrow” by Brandy, it makes me think of my bio mom; more specifically, I think of the fact that I’m one hell of a woman, to have carried myself through the amount of trauma that I have and to feel like I’m a good person, when much of my life I was made to think otherwise.

Track #16: “Everything I Do (I Do It for You)” this song was originally sung by Bryan Adams (who’s a well-known soft rock singer). And honestly, growing up, I thought that the message this song showed of romanticizing monogamy as being the only valid kinda relationship in the world, was a good message. But to be fair, this song came out in the 90s or even earlier than that…so it wasn’t until I’d gotten older, that I questioned why I’d even thought that way. And the reason I felt this way as I got older, was because I realized that the message within this song of loving someone so much that you’d literally give up your life for them, made my stomach do all kinds of twists and turns. But even so, when I heard Brandy’s version of this song on her “Never Say Never” album, I loved everything about it, except its message, as I’d said above. I think it’s incredibly toxic that society even tells people that thinking such a thing is OK. Because truthfully, I’m all about love, and loving openly. I think true love can be great; but what I don’t like about this toxic message, is that it gives people the idea that if they never find true love, that that’s because they weren’t worthy of true love for some reason. But this song also tells people that them not finding a romantic partner to be with for life, means that their life has no meaning whatsoever. And that certainly isn’t what people should hear, from anyone, ever.

More Multiamory musings, assorted relationship reflections and some fun updates

In the FB group called Have a Gay Day, the recent topic I’d started where I’d asked how to flirt with women as a woman myself, received some interesting responses from people. In one of those responses, someone criticized the fact that I was gender-specific in my post, rather than allowing space for folks who are non-binary. So I replied to that person’s comment, saying that the reason I specified women, was because I myself am a gay woman. Another interesting response to said topic though, was a suggestion that someone had, where they encouraged me to complement women on things besides their looks. Now, just to clarify, when I’d made this initial post, I did specify that I’m blind…and I did so because I was hoping to receive more advice like the kind that I’m currently talking about. But unfortunately, many of the people who’d commented on this post of mine, had nothing helpful to say. Like, they literally commented just to say something along the lines of “I can’t help you.” And that kinda response is always off-putting to me, no matter the situation it’s about. Because it’s like, why do people even bother responding to things, if they know that they have nothing of value to add to the discussion?

In the FB group called Childfree by Choice, someone posted a topic that talked about how some parents are letting their kids enjoy this time at home in whatever ways would make their kids happy. So for example, some of these parents have been letting their kids watch TV or play with their electronics more than usual. But I bring this up on my blog because I wrote some responses to said topic that I think it’s important to keep record of. The first thing I wrote reads as follows:
There’s nothing wrong with this, at all; for one thing, kids deserve to be kids. This time is shitty for all of us, and kids learning through school-related activities and assignments is not the only way that learning should happen for them. As adults, we don’t only learn through having gone to school or through our workplaces; we learn through just being open to whatever it is that life has to teach us. And I’m saying that that is also how it should be with and for children.

Someone responded to that comment of mine, encouraging me to write another important response, based off their response to my initial comment on this post. I wrote:
I agree with you that it’s good to think about the kids who have shitty parents; and I appreciate that you’ve taken that into consideration. I say what I’ve said here as someone who comes from bad parents myself; but perhaps I have this outlook because I’ve really thought about this sort of thing, given my traumatizing upbringing. Maybe it’s too much to hope that kids will be sensitive enough to learn to entertain themselves and be their best company, the way I had to…but it is a joyful thing to hope for, I think.

I recently wrote a post on my personal FB page that reads:
Something that’s frustrating for me about these times that we’re in, is the fact that whenever my phone rings, I have to answer my phone…even if the number is blocked. Because it could be anyone on my medical team checking in on me…and before these times, I’d just ignore calls that said “no caller ID.” I know there are bigger problems that exist, but that doesn’t mean we should not talk about smaller problems we’re going through. This idea that ‘someone always has it worse’, doesn’t even make sense to me…life is not a competition. Life sucks for all of us sometimes and it’s fine to admit that honestly.

Also on my personal FB page, I recently wrote:
Started watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix today, for the second time around. Because TBH, this show is just that fucking good!! If you’ve never watched it, you sooooo should!! There’s fantastic LGBTQ+ representation in it too…and I can’t wait to see those parts again. It’ll be interesting to see if I catch anything in said show this time that I didn’t catch the first time I watched it…

I wrote an FB status to keep record of a great conversation that I’d recently had with someone. What I wrote reads:
I just had a discussion with a friend that I’d like to memorialize here. I was telling them about how much I love the podcast called Multiamory and how said podcast has really been empowering for me. Like, I’m really enjoying being single, in a Way that I never have before. Because to me, I wanna make sure that the next romantic relationship I get into, which will be the first when I get into because I consciously choose to be with someone, I wanna make sure I know exactly what I want and don’t want that romantic relationship to look like. I think that people place to little value on creating sustainable romantic relationships, and they give thoughtless advice like, “just let romantic love find you.” But for me, I need to be love, I need to live love…and that’s how romantic love will come to me. You gotta put out into the world exactly what you want…and that’s how you actually get what you want, in the end. I’m a huge believer in that when you live with your entire soul, rather than just going through the motions of day-to-day life, the universe follows your lead. And from that point, the universe just gives you everything you need, simply because you are living as your whole self…who you and only you, know yourself to be.

I also shared a status update on my personal FB page that was about the fact that people are making stupid choices, given the times that we’re in. And I wrote an FB status that I’m going to expand on here, which reads:
There are seriously not enough words in any language to convey how infuriated it makes me to know that people are willingly, and proudly, even, violating government orders!!! I cannot, for the life of me, understand how some people can think that this Corona Virus fiasco is a game or a flat out joke. I’ve seen people across social media say that they are following the social distancing rules…but yet in that same breath, they’ll talk about how they’re going to visit friends/family members. And people going outside does not equate to them following the rules!!! And the thing is, this is not just by my standards as someone who’s an immune-compromised person. But the fucking US government has declared this time as a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY. For my blind blog readers, I capitalized the words “national state of emergency” to emphasize this truth. So put another way, stay, the, fuck, home, folks!!

