Hidden Brain thoughts, more thoughts on Anne with an E, childfree FB groups, a rant and a life update

In Anne with an E, Ka’Kwet ran away from the boarding school that her parents had sent her to; and she ends up being able to get away and gets to a spot where her parents find her. But that family’s reunion was short-lived because people from that boarding school end up finding them…and then taking Ka’Kwet back to the boarding school with them. So what happens then, is that Ka’Kwet’s parents show up at Anne’s, Marilla’s and Matthew’s house, in the hopes that that family will help them get their daughter back. But that journey of theirs showing up at Anne’s and her family’s house ends up being misunderstood by Marilla (because Marilla thinks that they’re evil people). But the thing is, Marilla only thinks that because that’s what she’s been told practically all her life. So until Anne calms her down and talks to her lovingly about who these people actually are, she (Marilla) acts tough. But once she understands that these people are friends of Anne’s, she (Marilla) agrees to try and help them search for their daughter/bring her back to their home safely. But unfortunately, the method they used to bring her home, was not the ideal one. Ka’Kwet’s parents ended up giving every bit of money they had to this boarding school, in exchange for Ka’Kwet to go home with them. But TBH, I was more filled with joy that she was able to be back with her family, that I didn’t even care how this was made possible.

As I’ve mentioned in other blog entries before, Anne and one of her classmates named Gilbert have a constant off and on type of relationship. This particular aspect of the show is so fucking good…and that’s saying a lot because I can’t stand most romance-related books or movies. But as I’ve said, Anne and Gilbert’s interactions with each other are great. But we the viewers have to wait until nearly the end of season three of the show, before we get what I’d call a half-hearted answer about where Gilbert and Anne stand with each other. Like, there are several times when Anne and Gilbert both try to tell the other how they truly feel about them, but something always gets in the way. Either Anne chooses not to read the notes that Gilbert has left her, or Anne crumples up letters that Gilbert has written her…or she just flat out believes that Gilbert’s true love is another woman. And then when she finally finds out that Gilbert’s true love is actually her, she scrambles to find him before he goes away to college, to let him know that she feels the same way towards him. And then literally at the end of season three of Anne with an E, there are a few times when Anne and Gilbert kiss each other…but that’s the extent of where their relationship goes. And TBH, that’s a huge letdown for me because I had high hopes about the things we as the viewers would get to see regarding how Anne’s and Gilbert’s romantic relationship would, and could, develop.

And although this particular Netflix series won’t have another season, I have ideas of things that I’d like to take place, if the show actually were to be continued. One of those things would be that we see more character development between Bash and his daughter who’s a newborn baby. The baby’s name is Delphine which I think is a pretty name. And just to refresh you all’s memories, Bash (or Sebastian) was the friend of Gilbert’s that Gilbert had met on a ship. Bash and Gilbert actually became like brothers to each other and I think it would’ve been neat to see that develop more fully as well. I also would’ve liked to see more of Anne’s relationship with Matthew and Marilla, once it became obvious that the three of them truly fell in love as a family. Selfishly, I would’ve also loved to see a whole lot more LGBTQ+ representation because it’s still too fucking rare for my tastes…especially now that I’m an out-and-proud gay woman myself. Since Anne and Diana are best friends with one another, it would’ve been awesome to see more of the dynamic between Diana trying to find and assert her individuality and her (Diana’s) mom and dad being resistant to those things. It would’ve also been neat to see more about how Diana and her little sister Minnie May got along with each other (or didn’t get along).

I finished listening to the recent Hidden Brain episode that talked about the role that money plays in our society; and ultimately I gained some food for thought which is mainly that money is a way for us human beings to continue having relationships with each other. And TBH, I hadn’t even considered that sort of thing being a possibility. But I could see how it is: because every time we go to a coffee shop, restaurant or other kinda business, we’re doing so with the knowledge that we’ll definitely revisit that business, if the customer service is stellar or if we think that said business sells good products. And it’s interesting to me to think about the fact that if the world didn’t have money, there wouldn’t necessarily be any reason for people to form relationships with one another.

In the CF Facebook group I’ve been talking about lately, someone posted on a thread saying that they don’t get why some folks consider themselves to be childfree when they’re regularly involved with a partner’s kids. And the response I wrote to that particular comment reads:
I’m totally with you on this!! I know there are folks who say that they consider people to be CF, even though they’re dating someone with kids. I’m not one of the folks who thinks that, though. I feel very strongly that if you’re dating someone with kids, you are not CF…because you are regularly involved in those kids’ lives…which is the polar opposite of being CF.

Also in this group, I wrote the following post which reads:
OK, I realize I might get flack for making this post because people in this group have said things like “IDK why people like to talk about their dislike of kids so much.” But here’s why I at least, feel I have the right to talk about that part of my truth honestly and openly: because it is part of my truth, even if that knowledge may make others uncomfortable. I also feel that I should be able to speak about this openly in this group particularly, because that is what this group is for: for folks who are CF to discuss being CF in any way, shape or form which to my mind, includes the brutal truth that some of us feel the way I’m gonna talk about in this post. So that being said, if you’ve read this far and you know you’re someone who’s gonna get angry at this brutal honesty then please don’t waste yours or my time commenting with your anger. I’m posting this to not only express myself but also, to help encourage others who feel similarly to share in these feelings with me. That’s your warning.

I don’t wish children/older kids ill will or anything else of a cruel nature; I just don’t fucking like them!! Some reasons I don’t like them are: they are often not well-behaved, they scream, cry and otherwise throw fits when they don’t get their way, they interrupt conversations repeatedly; and when they’re a baby, they demand/require your full attention, thereby making it damn near impossible for you to enjoy being a grown-up and doing grown-up things like have sex whenever you want or treat yourself to something you/your partner enjoys. Oh, and I almost forgot that when children/older kids are sick, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve used all of your allowed sick days already or not; that kid is gonna need you to take care of them until they’re 18, period. And fuck, just writing all of this is making me frustrated!! Seriously.

Now, I want to talk about how much I can’t stand seeing people post things about their kids/pregnancy ETC. Well thankfully, I’m blind…so I don’t have to actually see pics of kids or women’s pregnancy or women’s baby/birth pics. However it’s bad enough that I have to read people’s posts where they talk about their pregnancy/kids. Like, it makes me livid because our society is so baby/kid-centric, that there’s just this assumption that everyone in the world loves kids/cares about people’s pregnancy/kids…and that fucking sucks!! Because I’m one of the few who’s honest enough to bluntly say that if I read another kid/mommy happy pregnancy post, I’m gonna fucking scream!! Come on, folks, it is not amazing that you can pop a human being out of your vagina. That is not sexy/beautiful, not even a little. It is also not amazing that you have kids and work hard–CF people work hard AF too…but it’s folks with babies/kids who get all the accolades. How does anyone *not* see anything seriously wrong with that fucking picture? Geez!!!!

This discussion continued, and in response to someone claiming that they think my outlook makes me seem like I’m a bitter person/that the fact I use cuss words throughout my post, indicates I have unresolved issues within myself. So I wrote the following to them:
So you would’ve preferred I sugar-code things/flat out say that I love kids? I’m a grown-up, grown-ups cuss. AND LOL at your saying you think I’m bitter, just because I’m expressing a strong opinion. Unless you have something of substance to say to me, I won’t engage with you on this topic after I’ve posted this reply to you.
Another response I wrote on this topic, was referring to a comment where someone tried to justify why kids act the way they do. My response to that particular comment reads:
But I feel like by you saying that I should be understanding that kids may not be well-behaved because of a disability, illness or what have you, that you are suggesting that that means kids should get a free pass. If so, I disagree. If not, please explain what you meant. I’ve seen/interacted with well-behaved kids before, and those interactions were pleasant…but those interactions have been the exceptions in my experience, not the rule.
Another comment I wrote a response to, was one in which someone said that they took this post as me being exhausted. My response reads:
Exhausted, yes; thanks for that word that I couldn’t find. I’m so fucking exhausted that I couldn’t even think properly enough to articulate myself. I don’t appreciate having to hear loud kids, whether they’re young adults or little children, for hours and hours at a time. Like, that literally stresses me out.
Another comment I responded to, was one in which someone supported me, in having made this post. My response to their comment reads:
Exactly. I am the bitch/bitter woman/person with issues, not the people who are suggesting that I shut the fuck up and keep my shit bottled up inside, which would actually prompt me to become bitter/angry 🤦🏻‍♀️ 🤦🏻‍♀️ 🤦🏻‍♀️
Another comment I wrote, was in response to someone showing their support; my response reads:
Thank you so much for your support, it’s much appreciated. I hate when people try to police others too, no matter what the issue is at hand. It’s sickening, really. Now, if I were going on parents’ FB posts where they talked about their kids and saying shitty things or something, I could understand why people would be angry at that. But I am not, and would not, ever do anything of the sort; I came directly to this FB group of CF people where I knew I’d be met with at least some unity and support. But yet I’m the one that’s problematic? Wow, maybe those who feel that way should look at possible internal conflicts within themselves…but oh no, it’s easier/more fun to blame others…
And it was after I’d posted this particular comment that my post was completely deleted. Sheesh. And in case anyone wants to know the name of this particular childfree group, it’s called “Respectfully Childfree.” And the irony here, is that the folks in that group are not actually respectful!!

So I then submitted the below post to this specific group which reads:
I’m leaving this group. If those of you who appreciated my recent post would like to keep in touch with me, feel free to message me. To others, you should change this group name to reflect that you accept fence-sitters/people who are not really childfree, as they are dating people with kids. You should also put some sort of announcement at the top of the page letting people know that not all opinions/thoughts are truly welcome. I think people need to know exactly what they might unknowingly be getting into. I’ve had fun here while it lasted, but some things are only meant to be seasonal…and this was one of them for me, apparently.
But that being said, I’m pretty sure the moderators of that group didn’t actually put that post of mine through. And what makes me most sad about people being so sensitive that they can’t handle a difference in opinion or profanity, is that the world is full of people who are grown-ups who have strong opinions and who use profanity, myself among such people. Those truths are not a secret to anyone; yet that truth about profanity in particular, is why you’ll never see me promoting my content in a format where the person wants me to sensor myself. But that being said, it’s simple: if you don’t like what someone says and you know that you can’t say anything to them without discrediting them/attacking their character, then walk away. And if at a later time, you can come back to that discussion like the adult that you are, that’s great. But if not, part of being an adult is knowing how far is too far…and someone who doesn’t harm others by having opinions, is not that, at all.

On my personal FB page, I wrote the following status update that reads:
To VoiceOver/iPhone users, I dunno if you care about this, but just in case you do, Ava’s downloadable voice is fixed on the iPhone. Like, for the longest time, when you’d slow down or speed up her speech, neither of those would actually do what they were supposed to…and this was only a problem with the Ava voices, in my experience. But now, I’m using that voice to write this status on my Bluetooth keyboard, at a rate I think I’ll love. So happy. It’s the little things.

Tuesday evening I saw a tweet from the Britney: The Zone account, where they told folks that they’d created an app for this upcoming event. They’d also emailed me and of course in the email, they were able to be a little bit more forthcoming with information. And what they’d said in the email, was that using the Britney: The Zone app would be how us fans get into the actual event itself…but also, the app would have additional things that we could do like activate interactive sections in this experience…and even let us browse a Britney Spears merchandise store, apparently. There’s even a link within the app that takes folks to a Britney Spears playlist. But that being said, I was bummed to find out that the link this app has for people to listen to Britney’s playlist, is only available for Spotify. I did tweet the Britney: The Zone account to ask them directly if this same playlist will also be on Apple Music. However they haven’t responded to that question.

Wednesday morning I watched the latest episode of Emergence; we the viewers found out that Ryan Brooks, the FBI agent that’s been trying to help Jo crack this case about Piper, was the person who’d gotten shot in the previous episode of the show. I’m glad that we got that question answered because it was one of those things that I couldn’t have just known, given how the show is not audio described. But also, the entire show became more dramatic in this most recent episode, mostly because we find out that there’s an upload that’s started on Piper and all of the other artificial intelligence machines, robots, whatever you want to call them. And in fact this most recent episode ends with Piper saying “it’s starting!” I’m sure that that quote is Piper talking about the upload. And next week we’ll get the Emergence season finale which is both disappointing and exciting. It’s disappointing because I know that that episode too will end on a cliffhanger…but it’s exciting because we’ll hopefully gain more answers about this ever-so-mysterious show. So needless to say, if you haven’t ever watched this show, you should do so. It’s on Hulu and on the actual TV channel ABC.

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from the driver who’d come to pick me up for my doctor’s appointment. This was the first time this has happened with this service but it was quite a welcome change nonetheless. The driver even knew English fluently which was also a welcome change…both because I was able to communicate with them as a totally blind person and also because I feel much more comfortable when I can speak to someone and know that they understand me. Because being blind, I don’t have the luxury of being able to point to things. I could possibly pull up Google Translate or some other resource if I knew what language the drivers spoke…but TBH, it’s easier said then done. Because when I’m going to the doctor, I’m usually preoccupied with whatever the issue is that I’ll be seeing my doctor about. Because as a several times over chronically ill person, I constantly have to think about how many spoons I have on that particular day and then tally up in my head the things that it’s absolutely important I save my energy for. And then from time-to-time, an interaction I have with someone goes much differently than I anticipated it would…and so I then have to recalculate the number of spoons I have/refigure how to use the amount of spoons I have affectively. Has reading this particular paragraph of my post tired anyone out yet? Yes, well, just imagine being me. It’s fucking tough!!

But that being said, I wrote the below FB post about my recent appointment with my neurosurgeon. I wrote:
Doctor says my next appointment with him will be a six month followup. So each time I see him, we’ll increase My follow ups by three months. The farthest out that I will see him, will be a year. I wish there was a way for us to know how long this shunt will last, but there isn’t. My doctor is the best though; he really cares about his patients. I’m a lucky girl!!!

