A-Z Disability Challenge | U : Unconditional Love + Support

One thing that is equally important to a disabled person’s life is having unconditional love and support from their family and friends. I have always had a large group of people in my corner and as blessed as I am with all of this love, I also know that there are others like me who don’t have anybody there for them.

I have been very lucky to have loving parents that believed in me, even as a baby! They are the ones that stopped the doctors at Riley’s, when I was a few months old, to operate on me to make me look ‘normal’ when there was a small chance it wouldn’t help me. They just let me figure things out on my own. Even if that meant, I used my feet for everything and was a wheelchair bound for the rest of my life. I have never given my parents much credit to this decision because it was a risk not knowing how this little girl would be able to do things for herself. Thankfully, I did learn things on my own or with some help from other family members/physical therapists.

I wasn’t aware of how other young teens or adults with various disabilities lived without this kind of love, until I was a senior in high school.

I wish the emotions I was experiencing had sunk in as I feel like it would have helped me understand loads what everyone in my family was trying to relay to me about their worries of me living on a college campus. Now I get why they were so concerned and agree that I was not ready for that kind of commitment. However, when my mom started working at a nursing home that had residents with various levels of mental disabilities, and the stories of some of them being left at the door with trash bags full of clothes and other stuff, really broke my heart!

I do understand that some people cannot handle some traits that certain people produce but you don’t give up on your family like that. A friend of mine has a daughter who is autistic. I have never met her, but have been around other children with autism in the past. So, I am familiar with their quirks and I give kudos to the parents out there dealing with a child like this, but I’ve heard of autistic kids being left behind or being killed because the families just cannot deal with them anymore. Those are always the worst to see online, but when you feel like you’re at your wits end, what is really your next step?

So, I have a questions to my fellow disabled readers out there, did you have a good support behind you growing up? Or were you basically left to be your own hero? If you said “yes” to that, how do begin to trust others that they’re not going to abandon you at the end?

A-Z Disability Challenge | S : Sexaulity

WARNING: This mentions mature sexual content. If you are not comfortable in reading about this, I highly suggest you click the “x” button on the top right. This is an educational but personal post that I will NOT apologize for, it is very important for others with disabilities. Please respect what I have to say, and enjoy. Thank you!

Oh boy!

I think talking about disability and sex are very taboo topics. I should know considering it took my mom and I a fairly long time to even start having discussions about it. When it came to my sister, I feel like it wasn’t that bad and yes, I was there for the majority of that talk. For me though, I knew what sex was (I always have), but there were things that I couldn’t get my head around. Ha ha! Blondie was roughly 15 or 16 years old when she received the talk whereas I was 19 or 21! I feel like at that those ages, you should be somewhat of a pro when it comes to knowing things and of course having sex!

One of things that Arthrogryposis has basically taken away from me, is my ability to pleasure myself. I can’t mastrubate like other women. I have asked questions about this to a group of women who also have my condition and they’ve been helping me figure out alternatives. I also don’t think I’ve had a proper orgasm, but as I have been told, it takes a lot to get that far apparently! If you have a disability and worry about your lack of sexual experience, you know what I’m talking about, because you feel like you’re missing out on something that everyone is doing. You just feel lost in your own body and you don’t really know how to resolve this issue as a whole.

Honestly, I am afraid of having sex. As much as it excites me, because let’s be real here I watch porn and read erotica novels, and I response in the right ways, it’s the physicality that terrifies me I guess! I mean, I can barely get through a couple of seconds when I have to put vaginal cream inside my vagina, because you have to use a syringe and it makes me feel really uncomfortable – half it is because a parent has to do, mostly it’s my mom! This might be the other reason why I am semi okay with never been on a date! I’ve never had to really think about what happens afterwards; once I cross that line, how am I going to feel? I know it’ll hurt, but how much?