So ever since this Corona Virus stuff has gotten worse and worse, the school I go to has been sending out weekly emails to everyone literally every Sunday night. And personally, I’m sick of reading those particular emails; there’s nothing new that we need to know…and I really don’t care to hear empty words like “we seem to be making progress,” or “we might be back to having our school in-person by June, just in time for summer!” To be honest, the reason this sort of thing bothers me so damn much, is because I feel like that kinda statement gives people false hope. I mean, I’m not someone who’s been drinking said kool aid so to speak, only because from the time this started, it’s been incredibly dismissive, not to mention annoying as fuck. But even though that’s where I stand on this, I also realize that other people’s realities with regards to this pandemic look very different. And so, I think it’s wrong for people to give false hope, like saying that summer session at school might actually be done in-person. Because some folks may read those words and take them to heart…and then feel heartbroken when that doesn’t actually happen. That is not a good emotional state to put anyone in, ever.

In a Multiamory episode I recently listened to, something that Jase, Emily and Dedeker (the hosts of this podcast) talked about was this perspective of people attracting whatever kinda people that they’re most familiar with. So in my own life, for literally all of my romantic relationships thus far, I attracted people I thought I could fix in some way or people who made me feel like they needed me. But I also gravitated towards people who were abusive in some way, shape or form. Because like it or not, I was familiar with abuse, thanks to both sides of my family of origin being toxic in multiple ways. And so all that being said, it’s only been since my last romantic relationship breakup in August 2018, that I’ve been working on shifting how I think about the kinda romantic relationships I actually want to create for myself. Because that’s the thing: after this last romantic relationship I was in, I’ve realized that who I’ve been in the past did affect what kinda people I dated. It feels weird to type those words, TBH; but those words are part of my truth. And quite frankly, I’m loving this journey I’m on, of putting in tons of effort to figure out what exactly I want my future romantic relationship to look like.

In another episode of Multiamory, Jase, Dedeker and Emily talk with each other about how our current president here in the US has made things so much more difficult than they’ve ever been before. But more specifically, what I want to talk about now, is this idea people have that when women are sexually assaulted or otherwise taken advantage of by a man, they should say something about said treatment. But what makes that frame of mind dangerous in my opinion, is that as a woman, it isn’t always advisable for us to take actions towards injustices that are committed against us. And in fact, an example of this occurring in my own life, was when I lived in San Antonio Texas and was repeatedly violated by a man who I thought I could trust. And when I say that I was repeatedly violated, what I mean is that this man touched my body without getting my consent first. And in that specific situation, I felt at a loss as a woman, especially because I felt like this man would punish me for speaking out. And another thing that made this specific situation much worse for me, was that this man regularly helped me purchase things for my apartment like a washer and dryer, pots and pans and on and on and on…and so, given that he’d been helping me get things that I needed, this caused me to want to tread carefully so that I could keep him around. Because at that time, I didn’t know what my rights were, in terms of my insurance company paying for me to have someone clean and cook for me. And so, this particular man was literally my only option as far as I knew; and so, people not taking into consideration the things that I’ve just outlined here, certainly didn’t help matters any. But yet another thing at play here, was the fact that at that time, I was very much a passive communicator with regards to most things that happened in my world. So I wouldn’t have even thought about the fact that I actually had agency because that was just how my life was then, but also because I was not told by anyone at that time, that I had agency. And when you don’t even know what to ask for help with when it comes to female empowerment, you have no language or knowledge even, about how to make your world feel comfortable and safe for yourself across the board.

But something along these same lines that I also think it’s necessary for me to talk about, is the fact that there are other reasons why as a gay woman who has multiple disabilities and several chronic health conditions, I may respond differently to toxic situations than people might expect me to respond. So for example, on a day that I’ve experienced situations where men have called me sensitive for standing up for myself or others, or where men have expressed that they think I’m fragile because I’m a woman, each of these things will absolutely influence how I respond to those men. Like, maybe I woke up feeling shitty that particular day and having two men say sexist or homophobic things to me just sets me the fuck off. But then maybe on another day, where I woke up feeling ready to conquer the world and a man, say, calls me a pussy, I decide in that moment to just let his comment stay in the air awkwardly, as though I never even heard what he’d said. And I bring this up because it’s important to me to highlight that even if I have the energy to tell him to fuck off, that doesn’t mean I’ll always or even mostly, choose that particular option. Because what so much of my life experience has taught me, is that I have the agency to choose what things that come my way will encourage me to do. Because truthfully, sometimes responding with total silence is the best teacher for people.

In the latest episode of the Multiamory podcast, Emily, Dedeker and Jase talked with a sex worker. And what this particular episode of this show brought up for me, was my beliefs about what it means to be a sex-positive person. So one thing that this week’s Multiamory guest stresses the importance of, is talking to kids about sex/their bodies from kindergarten onward. Now, what this discussion would look like when we’re talking about kindergarteners, would be to explain to those children the difference between good touches from people and bad touches from people. But I also think that part of this discussion about sex with kindergarteners needs to make kids aware that they can choose what happens to their body or what doesn’t happen to their body. This is important because in much of society as things currently stand, kids feel obligated to hug people, given that many grownups in their lives have told them that that’s just what you do when people want to touch you in some way. And while I know it would be hard to undo such harmful thinking, especially given that this way of thinking/reacting has been done the same way for years and years…but we need to become a sex-positive society because that’s part of what it means to make progress in the world. But also, something else I want to add about these kindergarteners’ sex education, is that the kindergarteners should not be separated by male and female genders. All of the kindergartners should stay together in their classrooms, because it also needs to be normalized that boys, girls and those who might identify differently, are all human beings who are growing and learning alongside one another.