Thoughts on math, music, grief, toxicity, trauma, Anne with an E and awesome memories

I recently listened to the rapper Eminem’s newest album and while I can appreciate the album in its entirety, it definitely isn’t among his best albums. I’ve literally been listening to one specific song on it called “Godzilla.” What I love about this particular song, is everything from its instrumentation, to the way Eminem’s rap and Juice World’s rap just blend so well together. I’ve actually given the entire album a second listen before writing about it here on my blog, because I wanted to see if I could articulate more of an explanation besides “I just don’t fucking like the way the album sounds” but that’s all I can honestly say. Because I don’t dislike the softer, reserved Eminem at all. In fact I think it’s great that he’s willing to be vulnerable and show different aspects of his humanity; and I honestly wish that more artists would be similar to him, in that way. Because when people tell stories, whether it’s through music, some other form of art or just through conversations that they have with people, story telling is one of the most powerful things in the world.

Recently I listened to an episode of TED Radio Hour that talked about numbers. Now, I need to tell you folks that I’m not a fan of math–I’ve actually had numerous traumatic experiences throughout my life that were math-related. Some of those traumatic experiences were caused by my biological family members making fun of me for not knowing how to solve math equations easily, while other traumatic things I experienced relating to math were me feeling incredibly self-conscious any time I was trying to work on math of some sort. Like, I remember being in high school algebra class and on one hand, I was thankful that this class was at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired because the number of classmates I had was less than 10…and that meant that only a few people would give me grief. But then on the other hand, I felt horrible all around because I totally sucked at math. Hell, even to this day, any time I’m adding something up, I use my fingers to keep track of whatever the thing happens to be. Or if it’s a huge amount that I need to figure out, I use Siri or Alexa to do the calculations for me. And so all this to say, I can’t stand math. But even so, listening to the TED Radio Hour episode on ways that people have come up with to engage others in learning about math, was interesting. Sometimes though, the guests’ explanations became too science-oriented for me to fully understand what they were talking about.

I listened to a recent episode of the Hidden Brain podcast where its host Shankar Vedantam discussed how we as a society think about money. The first person he talked to on this episode was a man who explained that before money existed, people would trade things with each other; these things that folks traded though, were always things that they needed. And so for example, if one person needed firewood and another person needed a baby crib and those two people connected with each other, it would work for them to trade those items, only because they’d been honest with each other about having those particular items in the first place. But say that another couple of people had claimed that they could trade needed items with one another, but that it turned out that one person was actually lying. Well, in that case, it wouldn’t work for those people to trade anything because what I’d call a mutually beneficial exchange, couldn’t actually happen. And TBH, this Hidden Brain episode forced me to reflect on my own experiences/views of money in ways I never have before.

And one thing that this Hidden Brain episode encouraged me to think about, was the fact that numerous men throughout my life have silently expected that because they are dating me or because they’ve helped me with things I need help with, that all of this means that I owe them sex…or money…or food. And the thing is, back when most of these men were in my life, even though it was just a few short years ago, it hasn’t been until I’d made the decision that I was going to leave Texas for good that I started thinking about all of this on a conscious level. Like, even though most of these men didn’t explicitly say to me “Chelsea, since I’m helping you with this thing, you owe me something in return,” their expectation was definitely present, not to mention loud as fuck. And being around men who had this viewpoint, was exhausting…but as I’ve said, for the most part, I just took that shitty treatment from them. Because at the time, I seriously thought that men just acted that way by default…and so me finding their treatment of me problematic, was just me expecting too much of them. But yet I felt like my feelings were valid; but I was too scared to open up to anyone about them because I thought for sure I’d be shut down. And come to think of it, I did tell a caretaker of mine how I felt about constantly being objectified by men. But even she dismissed my feelings, saying “boys will be boys!” And like, that was supposed to be the end of our discussion; and in fact it was the end of the discussion…because I didn’t feel confident enough in my feelings to push the subject with her any further.

And so as I’ve said, it took me making the decision to leave Texas for good, to also realize that the way many men had treated me throughout my life, was totally wrong. And the thing was, even though I’ve said that I’d get away from that type of toxicity by moving to a different state, that wasn’t completely true. Because the man I was dating at the time I’d moved, had incredibly toxic beliefs…and still does. And one of those toxic beliefs of his happened to be that since he and I were together, that meant I owed him things. Like, if he’d pay for something for us, he’d literally say to me “you’ll pay me back someday, don’t worry about it.” And such comments from him always made me feel uncomfortable because I was fighting with the part of my brain that inwardly kept repeating “you two are a couple; this means that you’ve mutually agreed to support each other however you are able and willing to. But no matter what the relationship dynamic is between people, no one should ever feel obligated to pay someone back or treat someone to a meal; but rather, people should do things because they genuinely want to do so, period!! But my then-boyfriend didn’t share that belief of mine which ironically helped me admit to myself that I couldn’t be with someone who felt like the two of us were both nothing more than ATM machines.

And speaking of me living in Texas, when I was in San Antonio selling the remainder of my furniture, I made a comment to someone that I literally wanted to get rid of everything that was in my apartment. And this person’s response was “well, don’t you want to save some of these items for when you come back to visit people here that you know?” I still remember the exact tone of voice with which I answered this woman’s question: I was matter-of-fact yet stern. And I said “no, I don’t want to save anything other than what’s already been packed; I have no desire to ever come back here!! The only way I could see myself coming back here, is if I’m in a bad situation and someone brings me here against my will.” This woman was extremely religious and conservative…and I’m certain that my brutal honesty made her uncomfortable. But also, when I’d made my last statement to her, she sounded quite taken aback. But the thing was, she wasn’t someone I thought of as being close to me; she was someone who I’d met who’d visited me when I was in the hospital in 2016. And I very much appreciated that gesture of hers; but when she asked me the seemingly-simple question of if I wanted to save any furniture or other items and then heard my response to that question, her entire demeanor had changed. Like, her demeanor had changed in such a way as to show me that she really had no earthly idea of the extent of the repeated brutal trauma that I’d endured in San Antonio. Like, I’d tried to have conversations with her about it but no matter what I’d said about the woman who’s my biological mother, this woman couldn’t handle my words. And that was one of the big things that proved to me that maybe this woman wasn’t worth keeping in my life, if she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, accept that family estrangement was a part of my life that I needed to be supported in, rather than made to feel wronged for or flat out being told that I’m the problem.

I posted the below message on the woman’s FB who I call “mom.” That message reads:
I miss her every day. I feel selfish for asking this, but I’m forcing myself to do so. I’m blind, so I can’t enjoy all the pictures of her that are here; I did listen to audio from SoundCloud that someone posted here recently. But I wanted to ask that if folks have/know of other audio of her that I can listen to, I’d appreciate you sharing it here. Or if anyone would like my email address, LMK and I’ll provide it. I would just really like to fully participate in who she was…and audio allows me to do that 🙂

I then tweeted about this experience, saying:
I just did something that was hard for me: I made myself work through the feeling of shame, to ask for something from other folks who are grieving this loss with me. And I haven’tt tweeted about it until now cuz TBH I haven’t felt there’s been an easy way to make space for it…here, in the midst of the craziness that’s been going on in the world publicly. Cuz TBH, even all that, has been hard for me to get through/to feel OK about. But I’m finally at a decent enough place that I can talk about grief, shame and how for the most part, society gets…both of those things wrong. Folks seem to love to tell each other how they’re grieving incorrectly and to tell each other that there’s only a specified amount of time that we human beings are allowed to grieve for. That’s complete bullshit, I say!! It’s bullshit cuz there…is not only one way to grieve or to deal with shame. And grief and shame do not necessarily look the same for every human being…and that is OK!! But basically what I wanted to say, is to encourage folks to support each other exactly where we as individuals are…not where‪…you may want us to be, not where you think we should be…but where we actually are. And if you follow that advice of mine, you’ll most likely find that both grief and shame are life-long processes that do not go away…but that ebb and flow, just as other emotions do.‬

I also recently posted the following thread on Twitter which reads:
There are a couple potential blog posts that I’ve done for other people’s blogs. And the anxiety I feel about “will those things ever go live,” is real. I know I only feel this way cuz I don’t have much activity going on in my life right now…but that doesn’t change the fact…that I feel this way. If you see this thread of me expressing myself in this way and you happen to be someone I’ve written a potential blog post for, please don’t take my self-expression personally or think that I don’t get that you have a busy life outside of your online life. I do get that, especially being that I too, have things that get in the way of my life plans. It’s just that for me, writing is my outlet and I’m really feeling anxiety right now about those potential blog posts I’ve written. Cuz I always put my heart and soul into everything…I write…and those things are no exception.‬

There was a topic on the childfree FB group that talked about someone being betrayed by someone they were in a relationship with, who’d said that they wanted kids, even after knowing that their partner did not want any. So the childfree person stayed with this particular person…and then the CF person discovered that their partner had lied to them after an entire year of the two of them being together. I wrote a response to that particular topic which reads:
First, to the OP, I’m sorry your ex lied to you–please be good to yourself during this rough time. Second, it’s always been interesting to me that people claim women have a “motherly instinct.” That’s something I’ve never felt before, personally. Ugh, just the thought of me being left alone with a being under the age of 18 makes me cringe.

On another thread in this CF group, someone commented saying that they flat out can’t stand children. The response I wrote to that comment of theirs reads:
You are not alone in flat out just not liking kids. I am the same way, though I don’t have nieces or nephews…that I know about. I say ‘that I know about’ because I’m estranged from both sides of my bio family…and my brothers are teenagers that I hope never have kids. My brothers are toxic, just like the family they come from. But I wanted to let you know that there are folks out there such as myself who, like you, can’t stand kids…though I’m kind to kids whenever I interact with them.

There’s been so much for me to write about Anne with an E, that something I haven’t talked about in the show, is that there are horses in it. This is significant because I’ve always loved horses and I still do, to this day. Like, whenever people ask me what my favorite animal is, I always answer “horses.” And what is it that I love about horses, you ask? The short answer to that question is that they remind me a lot of myself. The more detailed answer, is that they are free spirits like me. They choose whether or not they’ll let people pet them/ride them, based on the energy/vibes that people give off, when horses sniff them. When they accept human beings, they love them completely, just as when they don’t like people, they won’t have anything whatsoever to do with them. And I’m a lot like that, minus the sniffing part, of course. LOL.

That being said, it’s been over a decade since I’ve actually ridden a horse. In fact the last time I’d ridden one, was when I was a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB). All of us students went with the staff to Jaspar Arkansas, where we stayed at a dude-ranch which, for anyone who’s unfamiliar with the term, it means that the ranch functions as a resort where people vacation. And so we LCB students and staff stayed there; and that ranch was where we rock climbed, hiked up mountains and rode horses. And since this trip was considered training, just as other trips we took were, everything we did was under blindfold. Well, at least those of us who had some eyesight were blindfolded.

And as I’ve said above, being at this dude ranch was the last time I’ve actually ridden a horse. But riding a horse at that facility was definitely one of the funnest things I’ve ever done in my life: because being blindfolded meant that we used our ears completely. And to be honest, at first, I didn’t believe that totally blind people could ride horses without any sighted help whatsoever. Because literally every other time I’d ridden horses, adults were close by so that they could step in if need be. So needless to say, the first time I’d had a shift in perspective about this, was when I had to reevaluate my thinking. So as you all can probably imagine, I was terrified to think that my fellow blind LCB students and I were not allowed to accept any input from sighted people at all, once we’d gotten on horses. And the thing was, being that LCB makes a yearly trip to this particular dude ranch, the people at the ranch were familiar with how LCB trained students non-visually. So the people at the facility didn’t struggle, in terms of trying to give us students feedback which I found interesting. But all in all, having this particular horseback riding experience taught me that those of us who were blind, didn’t actually need any feedback from sighted folks…because us using our ears would, and did, give us all the information we needed about whether the horse we were on had veered a bit to one side or whether we were in line with our classmates. I don’t know many blind people outside of the ones who were at LCB with me, who could say that they’ve enjoyed the opportunities they’ve had, to learn non-visual techniques.

But going back to Anne with an E, as Diana and Jerry’s potential romance seems to blossom, there comes a point where Anne and Diana get into a fight about that. Because Jerry tells Anne that he and Diana have been seeing each other in secret…and it’s at that time as well, that Anne learns that Diana might not be her best friend after all. And what prompts Anne to think this, is that Diana never told Anne about this potential romance that she’d been having with Jerry; and that particular thing is also what causes Anne and Diana to fight with each other. And when I say that these two girls fought, I mean that they were both livid about the role they were sure that the other girl had played in this disaster. And then as if that wasn’t bad enough, Jerry ends up finding out from Anne, that she (Anne) had confronted Diana about her potential romance with Jerry. And so then Jerry becomes livid once he’s learned that Diana had never even told Anne that the two of them (Jerry and Diana) were secretly interested in each other.

You all may remember that I’ve mentioned the fact that Anne writes for the Avonlea school’s newspaper; well, the second article that she writes for said publication, ends up causing all kinds of drama to happen. What I mean, is that because Avonlea is a small conservative-leaning town, everyone knows everyone’s business…and then when you add gossipy women like Rachel into that mix, that certainly doesn’t help matters any. And so even though Anne wrote about the feminist beliefs that she has, saying that everyone deserves equal rights, that particular thing was what caused the town of Avonlea to become chaotic to the point where Anne’s reputation seemed to be ruined. And as if that in itself wasn’t chaotic enough, some of the Avonlea townspeople burned the printing press that was used to print out the Avonlea newspaper. And in addition to that, some of the townspeople also burned down the Avonlea school that Anne and other kids from the town, regularly went to.

Within the last week, my caretaker made this delicious cake for us. The cake was strawberry and it had butter cream strawberry icing on it too. And it tasted delicious–I honestly wish that there was a way I could package its taste into this blog entry. It was truly that good!! And to think that the only reason my caretaker tried this particular cake/icing, was because I’d suggested it to him. I’d told him that it’s one of my favorite kinds of cake and I even secretly hoped that he’d come to agree with me. And fortunately for my sake, he did!! So hopefully this translates into us having this exact kind of cake again, at some point down the road.