Last week, I watched Nikki Glaser’s Netflix comedy special Bangin‘ and oh my gosh, it was freaking hilarious! I am usually not a fan of sexual humor but the whole thing was funny! It was also shocking that she was talking about things that I have been thinking about for years! She starts off discussing blow jobs and I’ll tell you, I will NOT do that for as long as I live! What is funny though is that, it was the first sexual thing I ever knew about even before realizing it was a real thing! I still have no idea how I figured it out too. That’s still a mystery to us!

This has probably been the most freeing post out of all the other letter challenges! The reason why I felt like I needed to write about it, is because I know I am not the only one who feel like this! I think it takes a lot of guts to speak up about your sex life, and I just wanted to break out a little more because I am usually very reserved in my posts but I thought it was time to loosen up a bit.

How old were you when you received the sex talk with your parents? Now what about you had sex for the first time? Have you felt like you’ve been left out of the party of what everybody in your age group is doing in their lives?

A-Z Disability Challenge | R : The “R” Word

When it comes to society, words can be popular among the different generations. In the 1960-70’s, the thing was “groovy” at least, I think it was! I’m basing this off what I saw on Scooby-Doo! Currently the word that everybody uses is “bougie” which I still haven’t learned how to use or figured out what it even means! This isn’t the first time this has happened so don’t feel so bad for me.

Usually the “in” words are innocent like this, but some are not. What everybody doesn’t understand is that there is a medical term that is running around causing havoc among the disability community. Something tells me that may already know what it is, but for those who don’t, it the “r” word. Retard in all forms.

It is sad reality when a word like this has the power to degrade so many people at one time without anyone’s knowledge. This is one of the issues of today’s society is that it’s become so popular that these young kids probably don’t even know what it actually means, much less care about it anyways! The adults are even worse, because sometimes it’s like a cuss word they say on a daily basis and can’t stop themselves from saying it. However, these reasons are even good excuses for anyone that has some sort of disability.

I wasn’t too familiar of the meaning or the history of it when I first started to notice it around. I’m not for sure how I found out about it, that memory has been stripped away, but I remember the impact was big, because I am a huge advocate to erase it from the public.

For a time, both my mom and sister said the word a lot. My mom is a nurse, so it was used to describe a few of her patients, whereas my sister was a teenager and it would just fly out of her mouth left and right. The fact that I was able to be enough inspiration (there’s another word I hate!) to get them to stop using it for good. My sister has even been telling other people around the two of us to not say it either and sometimes we get good response, so that’s a positive sign!

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll ever go away completely. It’ll still show up on films and the medical world will probably still continue to use it, but hopefully with this post maybe you’ll understand that even though something is in that you have to follow suit. You don’t. There are tons of others that can take its place. You can be popular in another crowd, and even respect people like me with not speaking about it again. Do you think you can do this?

Halloween Decor | Everything Is Under $100

Howdy!

I am such a lover of autumn, it is my favorite time of the year to go shopping for decor, the second being is Christmas of course! I just love the different colors of reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees around town, but I also enjoy seeing the impressive Halloween displays in front yards. I am a fan of the tacky bright orange with the Charlie Brown eyes and mouth, but I also love the gore-y decorations some people are brave enough to show off on their neighbors too.

Right now, we currently don’t have a porch on our house so we can’t necessarily have any pumpkins on display, although I think we could get by with putting a couple at the base of the stairs. The cats would enjoy them but I think people would miss them at night and really hurt themselves because they were in the way. So, as another way to talk about ways of decorating, I figured this was the only way to go.

Below I will be giving you eight items that I found on Walmart’s website to help spice up your home a little with some ghoul-y cheer!

There were two things that I wanted to make sure I put on this post and they are everything will be under $100, I honestly tried to keep it about half of that but I kept finding cute things that were higher, so I caved a bit! I also thought it was smart to give you a subtle fall and some Thanksgiving options along with some spooky stuff too! I am going to talk about two items from each section, but if you’d like to check out the whole group, underneath the banner above are the links with their prices to each one. I want to apologize if any of them say they are “out of stock” at the time you go to check them out. None were like that when I created the post.