Now, as kids get older, the form of sex education that children have needs to change. So for example, once children leave kindergarten, the sex education they have should start to talk about how their bodies are changing, as they’re growing up; all children should learn how boys and girls bodies are different from one another and how boys and girls bodies are similar to one another. And children should also start to learn then, that if they don’t see themselves as being male or female, that that isn’t a problem that needs to be ignored or swept under the rug. Children need to hear from grownups that whoever they are is OK, even if who they are is different from other folks. As I said with kindergarteners, kids who are a bit older than five years old should continue to all be in the same rooms together, learning the same exact things as each other…because they need to continue to understand that bodies are different, no matter who we are or how we identify. And of course, the same thing applies to kids as they get older. They (kids) need to feel that the grownups in their lives who are educating them about sex, are confident in these sex-related discussions. Because if the grownups that are supposed to be teaching kids about sex, don’t use the proper terms for people’s body parts, or if the grownups giggle unnecessarily when having these discussions with kids, then there needs to be different grownups who can be responsible adults, to teach the kids about sex as a normal part of the human experience.

As children near the time of their teenage years, that’s the time when the discussion of them having safe sex should start. And for anyone who needs me to clarify what I mean by that, I mean that abstinence-only education ought to be reformed. So instead of adults telling teens that sex is this big scary thing that only married people should do, teens should know that abstinence is an option that is available to them…but that they will not be shamed or dehumanized for choosing something different than obstaining from sex. It’s important that as I’ve said a few times already, kids become comfortable with the truth that sex is not just for making babies…but that it’s pleasurable and healthy, even. If teenagers have questions about sex, the adults in their lives should answer those questions honestly. And if the adults in their lives don’t know the answers to what kids are asking, they (the adults) need to point teenagers to a resource like Scarleteen.com
…where teens and adults alike can find out all they want to know about sex and sexuality as a whole. Scarleteen.com has been a valuable resource for me growing up, in terms of learning about my body and sexuality…and I still use Scarleteen to this day. And the reason I’m currently gushing about this resource, is because said resource is all about creating a sex-positive environment for everyone, no matter how you identify, what disabilities you may have ETC.

But yet something else that this Multiamory episode brought up for me, was that I agree with Alice Little, who was the guest on this episode. I agree with what Alice says about society needing to shift the way we think about and view sex work. Because in its name alone, we see the word “work” because that’s exactly what it is: people who are in a profession that is likely as rewarding as any other profession one can think of. But sex work has a negative connotation to it, in the majority of society’s minds; and TBH, I think that that’s where most of the harm lies. Because people who feel like sex work is a bad thing, don’t even bother to examine that particular belief of theirs. But I wholeheartedly agree with Alice Little, that sex work is a job that some folks consciously choose to have. And along with that truth, sex work ought to become normalized, especially being that it’s always about making consent a priority and a necessity, even…for all involved parties.

More multimedia thoughts and other fun reflections

Something I think it would be helpful to tell you folks about my AirPods, is that you’ll know that each AirPod is placed in its case correctly if you’re able to close the case with both AirPods inside of it. I’ve decided to point that out because I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had difficulty understanding this particular task, initially. Because this process isn’t intuitive, as I’d argue it should be.

In the Disability Wisdom Discussion Group on FB, someone posted a topic about the fact that they’re willing to violate the government’s stay-at-home order. The response I wrote to this thread reads:
I’m concerned that you say you are willing to violate government orders; I don’t care why you think you need to do this, that is irrelevant. You are being careless about this not just with regards to yourself, but with regards to other people as well. I cannot be tactful with something of this nature, when you seem to not even realize that for some people, this decision of yours could literally kill them. I’m an immune-compromised person myself and I feel that when someone is outwardly disobedient to something as serious as the government says this pandemic is, you need to hear this truth, harsh as it may be. Because you may think you are invincible and that your willful ignorance will not affect others…but everything we do greatly impacts others…and health is not something I would ever be willing to risk…again, because I literally can’t afford to. So I’m speaking up/out for others who may be in a similar position as me but who stay quiet because they don’t want to rock the boat so to speak.

In the FB group called Amazing Childfree Singles, someone posted a topic asking if members in this group think it’s important to date someone who’s the same religion as they are or are not. And the response I wrote to that question, with some expansion, reads:
I think society wants us to think that religious differences can be OK to have in a romantic relationship. Hell, I used to drink that particular kool aid myself, particularly when I tried to convince myself that I was religious. But that being said, nowadays, I’d say that the times when an atheist dates a Christian for example, are the exceptions, not the rules. At least to me, it absolutely does matter that I date someone who shares this particular core value; because being an atheist is part of my worldview, so to speak. Because I don’t care what people say, if you have a religious person dating an atheist for example, the religious person always tries to change the atheist. And no matter who you are or what your beliefs are, no person should ever want to change, or try to change, another human being.

In the Childfree by Choice FB group, time after time, people join said group with the intention of tone-policing anyone who says things that they don’t like to read. The main thing that such people complain about, is how numerous of us group members openly admit our distain for kids. And so, whenever this kinda discussion happens, those of us who have been in the group for awhile admit how quickly this type of discussion gets old. And also every single time that happens, the original poster of the topic gets butt-hurt about the way many of us react to this particular post. I’m pretty sure that I’ve brought this particular thing up here on my blog before, because it’s annoying as fuck. Like, it seems like those people find childfree groups that they can try to claim are hate-filled…when they themselves are the hate-filled individuals. Oh, the irony!!

In the FB group that’s called Have a Gay Day, I wrote a post that reads as follows:
OK, so there’s a shit-ton of tips/pointers for heterosexual folks who want to date/find a romantic relationship…but so little on how to flirt with a woman if you’re a gay/bi/pan woman. And so, I’m posting here to hopefully receive feedback on this; like, do I flirt differently with women than I would with men? The reason I’m asking this here, is because I’m totally blind…so can’t catch a woman’s eye. And obviously, I know that there’s nothing sexier than telling her that you’re into her as a potential romantic/sexual partner…but I’m specifically asking what some little things are that maybe I could do that are flirty. I know this is probably a weird-sounding question and I’m a very direct person, so that isn’t the issue. I just literally don’t know how to flirt with a woman…and I want to know if others have advice or feel the same way about society’s toxic lack of acknowledgement that women do indeed want to be with women.