My caretaker and I just finished eating salad with one another, per my suggestion of course. And the things I’d had on my salad were spinach, feta cheese, assorted kinds of peppers, olives and green onions. The type of dressing I had on my salad was Chipotle Southwest because that’s the one that sounded good to me, when my caretaker was giving me the available ranch dressing types. And fortunately, said ranch dressing was delicious!! I have to say that I have more energy now, after having had this particular meal, than I’ve had in awhile. In fact I don’t even remember the last time prior to today, when a meal has made me feel so great. So hopefully my caretaker and I will be able to have this kinda meal more often.

More thoughts on Anne with an E, childfree topics and thoughts on disability/romantic relationships

When I last wrote about Ann with an E, I didn’t even try to spell the name of the new friend that Anne makes in the third season of the show. And since I’d forgotten to look it up then, I made sure to look it up for this particular blog post. Anne’s new friend’s name is Ka’kwet.

And also, there’s a part of Anne with an E in which Gilbert is on a ship. And I’m actually going backwards in the show to talk about this because I wanted things to develop a bit more so that I could have more to say about them.

So while Gilbert is on this ship, he makes a new friend named Sebastian (nicknamed bash for short). And Gilbert and Bash become such close friends that the two of them end up living and working together in Avonlea. And Avonlea happens to also be where Bash meets the person he’s meant to spend forever with. That woman’s name is Mary and she and Bash have a little girl together. But sadly, Mary becomes deathly ill, leaving Bash to care for their newborn. And this particular part of the show is emotional for me, mostly because Mary’s death brings a community together, of people who loved Mary dearly, including Anne, Marilla, Matthew, Diana and other friends of Mary’s. And community really is a beautiful thing, whether it’s in real life, online or in the form of media that we consume.

Going back now to season three of Anne with an E, the gossipy lady named Rachel who I’ve mentioned before, is set on finding someone for Miss Muriel Stacy to get married to; but the thing is, she (Rachel) doesn’t know that Miss Stacy has actually been married…but that her husband died. And Miss Stacy is not necessarily a direct woman herself, so she takes Rachel’s pushiness about finding her a man to marry, by just blowing her (Rachel) off at every opportunity. Like, as often as Rachel comes around to Miss Muriel Stacy’s house or invites a possible suitor to Miss Stacy’s house, Miss Stacy busies herself with other things. And in fact one time when a complete stranger showed up at her house, Miss Stacy thought she could make him leave if she told him that she was about to go for a walk. But unfortunately for her sake, the guy took that as an invitation to go on a walk with her. And each time Miss Stacy is faced with Rachel’s pushiness, I get more and more mad because she (Miss Stacy) won’t just fucking tell Rachel or the men Rachel finds, to leave her alone. Like, I can seriously feel my blood pressure rising every single time this particular issue is brought up in Anne with an E.

But that being said, it’s kinda ironic but I love Rachel’s character. I don’t like the ways in which she medals in people’s lives persay, but the actress who plays this character, does a fabulous job portraying Rachel. I mean, even how Anne with an E shows Rachel being incredibly blunt with folks yet she (Rachel) can’t handle when people are brutally honest with her, is spot on!! And I also get how Rachel and Marilla have been in each other’s lives for so long, that it’s easy for Marilla to just accept that Rachel being a gossip, is just how she (Rachel) is.

Another thing in this show that I love, is how Jerry (the boy who works on the Cuthbert Family’s farm) meets Anne’s best friend Diana. The two of them seem to hit it off so well that Diana pretends like she’s broken her ankle, as she’s walking to her house with Jerry, in the hopes that she’ll have a chance to hang out with him some more. And as it turns out, Jerry’s house is not too far from where Jerry and Diana stopped to check out her ankle. And so the two of them go to Jerry’s house, where Diana eats with Jerry’s family. And this part of the show was huge because Diana was usually never allowed to have any sort of taste of what it’s like to do things in this huge world of theirs…and that’s why she pretended that she’d gotten injured: because she feels like her doing her own thing without her parents’ knowledge, would be fun. And she wasn’t wrong, in thinking that; she was even able to tell Jerry how she’d felt spending time with him and his family, right as her parents had come to his house to find her.

And so later in this show, we the viewers learn that Jerry seems to have romantic feelings for Diana. We find this out when Miss Muriel Stacy has taken the Avonlea school children outside into the woods, to learn about the birds and the bees. Jerry ends up appearing there, hoping that he could see Diana, before she’d go home. And Jerry and Diana end up getting into a discussion with one another about what’s proper between boys and girls; and again, Diana thinks that the best decision would be for her to do whatever she as an individual wants to, rather than just following traditions because that would be what her family would want her to choose. And TBH, I’m glad that Diana made the choice that she did, of spending more time with Jerry, however she could do so.

There’s yet another part in season three of Anne with an E that’s poignant to me: the fact that Ka’kwet’s parents have her go to a boarding school far away from where they currently live…all because they (her parents) believe that she’ll get a better education at this particular school. But one thing that’s a huge part of this story, is the fact that at one point, Anne tries to visit Ka’kwet at the boarding school. But someone at the school turns her (Anne) away, claiming that Ka’kwet cannot even have visitors. So Anne then tells this person that her friend’s name is Ka’kwet and then asks this person if she’d tell Ka’kwet that Anne came to see her. And unfortunately for Anne’s sake, the woman she’d been talking to, was adamant that she didn’t know who Anne was referring to because the students at this school were given American-sounding names, upon their arrival at this school. That bit of news seems to make Anne feel deeply sad; because for Anne, her meeting Ka’kwet as well as Ka’kwet’s family and then she (Anne) living the life she has as an orphan, have all given her the gift of developing being an empath.

In this FB group I’m in but which I’m new to, I posted the following introduction:
Hi all, I’m having a hard time figuring out what this group is really about…but I see a lot of strong women in here and I’m happy to be one of them. I noticed that there’s a category for LGBTQ+ posts but couldn’t find anywhere to post in that section specifically. And then it occurred to me that my story has lots of different things in it…all of which have made me into the stron woman I am.

So, the short explanation of my story is that I come from a toxic family who is also, I’d say extremist about people who are not Christian/heterosexual. Many of these folks were also abusive…and I’ve been free of that crap for about two years now. I left the state of Texas where I was born and relocated to a new state, where I’ve found true happiness. It’s also been nearly two years since I’ve been the out-and-proud lesbian that I’ve always known I am. I battled lots of internalized homophobia, in addition to the toxic family that I’ve already mentioned. But I’m still here, better than ever, in terms of being free to be my authentic self. And while I won’t tell folks that things will get better, I can say that I’m happy to be in this group and happy to be at a place in my life where I can truly support others in their awesomeness ❣️

In this same group, someone else posted a topic about their coming out experience. My response to their comment reads:
Thanks for this post. It is never too late to come out; I didn’t come out to everyone myself, until a couple years ago. I’m 32 years old and grew up similarly to how you seem to,, with religious folks who said being attracted to the same sex was wrong. And also like you, I didn’t ever think I’d be able to live openly as a gay woman. But now that I am, I couldn’t imagine living any other way.

In the public Disabled Feminism group, there was a topic posted about the way people introduce those of us with disabilities. The response I wrote to that topic reads:
This is an interesting topic to me because in thinking about my own life, I have had people introduce me with these kinds of comments…but that was back when I wasn’t confident in who I was. Maybe me saying this will jinx things for me (LOL) but ever since I’ve truly become comfortable in my own skin, I haven’t received these kinda comments from anyone.

In this same group, someone shared an article where a white man wrote about his experience traveling from country-to-country, as a wheelchair user. The original poster of this topic made a point that it doesn’t make sense for this man to have written this article. The response I wrote to that comment says:
I get what this person is saying: they are saying that because of this white man’s being in the spotlight, that takes the spotlight off of more marginalized folks. Because it is the default for people like this white man to share their perspectives as it is; whereas, marginalized people do not/are not given that luxury…
I then replied to another comment on this same thread, saying:
I’ve also had personal experiences where people compare me to other disabled folks they’ve seen or know. And in addition to that, there have been actual experiences I’ve had, where people have accused me of being lazy, simply because other people with my same disabilities can do those things. For example, “other people with Cerebral Palsy cook so you can too!” Or even as was said, “other disabled people shower regularly, so…what’s your problem?” And on and on and on…
The same person replied to that comment of mine, saying they were sorry that I’ve had these experiences. I replied to them saying:
Nothing to be sorry about, it’s life. But that is why it’s important for us to speak openly about our experiences, because if we don’t, people will never have opportunities to grow and become better.

In case anyone is curious or confused, the FB group I’d recently left, was the private Disabled Feminists group. That group is run by the same person who’s in charge of the public FB group for Disabled Feminism-related topics. And so I wanted to make sure I make the distinction between the two FB groups.

But a new development where that’s concerned, is that yesterday I sent the owner of those groups a message through FB messenger. Because when the drama regarding the Harvey Weinstein case happened on these particular groups, I was so angry about it that I couldn’t accurately explain to this person that I felt like they were suggesting that we as a society should give him a free pass. But as the days have gone by since then, I’ve had time to really process my feelings and to in turn think about how I could hold this person accountable. And the two of us had a really nice back-and-forth Messenger exchange. And one of the things I told this person, was that I’d honestly forgotten that Facebook has the ability for people to take breaks from people as needed, rather then unfriending them or leaving FB groups when things become overwhelming, as they did with me then. And so all this to say, I’m back in the private Disabled Femists FB group.

In the CF FB group I’m in, someone wrote about the fact that they think there are many people in this group who are hateful towards poor folks/folks with disabilities. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I’m poor and multiply disabled; I’m also someone who doesn’t want kids because of my disabilities/severe health issues. I would not want to even have the possibility of my kid being disabled. In addition to my visible disabilities, I have several chronic health conditions that can become life-threatening at any time; why anyone would desired to put other beings through any of these things is beyond me. But me thinking this way doesn’t mean that I think everyone should share these views of mine.

In the same group, someone wrote a topic about knowing that the romantic relationship they’re currently in, is not good for them. The response I wrote to that topic reads:
If you already feel this way about you and him not working out, get the fuck out of the relationship!! There’s no sense in you wasting his time, or him wasting your time, by trying to convince yourselves it could work. You both deserve to be happy, whatever that specifically means for you as individuals.

In this same group, someone commented on a post that referenced people putting pictures of their kids in their dating profiles; I’d already responded to that particular topic…but a recent comment encouraged me to reply to the person. And what the person said, was that they get why people would put pictures of children in their dating profiles. So the response I wrote to that comment reads:
Putting pics of kids in one’s dating profile makes me think that such people’s kids are the only part of their identity. It is like people lose themselves as individuals, when they have kids; and that is exactly what I would think, in seeing pictures of their kids on their dating profiles.
The commenter I’d responded to replied to my comment saying something like “but kids are the only part of my identity.” I wrote a reply that says:
But why are kids the most important part of one’s identity? There is sooooo much more to people than what’s come out of their vagina…
This same person said that pets and kids are their identity…and I responded to them for the last time saying:
OK, whatever floats your boat. I just feel a bit sad about people who have your outlook because the world is full of so much more than animals and human kids. Like, what kind of music do you love? What’s been an experience that’s helped shape you? I care about those types of things far more than I care about people’s prioritizing their kids/pets…but that’s just me. Although, I’m sure I’m not alone in my thinking.

In this same group, someone posted that they’re unapologetically loud about their decision to be childfree. And they asked if others felt the same; I wrote a response to that topic which reads:
Hell no, you are not the only one who feels this way–I too am loud and proud about my choice to be CF…so much so that I even write publicly about it, along with other things too. And yes, I’ve also had folks who have kids unfriend/block me because there’s been times on my personal FB page where I’ve referred to obnoxious kids as “crotch gobblins” which many people apparently can’t stand. So I haven’t used that term on my personal FB page since then…but I’ve used that particular descriptor in reference to kids who don’t fucking behave…not about kids as a whole. In fact I even remember that the article I’d posted that comment about, was about people getting mad because they weren’t allowed to take their kids into a bar. It’s a fucking bar, people, AKA, not a place for kids!!

On another topic in this CF group, someone talked about how they don’t even want to date folks with kids. They asked if that sort of thing makes them odd; and my response to that thread reads:
Nope, that doesn’t make you weird at all. I won’t date anyone who has kids, either.
Someone then responded to that comment of mine, saying that they’d dated people with kids before…and that that was a horrible experience for them. The response I wrote to that comment reads:
Oh man!! I’m sorry for the loss that you endured, while you dated folks with kids–the loss of spending time with only your partner, specifically, I mean. But I’m glad to see this post because I thought for sure I’d be thought of as ‘the odd one out’ here, given that I flat out won’t date anyone who has kids. Because it’s like, everyone either has them or wants them, as I’ve said. And so for me, if I’m talking to someone I could potentially be interested in, the ‘kid’ question is one of the first ones on my list to ask people. And as soon as they excitedly say that they want/have kids, it’s an automatic…whatever the female equivalent is of a boner-kill for a man, for me.

Another topic I responded to in this CF group, was whether there were any folks in the group who are relationship-free, meaning not in a romantic relationship by choice. My responnse to that thread reads:
OMG, so glad someone finally brought this topic up. No, you are not alone in having such feelings. I’m also in my 30s and I’ve been in relationships for much of my life; and I also feel like no one will ever stay in relationship with me. I’m not sure if you have serious health issues as I do, but once people I’m with see me deathly ill in the ICU which usually happens once a year, they run fast, after that particular thing occurs.

And the thing is, I take great care of myself; I don’t want a caretaker/boyfriend or girlfriend. I have the desire and hope that I’ll find someone who thinks I’m worth loving for the long haul…but desire/hope does not necessarily mean that that will become a reality for me. But I’m happy with myself, I’m happy getting to know myself…and I’ll continue to stay happy whether or not I ever get into a romantic relationship again.