Thanksgiving Cream Pumpkins

I have always loved the faux white pumpkins, but I’ve always wanted to use the normal orange ones to do any of our crafts. As I’ve gotten older I’ve sort of realized how smart my nana and I would have been to use the fake pumpkins to decorate, because let’s face it we would have them forever! We could have put them in many places throughout the house instead of putting them outside in the cold!

Another reason why I love these pumpkins is because you can have them for the entire fall season. If you can find it in a neutral color like this, your house can look very chic but still have the full inspiration of everything autumn brings too. Walmart also has them in a light shade of green and dusty blue! These were my favorites though because I liked the way they looked, they were different!

Mustard Chevron Fleece Throw Blanket

I have been watching a lot of different YouTube videos lately and I’ve seen almost everyone talk about having a mustard colored blanket and at first, I didn’t understand all of the hype over it but then I thought it was the perfect color to continue my sunflower theme for my room. It wasn’t too bright or light of a hue and that’s what I’ve been interested in for the past few months. I also enjoy the little fringe at the sides because it reminds me of a blanket I had as a child, but ultimately I love fleece blankets so it really doesn’t matter what the color or little additions are on it, if it’s fleece I will pretty much love it to pieces!

Unfortunately, this was the first one that I found that was “expensive” to me, when I told my mom about it, she made it out to be not so bad. In my defense, I don’t go shopping for bedding stuff too often so our differences in price ranges are pretty prominent. I feel like once it becomes time for Christmas to steal the season’s time in the spotlight, it might go on clearance and that could be the perfect time to purchase it. That’s just my thinking for you today!

Mini Ceramic Halloween Tree

Growing up my grandparents had a lot of these types of trees around their house. My nana would leave them on at all hours and since we were afraid to sleep in that living room, those trees were just enough light to keep us sane through the whole night! Anyways, she also had a pretty white one and my papaw had a smaller one, that now belongs to me because it was always stored on top of the organ desk. I still need to replace the light bauble but I think I’ll have it up this winter!

When I saw this on the website, I immediately became very happy because it still looked like the others but it was just in black, purple and orange–regular Halloween colors! What was funny though is that all of the rage last Christmas were these black Christmas trees, and so I thought this would be as close as I would ever get to having a black tree in my room. However, there was one drawback once I looked at the price! So, again I went with my thought I had about the blanket that maybe after Halloween ends it’ll go up on sale.

Purple Translucent Skull Figurine

Right after I finished my search for the pumpkins, I had to check out the skulls they had too! I figured the type I was looking for were in low supplies, because I don’t really like the creepy looking ones nor do I enjoy the tacky ones that much either. When it comes to skulls, I am quite picky! I prefer both matte, day of the dead and translucent skulls. They did have some cool sugar skulls but when I saw this one with the word “purple” hell, even I knew it was game over!

The only thing I was puzzled about it was that it definitely doesn’t look purple on the picture. To me that is more like hot pink! So, I am hoping this isn’t false advertisement there. After I noticed, I also saw the price of it and I began to wonder on good the quality was, just because it looks gorgeous on the site, doesn’t mean it’ll look really cheap once you get it home. However, it could be a good product and I’m worrying for no reason at all!

What did you think of this little Halloween home decor post? do you have any favorites listed above? How would you rate the decorative items from Walmart?

A-Z Disability Challenge | M : Do You Think You Take Too Much Medication?

This is an interesting post for me because I am very self-cautious about any kind of medication, whether it’s for depression or general pain, I am always afraid that I will become dependent of it. My mom tells me all the time that I am not, but that doesn’t necessarily help my paranoia. If I could get by with taking only Advil I would probably be the happiest, but unfortunately that doesn’t help with the muscle spasms or the really intense pain that it can cause in certain places. So, I am stuck in this mental battle of knowing I am fine with my intake but my brain doesn’t allow me to believe so.

My brilliant papaw was a Pharmacist, he went to school for it and afterwards went into the Korean war, but instead of seeing any action, he was sent to Hawaii to work with the doctors on hand. We were told lots of stories about his time there like how the fresh pineapple tastes better than it does at the store and every once in a while he would tick nana off with bragging on how he had a girlfriend there. Honestly we never really trusted him with that piece of information.

