I just finished reading a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. This book is buy a man named Mark Manson and this time reading it for me was the second time doing so. The main message that I’ve taken away from this book this time around, is that human beings figuring out what they truly care about in life…and then living their lives with those values in mind, is how to live well. I totally agree with that truth; it’s something that’s helped me keep my own core values in mind, both as they currently are and as they evolve. I love the way Mark Manson’s blunt approach demonstrates to his readers that he means exactly what he says. If you’ve read my blog for long enough, you know that I too, value straightforwardness, over trying to use pretty-sounding language that causes what you’re saying to lose its urgency and meaning ETC. Hell, I used to use such confusing language myself; but within these last three years, I’ve really decided to change that part of myself. Because quite frankly, what I was doing was essentially helping myself break my own heart…because I cared too damn much about how others saw me. Whereas now, the only thing that’s important to me, is living my truth, every second of every day; and I know that doing that will definitely piss off people. But I also know that the right people, the folks who are my tribe, will love this about me because they’ll know that I love this about me.
But that being said, something about this book that I found incredibly frustrating, was that the book was mainly written for people who ascribe to America’s traditional hetero-normative culture. And along with that, the author of this book talked shit about people who have casual sex and non-monogamous sex. Like, on one hand, he talked about how he’d had such relationships himself…but how now that he’s in a monogamous marriage, casual sex became among the things that he now hates. This rubs me the wrong way because I don’t think it’s respectable for people to negatively judge something that’s different from how they live, especially when they used to do said thing themselves. Look, I get that Mark Manson is probably happy in his monogamous marriage; that’s great!! But instead of saying something in this book like “I’m happy in my marriage but I don’t judge folks who live differently than I do,” he chose to be an asshole/exactly like the kinda people he’d continually claim to despise throughout this book.
Yet another thing in the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck that stood out as problematic to me, was Mark Manson’s belief that human beings are not worthy or special in any way. I take that way of thinking as being ironic, being how in this very book, he encourages people, several times at that, to care about things and to care about fellow human beings. I personally believe that each individual in the world has things to teach others, whether those teachings are good or bad. I also believe that us creating a legacy for ourselves and others, that will live on even after we’re dead, is a good use of one’s time. Mark Manson seems to suggest that all of these things are pointless. And that is ironic because he fucking wrote a book in which he gives people advice on the best way he thinks fellow humans ought to live their lives.
Something I’ve been thinking about lately, is how in the book entitled More Than Two, the book’s authors kept coming back to something that I think is important to remember and discuss: the fact that in being polyamorous, we who are poly could get to a point where we unintentionally objectify human beings that we are or will be in relationships with. Hell, I do remember writing about this sort of thing on my blog before, just not in these exact words; because I do remember a time not too long ago in my own life when I realized that I was trying to build a person in certain ways…but it didn’t take me long to realize that I was headed right towards acting like most of my family of origin had acted towards me. And almost immediately, that particular realization stopped me in my tracks: because I didn’t and don’t want to live like those people do. But ultimately, I brought this up in relation to the book More Than Two because I love the way that the book’s authors articulated this concept of the importance of not treating people like objects. It’s really a great reminder and one that I definitely needed! Because until I re-read that particular book/listened to tons of Multiamory episodes, I didn’t think about how me trying to custom-build the kind of people I wanted to be in romantic relationships with, was actually harmful. But I’m glad that I had this wake-up call nonetheless.
More Than Two’s authors also stress to their book readers that we ought to move away from thinking in terms of staying in relationships that are not adding to our happiness…and start thinking in terms of allowing all of our relationships to evolve into whatever it is that they are all meant to evolve into. I honestly loved this part of this book because it was validating in terms of acknowledging the fact that this adjustment wouldn’t be easy for folks to make…but it would likely be worthwhile. I love that these authors acknowledge that this is an option that is available to people, besides just monogamy.
In a recent episode of Multiamory, Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about how living with romantic partners can sometimes become like living with our parents. I was filled with excitement when I heard VoiceOver on my phone read out that they were opening up this specific can of worms. Because this is something that I’ve thought about quite a bit myself; in fact, it’s one reason why I will likely never live with any of my romantic partners. Not only do I love my alone time and my own space, but I also love that that space was and is something that I totally create myself. Because oftentimes, when I’ve shared living spaces with partners of mine, I’ve not only felt like their moms…but I was often expected to do things that were and are physically hard for me to do. And as I’ve said before, in literally all of my past relationships with people, romantic or otherwise, I didn’t know that I had the right to speak up for myself. So I just let a lot of shit slide, that I could’ve actually spoken up about, if I’d known that speaking up was actually possible. But upon reflecting on this now, I realize that this view I had, was given to me by my fucking family of origin.
I feel like nearly all of my unhealthy responses/behaviors exist because I’ve had such bad examples as role models. I mean, I know for a fact that many folks in my family of origin see marriage as a trap/as something that is not meant for anyone to enjoy. I also know for a fact that many women in my family of origin believe that men as a whole would not be able to function, if it weren’t for those women mothering them. I know for a fact that many women in my family of origin blame other people for their problems; I know this because I’ve seen these people do that, more times than I can count. I know for a fact that numerous women in my family of origin believe that they are always right, simply because they are Christians. And so, I knew that I’d have fun writing about this particular episode of Multiamory…because family of origin bullshit is something I have plenty of stories about. LOL.