My favorite rare/unreleased songs by a couple artists I love

Note: I’ve verified that all of these songs are indeed on YouTube; and the list reads:
“Grown-up Christmas List”
“Too Hood” featuring Jermaine Dupri
“All Eyez on me”
“I’m Back”
“U Deserve”
“What My Heart Says”
“Down4 Whatever.” Note: Monica’s version of this particular song is not the first one that shows up in YouTube search results. But it is there, for sure!
“Just Another Girl”
“Thanks for the Misery”
“Thugs Need Love Too” featuring Rocko
“How I Like It” featuring Rocko
“All I Know”
“So in Love”
“Keep Rockin’, No Stoppin'” featuring Fantasia and Missy Elliott
“Let Me Know”
“So Bad”
“Had Me”
“You Chose Me”
“Street Butterfly”
“Sick and Tired”
“What Part of the Game” featuring Mia X
“Do It All Again”

Since there weren’t as many Monica songs as there were Brandy ones from awhile back, I’ve decided to put all of Aaliyah’s music here that I love. But first, I’ve verified that all of these songs are also on YouTube.
The list reads as follows:
“Back and Forth”
“Throw Your Hands Up”
“Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”
“Down with the Clique”
“At Your Best (You Are Love)”
“No One Knows How to Love Me Quite Like You Do”
“I’m So into You”
“Street Thing”
“Young Nation”
“Beats 4 da Streets (Intro)”
“One in a Million”
“Everything’s Gonna be Alright”
“I Gotcha’ Back”
“Never Givin’ Up”
“Ladies in da House”
“The One I Gave My Heart to”
“Never Comin’ Back”
“Came to Give Love (Outro)”
“We Need a Resolution”
“Lose Rap”
“Rock the Boat”
“More than a Woman”
“Never No More”
“I Care 4 U”
“Extra Smooth”
“Read Between the Lines”
“U Got Nerve”
“I Refuse”
“I Can Be”
“Those were the Days”
“What If”
“Try Again”
“Messed Up”
“I Don’t Wanna Be”
“Are You That Somebody”
“Don’t Know What to Tell Ya”
“All I Need”
“Miss You”
“Don’t Worry”
“Erica Kane”
“Come Over”
“Got to Give It Up” remix
“Turn the Page”
“Journey to the Past”
“Don’t Think They Know” with Chris Brown
“Stickin’ Chickens” with Missy Elliott
“Are You Feelin’ Me”
“Back in one Piece” with DMX

More thoughts on Anne with an E, assorted music and podcast thoughts and life updates

In Anne with an E, something that stands out to me, is that at the beginning of season three, Anne makes a new friend. Anne is at a school ball-game and given that she writes for the Avonlea school’s newspaper, she’s supposed to specifically rite about the game. But instead, what she ends up doing, is making a new friend and writing about that new friend/that new friend’s family. And as the show goes on, we the viewers see that when Marilla gets a hold of Anne’s article herself, she (Marilla) becomes unhappy. And the reason for her unhappiness, is that Anne didn’t tell Marilla and Matthew the truth about where she actually was, when she’d gone to this new friend’s house. And what Matthew and Marilla knew about this family, was that they (this new family Anne had met) were actually enemies of the town’speople of Avonlea. And so when Marilla is yelling this very information to Anne, she (Anne) asks Marilla why she’s reacting so strongly about this whole thing. And Marilla’s response to Anne is “because I love you!” This particular part of the show is kinda similar to the way I remember something similar happening in this series of movies; and when I watched those movies as a kid, this part in particular would make me cry, every time. Well, I didn’t cry this time, seeing this Netflix adaptation of this show…but I was very close to crying. Perhaps that means that I’m getting better at controlling being an empath. Hmmmmmmm.

Another thing that stands out to me in this show, is the dynamic between Anne and one of her classmates who’s name is Gilbert. Because throughout this show, Anne and Gilbert have numerous interactions with one another…but it seems like to a large extent, neither of them recognize that they actually have romantic feelings for one another. At least, for the longest time, Anne is under the impression that Gilbert likes a female classmate of theirs named Ruby. But there are several times throughout the show when Gilbert flirts with Anne or makes excuses to be near her whenever possible. But for me, the moment when we the viewers really see Gilbert’s love for Anne in an interaction of theirs, it happens when Gilbert is asked by Anne’s parents Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, if he (Gilbert) wouldn’t mind accompanying Anne to a nearby town to run an errand. And not only does Gilbert not mind traveling with Anne but there are times on his and Anne’s travels together that he wants to really engage in conversation to get to know her…but she completely shuts him down each time.

But before I go on, I want to back up a bit to tell you dear readers that what’s inspired Anne to go on this trip to another town, is the fact that she wants to find out what the orphanage she was at for years, knows about her biological family. And the timing that this happens is significant because it signifies that Anne is becoming a woman. Because on her 16th birthday, that’s when she tells Marilla and Matthew that she’d really like to know about where she truly came from. But the thing is, both Marilla and Matthew have a hard time hearing this news of Anne’s, given that she’s been their daughter for a few years, by that point. But ultimately Matthew and Marilla do both agree that Anne has the right to find her biological family, if that’s what she really wants. But as I’ve said, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert’s only requirement for Anne to go on this journey, was that she be accompanied by someone who the two of them trusted to keep her safe. And it just so happened to be that Gilbert went into this particular town every single weekend as it was…but also, as I’ve said above, he wouldn’t miss any opportunity he could have, to be around Anne.

Interestingly though, Gilbert and Anne parted ways once they’d made it to the train station in the specific town they went to. This town was called Charlotte Town and that is the town where Diana’s Aunt Josephine lives…and it’s also where Diana’s, Gilbert’s and Anne’s classmate Cole moved to as well. And while you folks may think that these particular details I’ve mentioned are irrelevant, I assure you that they all matter, most especially because Anne picks up Cole so that he can go with her to the orphanage she used to stay at. And the thing about that part of their journey, is that what ends up happening, is far different from what Anne had hoped would happen.

And what I mean by that, is that the lady who runs the orphanage tells Anne that the orphanage has no information on who her birth family even was. But upon hearing those words, Anne indicates to Cole that she wants to investigate things further for herself. And that’s just what she does: and what she ends up discovering, is that there’s a specific place in the orphanage under some floorboards where some documentation about her has been hidden. And finding this bit of information leaves Anne feeling distraught; she immediately starts beating herself up because she had such a vivid imagination that she’d created an alternate reality for herself in her own head. But Cole kindly pointed out to her that if it weren’t for her great imagination, she probably wouldn’t connect so deeply with people as she does in her real, actual life. He then tells her that she’d even saved his life and that that gesture meant the world to him. This whole part of the show makes me smile big, as if I know Anne Shirley Cuthbert and Cole personally. LOL.

I recently listened to the latest episode of the podcast called Love Someone which is hosted by Delilah whose voice is distinguishable as soon as you hear it. And the person she talked with on this particular episode of the show was Richard Marx. The only song of his that I know of, is the one called “Right Here Waiting;” and that particular song used to be one of my favorite ones as a kid. But while I know the Richard Marx version of the song very well, the version of the song that’s always been my absolute favorite, is the R&B singer Monica’s remake of it. Like, I love the way she sounds throughout the entire song, but most especially when she goes for a belty-type note in the middle of the song.

And to be honest, listening to Monica’s version of “Right Here Waiting” again has also reminded me how much I loved the particular album of hers that that song is featured on. That album is called “The Boy Is Mine” and it came out in the 90s. I vividly remember that that album’s cover art was of Monica standing up. Her hair was straight and parted on each side of her head; her neckline was also visible. She was also wearing a dress on that album’s cover art; but that being said, I don’t remember what color the dress actually was. I do also remember though, that her hands were folded and that on one of her wrists, she was wearing a bracelet of some sort.

In addition to that though, I just love every song on that album from start to finish…even to this day!! Like, back then Monica seemed fearless, in terms of the fact she’d hit big notes without issue. And whenever she’d hit them then, she’d sound lovely. Her voice back then sounded lovely, even live. So whenever I think about that album, I can’t help but wonder what changed for her/why things changed for her. It’s like, as time went on and she got older, she became more shy/less confident in her ability to go for those big notes that she’d hit so well even on her first album as a 12 year old. But that’s the thing: those first few albums of hers were out of this world to me. And while she did have other songs scattered throughout her music catalogue that were on that same level, it was a very different experience. But TBH, this has gotten me thinking about my favorite songs of hers throughout her career; I’m definitely going to post a list of my favorite songs of hers that are hard to find, as I’ve done on my blog in the past with other artists.

But going back to the latest episode of Love Someone with Delilah, where Richard Marx is the guest, I have to comment on some things about this episode. First, I want to say that Richard Marx’s voice is really pleasant to listen to; I’m being sincere when I say that. The next thing I want to say, is that it was refreshing to hear him share things abouot his personal life, as many guests on this podcast don’t really do that. He seems like he’d be fun to hang out with, to be honest. The only thing about this interview that I found extremely cringy, was how he and Delilah talked about how technology is making the world far worse than anyone could’ve ever imagined. People who have such a depressing outlook as that one, really get on my fucking nerves…because if it weren’t for technology, some of us wouldn’t even have the voices that we have, due to technology allowing us to do so. Richard Marx and Delilah can stay bitter curmudgeons while I delight in the numerous ways that technology enhances my life!!

I recently sent an FB message to the friend of mine who’d helped me pick out a Britney Spears outfit for myself because I couldn’t remember what the outfit I’d ended up choosing was from. And it turned out that said outfit was from Britney’s “Stronger” music video; because as this friend and I were talking with each other about my favorite Britney song, I said that my favorite song was definitely “Stronger” because that song has gotten me through so many hardships in my life. And so that being said, I wanted to write here in more detail about why I love the song “Stronger” so much.

Well, for one thing, any time I’d have surgeries, it was the song “Stronger” that brought me back from the negative parts of having surgery, from the physical pain that I was constantly in after the surgeries, to the fact that literally every day, I was stronger from the day before. But also, the song “Stronger” meant a lot to me because it gave me a constant hope that one day I’d be able to make it out of the toxic environment I’d lived in with my biological mom for so long.
Like, some of the lyrics in the song are:
You might think that I won’t make it
on my own
but now I’m stronger then yesterday
now it’s nothing but my way
my loneliness ain’t killing me no more
I, I’m stronger
then I ever thought that I could be, baby
I used to go with the flow, didn’t really care bout me
You might think that I can’t take it
but you’re wrong
cause now I’m stronger then yesterday
now it’s nothing but my way
my loneliness ain’t killing me no more
I, I’m stronger.
Here I go
on my own
I don’t need nobody, better off alone
here I go, on my own now
I don’t need nobody, not anybody
here I go
here I go, here I go, here I go, here I go.

There’s a singer named Halsey whose music I listened to recently; and given that she only has a few albums under her belt at this time, that was easy to do. But in listening to all of her albums back-to-back, I wanted to really get a feel for who she seems to be. And I’d say that I did just that: the biggest thing I learned about her, which was not a surprise to me, was that she goes through shit, just like the rest of us do. She’s gotten to be known by much of the world as someone who primarily sings music that’s dark in nature; but on her latest album, she proves to the world that she can sing anything. And to be honest, that did surprise me–there’s a song on her latest album that’s just her singing with instrumentation of a guitar as the background. And that’s like, the most relaxed I think she is on the entire album!! Although, come to think of it, she does have a song on that album that talks about how much she wants children. And of course, that particular song is my least favorite one out of all of her songs, for sure. But that being said, overall, I do love Halsey as an artist–I think it’s awesome that she’s in the LGBTQ+ community and that she’s unapologetic about that part of who she is. I mean, she’s unapologetic about every aspect of who she is but the LGBTQ thing is one of the most important things to me. I didn’t comment on her singing voice until now, because I have mixed feelings on it. Like, on one hand, it’s definitely distinct. But on the other hand, it’s a bit too nasal-sounding for my tastes.

I wrote the following thread on Twitter which reads:
In December 2019 I read that the rest of Aaliyah’s music would be put on streaming services on her B-day 2020. Well, it’s the day after her B-day and Apple Music still only has her first album. Does anyone know if things have changed? Cuz I got super excited when I first heard…that this was gonna happen. I’ve been a huge Aaliyah fan from day 1 and will be hugely disappointed if it turns out that her uncle (who owns the rest of her music) has changed his mind about whether or not he’ll actually release it to us as the public. Apple Music, thoughts?
And just for clarification purposes, Aaliyah’s birthday was the 16th of this month. And also for clarification purposes, I mentioned Apple Music twice in these tweets. Because I wanted to see if anyone would give me new information about this. And someone did give me new information, in the form of a tweet saying that this was never actually official from anyone who’s affiliated with Aaliyah. And so now, my heart is sad.

But that being said, I did make an FB post letting all of my friends know what I now knew. And then one of my friends and I got into a bit of a discussion with each other about whether Aaliyah’s uncle will ever release the rest of her music to the public. This friend of mine believes that if he (Aaliyah’s uncle) is pressured enough from people, he’ll give into those people’s demands. I highly doubt he gives a shit what we want…and not just that, but he’s kept practically her entire catalogue hidden all this time…which has been well over a decade by now.

I wrote another thread on Twitter which reads:
Making fun of disabled people is NOT A JOKE, folks!! It’s real life for many of us in the world, myself included. And the reality that many of you don’t wanna face is that it could become *your* life story at any point in time. But the thing is, you not talking/thinking about…it, doesn’t mean shit. But what *does* mean shit is when anyone chooses to mock people with disabilities (PWDs). Stop being assholes, people. If you don’t have anything nice to contribute to discussions about us as PWDs then keep your mouth shut!! RT/share if you’re with me!!