My papaw was one of the smartest people I knew, but he unfortunately had issues with pain, and one of the saddest things about this was the amount of pills and empty bottles he would have stashed around the house because he went back and forth thinking that he wouldn’t have enough or people would steal them. You really feel sorry when an older man feels the need to secretly hide medicine for either reason, because if they are anything like my papaw that after discovering three to four bottles of a random amount of pills in each one, having to be monitored by not only their wife but also their daughter who is a nurse, is very heartbreaking! I know that he absolutely hated that, but he had the last laugh because after he passed away, we continued to find bottles up until the house was sold!

There has been a lot of news about doctors and manufacturers being sued for all of the opioid addicts out there, and I am not sorry for this but instead of putting the blame on the doctors, how about you put it on the addicts. It was their choice to use it to not only harm themselves but cause many issues for patients that do not abuse their medication. My dad is one of those people, he has been on a different set of medicine recently for reasons unknown by his doctor and since then he’s actually been in more pain than I think he’s ever been in his life. He has other ailments that are causing him more trouble as he gets older and it sucks to see such a person want to be in bed or on the couch with various amounts of pillows than outside doing stuff. This mess that has finally come to life has really horrible effects for both sides.

Before I end this post, I would like to say that these are my opinions. If you are an addict or have a family member/best friend that has dealt with addictions over the years, I am sorry for you, but I truly believe that most of the general blame is on the wrong people. Let’s make this clear though, there are crooked physicians out there but some of them are desperately trying to help their patients and if they know them well enough that they understand that they’d never want to jeopardize their medication for a temporary high.

So, have you ever felt like you take too much medicine just to get through? It doesn’t matter if it’s mild or intense amount of pain either. What are your thoughts of the opioid epidemic?

A-Z Disability Challenge | K : Why Kids Should Be Educated About The Various Types Of Disabilities

When I was busy coming up with the letters and their themes, I was a little worried whether it would be a good idea to basically talk about children and how they view people with disabilities twice. After discussing it with my mom, she pretty much convinced me that it would be interesting to speak up on different ages, because as I’ve found out over the years, children under the ages of 5 are curious of their surroundings but they want to learn about everything! Kids in that are higher in age and in school may hang out with friends that can influence them to bully other kids. So, this is what we will be talking about on today’s post!

I remember when I was in grade school, we were all in separate classes for all of our subjects. The only time you basically got to see the other students was at lunch and recess. I knew at the time that there was one other kid with a disability, we never saw each other but only on the occasional field trips and grandparent’s programs. That was it! So, I was hardly ever around somebody that was remotely like me, until I had my surgeries in 2002.

The reason why I bring this up is because throughout my entire time in elementary school, I was basically taught to be like everyone else. I never really experienced any bullying although there was one girl who didn’t like me, but we were at least civil with each other. Anyways, I grew up actually hating to be around other kids with disabilities, because they acted differently than me and my friends–now of course, I feel horrible thinking that way but that was my mindset back then; I wasn’t like them but yet I was!

You can never really tell what a kid thinks about things unless they tell you, but when they don’t ask you questions, they will almost go through life not knowing the real answers. They will begin to seek them through their friends, and you hope that everything those kids have been taught are saying good things but unfortunately not all children are being told that having a disability of any kind can be a beautiful thing. Instead they are fearful by what they don’t understand and relying on that information to others.

I always wished that there were more motivational speakers that came to schools with a variety of disabilities. Unfortunately, I also worry if this were to happen, if they would appericate it because I know everytime we had people come in and talk with us, it would literally go in one ear and out in the other. However, there is that small chance that a few kids that enjoy learning about everything, so it could be a positive experience as well!

I think it would be useful for these youngsters to see a plethora of differences in their bodies, we are not going to look like athletes or supermodels, and it’s important to remember that at any age!

I had a thought the other night about this subject. For some reason, all of the speakers that came to talk to us were all adults. What if kids saw teenagers or someone in their early 20’s? If I saw more women and talking about her disability, I wonder if that would have made a difference because I didn’t learn how to love myself until two years after I graduated from high school altogether. It really sucks to know that not only .did I have to be away from my classmates and watch X-Men: First Class to feel like I can love being the way that I am!