But backing up a bit, I want to say that something else that rubs me the wrong way about living with romantic partners, is the way that people think of couples. Like, whenever I’ve lived with folks in that particular context, people who’d see my partners and I, would assume that neither of us is an individual any more, because we’re in a romantic relationship with each other. And hell, I myself have even been guilty of subconsciously allowing myself to believe that as being the truth. But nowadays, I find such assumptions annoying and toxic as fuck. No one should ever lose themselves, whether they are married, pregnant or otherwise in relationships with people.
I want to go back for a second to talk about how through my family of origin, I was made to believe that literally all men were incapable of doing things for themselves. I vividly remember many of the women in my bio family constantly reminding the men in their lives how to be adults…and honestly, I never thought to question that particular thing until I became an adult myself. And so, what I started thinking about, was how the men behaved when these women would treat them this way. And right away, I realized that the men in their lives probably felt helpless and frustrated. But for the longest time, I didn’t know how to go about changing myself so that I wouldn’t fall into this same trap. And sadly though, I mostly stopped treating men this way in the last romantic relationship I was in. It was incredibly difficult to change this within myself…but I knew that I didn’t want to treat men in a toxic manner, just because I saw my family of origin do so for years.
In a recent episode of the Invisibilia podcast, the host of the show told a story about a man in another country who had become popular…but in the worst possible way. What I mean by that, is that he was one of many targets made by big companies. So this man received thousands upon thousands of emails, text messages and phone calls a day. He’d also had complete strangers showing up at his house on a regular basis. It was insane; but it turned out that this harassment that this man dealt with for years and years was still going on even earlier this year. But thankfully, people in power started doing what they could to help make this harassment stop. But honestly, it was interesting to me because the constant evolution of technology continues to make this sort of thing easily accessible to people who want to do bad things. And that’s something about the world that I hate with a passion.
But that being said, hearing this particular story on the Invisibilia podcast, made me think about a couple times in my own life where I became extremely paranoid. One of those times happened at the church I recently talked about having Bible study with. In fact, I believe that the reason this happened, was because of the elderly lady who didn’t respect my wishes to keep most of my contact information private. And so, what happened was that a month or so after I’d met one of the newest members in this group, I received a call from a police department. Now, I knew even then, that policemen don’t just randomly call strangers. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it was that I’d done for them to call me. So when I called the policeman back, I let him tell me what was going on. And it turned out that one of the women in this Bible study group I was a part of, the woman who was the most recent new group member, in fact, had apparently been stalking me. I was told by the policeman that this woman had gotten all of my information from the roster that had been passed around within the group. And honestly, I knew that something like this was totally possible; that was why I’d said to the group that I only wanted them to have my email address. Because honestly, I’d gotten a horrible feeling about the group’s newest member when I’d met her. But even so, I never expected any police department to call me.
But anyway, going back to the story of the phone call I’d gotten from a policeman: when I was asked by him if I knew this lady’s last name, I said that I didn’t. And so, it was at that point that he told me that she’d claimed I’d helped her steal a car. The policeman then assured me that he’d already looked into who I was. So he knew that I’m blind, he knew that I was a poor person and he knew that I received help from the Blind Services department in San Antonio. He told me all of these things specifically, as I didn’t say much to him, other than giving him my name and saying I was returning his call. And then once he’d given me the information I’d hoped he’d discovered, he let me know that he just wanted to call me because he thought I deserved to know the lengths to which this creepy woman had gone to try and hurt my reputation. And even though this conversation with him was scary, I did my best to not let that fear show itself. I remained paranoid until I finally moved out of that apartment though, because of this lady but also because of my family of origin.
Speaking of my family of origin, many of these people were another reason for my paranoia at this same apartment. And so, what happened with these folks likely happened because my Oma (grandma in German), Oma’s friends or my Aunt Loretta told the bad folks where I lived. Because at that time, my Aunt Loretta and Oma visited me regularly. Sometimes the two of them would come to my apartment together, other times I’d go to one of their houses and yet other times one of them would come to my apartment. But back then I didn’t understand that my bio mom was still a relative of theirs, even though she was abusive to me. The only thing I knew, was that somehow my bio mom and other family members who I didn’t want to have that sensitive information, did have that information. And unfortunately, I also didn’t understand back then that I didn’t have to keep toxic people in my life, even if the toxic people in question were related to me by blood. So I didn’t stand up for myself and once my unwanted family members started showing up at my apartment, I was miserable there. My PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, became what felt like the worst it’s ever been. And even more unfortunately, I remained miserable and paranoid until January 31st 2018: my last day in that apartment…and my nearly 7th year in said apartment. It was definitely no way to live.
A show that my caretaker recently told me about, is called The Society; and I binge-watched the entire season of the show in just a few days. The reason it took me a few days to watch it though, rather than just a couple days to do so, is because this show’s contents are heavy…and because I feel everything so deeply as an empath, I needed to take breaks from watching this show. Hell, I often need to take breaks from watching most things, for this particular reason. LOL.
But now, I’ll go into what The Society is about: it’s about a group of high school children who are mysteriously taken to a place that looks exactly like the town they came from. But in this place that they’d been taken to, there are no adults there at all. And so, the children have to work together to figure out how they’re going to survive. But being that they are teenagers already dealing with hardships, they all experience additional ups and downs with each other…and the fact that they have to figure out how to create this new world for themselves, only compounds their wide range of feelings. So needless to say, I’m ready for season two of The Society to be released. But I’m not sure when that’s going to happen.