You all may remember that I’d recently blogged about not having heard from the person at the college I attend, who’s in charge of getting disabled students their textbooks. But I’ve actually been quietly working on getting this particular thing resolved; I just didn’t want to ppost about it until I had some more information. And so since I hadn’t heard from this person that’s in charge of getting books for disabled students, I reached out to the person that’s actually going to be the instructor for this American Sign Language (ASL) one class. I reached out to them so that I could give them the latest update on this situation. I then checked my school email account again, just in case I’d missed a message from the person in charge of getting books to disabled students. And it turned out that there was an email from them that I hadn’t even seen in which they asked that I call them. So I did exactly that; and what they let me know, was that this time around, there was no easy way for them to get my textbooks to me. They confirmed that they do have all of the required textbooks for this particular class which was great news. But between the two of us, we’re trying to figure out an easy way for me to actually get the textbooks. This person is also blind though which does help a bit, in the sense that as blind people, we are excellent problem-solvers by default.

And in fact a few of the ideas I gave them that could work, are that they could create Google Docs files for each individual textbook or they could upload each individual textbook to a website like YouSendIt.com or WeTransfer.com and then give me a direct link to download those files. There are also file-sharing platforms like Dropbox but it’s been awhile since I’ve used that specific platform…and I don’t even think I have anymore storage space on Dropbox. And the most frustrating part of this, is that this coming Monday is a holiday which means that colleges and other schools will be closed. Ugh!! This also means that we won’t have long until school is actually scheduled to start in February.

Assorted thoughts on technology, Emergence, and being childfree

Something I didn’t write about regarding the latest episode of Emergence, is that we the viewers learn for sure that Jo still has romantic feelings for her ex-husband. Jo also has romantic feelings for Agent Ryan Brooks (who’s the FBI agent that’s kinda competing with Jo in a sense, to solve the case of Piper). There are scenes in this latest episode of the show between Jo and each of these guys individually which show us how their dynamics look. And my main thoughts on this part of the show, are that I love the fact that two different romantic relationship potentials are being shown. I love this because I’m of the opinion that there is not only one right way to conduct one’s romantic relationships. I think it’s important for society to not only see how different relationship styles can work, but also to embrace those alternative relationship styles with open arms, the way they embrace heterosexual relationships. But sadly, I’m pretty sure that Emergence will make Jo have to choose one person to be with, over the other person. Because I really hope I’m not right about the way this will most likely happen, in the end.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone wrote about how they think that technology is ruining the world. The response I wrote to that topic reads:
It seems like you are the problem here, original poster, not technology. Maybe you should take an inward look at yourself…because blaming others/actual things is not cool. I understand that this is a group for bitching…but I for one think that people don’t use technology enough, much less in ways that help maximize their quality of life…and they should. That’s just my opinion (JMO) though.

In this same FB group, someone wrote a post about how they feel like they are always the one to reach out to people. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I think the more appropriate question here, is why do you folks continue to waste your time/energy on people who could do the same towards you but don’t?
Someone responded to that comment of mine, with a misunderstanding of what I meant by that. So my response to their misunderstanding reads:
I can understand that you don’t want to let someone close to you go, physically. But letting him go physically, does not mean that you have to let go of the memories you have or never think about those memories of him that you two made with each other…
That person liked my comment to them which then prompted me to reply to them again, adding:
I myself have lost numerous people I’ve been close to. I think about every single one of them every single day; and in fact, their deaths are what inform how I choose to live my life on a daily basis.

In the CF Facebook group I’m in, someone wrote about loving their CF lifestyle. I wrote a response to their post which reads:
First, welcome to this group; I hope you find it homey here. We’re a supportive bunch of CF folks from all over the world.

Some reasons I’m CF are: I just don’t like kids, as a general rule. Also, the thoughts of me being pregnant/me giving birth/me raising a human being, are all disgusting. I don’t want to add to this already over-populated world, nor do I care about having kids with the false pretense of them possibly taking care of me when I’m old and on my last legs. I also don’t want to bring kids into the world, due to the numerous traumatic experiences I’ve had in my childhood/much of my adulthood.

I wrote the following letter to an author I love which reads:
Hi Chris,
I’m writing to tell you how much I loved your book on the importance of plugging into technology, rather than distancing ourselves from it. I share this view of yours and I’m hopeful that this way of thinking will become the norm someday, not the exception.

I’d like to share my story with you; I’ve been legally blind since birth–I was born in October 1987, back when they had to give premature babies like me 100% oxygen to keep us alive. I come from a broken home, meaning that the familial support I had was limited yet helpful at the same time. I started out in public schools in the state of Texas but my family quickly realized that Texas public schools would not be able to teach me adequately as a blind person. So everyone agreed that sending me to the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired was the best choice to make; it was a boarding school that would have all the tools and the technology to help ensure that I had a full life.

In elementary school at TSBVI, I was taught how to use computers with speech output software on them, so that I could have equal access to the word processing/calculator/other computer-related parts of the world, just like sighted people had. There were also assistive technology devices that had speech output software on them which I used; and using those devices was how I’d often turn in my school work. Because those assistive technology devices had the capability to be connected to a print or Braille printer through USB ports, so this meant that if I was printing something for a sighted teacher to read, I’d use the print printer by way of my Braille device called the BrailleNote or Braille n Speak.

I went to TSBVI from third grade all the way through high school; so for all that time, I was able to follow along with the advancements of technology, again, just like sighted folks were doing. I learned how to use the internet/email and would even create journals of my adventures for my teachers. Unfortunately I don’t have any of those journals anymore but my memory is pretty damn good so I’m enjoying reflecting as I’m writing you this email.

When I was in high school, I got my first cell phone. But being that I am legally blind, my family wanted to make sure that I had a phone with speech output software on it, so that I could play music and use the internet on whichever device I had. The one I ended up going with was a Nokia N75; with added speech output software that had to be purchased in addition to the phone itself. But it was so worth it.

So now, fast-forward to the year 2011; this was the year that I first learned that iPhones had speech output software built-in to them called VoiceOver. So I went to a store with some friends and purchased my first-ever iPhone 3GS. And I’ve been an iPhone user ever since!! I don’t have any sight so I use VoiceOver all the time. But I also love technology so much that for the past few years, I’ve enjoyed being a public Beta tester using my iPhone which is now an iPhone XR, by the way 🙂

Now, for some more of my story: in 2015 I had emergency brain surgery–I was born with a condition called Hydrocephalus which means that there’s too much water on my brain. And so it turned out that the shunt that I had at that time, malfunctioned. And as an adult, brain surgery recovery is brutal; and then when you add in my also having had Cerebral Palsy since birth and Rheumatoid Arthritis thanks to lots of traumatic experiences, those things can create even more complications.

And speaking of complications, there were times even after I’d had the emergency brain surgery, that the ability to speak was impossible for me. But I was fully alert and could still use my brain power to think of a workable solution for this problem. And what the workable solution was, was you guessed it, technology!! I ended up typing on my BlueTooth keyboard that’s connected to my phone and showing the sighted people surrounding me, what I wanted/needed to say. So like you, I can truly say that technology does, and has, saved my life on numerous occasions.

The shunt that I’ve had since 2015 could probably be thought of as assistive technology, though I honestly hadn’t thought about that until now. But having a shunt literally keeps me alive and functional, at least as much as I can be. But I’m able to speak clearly now; the doctors just had to determine what specific setting on my shunt, would work best for me. I’ve even relocated from Texas to a different state almost two years ago now, to give myself the happy life that I deserve/always wanted to have.

And again, if it weren’t for technology, I may not even be writing you this email right now. But ever since I’ve had my first iPhone, having said device has allowed me to use technology as much as I need and want to; I use social media as many folks do, and I flat out disagree with anyone who encourages people to use technology less. Because one thing I haven’t yet told you, is that I have several health conditions in addition to the disabilities I’ve already mentioned; and many of these health issues can become life-threatening at any moment. And part of what living well looks like for me, is letting people know that I love their work/who they are as people…because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here. Social media/writing has always been an outlet for me, in ways human beings cannot always be. I even have a website where I blog about all kinds of things/my life experiences as someone who has multiple disabilities, health issues and a bunch of trauma to work through. But I also share my thoughts about podcasts I listen to, books I read (including yours) and lots more. If you’d like to check out my website for yourself, you can find me at chelseamunoz.com

I have an about me page on my website that goes into great detail about the things I write about–feel free to check that out, too.

But in short, I wanted to write to you to let you know what a difference your book Don’t Unplug: How Technology Saved My Life and Can Save Yours Too, has made in my life. This book showed me that I’m not alone in believing that using technology will help, not hinder, us as human beings. Also, I’m in the LGBTQ+ family as well, and growing up in a conservative state as I did, made my journey that much more difficult. In fact, that’s the very reason why I relocated to a more liberal leaning state: because I knew that I deserved to live as my true self.

Apologies for the lengthy email–I hope that on your rough moments/days, you will look at this email and smile. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that book–it really has helped shape how I live my life. I’ve attached a pic of me, since you are sighted–and of course, because technology allows me to do so!!
Very warmly yours,

More thoughts on Anne with an E, the latest Emergence episode, atheism, upcoming Netflix releases and more

In the show Anne with an E that I’ve been watching on Netflix, something else that stood out to me, was that given how small the town of Avonlea is, Rachel (the gossipy lady I’d mentioned here before) fabricated this idea in the townspeople’s minds that Miss Muriel Stacy was an awful woman. Rachel had even caused such a ruckus in Avonlea that there was a town meeting put on for all the townspeople to decide whether Miss Muriel Stacy was fit to continue her teaching job at the school in town or not; but the worst part of this townspeople gathering, was that Miss Muriel Stacy herself was not to be included in it. And those who were included, were all grownups. But what the grownups didn’t know, was that Miss Muriel Stacy and her students would all show up to this town-wide meeting; and when they did, they all (including Miss Muriel Stacy herself) talked about what a great person this woman had been with regards to the children’s actually learning things in school, as students of Miss Muriel Stacy’s. And so it was then decided that Miss Muriel Stacy could continue teaching at the school in Avonlea. The fact that this happened warmed my heart because I honestly didn’t think that the townspeople were going to accept who Miss Stacy truly was.

But before some of Miss Muriel Stacy’s students went to the huge town meeting that was being held in Avonlea, they (some of her students) went to visit Diana’s Aunt Josephine; and to refresh people’s memories, Diana is Anne’s best friend. And the reason that Diana, Anne, Cole and others went to visit Josephine isn’t something that’s clearly stated. But rather, through these people’s actions, it’s clear that they knew that Diana’s Aunt Josephine could give Cole some guidance about being gay and coming to terms with being himself. And that’s exactly what happens: Josephine ends up telling Cole that he can move to the town that she lives in, and live in her house with her. And this particular scene warmed my heart because it was great to see a positive spin on LGBTQ-related things. It literally brought tears to my eyes because I thought of my own situation and how I’ve been able to be myself for only a couple years now…and how that’s such a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things; but yet a lot can happen in people’s lives, even in just a year’s time.

Another interesting part of this show was when Cole apologized to a classmate of his who’s name was Billy; because he (Cole) had assaulted Billy for destroying the quiet area that he (Cole, Anne, Diana and other classmates/friends of theirs, had created for themselves. And the reason that Cole knows that Billy was the culprit behind the destruction of his and his friends’ quiet area, was because something that Billy owned had been left at the exact area where the destruction had taken place. So when I saw that Cole had sought out Billy to apologize for assaulting him, that definitely took me by surprise; I mean, I’m not trying to say or imply that assaulting someone is understandable…but what I can empathize with, is the fact that Cole created art as a form of self-expression. And having this particular hobby meant everything to him which is what drove him to hurt Billy. But I was also glad to see Cole confront Billy, even though Billy didn’t respond to Cole in a favorable manner. But that being said, Cole’s apology did seem like it was sincere.

In the latest episode of the show Emergence, we the viewers find out more about why Piper doesn’t want to go home to Jo and Jo’s family. And that’s because she (Piper) believes that she has the power to fix all of the other robots (including Bennie) in such a way that they can develop similar thought patterns as she’s developed. And so when Jo finally figures out where Bennie has actually taken Piper, the two of them (Jo and Piper) seem to be happy to see each other. But Piper will still not leave with Jo, no matter what jo says to try and convince her to do so. And that tugs at my heartstrings because as I’ve said in my blog before, I’m attached to the characters in the show…and I’d really like for Piper to come to her senses about Jo being her family. And so seeing Piper insist repeatedly that where Bennie has taken her, is her home, is hard. Ugh!

But yet another thing that happens in the latest episode of Emergence, is that Emily (who’s the human being that created Piper) surprises Jo and us as the viewers, in saying that she wants to help Piper. And although we don’t know exactly how she envisions helping Piper, it is intriguing that she’s had an unexpected change of heart. Because throughout the show thus far, she’s been trying to get Piper to love her…because she (Emily) created Piper. And to be honest, I didn’t expect Emily to change her mind, in terms of how she’d interacted with Jo, most especially because Emily has been downright hostile to Jo, in particular. Like, there was one scene in a past episode of Emergence, where Emily literally took Piper from Jo’s residence. And so I bring up that particular detail now, just to help show the reason why I’m shocked at Emily’s change of heart that we see in the latest episode of Emergence.

And so with Emily’s change of heart, she (Emily) ends up giving Jo some options as to how she (Jo) can access Piper’s thoughts/knowledge. Because Emily tells Jo that accessing Pipers thoughts and knowledge, is the only way to bring Piper back to a time that she remembers being a member of Jo’s family. And one of the options that Emily gives Jo for being able to access Piper’s thoughts/knowledge, is brain surgery for Jo which is of course horrible to Jo. Another option Emily gives Jo, is for some type of device to be implanted into Jo’s neck; and I don’t know which of those options was actually chosen…or whether something different was chosen. Because the fact that this show isn’t audio-described, means that as a blind person, I miss out on some things that are probably important for viewers to know. And that’s frustrating as fuck because I love being informed about details that sighted people just see because they have eyes that work. And so if I had things my way, every single TV show or movie or musical or other kinda theater play or production, would all have audio description as a standard option, just like they have subtitles and closed-captioning for forms of alternative ways of people being able to access the same information as sighted people get by default.