When you were in school, how did you view the speakers that came to talk about the aftermath of drunk-driving or their disabilities? Do you think there should be more people talking about other topics that could be helpful to children as they continue to get older?

Top 13 Taylor Swift Songs!

Howdy!

Back in mid-June I posted a question on my Twitter to all of the Taylor Swift fans, on what they’re favorite ‘underrated’ song was by the lovely T. Swift. Unfortunately, I never got any feedback on it, but this came about after I had a great afternoon of listening to her music on both my iPod and YouTube. I felt there were a lot of great songs that weren’t as popular or in some cases made their way to radio. So, I thought about creating a blog post of all of my favorite songs from the albums that I really love the most.

Since Taylor Swift has the thing about the number 13, I figure it was only right to create this list of songs in that exact number. Also, what is coming up soon? Her new album “Lover” will be releasing next month. I am a little nervous, but that’s how I’ve been since probably “Speak Now” came out. So, we’ll just have to see what happens!

If I end up like doing this post, I might talk about my other favorites by Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, and others in the future. What do you think, is that something you would be interested in?


Cold As You

I remember the first time I ever got Taylor Swift’s album. Of course, I listened to the singles that were increasingly becoming popular with half of my friends at school, but there were two songs out of the lineup that I actually loved just as much.

This one was light, but had a mysterious tone to it. That’s what mainly drew me into it at first, but then after I actually listened to it, I began to understand the lyrics and I really thought it went well with my outlook of high school, especially around the boys. They weren’t cruel, I just didn’t understand why they weren’t looking at me more than just a friend. Now as I’m older, I realize how much of an idiot I was, chasing after these poor boys, but thankfully I can still listen to the song and love singing it.

The Outside

As the previous song has a sadder sound to it, this one is the total opposite. It’s a fun song, which is probably why I liked it so much in early 2007. I still have trouble figuring out if it’s a breakup or just a cheery song. I’ve listened to it for an awful long time and I’m still trying to figure things out! I don’t know if that’s good or not.

You Belong With Me

If there was a song that reflected any part of my high school experience, it would be this one. For about three years, this was my go-to, especially football season since majority of the guys I liked played it. The song itself has sports involved because she’s talking about being the one sitting on the sidelines while he was interested in the cheerleader type of girl, like my sister. Once I graduated, it was shocking how many guys that I liked, and who were even a grade higher than me trying to get with my sister. She was a cheerleader too, so it was like the song was playing out in front of me for a good five years or so!

Breathe

“Breathe” was a song that took me a while to enjoy. I really love Colbie Calliet’s music so I always thought it was strange that I wasn’t as into it. I do seek out the softer songs, it’s not very often of course, but I am a fan of them whenever I am in a somber mood.

This has the ballad quality, but it is definitely a lot softer in everything. At this time, Taylor was still making true country music, but with this song you really couldn’t tell that it was different from the rest, because of how gentle it was. I like to think of it as the calm before the storm, because it would two more albums before she felt ready to branch out of the genre and create more pop oriented songs.

Change

I don’t know about you, but I love really motivational songs. They’re not as popular as the sassy, breakup songs that she has made over the years, but they are great to keep on hand. As “You Belong With Me” became my anthem for dealing with the guys, this was my jam for getting through everything in life. Since this album came out while I was a Junior, it really hit home for me because I was struggling a lot with school work and everything in between. It sucked for the first six months, but I know listening to this on repeat helped a lot. It kept me on the path I had created for not only myself but for others like me. So, I endured the hell I went through, thanks to this song!

The Story Of Us

I am known to take forever to like songs or a genre. It does happen eventually, well sometimes! The album that this was on, I have never enjoyed as much as the others. She was increasingly going into the world of pop so I was very hesitate to follow her in that direction. Honestly, I still feel the same way everytime she gears up to release a new album!