On my personal FB page, I recently wrote a post that reads:
I’m starting this by saying that I’m late to the party, the party of having read the Sookie Stackhouse books and now watching True Blood, a TV show that’s based on said books. True Blood is on Hulu and so far, everything about it is great. Other than this series of books and this TV show though, I’m not into vampire-type things.
Someone responded to that post of mine, saying that Charlaine Harris, the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books, has also written other series of books before. More specifically, the one that this FB friend of mine mentioned, is called the Aurora Teagarden series.

In looking through episodes of the Multiamory podcast, I noticed that some of the episode titles are named after actual song titles. And so, I thought it would be fun for me to list song titles here that I find problematic; and then I’ll talk about why I think these songs are problematic. So here are a few songs that I find problematic:
Beyonce “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
Destiny’s Child “Dangerously in Love”
Monica “One in a Lifetime”
Monica “My Everything”
Monica “Everything to Me”
Whitney Houston “All The Man That I Need”
Journey “When You Love a Woman”
Now, all of these songs that I’ve listed have a few themes in common; but the specific theme that I want to highlight about them, is that each of them assumes that every human being will only have one love in their lifetime. And that’s quite a damaging message to tell anyone, especially when you think of people whose husbands or wives have died, or people who have been in relationships before…but those relationships no longer exist. And so, regarding when a long-term relationship has ended because one person in that partnership has died, I don’t think for one second that the person who’s still alive will never find love again. I mean, hell, I’ve been in love with more than one person in my life…and as far as I’m concerned, being in love is part of the human experience. But something else that makes these songs problematic, is this idea that every romantic relationship structure is the same…or if there are romantic relationships that are structured differently, those relationships just are not as real or as valid as heterosexual relationships are. In fact, there have been many times throughout my blog where I’ve said that people can actually custom-build their relationships, no matter what type of relationship it is that we’re talking about. And quite frankly, that’s a truth that I feel suits me perfectly.

Similarly, in yet another episode of Multiamory, Emily, Dedeker and Jase talked about how more often than not, society tells us that when we’re inn a romantic relationship with anyone, we can love them enough to make the relationship between us last forever. Personally though, I’ve learned the hard way that that is not in fact, true. But prior to my last romantic relationship, I believed that societal bullshit. It felt romantic to hear songs that specifically talked about this message. And not only that, but believing that this could happen was great, especially given what a dysfunctional family of origin I come from. But once my last romantic relationship had a far different outcome than I thought I’d wanted it to, I began to think of this controversial issue differently. Like, I loved my then-boyfriend a lot and when the two of us were in a relationship with each other, I did honestly think that the love I had for him would be the exact answer we’d need to work through all of our problems. And honestly, I realize now that by idealizing him rather than admitting the truth about who he was, I did myself a huge disservice. And so all this being said, I very much prefer to live in reality which is to say that love, like all other things, takes effort from all involved, to maintain connections and create long-lasting bonds with one another. And while some folks feel like that reality takes away from the sexiness of being in relationships, I’m not one of those people myself. I think the more open and honest communication we all have throughout our relationships, the better off we all will be in the long-term.

And quite frankly, this is all a great segway into the fact that I’m glad to be single. Because I’m really allowing myself to use this time to figure out what it is I really want, deep down, from a romantic relationship. I’m constantly thinking about this particular goal of mine, the way I think about wanting to continue to be successful in college. Because both of these particular things are equally important to me. And I even think it’s important to talk here about how wrong society is, when it tells people not to look for romantic love. Because for literally all other goals that we want to make happen for ourselves, society tells us to work for those things. But when it comes to love, we’re just supposed to wait patiently for love to magically appear in our lives…which I think is total bullshit!! And so, I’m pushing back against society’s viewpoint that love will find each human being, because that is a flat out lie!! I’m a relationship anarchist, meaning that I believe in custom-building my relationships the way I, and my partners, want to. This means that I don’t let society dictate anything about us–I know that this is the alternative relationship style that’s best for me right now, most especially because by nature, I’m a non-conformist. Maybe I won’t always be a relationship anarchist, but maybe I will; either way, the one guarantee is that I’m always going to do whatever contributes to my happiness.

Another Multiamory episode I listened to talked about this concept called Fear of Missing Out (FOMO for short). And in case you’re someone who’s unfamiliar with this term, it’s used by people when they feel like they’re missing out on things in life. Like, perhaps they feel like their friends social media posts prove that their friends’ lives are glamorous, when their life is far from that ideal. Or perhaps they feel they’re missing out because they aren’t having as much sex as others seem to be having. But honestly, I’ve never been able to identify with FOMO myself. And I don’t know if that’s a blindness thing or not, because if my memory serves correctly, I know that some of my ex-boyfriends occasionally felt like they were missing out, when it came to the lives their friends were living. But for me, I guess I’ve never been able to relate to FOMO because I’ve always felt like I’ve known how to stay plugged into technology as well as social media itself. And for me, social media in particular, has always been an outlet. But also though, I’ve never felt that other people’s lives carry more weight than my life does. I mean, sure, there have been times in my life where I wished I could do certain things, like participate in a balloon-throwing game when I was a patient in a rehab hospital in 2015…but I wouldn’t necessarily say that that was FOMO. Or if it was, I’d say it was a very mild case of FOMO. But other than that particular time, I seriously can’t think of any other times when FOMO occurred in my life.