I wrote the following thread on Twitter that reads:
I recently saw someone tweet something to the affect of “I believe in god and it’s fine that others don’t. But don’t expect me to shut up about my god belief. And surprisingly or not surprisingly, I have thoughts on that which are that the same principle is, and can be applied…to me being an atheist, meaning that I won’t tolerate folks trying to silence me about these beliefs or any of my beliefs, for that matter. But that being said, many Christians&other religious folks misunderstand what it means to be an atheist. Christians&other religious…folks call atheists like myself “unbelievers,” proving that they know little to nothing about atheism. Cuz as an atheist, I believe in the general good of humanity. I believe in myself/in my ability to make the right decisions for my life. I believe that I’ll continue being…kind, loving and wanting nothing but the best for myself and for the world at large. And the fact that I’m an atheist is absolutely a huge part of my identity. Me being an atheist literally innforms how I live&why I do or don’t decide to do things for myself and the world…but mostly, me being an atheist determines what I put into the world&what I allow myself to be given from the world. I love more fully as an atheist cuz I’m not bound by rules like “no premarital sex” or “people of the same sex can’t be romantically involved.” Cuz TBH the…reality is that we human beings only have one life to live. We are alive in the here and now cuz our biological parents had sex and created us. And so yes, as an atheist I’m gonna hopefully be as loud as religious folks; at least as loud as them. But thankfully as the days…go by, people are turning away from religion in group after group cuz they’re realizing that they don’t actually need religion to be moral human beings. Folks are turning away from religion cuz they’re actually choosing to question the way they were raised and then carve a…new path for themselves that is of their own making. And before any religious person thinks I’m demanding that religion no longer exist, check yourself. I’m of the ‘live and let live’ philosophy, whether you ascribe to religion or whether you don’t ascribe to religion. And…I wouldn’t, and do not, ever want people to let go of religion by force. And I also wouldn’t, and do not, want folks to become an atheist by force. Cuz no matter what beliefs a person has, they deserve to feel good about having those beliefs. And while I may disagree with…people’s choice to be religious, I can disagree with that choice of theirs, without actually discrediting them as a person. Cuz TBH, neither us atheists nor religious folks, are gonna convince the other side that their side is the right one. Both sides may wanna try and…convince each other; however doing that sort of thing is far from productive. It’s best for both sides to figure out how we can coexist in this world, uplifting each other/supporting each other wherever the hell each person is currently at emotionally or physically. Love is…a powerful force. Use that!! Hug people you love more often. Tell people that you love them more often. Do things to take care of yourself more often. Live as your authentic self, whatever that means for each individual person. Cuz every individual deserves to be happy&free.

Tuesday night I set a reminder using Alexa; because I knew that if I didn’t do so, I’d forget to schedule transportation for my upcoming neurosurgeon appointment. But interestingly, setting a reminder using Alexa helped me commit this particular thing to my memory. And so now, given that I scheduled this appointment the day after I’d set the reminder to alert me, I won’t have to worry about whether I’d scheduled transportation for the appointment at least five days in advance of the actual appointment date.

Because I don’t know if you all remember but there’s a rule that the transportation company has where patients are required to schedule their appointments at least five days before their actual appointment is scheduled to take place. And I understand that this is most likely because it takes time to plan people’s trips and to ensure that the right kinda vehicle is brought for patient’s varying needs.

But man, what a long process it is to schedule appointments for transportation to take me to my medical appointments. Because the person I talk to in the transportation department has to have me verify all of my information and then we have to go through the fact that I’m a blind person who also happens to use a wheelchair. And I’ve learned that I specifically have to tell the person that I’m blind and will therefore need door-to-door assistance. But even though I have these things put into the notes every single time I schedule doctor’s appointments, the transportation drivers never look at said nnotes which always leaves me feeling incredibly frustrated. And the reason I always feel frustrated by this, is because the transportation drivers always sit in their vehicle, just waiting for me to wheel myself to the wheelchair ramp that they lower onto the ground from their vehicle. And then to make matters worse, being that they stay in the vehicle they’re in, that means that I literally have no way of communicating with them whatsoever. So even though I hate doing this, I’ve been having someone sighted go outside of my house with me so that they (whoever is with me) can communicate with the transportation driver that they as the driver need to assist me because in addition to using a wheelchair, I’m blind too. And the reason I hate having someone walk outside of my house with me, is because if the drivers actually read their notes and did what they were supposed to, I’d be perfectly capable of interacting with the drivers myself.

But anyway back to why the process of me scheduling transportation appointments is so grueling, once the agents and I’ve gotten the notes/wheelchair specks out of the way, the agents then have me tell them the specific kinda doctor I’ll be seeing. And after that’s been done, I give them that particular doctor’s location/contact information. And the agents then go through everything with me, to make sure that it’s all been typed into their computer system correctly. And the agents usually go through everything pretty slowly which is great because that makes it easier for me to catch something that’s incorrect. But it’s still annoying as hell; because honestly, I’m just not someone who likes being on the phone. But the thing is, I used to love being on the phone. Because back when my Oma, Aunt Loretta and Mimi and Grampy were all alive, talking to them filled my heart and life with so much joy. But ever since they’ve all died, talking on the phone isn’t the same for me.

I figured that I’d write in my blog about the fact I choose to use the different technology I have, in conjuction with one another, rather than simply using strictly one technology device over another one. And what I mean by that, is that I use Alexa as well as my iPhone, to help me accomplish things in my daily life. And sometimes I think to use Alexa because it’s convenient to just use my voice to communicate with her about whatever I need to have done. But then other times I use my iPhone, if I’m writing things down that I need to keep for some length of time. But one reason I recently had Alexa set a reminder for me, is because I hadn’t tried the reminder feature out on her yet. And so while some people in the world believe that the advancement of technology is ruining the world, I’m someone who happens to believe that for the most part, technology advancements are changing our world for the better, and in significant ways, at that.

And similarly awhile back I read a book entitled Don’t Unplug: How Technology Saved My Life and Can Save Yours Too. The author of this book’s name is Chris Dancy and as this book title suggests, Chris challenges society’s views about technology; in other words, instead of the advice that’s often given of moving ourselves away from technology, Chris believes as I’ve shown I also believe, that technology is an important part of how we human beings function in today’s world.

I wrote the following FB post yesterday evening which reads:
Taylor Swift fans, Taylor tweeted today that the Netflix original documentary on her will be released on the 31st of this month!! IDK if any of you know this yet so I thought I’d pass it on. I for one am excited about this upcoming show because I’m pretty sure it will give us a glimpse of her personal life in ways we’ve never seen before. And like her or not, she’s a grownup who’s trying to use her platform as a force to affect change in the world. I think that is a great thing–we definitely need as many strong women in the world as we can get!! I totally don’t need to calm down 🙂 ❤️ 🏳️‍🌈 🌈

That same evening, I hung out with a close friend of mine. The two of us talked with each other about thoughts of mine regarding the last person I’d dated; and what I was telling this friend, was that I occasionally find myself wondering if I could let him (my ex-boyfriend) into my life now. And right away, my friend validated those thoughts that I expressed to them…but then also, said friend said that it’s clear that my ex-boyfriend has so many toxic beliefs, not to mention, he sucks at accepting boundaries that people have set…and so those two things combined, wouldn’t make for an enjoyable friendship for me. And TBH, I’m glad that this friend was brutally honest with me about the truth because I needed that confirmation. And not just that but I also needed to be validated in the thoughts that occasionally cross my mind about my ex because we can’t help our thoughts, no matter who ‘we’ are.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone posted about having people on their FB friends list that they don’t know in real life (IRL) and about not understanding why people add folks to their FB so easily, when they don’t even know some of those folks in-person. The response I wrote to that thread with some expansion, reads:
Good for you in setting this new boundary!! I hope you are proud of yourself for making this decision; I know it probably sounds silly to hear me say that…but it’s something that can come with different emotions. At least, in my personal experience, I’ve experienced some guilt when I’ve removed people from my FB friends list, along with just being in a funk for a bit afterwards. But self-care is great…and this sort of thing is part of self-care.

Also, I’m in total agreement with you that if I haven’t interacted with folks in a meaningful way, they aren’t gonna be on my FB friends list. Because like you, my life is full of health/other complications that I write about…and I don’t want to have to sensor myself just because there are random people on my friends list who don’t deserve/can’t handle that kind of thing. And I can understand that for some people, they don’t get incredibly personal on their FBs. But say they do get super personal on their FBs, do they not care that people are in their business who they don’t even personally know? Maybe they don’t, as I’ve said…but to me, that’s just odd.

Also in this particular FB group, someone wrote about the fact that they haven’t been able to communicate with someone close to them, in a way that ensures that their needs are met. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
Maybe you could write something to her like “I appreciate that you want to be a part of this difficult life-circumstance that I’m currently going through; but something has been on my mind that I need to share with you. Sometimes, I’d just like for you to be there and be present with me…and other times, I just need you to understand that I’m super anxious…and so when you try to shift my focus to something else, that creates even more unnecessary hardship on me. I’m telling you this because I love you and I would like you to be able to help me through this in ways that I find most helpful.”

In this same FB group, someone wrote about the fact that there are people in the world who think that people “turn” gay because they were sexually violated.
And just to let blind people know, the word “turn” in this instance, was put in quotations by me because that’s how it was used on that particular FB thread.
So anyway the response I wrote to that thread with some expansion, reads:
The person here who said that some people just cannot except that folks being gay is a natural thing, prompting folks who think that way to figure out some “evil” reason for why this happens, is right on. I too was sexually abused and later sexually assaulted, and I knew I was gay before either of those things actually happened to me.

But that being said, I used to have people in my life who were of the opinion that folks do “turn” gay; some such people even went to the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) with me. I’ve also heard people make comments like “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and “marriage is between one man and one woman.” And so as soon as I know that people who are on my FB friends list say those homophobic slurs, I block them immediately. Because I’m not going to put up with that bullshit on my timeline. They can take their redneck republican crap into places where people who ascribe to those kinda beliefs live or work or otherwise interact with the world. And I say this because those kinda things are not said by people who truly love humanity as a whole; those kinda things are said by people who want to control other people’s lives, rather than focusing on and controlling their own lives. Those kinda things are said by people who make people’s private lives their business, especially when those people don’t live the exact way that those judgmental republicans live. Quite frankly it’s fucking sickening

Thoughts on Anne with an E, family, spam posts and more childfree thoughts

I posted the following thread on Twitter which reads:
I believe that society gets a lot of shit wrong but one huge way most folks are socialized incorrectly is when it comes to the meaning of the word “family.” Like, there are many folks who think that cuz you give birth to a human or cuz you help create a human, that those are…what make people parents. But that kinda view is sadly mistaken. Biology is a thing; but it takes way more than biology to be a parent. It takes you know, actually caring about the human being you create, being involved in that child’s life cuz you wanna be involved in it…rather than cuz you feel obligated to be involved in it. But when you realize that part of being an adult means that you can change things in your life, and take people out of your life if they aren’t contributing to your health/well-being, life seriously becomes a lot more…bearable, not to mention enjoyable. So my point in saying all this, is to encourage people to think about the people that are in your life who you have little to nothing in common with and then remind yourself or tell yourself for the first time ever, that you have every…right to create the life for yourself that you wanna create, even if doing so disappoints folks or hurts folks. Cuz the reality is, part of the agreement we make when we choose to be our authentic selves, is to be those authentic selves even when doing so can be hard. Cuz…ultimately, it’s each individual’s happiness that matters. Cuz also, at the end of the day, each individual has to live with themselves and themselves only. And so if you are unhappy with yourself, no matter the reason, you are only hurting yourself, by choosing that option.

In the CF group, someone posted a topic about the way CF people are seen by much of the world. My response to this particular thread reads:
I get the “but you’d make such a good mom” comment from people frequently…and TBH, I have a hard time seeing such a complement as being sincere. Like, I don’t see that kinda comment as being a complement towards anyone because it just feels overused. Because in my experience, people seem to expect that every woman will have kids just because she can do so…and that isn’t right either. IDK if this has been said already but having kids is like, a right of passage for many human beings. Whereas people not having kids is the opposite: a reason to think less of people who are CF. And TBH, this is exactly why I write about being CF on my blog: because people need to hear perspectives on this subject that challenge them to think differently than they’ve been told to think, all their lives.

Also in this particular group, I responded to a topic that asked folks if there were specific things that made them not want to ever have kids. The response I wrote with some expansion, reads:
First, I want to thank you for bringing such a huge issue up as this is–for me though, there wasn’t just one moment that solidified my wanting to be CF for life.

One big reason for making this decision for myself though, was the fact that I grew up in multiple broken homes where I was continually abused, physically and verbally by people who society claimed were supposed to love me. And so having grown up in that kinda environment and stayed in that kinda environment for much of my life, showed me that I never want to put a human being through that sort of thing, myself.

But then also, as I began to realize that I’d have numerous health issues to contend with, I’d have horrible visions while I was awake, of me having children and unintentionally hurting them/dropping them…and this happened several times before I came to the realization that getting my tubes tied was the only way out of this hell.

Also in this group, someone posted a topic saying that it blows their mind how people post pictures of their children on their dating profiles. My response to that post reads:
Well, you all have made me realize one advantage of being blind: the fact that I wasn’t even aware of people posting their kid’s pics on their dating profiles until reading this post. That is disgusting 😛
And then when I posted this particular comment of mine on my personal FB page, one of my friends also expressed dislike for this particular thing. And I replied to their comment saying:
Yeah, it’s gross. I mean, I get that some people’s lives are all about their kids; but I wish they wouldn’t force that on the rest of us. I know this may sound really cynical but it’s hard for me to hang out with people who have kids because their kids are like, the only topic they know how to discuss. And lest anyone be unsure, I’m speaking generally here.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone wrote a comment about not even needing to watch the video, to know that this person’s intention was to spam us. And so I responded to that person’s comment saying:
I didn’t even have to watch the video the original poster posted here. I just looked at you all’s comments on this particular thread which gave me all the information I needed.
And then the person who’d posted said spam post in said group commented to me saying something like “you’re being awfully judgmental.” And so I responded to *that* comment saying:
When you post things on social media as you’ve done here, you are opening yourself up to people judging you. I would think you would know that…but clearly, I’m attempting to give you too much credit.