I don’t remember how I got into this song, I feel like it’s fair to say my sister might’ve had something to do with it, but it also could have been playing on the radio suddenly and took a late chance on it; any of those are good possibilities! It does give me the same vibes as “Love Story” so that is one thing I love about it! You have a fast pace, but sweet type of song that a lot of people enjoy, some at the time it came out or years down the road!

We Are Never Getting Back Together

After I explained above that I am not the best at listening to a track and like it in that first try, I should probably confess that every once in a blue moon, I allow myself to dive into one and instantly fall in love with it. This is one of those songs as I just loved this song! Again, it was itching farther out of the country sound but it still had that sassiness that almost everyone loves about Taylor’s music. Another part of it that I really liked was how catchy it was, the lyrics were fun and you could be as animated while singing along as you wanted and not feel ashamed to show that side of yourself. It allowed you to let yourself go crazy, even though it’s a total breakup song!

Welcome To New York

The “1989” album was one that my sister bought while she was at college, she had a car with a CD outlet, so was still using the heck of it and I remember when she said something about it on her Twitter, my reply to that tweet was “Sweet! Please bring it with you when you get home so I can put it on my iPod!”

As with all of Taylor’s albums, I don’t like every single song on it, but the fact that this was first song out the gate, I was enjoyed it! What really made in a way was by the time I started liking it, it was being overplayed on the radio and on TV! I know a lot of fans like saying they loved a song before it became popular, I have found it to be extremely heartbreaking because if I hear a song too much and that can happen, especially if you’re not the one doing it to yourself. That’s how I’ve lost interest in a lot of music over the years unfortunately!

All You Had To Do Was Stay

Thankfully, this track was never made into a single. I could have this one all to myself, and I still relish in it every time I listen to it on my iPod. Yes, some of us still use those things!

I think I found this song at the perfect time because I was dealing with some personal things in my life with somebody wanting to leave and come back as if nothing happened. The first time it occurred, I was a wreck, and it happened again, this song was on repeat. I’m not going to lie when I say, I cried a lot when this song and those memories collided, but now I can actually listen to it in peace.

I Did Something Bad

Despite saying I have never liked every song off her albums, you definitely wouldn’t believe me after the next four songs! I really loved “Reputation” because of how dark and different it was compared to her previous albums!

As I don’t exactly remember all of my favorites after the first listen, this was one track that I definitely loved but I think it had some help as it was the third track on the lineup, after both “Ready For It” and “Endgame” so the pop-y, but hard hitting type of sound was still present, and I thought that was excellent to keep those vibes going on a little bit longer. I really enjoy singing to this, it brings out my sassy side a lot!

Don’t Blame Me

I feel like I would have loved these next three songs when I first listened to the album the week it came out on Spotify! Unfortunately, it wasn’t until they were featured on her Reputation concert that came out on Netflix last December. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched it!

I like this though, I really approve of the sultry vibe you get with Taylor’s vocals. They’re soft and it helps that the lyrics are easy to learn too, so it’s fun song to listen to by yourself and relish with the thought of someone who’ve been talking to, or in my case scroll through my Pinterest board of hot men. Hey, whatever works I say!

So It Goes

I was a little bummed at the fact that Taylor did not perform this song on stage, but I actually fell in love with it at the credits, so explain that one to me?

“So It Goes” has this sexy tone to it, and the lyrics really establish it as that kind of song but I don’t think its too much. I like the fact that she is shedding that goody-too-shoes image and unleashing this other part of her that is all woman. So, despite the fact that her audience is still young, she’s not keeping everything rated “G” anymore.

Dress

This is another one with a very seductive take, I am actually very addicted to this song! I mean, between the two songs, this is probably the most subjective track of my list but that’s what I’ve grown to like for some odd reason. The only thing I don’t like about it is how her voice sounds somewhat hoarse, as it is almost breathless throughout, and usually I would be fine with this, I just wish she’d let up on it a bit. Over than that, it deserves to be apart of this list!

Are you or were a fan of Taylor’s music? Do you have a favorite album? Can you number your favorite 13 songs?