In another Multiamory episode, Jase, Dedeker and Emily talked with someone who calls themselves a “spiritual person.” And TBH, that particular term rubs me the wrong way. Because as an atheist who’s tried on the “spiritual” label for myself before, I don’t identify with said label one bit. Quite frankly, people say they are spiritual, simply because they don’t want to call themselves atheists, due to the fact that there’s such a stigma around atheism. And instead of taking the viewpoint that I do, that what science does not yet have an answer for, it will eventually find an answer, or multiple answers, it’s easy for people to not examine where their desire for spirituality is even coming from. Like, what might they feel is missing in their lives, or what might they want more of in their lives? Only they could know; but TBH, I wish that more people were willing to sit with their uncomfortable feelings…and that more people questioned why they even feel the need to answer everything right now, or yesterday or tomorrow. There is just no need to operate that way, from where I’m coming from…because I know that eventually, science will literally give us all of the answers that we could ever want…and so much more!!

Something else I’ve been thinking about that kinda relates to atheism, is this idea people have about lying to their kids about things like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. And while I haven’t always had the language to express that I don’t agree with people doing that, I’ll definitely say so now. And the biggest reason that I feel this way, is because for me personally, I seriously felt traumatized when I discovered that both sides of my family of origin lied to me about big things like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus existing. But when I say that I felt traumatized by this kinda lying, my family of origin had betrayed me, period!! They didn’t even think that I was worth telling the truth to; or perhaps they didn’t see lying as a wrongdoing on their part. But the thing was, years later, I’m talking about this because it made an impression on me in ways that I don’t consider to be good ones. I mean, if they’d told me the truth about Santa Claus/the Tooth fairy, might child me have been sad? Of course; but older me reflecting on this particular thing now, I very much prefer people telling me the truth, harsh as it may be. Because whenever people tell me the truth, those people in turn give me the opportunity to return the favor. When people tell me the truth, they give me the power to hurt them, especially if they’ve hurt me…but they also give me their trust, that I won’t ever hurt them intentionally. And so, that’s why, when people lie to me, I can become so upset: because they felt that they couldn’t trust me with the truth.

But going back to this particular episode of Multiamory, something that this guest named Jessica Graham talks with the show’s hosts about that also stands out to me, was how she feels it’s crucial for us human beings to love ourselves, at least to some extent. And initially when I’d heard her say that particular thing, I grumbled inwardly because I’m not someone who will say that I totally love my body. There are certain aspects of my body that I love/that I’m proud of, and there are some circumstances that I love my body in…but that’s the extent of my self-love. But that being said, I’m one of the most confident people anyone could ever meet. Because to me, confidence and self-love are not one in the same; so maybe, this will be something for me to think more about. Because what bothered me about this, was that Jessica Graham said something along the lines of “I flat out wouldn’t have sex with anyone who doesn’t love themselves.” And I felt like that was a really judgmental thing for her to say because not all of us human beings are going to love our bodies…but I don’t think that that should translate into someone not wanting to have sex with us. But then again, if someone like Jessica Graham feels this way, at least I’d know not to look at them in a sexual way that could go somewhere.

One reason that I love listening to the Multiamory podcast, is because the bonds that Jase, Emily and Dedeker have formed with one another have shown me that people you date can become friends with you, even after you’ve broken up with each other. Like, at different times throughout these three people’s lives, they’ve dated each other. And being that also at one time, they were all polyamorous, each of their relationships have shifted. And while I’ve never experienced this particular thing personally, I do think it’s great to see folks who have…and who are also comfortable with the ways that their relationships have shifted.

In a Multiamory episode about people creating happy relationships for themselves and their partners, Jase, Emily and Dedeker did talk about fighting a bit. And that part of their discussion made me reflect on how I’ve fought with romantic partners in my past. And for the most part, I’d just completely shut down whenever partners I was with would raise their voice towards me, use name-calling towards me or something else entirely. But when it comes to my last romantic relationship, I’d use humor to bring things back to a peaceful place. So like, I remember one time in particular when I asked my then-boyfriend if his face hurt. And then when he said that it didn’t, I responded to that comment of his with something like “well, your face is killing me!” And just that seemingly subtle shift in my choice of tactic, helped my then-boyfriend and I snap out of our fights and back into why we were together in the first place. But there have been other times with romantic partners of mine where I’ve stopped and acknowledge that we were fighting or headed for a fight. And then after having acknowledged that truth of ours, I’d realize that I didn’t want to be in situations that were similar to the way both sides of my family of origin operated. And that realization/acknowledgement helped me respond in a way that I’d actually wanted to respond to romantic partners I was fighting with: calmly and compassionately. And I’m hopeful that this particular strategy remains with me for life…at least as often as possible.

For the past few days, I’ve been going back and forth with the third-party company who controls people’s student membership subscriptions for Apple Music. And the reason I’ve been going back and forth with this company is because the process to reverify one’s student membership is not one bit screen-reader friendly. I of course figured that out because when I’d tried reverifying that I’m indeed still a student myself, nothing was happening. So I ended up having my caretaker who is sighted, help me problem-solve this whole thing; so we first submitted a picture of my school ID, thinking that that documentation would be exactly what this third-party company needed. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case which then lead my caretaker to take a picture of the paperwork from school that I’d gotten from the Financial Aid Department. My caretaker sent that particular picture straight to the people who’d sent me a response email, letting me know that more documentation was needed. But a day or two went by, where I didn’t receive any kinda response from this third-party company which was frustrating as fuck!! So once again, I had my caretaker submit the picture he’d taken of the document from the Financial Aid Department; and that time, someone from this third-party company responded, letting me know that the verification for my Apple Music student membership subscription was successful. And usually, after having such a horrendous experience like this, I’d tell the company about it. But honestly, being that I only have to verify that I’m still a student once a year, I’m going to leave this battle as is which is to say that I won’t say a thing to the third-party company.

Thursday, I received something in the mail that I’d been waiting for: my Elizabeth Warren Braille buttons. But the funny thing about me receiving this piece of mail, was that at first I didn’t understand my caretaker when he’d said that my buttons had arrived. Because truthfully, I didn’t really understand what the Elizabeth Warren buttons would look like; all I knew was that they’d have Braille on them. And so, when I actually felt said buttons, I realized that it would be more accurate to call them pins, given that they could be pinned onto things. My only complaint about the buttons, is that I wish there were more of them in one pack; there are only three buttons in a pack.