In the Netflix show Anne with an E, there’s a point in the show where we the viewers learn that Marilla and Anne know *exactly* who the bad guys are…and when that happens, Anne and Marilla get tortured by those two men. And then those two men leave Anne and Marilla in their awful predicament in the Cuthbert residence, while they (the two men) run away from Green Gables. But thankfully, Anne and Marilla are able to work together to free themselves.

There’s another part in this show where Matthew Cuthbert has a dress made for Anne, with the puffy sleeves she’s always wanted. And it turns out that the lady who actually owns the store that Matthew had gone to, was a woman he’d been romantically interested in years and years ago. And so what ends up happening, is that Anne realizes that Genie keeps sending letters to Green Gables that she’s written to Matthew…and she (Anne) takes it upon herself to write Genie letters, in the hopes that she (Genie) will rekindle her romance with Matthew. But instead, Matthew gets angry at Anne, once he discovers what she’s done. And so he and Anne then have a discussion with one another about this whole thing; and Anne tells Matthew something along the lines of “I couldn’t bear the thought of you missing out on love.” And Matthew then responds to her saying something like “I’m not missing out on love at all; I have you, Anne!” And that warmed my heart.

Another part in Anne with an E that stood out to me, was when Anne teaches Jerry how to write/read the English alphabet. Because while Jerry does speak English, he also speaks French. And then as the show continues, when it’s Christmas time, Jerry writes Anne a Christmas card that he’d made for her himself. I thought this was awesome because throughout this show, Jerry and Anne have tons of ups and downs in their relationship; so to actually see a mix of moments between them where they were truly kind to each other, was great.

Yet something else that stood out to me in Anne with an E, was the fact that there was some LGBTQ representation in the show. We the viewers find out that Diana (Anne’s best childhood friend) has an aunt who’s gay. This aunt’s name is Josephine; and the way we end up finding out about Josephine being gay, is due to a party that she’d held, that Diana and Anne attended. Because she (Josephine) reflects on the fact that the love of her life was no longer living…and Anne put two and two together about Gertrude being Josephine’s romantic partner. But what’s interesting about this whole thing, is that Diana is nearly distraught over this news about her Aunt Josephine being attracted to women. And so Diana and Anne then have a discussion with each other about the fact that Diana’s entire family never knew this secret about Josephine. And Diana is of course homophobic, just like her parents are; but Anne is kind and she expresses to Diana that love is love, no matter what love actually looks like.

And then as if that wasn’t good enough representation of the LGBTQ community, we the viewers also find out that Cole (one of Anne’s and Diana’s classmates) is gay. Cole actually confides this to Anne and explains that there was an incident in which their teacher Mr. Philips and Cole’s hands made contact with one another. And he also explains to Anne how that physical contact between him and Mr. Philips was like, a spark for the both of them. But also in this exchange between Anne and Cole, we the viewers find out that Mr. Philips has internalized homophobia…which I can relate to in my own life.

But another part of this story, is that Mr. Philips was interested in a classmate of Anne, Cole and others; this classmate’s name is Priscilla (or Prissy for short). And throughout the time of us the viewers being made aware of that bit of information, it rubs me the wrong way. Because the people in this class are only children; they are teenagers…but still kids nonetheless. In fact Prissy and Mr. Philips even get engaged to each other…but then when the two of them are actually at the altar, Prissy seems to have an aha moment where she realizes that this is wrong/would be wrong, if she and Mr. Philips actually got married. And so shortly after that’s happened, we the viewers find out that Mr. Philips is no longer going to be these kid’s teacher; and it turns out that their new teacher is very different from what these kids are used to.

Their new teacher is a woman which is a huge thing because the town of Avonlea where these folks live, is very small. This woman’s name is Miss Muriel Stacy; I’ve spelled the prefix “Miss” here the same way that it’s spelled when I Googled it. Because when I write about characters in shows or movies, or people whose names I don’t know how to spell, I want to spell them correctly. I don’t just want to guess how they are spelled.

But anyway Avonlea’s new teacher Miss Muriel Stacy created a hands-on environment where the children actually learned about the different subject matters throughout her using actual physical objects to explain things to them. So for example when she was teaching the children about electricity, she used an actual lightbulb to demonstrate how electricity works. She was even willing to help some students learn about job-related opportunities, when they (some of the kids) would ask her to do so. And I thought that these things showed what a kind human being Miss Muriel Stacy really was.

But as Anne with an E goes on, we the viewers learn that Anne betrayed Cole by telling Miss Muriel Stacy about his sexuality. And then what ended up happening, was that Miss Muriel Stacy went to Cole’s house and made his mom aware that he hadn’t been to school in some time. And then a bit later we the viewers see an interaction between Anne and Cole in which Cole displays his anger at Anne for blabbing his personal business. And then a bit later on, we the viewers see a scene where Anne finds Cole standing near a cliff which is most likely meant to imply that Cole wants to kill himself. And when Anne finds him there, she’s distraught over how this whole situation has destroyed hers and Cole’s friendship with one another. And TBH, this whole situation makes me sad for these characters…and I find myself feeling hopeful that the two of them figure out a way to stay friends.

I recently had a dream that had Hunter Aloysius Percy (HAP) from The OA, in it. And in this dream of mine, I was somewhere I’d never been to and there were tons of people who were also there with me. All of us were standing together in a line and Hap was walking back and forth by the line, debating who he was going to choose to participate in one of his science experiments. And one of the people he ended up choosing, was me; and I vividly remember being put in a body of water and then being forced to go under water for a time. And also, I remember that at one point in the dream, I was in a room by myself, thinking aloud “I can turn my music on my phone up as loud as I want!” And I also remember that the room I was in, was some kinda hospital or other type of medical facility. Needless to say, this dream was somewhat a nightmare but also pleasant, especially seeing as how in the real world, I can’t currently turn my music up as loud as I want because I share a house with people. LOL.

Thoughts on a Netflix show, a podcast, supporting people’s differences and advice I give to others

One of my favorite parts in the Netflix original show Anne with an E, is when Marilla and Anne are having an intense discussion with one another. What they’re talking about, is that they may have to give up Green Gables because they can no longer afford to maintain it. And one of the things that Anne tells Marilla in this discussion, is “sometimes, you just have to let people love you, Marilla.” And this particular quote stands out to me because it’s true. And for me, allowing people to love me has been something I’d struggled with, for quite a long time. But the thing was, I struggled with it because of how I saw myself. What I mean by that, is that I saw myself as someone that was unworthy of good things happening in my life…and even that I saw myself as someone who was undeserving of having people in my life that truly cared about me. And so I really worked hard to change how I saw myself. And now I’m happy to report that I don’t feel that way, anymore. And ever since my thinking about myself has shifted to a healthy point of view, my life has been even more liberating than I ever expected it could be. And so seeing Marilla struggle in this way reminded me that being hard-headed can be a very real struggle for many of us human beings.

Yet another thing about the show Anne with an E that stands out to me, is that Jerry (the little boy who helps the Cuthberts take care of their farm/land) goes with Anne to try and resolve the Cuthbert’s financial situation with their bank. And what ends up happening, is that two men that are strangers to Anne and Jerry, take the money that the two kids had gotten from the bank. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, these two men end up going to Green Gables to have dinner with the Cuthbert Family; these two men even stay at the Cuthbert’s residence for a time. And these men end up making the whole town of Avonlea (where Green Gables is located) believe that their town having access to tons of gold will completely lift the town out of poverty. But the thing is, at this time, no one but Jerry and Anne knows who these two men actually are. No one but Jerry and Anne knows about the incident where these two men took money from Jerry and Anne.

In the latest episode of the Multiamory podcast, its hosts Emily, Dedeker and Jase discuss the concept of being resilient. And it’s interesting that this particular subject matter has come up at this particular time in my life, especially given the fact that I’ve recently lost someone I care deeply about. Because the thing is, life continues moving, even after our loved ones die. And with this grief in particular, I allowed myself to cry as much as I needed to…and I’m sure that there will be times in my future that I’ll do so again. But I’m a resilient person, meaning that I bounce back from difficult things very quickly. And so the fact that the Multiamory podcast hosts discussed this specific topic, resonated with me.

And one of the things the hosts of Multiamory talked about in this episode of the show, was how important it is for us human beings to be kind to ourselves…and that’s an incredibly hard thing to carry out, at least for me. Because there have been times, most especially when I’ve felt depressed or otherwise shitty, that it doesn’t even occur to me to treat myself the way I’d treat someone who’s going through the same thing. Because the thing is, it’s easy to bad-mouth ourselves when we’re going through feeling shitty…but all bad-mouthing ourselves does, is that it creates a negative feedback loop which then makes it even harder for us to talk ourselves down. So needless to say, I’m definitely going to work on practicing truly being kind to myself…and hopefully I’m able to become much better at it than I am right now.

Something else Jase, Dedeker and Emily talked about in this particular episode, was the practice of meditation. And to be honest, meditating has been something I’ve never been a fan of. But what the Multiamory hosts point out, was that people’s reasons for not thinking that meditation is useful, could be due to the fact that such people don’t have an accurate understanding of its benefits or purpose. And that was thought-provoking for me because I realized that the way I’d been thinking of meditation was most likely not accurate. Like, I know for a fact that I thought that the reason folks meditate, was to help get themselves into a clearer state-of-mind/help them feel calm and relaxed. But from what Dedeker, Jase and Emily said on this episode of Multiamory, the reason people meditate, is to help themselves be mindful of the things they are feeling/the things that their body is doing. But perhaps I still misunderstand meditation because I *do* practice mindfulness on a regular basis…and I know that doing so does help me cope with life a bit more easily.

Something else that’s talked about on this particular episode of Multiamory though, was the concept of forgiveness; this part of their discussion also jumped out at me because forgiveness is not something that is a black-and-white issue. Like, even within my own life, forgiveness has been a touchy topic for soooooo many reasons. As someone who was raised Christian, who’s bio mom went to church regularly when I was her only child, I was indoctrinated with the one belief that forgiveness means that you have to keep people in your life, even if some of them abuse you. And even though I haven’t always had the language to articulate what I felt was wrong with such a statement, I have always felt like that statement was nonsensical. Because not every single situation in the world can be resolved in such a way that makes all people get along with one another. Like, it isn’t even realistic to think in such a limiting way. And honestly, forgiveness means different things to different people…and it means different things for folks as time goes on. For example one thing I still do think about forgiveness, is that it can mean that we’re giving people a free pass who don’t deserve to be forgiven. Both sides of my bio family for example, have done unforgivable things to me for years. And while I don’t have a grudge against any of them persay, I do feel that they don’t deserve to be in my life in any capacity ever again. But that being said, there are memories that I have of some of them that are great…just as there are also memories of some of them that are truly awful. And I can be honest about both of those things, without actually welcoming them into my life. But also, I’ve forgiven myself for not always knowing that forgiveness is complicated, sometimes.

On Twitter, the Twitter account called BlindUnfiltered tweeted asking its followers what they thought of sighted people saying to blind people “you don’t look blind.” And my response to that particular tweet, with some expansion, reads:
I think that people who say this sort of thing have a false idea of what it means to be blind/what it actually means to live as a blind person. So while such a complement from folks can be well-neaning, it’s still super distasteful. Because the thing is, living with blindness doesn’t have to be tragic. Living with blindness doesn’t have to be the end of a person’s world.

In the Blind Bitching FB group, someone posted about how they feel, having cut toxic people out of their lives. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I can relate to having less toxicity in one’s life, too. Although personally, I’m glad that with every day that goes by, the less I have toxic people I’ve let go, on my mind. That being said, I think it’s human nature to think about them or even talk about them from time-to-time. But I definitely feel freer and better off, without such toxicity in my life…and I hope that the same is or will become true for you and others, at some point in your lives.

Another topic that was talked about recently in the Blind Bitching FB group, was related to someone spamming said group. More specifically, this person wrote about cooking tips for blind people. And my response to that topic, with some expansion, reads:
Clearly, the original poster doesn’t care that this group is strictly for bitching. Shrugs. So I’m gonna bitch about the fact that they wasted our time giving us cooking tips…when not all blind people have the same abilities as one another. And so, seeing this type of thing from people irks me. But for the record, I use blindness here specifically because that’s what’s referenced in this particular post.

Also in the Blind Bitching FB group, the original poster of this particular topic responded to what I’d said. Although, the person didn’t use much punctuation so it was hard to know what kinda thing they were going for. So I took their reply as snarky and wrote the following response to it which reads:
And just because you are blind, doesn’t mean you can’t be an idiot 😛
Blindness is not the only factor in why some of us don’t cook. Life is too short to be so damn high-strung about how others live…or don’t live though.

In the childfree FB group, someone posted a thread about having a partner that doesn’t respect this person’s childfree choice for their life. And my response to that topic, with some expansion, reads:
To the people who are saying that this person’s partner needs another reminder about the original poster not wanting kids, fuck that!!! If you openly told him from the get go that you don’t want kids, he’s just hoping you’ll change into who he wants you to be. He is clearly wasting your time, there is no doubt in my mind!! And why the hell would you stay with someone who you know, even though you don’t want to admit it, that he has no intention of respecting your childfree lifestyle? Maybe you feel like it’s best to settle with him…but I suggest you start believing you deserve better and cut all ties with him and his family ASAP. Fuck anyone who doesn’t respect who you know yourself to be.