Yesterday my caretaker went to get us food from a local Mexican food place that I love to get food from; I always get this place’s classic shrimp burrito with no jalapenos and no spicy sauces of any kind. So, the burrito has shrimp, bacon, avocado, sour cream and rice on it. And it tastes delicious!! And I think the main reason that I’ve been craving that place from time-to-time, is because the last man I dated, who was Muslim, wouldn’t let me eat that particular burrito in his presence. It sounds silly to me now, when I write it down…and I’m ashamed to say that I put up with that bullshit of his for an entire year. I mean, I know that I shouldn’t beat myself up about this, most especially not because it’s part of being human, to do things for romantic partners that we likely wouldn’t do for other people; but just because that can be our default reaction, that doesn’t mean it’s right. And I hope that if I get into a romantic relationship again, I’m strong enough to remain in my truth, rather than allowing someone to be possessive over me, for any reason.

Life updates, and more podcast reflections

A classmate from my American Sign Language class recently messaged me to ask me what some of my hobbies were, so they could use those facts about me for an assignment for said class. And given everything that’s going on in our world right now, this gesture of theirs truly made my day. But in addition to that, within the last week, several of my classmates from said class have messaged me, asking if I could help them with homework. And it’s been a bit awkward from my side because I’ve had to tell them that I couldn’t help them. It can be difficult for me to say “no” sometimes and the fact that I kinda felt like I had to share my business with them about how I couldn’t do the classwork, due to being an immune-compromised person who also happens to be blind, was honestly uncomfortable for me. But having this one classmate from said class who already knew the situation that I’m in, go out of their way to include me, really felt special.

Yesterday morning I had a phone appointment with my therapist. And not surprisingly, the first thing we talked with each other about, is how we’re each doing, given the way our world has currently changed. I explained that I’d been listening to tons of podcasts, reading books, watching Netflix and other media streaming sources and talking to people on the phone. We then talked about how my world has physically changed, given how I’d been taking American Sign Language this semester…and now, I can’t participate in said class any more. I told my therapist that sometimes that particular truth makes me sad; but I also told them that I’ve been great at keeping myself busy with all of the things that make me happy. But the big thing that I told them I’d like to work on in the future, is saying the word “no.” I told them how saying that word can be difficult for me, especially at times when I’m on the phone with someone and the person dominates the conversation. I told them that I’d had that exact experience recently and that I ended up feeling really uncomfortable, especially when I realized that the only way I could get off the phone with this person, would be for me to interrupt them. I also told my therapist that I’m very self-aware, in terms of knowing where my difficulty with saying “no” comes from. I told them that for most of my life, the person or people I talked to would get mad at me if I expressed desires that I as an individual had. I then explained that the way the woman who gave birth to me trained me to view my life, was that I was not to be an individual; I was supposed to follow her guidelines and abuse tactics, period. So, that childhood way of adapting to my circumstances is still with me; and I told my therapist that I’d love to work on bettering this particular thing. And so, my therapist and I agreed with one another that we’d have our follow-up appointment next week.

Along these same lines though, I had a talk with my caretaker about the difficulty I have of saying the word “no” to most people. Like, I explained to him that my discomfort happens because of the stories that my brain tells me about what others might perceive my “no” to mean. But a great point that he made to me, was that as long as I know what kinda person I am, it shouldn’t matter how people I don’t really associate with see me. And I think that’s true; but I wouldn’t say that I care what people I don’t associate with, think about me. It’s more that by default, I’ve learned to be the peacemaker. And honestly, that particular thing actually originated from my childhood, specifically from both sides of my family of origin. And it’s something that I’m now choosing to examine because I think that I can shift this unhelpful way of thinking, into something that is meaningful to who I am now.

So for example, when I had a housemate who couldn’t stand the fact that I always play music whenever I shower, I never told that person that I thought they were being unreasonable in making that demand of me. Instead, I worked around them in a sense, by texting them five minutes before I was going to shower, every single time I’d shower. Inwardly I thought that this was ridiculous but at the same time, I saw changing how I responded to this person as being a kind, non-confrontational solution. Because for me at that time, I didn’t want to confront this person directly. And in the end, they ended up moving out of the house anyway. But in thinking back on that specific situation, I don’t think I was fair to myself, because I didn’t believe that my way of being was just as important as being heard as this person’s demand was. And so, in writing about this now, I hope to become better at responding to things of this nature closer to the way I’d want to responde: assertively and confidently.

And yet another example that comes to my mind where a housemate has made me feel uncomfortable, was the day I’d gotten back from the hospital in February and our newest housemates talked my ear off. Even though I didn’t want to talk to them at that time, I didn’t feel comfortable speaking up and owning that truth. And along similar lines, when one of these housemates sat in the same room as my friend and I, the last time my friend had come to trim my hair. This housemate made me feel uncomfortable with this gesture because I didn’t want them to be near me. They’re nosy and rude literally all the time…and I want to feel comfortable enough within myself to speak up to them about my feelings. Because my caretaker is right: I know who I am and the people I care about know who I am…and that’s all that should matter.

Shortly after I’d gotten off the phone with my therapist yesterday morning, another unknown phone number called me; and since I know that everyone is working from home right now, I went ahead and answered the call. It turned out that it was someone from the state vocational rehabilitation agency; they were calling so that we could do my annual assessment over the phone. So I told them that I’ve been getting fabulous grades in school as well as that I’ve been using the technology they’ve given me. I also let them know that I appreciate this agency’s services because they’ve really helped me meet my goal of maximizing my independence. Because quite frankly, I don’t think that we as a society thank people enough. And in particular, there are tons of blind people who are just entitled about receiving this and similar agency’s services…and what they fail to realize, is that these agencies don’t have to provide services to consumers, as they call us. But they do provide them because many of the people who do this kinda work have big hearts and they want to change people’s lives for the better. Hell, that’s definitely a huge reason why I want to become a therapist myself.