Also in this group, someone commented on a post, saying that they hadn’t found a doctor that will tie their tubes for them. My response to that particular comment, with some expansion, reads:
To the person who posted about being 30 years old and not having the support of a doctor to tie your tubes, find a different doctor!! I have no kids and got the procedure done in my 20s; sometimes you have to doctor-shop for a bit, until you find one who will respect your desires.

In yet another topic in this CF FB group, someone expressed frustration at the fact that their parent’s friends don’t seem to care about them (the childfree adult). What I wrote in response to that original post reads:
Why do you care about other people’s opinions of you? You’ve made the decision for yourself to be childfree and that is no easy thing. Be proud of yourself and celebrate having made that decision. My life is certainly more lovely because I’ve embraced celebrating myself. And I think you can experience something similar, when you do the same for yourself. Life is too damn short not to be proud of who we are and to seek approval from others.

On a similar but different topic in this CF group, I wrote a response to someone who asked for advice about their current romantic relationship. What I wrote to them reads:
Neither of you can help how you feel; but if the two of you stay together, resentment will most likely build between you, making you both unhappy. It’s better you found out that he wants kids now, while you are still dating him. It’s better to not be together from the sounds of things, because you both deserve to be happy, however that happens for you both.

My first-ever guest post on someone’s blog, assorted thoughts on living a childfree life, how I find comfort as an atheist and more

I recently wrote my first-ever guest post for someone’s blog. I wrote about how grief and trauma changes us. More specifically I wrote things that quite frankly should be said more regularly. And ironically I wrote this post right as I found out about a recent loss of someone I care deeply about–mom, to be exact. Part of guest-posting on people’s blogs, is so that we can help each other gain more readership…so if you all like what I have to say or you just want to support someone with a passion for writing, go to the below link and read this post of mine that I wrote for the Rock for Disability blog.

Shortly after I’d posted my last blog post, I thought to ask the person who manages my website if they’d change my default email address for me; thankfully they did so right away…or so I thought. What I mean in saying that, is that the problem hasn’t actually seemed to resolve itself. So I’ve reached out to the main administrator of my website again, asking if there are other areas in his administrator settings where he can change my default email address. Because it seems like there should be a fix that is both quick and easy; but then again I’ve heard that WordPress is not the best when it comes to some things.

‪I wrote the following thread on Twitter which reads:
When I was a little girl, my favorite series ever was a series called Anne of Green Gables. The main character Anne Shirley reminded me sooooo much of myself; she was smart, talkative, had a vivid imagination and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the world. Although she was an orphan…girl and even though I myself was not an orphan, I sure did feel like one. And for most of my life, I desperately wanted to be loved by someone who’d call themselves my mother. But the thing was, I didn’t just want a mom to love me, I also wanted a mom to be there for me in…more ways than just physically. Like, I wanted a mom to care about the things I liked and loved. I wanted a mom to listen to me whenever someone, or multiple someones, bullied me. I wanted a mom to think of me, her daughter, as a smart human being. But my bio mom did not…represent any of those things; not even a little bit. But the way Marilla (who adopted Anne Shirley) came to love Anne, always made me emotional. I’d always watch the Anne of Green Gables movies on the VHS tapes I had. And now I feel like I’m showing my age cuz VHS tapes…are rarely, if ever, used nowadays. But long story short, I absolutely loved this particular series. So within the last few days, me finding out that there’s a Netflix original series that’s based off of this very series made me ecstatic!! The only thing I feel a bit bummed…about is the fact that the actors and actresses in this Netflix original series have totally different voices than the actors and actresses who’d played these characters in the VHS tapes I used to have. And I know I shouldn’t compare the two versions of this series…but…it’s hard for me not to do so. And at first, when I’d started watching this Netflix original series, I totally couldn’t stand the way that the actors and actresses who’d played Anne, Marilla, Marilla’s brother Matthew and the town gossipy lady named Rachel, sounded like…these people’s voices flat out didn’t sound right, as far as my ears were concerned. But I’ll admit that as I continue watching this series on Netflix, these folks’ voices aren’t grating on my nerves anymore. And I’m glad about that TBH cuz this series is magnificent…and…I wouldn’t have wanted my opinions/perceptions of these people to negatively change.

The farther along I get into this Netflix original series called Anne with an E, the more said series leaves me thinking that I can see parts of myself in both Anne and Marilla; for example Marilla is feisty, just like I am. Marilla can also be stubborn, just as I can. For example at first, when Matthew brings home a girl instead of the boy that he and Marilla had supposedly told the orphanage they’d wanted, it is Marilla who is cold and distant towards Anne. What I mean in saying that, is that if Marilla does like Anne at first, we the viewers can’t see that in her demeanor, at all. And the thing is, even though the Anne of Green Gables book series is one of the classic ones that’s specifically for children, I’d argue that the book series as well as this Netflix original show, can be for people of all age groups. Because the interactions between the characters, both as they relate to the book series and the Netflix show, are relatable to our lives, even today. And TBH, there are several times when Anne and Marilla interact with each other in this Netflix show, that they both seem to be trying hard to make this situation work. Like, I truly believe that Anne wants to do her absolute best to stay with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert…but in some ways, she flat out doesn’t know how to do so. We do eventually find though that one area that Anne excels at, is in knowing how to take care of children/babies. And TBH, seeing this very thing unfold warms my heart. Because the grown-ups that are around her at the time, don’t even think of her as being someone who could care for children, most especially due to the fact she’s often in her own little world, daydreaming about how her life could be.

I wrote the following FB post that reads:
Sooooo, I have an interesting fact to tell y’all: people have told me that I should move to Canada because I’d get all the health coverage I need…but didja know, I looked up whether that’d even be possible and found the truth. Guess what, folks? Canada would not even accept me because I am what they’d consider a drain on their system AKA I’m too sick of a person. Not so great after all 🙁

In a post in the childfree group I’m in, someone posted a topic expressing thoughts about why people keep having children, even after they’ve had one disabled child. My response to that topic reads:
Thank you so much for posting this. I definitely think it’s a great truth to discuss. I don’t get what others find problematic about this discussion, as it’s part of the human experience to have thought-provoking discussions like this. At least, I too, have seen cases where people have one disabled child and then go on to having others because they want “that perfect child” AKA “a child that isn’t disabled.” And as someone who is multiply disabled myself, I think it’s healthy to have discussions on why this sort of thinking is harmful and unproductive.

In the same FB group, someone posted their recent news about having gotten their tubes tied. There were lots of comments sharing in this woman’s excitement and I responded to one such comment, with some expansion for my blog’s sake. What I said reads:
I had a similar experience as the person who’d said they were almost sure their doctor would give them trouble about wanting to go through with such a permanent procedure. In fact I was fully prepared for my OB/GYN at the time, to give me all kinds of hell. But I actually found him to be quite encouraging and happy that I’d made this decision for myself. And in addition to telling him that I had a whole slew of medical issues that made me feel that I wouldn’t be able to give children the best possible life, I also told him that I didn’t want to repeat the abusive cycle that both sides of my biological family had brought me into. I saw him in October or November 2013 to talk about me having the surgery done; and I vividly remember him asking me “so when do you want to do it?” And I responded “as soon as possible!” And I had the surgery December 6, 2013 and have not regretted it for a single second. In fact there have been numerous occasions that I’ve been incredibly grateful for having made this decision. I’m glad that my doctor didn’t try to take away that right from me.

Another topic I’ve recently responded to in this same FB group, was a topic where someone asked if there were any CF folks who don’t plan to be married. The response I wrote to said thread reads:
As of now, count me in as one such person. I have never been married and I’m not currently dating anyone. In all other aspects of my life, what I’d planned for myself was far different than the reality I’ve actually lived. So while I don’t ever see myself dating anyone long-term, much less marrying anyone, I try, key word try, to stay open to possibilities. But to be brutally honest, most folks don’t date me long-term, given all the severe chronic health issues I have to contend with.

In response to someone in the childfree group’s question about whether people take the pill even after they’ve gotten their tubes tied, I wrote:
Getting one’s tubes tied is about as permanent a birth control method as one can get; at least from the research I’ve done, combined with what my OBGYN at the time, told me. I did continue taking the pill for years after the surgery though, just because I was honestly paranoid about getting pregnant. I was also nervous about having to deal with hellish period cramps, as those had been a regular part of my life prior to me going on the pill. I stopped taking the pill just a couple years ago, when I’d gotten the wrong mix of hormones because my insurance always changed the brand of the pill that they’d cover. And it just so happened that this incorrect hormone mix-up left me with a nearly fatal UTI/Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. That petrified me…and I haven’t taken the pill since. Tubal Ligation for the win!!

Yet another discussion in the CF group that I responded to, was a topic in which someone asked if they were the only one who experiences strong feelings about themselves being pregnant. The response I wrote to their topic reads:
Hell no you aren’t the only one who’s repulsed by the thought of pregnancy. You may be one of the few of us who’s brutally honest enough to admit that truth about yourself…and good on you for your honesty. I share in that disgusting feeling…but my disgusted feelings don’t stop at the thought of carrying a human being–in fact, they extend to the whole thought of me raising another being. Like, I don’t own any pets…and I can hardly clean up my own mess after I’ve soiled myself which happens from time to time, as the chronically ill person that I am. So all this to say, the concept of me taking care of another human being is literally the most disgusting thing in the world to me. There is no amount of money I could ever be paid to perform that task.

In the same childfree group, someone created a topic about having a toxic biological family with children in it that the original poster loves dearly. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I’m sorry for what you are going through. But you are not obligated to keep any of these people in your life. I understand you want to have a continued relationship with your sister’s children but the thing is, having a relationship with them comes at a cost to your health and well-being. That is not fair to you, nor is that how someone should live.

My advice would be for you to figure out how you can move forward and have a happy life without these people in it; I know you’ll hate to hear this, but your sister/other toxic relatives have already told the kids horrible things about you. And as much as that hurts you, you have to think of/save yourself, at the end of the day.

This situation that you find yourself in touches me deeply because I’ve been in a similar one myself–I used to do everything I could to try and save my brothers from the toxicity that is my bio mom…but at the end of the day, they’re still children, her children…and so, the only thing I can do, is to take care of myself and hope for the best for my brothers. Sadly, I know that they are just like her; but that is how things go sometimes.

I’m determined to live as happy of a life as possible…and the only way for me to do that, is without any of those toxic people in my life. Yes it hurts…but this kinda hurt is much more preferred/bearable than the hurt that having them in my life would cause me. So please, please, please give yourself the gift of a happy life–you deserve that!!

I wrote the below comment in the public Disabled Feminism FB group, in response to what I’d tell people who are disabled and who encounter pushback. What I wrote reads:
I would say that if we as disabled people want to live the lives we want, part of what comes with that territory, is receiving pushback from time-to-time. Pushback is simply a part of the human experience, no matter who we are or what the issue is that we are standing up for/speaking out about.

There is a page I follow on FB called Lavender and Lemons Shoppe; this page is geared towards making art accessible for as many people as possible. And in fact the reason I joined this FB page is because I saw them posting on other FB pages I follow…and it stood out to me that they capitalized their hashtags so that each word would be pronounced correctly, by speech output software. And also, Lavander and Lemons Shoppe made sure they described as many of their photos as possible; again, this was done so that people who use speech output software like me through technology like iPhones or computers, to access numerous things in the world, would actually be included in this group. Because for the most part, people in the world don’t describe their photos or add alt-text to their photos so that blind people too, can experience their sighted friend or family member’s digital world. And so, finding Lavender and Lemons Shoppe was exciting for me.
And so recently, Lavender and Lemons Shoppe posted something on their page where they wondered how people dealt with grief and even how people are able to find creativity for themselves within their grief. What I wrote in response to this topic reads:
As a life-long atheist, I take comfort in the fact that I got to spend this life, the only life we have, with those I care deeply about. And one way I grieved creatively, was to write a guest blog for someone specifically about things that we can keep in mind as we are grieving…and the things I put on this list were things that I feel are not said often enough, or aren’t said at all. And quite frankly, as an atheist, realizing that I could control my situation by writing a list of things that I’ve found to be true about how grief and trauma affect/change us, helped me move through said grief in a powerful way. And that, in combination with allowing myself to lean on loved ones through this particular experience, was far more comforting to me than any religion ever could be.

Yesterday morning I literally woke up to a text message saying that the rest of my Britney Spears outfit had been delivered. So I of course had to try it on to make sure that it fit me well…and it turned out that the top part of the outfit was impossible for me to put my arms through by myself. LOL. Because the way the shirt looks, there are lots of slits on it because it’s supposed to have a ripped sort of look and feel to it. There are also stones on the shirt…but I only bring that specific thing up so that other blind people can get a sense of what this outfit actually entails. The bottom half of the outfit which is like, half skirt, half shorts, fits nicely on me too. The weird thing about the choker though, is that its clasp is so fucking small that it’s really hard for someone to clamp together onto my neck. But that being said, the choker also has stones on it which I don’t think I’ve written about in my blog yet. But needless to say, I’m super excited about participating in this upcoming once in a lifetime Britney Spears event–an ultimate fan experience, I would say.

It’s hard to believe that we’re currently only going into the second week of the year. This past week has seriously seemed like the longest week of my life!! And the insane thing, is that if what I’ve been reading on social media is accurate, other folks have felt similarly; and to be honest I don’t know if I’ve noticed this happening because I’m more in-tune with the collective energy or what. Although, it would make perfect sense, that as I’m becoming more in-tune with myself, I’m also becoming more connected to the collective community of human beings in the wider world. But I bring this particular thing up because I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m seeing that the universe is indeed following my lead with regards to the way good things are happening for me more and more. Like, just a few short weeks ago, I was feeling rather discouraged at the fact that I’d created all of this social media specifically for my blog and even an email address specifically for blog-related things, only to not have many people following me or emailing that email address. But fast-forward to now, when other writers are finding me and taking an interest in having me be a guest feature on their blog…it’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to happen. And perhaps I’ve been too impatient, not to mention forgetful of the fact that everything, including getting exposure, takes time.