In an episode of Multiamory that I recently listened to, the show hosts talked about a concept that’s known as hierarchy; and for any of you dear blog readers who may not be familiar with this term, hierarchy simply refers to the different ways that people rank one another or rank members of a particular minority group. Put another way though, hierarchy is rigid and does not allow people to grow or to change their minds, at any time.

So one example of hierarchy that comes to my mind, is when people rank folks who are legally blind, from people who have no eyesight whatsoever, to folks who have light perception only, to folks who have some usable eyesight, to yet other folks who have quite a bit of usable eyesight. The place I saw this sort of thing happen a lot, was at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). In fact, I vividly remember that when I took a science class in high school at TSBVI, being that I didn’t have eyesight that was considered usable, the teachers of this class partnered me up with classmates who had a lot more vision than me, any time there were visual things involved in assignments we had…which is something I want to talk about separately later on. For now though, I want to say that the hierarchy that was applied in this particular instance, was not beneficial for me in any way. Because I didn’t have access to the same information that my classmates who had usable eyesight, had access to. And along with that, no one spent time explaining the visual aspects of the class to me…and in fact, I’m pretty sure that because of these harsh truths of how this class was conducted, I barely even passed this class. And even though that wasn’t my fault, it still infuriates me to this day…because I know that I could’ve been given access to all of the information; people just chose to exclude me from that.

Yet another example of hierarchy I can think of, is that hierarchy has been present literally in every romantic relationship I’ve ever been in. So in this particular instance, hierarchy translated into my romantic partners and I placing our relationship with each other above every other relationship that existed before our relationship as a couple did. And as I’ve said in some recent blog entries I’ve written, I want to change the way I conduct any future romantic partnerships I have…because I don’t think that rules, or even certain expectations, do any good for anyone. Or at the very least, people should be given the knowledge that they can actually choose what they want all of their relationships to look like and feel like. Doing things consciously is the key here; it’s something that I’ve been unintentionally applying to my life lately. And I love it!!

So now, I’ll talk about why in my opinion, hierarchy never works. And while I realize that using the word “never” is a strong statement, I feel it’s perfect for this subject matter. Because whether we’re talking about hierarchy in non-monogamous relationships or whether we’re talking about hierarchy in other kinds of relationships, many people don’t like having tons of rules placed on them, when it comes down to it. And in fact, speaking for myself, hierarchy makes me feel smothered and restricted, even. Also, hierarchy reminds me that some people in the world really do believe that because I have no vision whatsoever, that that somehow means I’m less of a person. Or, people believe that having hierarchy in romantic relationships is the way things are done, period. And so, all this being said, hierarchy is deeply hurtful, for the reasons that I just mentioned. And in this particular episode of Multiamory, Emily, Jase and Dedeker also say that within their lives, hierarchy has mostly been painful.

Now, as for why I think that hierarchy as a whole should stop existing, I feel this way because no matter what form hierarchy takes, it (hierarchy) divides people. If hierarchy had the ability to speak, here’s what I think it would say to us human beings: “I, Hierarchy, don’t think that you as a society are divided enough. So, I’m going to divide you even more, not only to make you feel like you are less then others…but also to remind you that I, Hierarchy, have the final say in everything related to how you live your life.”

In yet another Multiamory episode, the hosts of the show talked about whether equality is achievable in people’s relationships with one another. And Dedeker had a great way of framing what it could mean for people to feel a sense of freedom and confidence within their relationships with other people, which was to say that there are certain characteristics relationships can have, that can lead all involved parties to feel safe and respected. So for example, I think that having open, constant communication with one’s partners is necessary, in order to create and maintain a healthy romantic relationship. To me, this means that even when conversations may be difficult for someone to have, it’s important to not let things fester. This was something that in my last romantic relationship, I was great at: I had conversations with my then-boyfriend that were difficult for me to have, such as possibly opening up our relationship because I needed to be with women. In fact, this particular conversation was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had…even though the same conversation was talked about between us over time. But I eventually realized that the relationship I’d had with him was not meant to last. Writing that now honestly feels great–and I say that because there was a period of time after his and my breakup with one another, that I felt like I wouldn’t survive. I was that hurt, and on so many levels, at that. But boy am I grateful that those sad feelings of mine went away, and quickly, at that.

But another hard decision I knew only I would change between my then-boyfriend and I, in terms of the way the two of us interacted with each other after our breakup, was that I’d have to completely cut ties with him. And making this particular move was incredibly hard for me to do, because I did care about him as a person. However ultimately, what helped me settle on that course of action as being the correct one, was that I wasn’t happy with him anymore. Like, being that I was his first romantic relationship, he had no concept of the fact that people usually need time away from each other after a breakup. And so, I stuck keeping him around out for awhile, which definitely didn’t help my healing. And that’s when I thought long and hard about why I was doing things this way; and once I’d come to the conclusion that I still wasn’t happy after our actual breakup, I knew that cutting ties with him was the best option. And that being said, I’ve definitely had my moments since our breakup over a year ago, when I think for a second that I’ll contact him. But then, I remember that I was miserable with him around, even though we’d broken up. And ultimately, I’m only going to do things in life that make me and others happy. And reminding myself of that part of my truth from time-to-time, is what helps get me back on the continued path of moving forward.

In another Multiamory episode, the hosts of the show talked about the concept of making our romantic relationships with people similar to how we play videogames, boardgames ETC. And one example of this that they gave that I actually found quite off-putting, was someone having marbles that they put in a jar every time that someone they’re in a romantic relationship with does something nice for them…or does something that’s helpful to them in some way. And the reason that I found this particular thing off-putting, was because it reminded me about people keeping score. Like, in many of my past romantic relationships, I felt like people would regularly keep score about who in the relationship had done the most for the other person. And while I hadn’t ever thought about why that particular thing bothered me, I’m glad I’m thinking about it now. Because honestly, this is even something that I’ve talked about with one of my local best friends: this idea that no matter the kinda relationship you have with someone, we should pay attention to the amount of things we’ve done for them because they owe us, is incredibly toxic. Like, I remember that one of the last in-person conversations I’d had with this local best friend, was telling them that I want to change how I respond to this idea in my relationships because I don’t think it’s even a little bit healthy. But I honestly hadn’t even thought of this concept again, until hearing it brought up in Multiamory.

Something else that Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about in this Multiamory episode that made me think, was how there are companies who have figured out a neat marketing trick where they (the companies) apply game-related concepts to the businesses that they’ve created. So for example, in the game I love called Timecrest, said game has the ability for people to pay for Time Crystals with actual human money. And the way I see this concept within this particular game working, is that the game developers probably correctly anticipated that people would purchase Time Crystals if, for example, they’re aiming to purchase items in the game that they know will likely add to this adventure for them. And so, that type of situation would be a win-win for everyone: because the game developers would get money in their pockets whenever people purchase Time Crystals…but also, Timecrest players would win in a way, due to the fact that they can get even closer to making this big purchase within the game.

In another Multiamory episode, the hosts of the show talked about the ways in which the roles that society places on the male and female genders, can be toxic as fuck. And one way this can be true, is that there are people who believe that male and female are the only genders that exist in the world. But the thing is, language is constantly changing, just as human beings are constantly changing. And so, it’s important for society to normalize the numerous gender identifications that people have, along with normalizing the fact that however people tell you they identify, is how you should address them. Of course, most people understand that as humans, we all fuck up from time-to-time; but if someone knows how a person prefers to be identified…and that person still uses the excuse of “oh, I’m used to knowing you as this other identification so that identification is what I’m always going to call you,” that translates into disrespect. There is nothing else to call this kinda trreatment. Put another way, if you don’t fix your behavior, then not only are you part of the problem…but you’re also a fucking dick.

On this same Multiamory episode, I loved the idea the hosts of the show had, regarding human beings working to change the problematic language that we often use. So for example, instead of speaking in terms of male and female genders only, trying to use more neutral terms like “tell me about this friend of yours,” or “how do they (your friends) prefer to be identified?” These kinda phrases indicate to people that you’re aware that there are multiple genders/multiple ways people can identify themselves. But also, we could have conversations with one another about the ways in which society has harmful views, such as: if you’re a grown-up, you should no longer like things you liked when you were a child. I’ve seen this particular thing play out with people I know, who are attacked because even as grown-ups, they still enjoy videogames or cartoons and on and on and on. And so, I’m talking about this on my blog because I want to give people the message that, no matter who you are, and no matter how you choose to identify, your choices are yours alone to make. No one else can criticize you or tell you how to live your life; they are living their own life and that is where their focus should be.

Something else that this particular episode of Multiamory encouraged me to think about, is this toxic belief many folks have that no one can actually have friends of the opposite sex. This is something that I’ve always found to be idiotic, not to mention controlling; however I haven’t always had the language to communicate my thoughts around this issue. But now that I do, I can say that this particular way of thinking has happened throughout my life, whether I’m in a romantic relationship with someone or not. Like, I’ve literally had men tell me that they couldn’t associate with me because I’m a female; and so, I guess the subtext of that would be that they couldn’t trust themselves to deny their sexual attraction to me. And one of the main reasons that this sort of belief is toxic, is because men are not the only humans who are sexual beings. We are all structured to have sex and to want sex; one gender does not have a higher sex drive than other genders…even though most of society tries to tell us otherwise.

In another episode of Multiamory, Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about people fighting with one another. And for me personally, as soon as I hear the word “fight,” it brings up a negative connotation and makes me feel uncomfortable immediately. I know that that traces back to how I was raised but I also realize that being a grown-up, I don’t have to let my brain give this particular story power anymore. And what I want my future to look like, in terms of how I think of fighting, I want to step back and acknowledge whatever thoughts I may have about it at that time. If I need a gentle reminder to help my child-self feel safe and heard then, I’ll give myself that love. But also, and this would be huge for me, I want my whole being to understand and accept that human beings having disagreements or heated discussions with each other is a part of life…for everyone.

Something else the Multiamory podcast hosts talked about in this particular episode of the show that deeply resonated with me, was this idea that many people in the world have about it never being OK to leave a romantic relationship. So given how Christian-centric and monogamy-centric most human beings are, there’s a message that these folks hammer into others of “once you’re in a romantic relationship with someone, that means that you have to commit to them forever.” And it’s important to talk about this because thinking that way, no matter who you are, can be incredibly dangerous. Because some folks may be in relationships where their partner constantly cheats on them or is otherwise abusive towards them…and if you tell them that they’ve agreed to stay in something even if that something is unhealthy, then you’re a huge part of the problem. Because while conflict itself is a fact of life that we all deal with to some extent, abuse is NEVER OK!! And just to clarify, there can be physical abuse, financial abuse, verbal abuse ETC; and even though each human being probably has a different idea of what constitutes abuse, it’s important for us all to be mindful of taking care to not tell anyone to stay in a romantic relationship that is unhealthy.

In this week’s episode of Love Someone with Delilah, we listeners get to hear part two of Delilah’s interview with the singer Jewel; and honestly, Jewel reminds me of myself in some ways. What I mean by that, is that she’s very open about using all of the trauma she’s been through to make her a better person, rather than a bitter one. And also, she’s unafraid to be introspective and to then admit when she’s done things wrong. But yet, she also thinks about how she can share the life lessons she’s learned, with other people. And these things that I’ve just mentioned here, are also representative of who I am and how I choose to move through the world. And also like Jewel, I want to share what I’ve learned with other folks, with the hope that others will help create a better world and that ultimately, this sort of cycle will become a societal norm. Is that a lot to hope for? Some folks would say so; but my personal experiences thus far in my life have taught me that without hope, I have nothing.