Episode 1 Question for You! from the DISIRabilityALT podcast

At the end of each episode, I will be asking a question for you to consider.

From Episode 1: What is the difference between a bottom, a submissive and a slave?

Visit: disirabilityalt@castos.com or subscribe on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher.

I want to hear from you! Please leave your responses in the comments here. Also, please let me know if you would like me to post your response on air (this can be done with or without your screen name).

In Episode four, I will review some the responses I receive from the first three episodes!

Episode 1 Trailer

DISIRabilityALT podcast coming June 1st. Email me, disirability@gmail.com for a sneak peek!

[Image description: DISIRability logo in green with a wheelchair symbol in place of the b. ALT written in black underneath. Image on the left underneath in light orange states in white letters “What did I find when I entered the Kink Community?” Angela Car [she/her] 18+, image on the right is a photo of my arm with a tattoo of a tea cup with the saying I am enough, while holding onto my crutch.]

DISIRabilityALT Podcast

Watch out for my new podcast DISIRabilityALT!

DISIRabilityALT will explore the intersection between disability, desire and ALTERNATIVE relationships including, but not limited to kink, bdsm, ethical non-monogamy and power exchange dynamics. Join angela car (she/her) as she shares her lived experiences as a queer, disabled cis female on the right side of the slash. This podcast is not suitable for those under the age of 18.

[Image description: DISIRability logo in green with a wheelchair symbol in place of the b. image in light orange states Disability, Desire and ALTERNATIVE Relationships with angela car (she/her), 18+. Photo on the right from canva of five people in black and white holding a wooden heart in color. The word ALT is added on top of the heart.]

Coming June 1st!

A Queer, Disabled Compulsive Overeater

My name is Angela and I am a compulsive overeater and food addict. I recently shared this speech at the Overeaters Anonymous Unity Day Workshop. Overeaters Anonymous is a twelve-step program similar to AA or NA. The only difference is the substance we are addicted to is food. According to Tradition 3, OA welcomes anyone who has the desire to stop eating compulsively. No matter how different we may be in other ways, we all identify as compulsive overeaters. Whenever I hear someone share their story in OA, no matter who they are or what they look like, I can always relate.

As tradition 3 states, we welcome everyone. No matter your race or ethnicity. No matter your sexuality. No matter your gender; and no matter your ability (or disability).  Now I personally cannot speak on the topic of race. I can only listen to people of color who share their story.

I can share on two other identities that I have. I identify as queer and I identify as disabled. Now, you may ask, what does that have to do with my compulsive overeating? I spent a lot of time wearing different masks in my life. I was this person at work, this person with my family, this person with strangers. I hid who I really was, and I couldn’t stop eating. It took many years in program, time in and out of relapse, to finally come to accept who I am and share who I am with the world.

Before program, I wore the mask of a heterosexual woman. I was actually a closeted bisexual.  I was married to a man by the time I realized that I was bisexual and I was struggling because I was finding myself attracted to women. I carried a lot of shame around this. My husband and I went to couples counseling and I started individual counseling as well. We stayed married until he passed away about 20 years later. At an OA retreat 10 years ago, I was in a workshop on sexuality. At this retreat, I finally felt comfortable enough to “come out” and share who I was.   This room full of OA’ers showed me love and acceptance. I want to continue to share that love with newcomers coming into program today.      

Now even today, I appear as a cishet or straight woman and I recognize there is some privilege in that. I was biological born female and I identify as female. I am also in a relationship with a man. So, people will assume I am cishet and because of that, I am not bullied or harassed walking down the street because of my Queer identity as many other people are. Also, some people will assume that its ok to make anti-gay jokes or comments around me. Since I have come out and since I have found recovery, I am more likely to try to educate people that those comments are offensive rather than keeping silent. When I came out to my family, they didn’t quite understand my identity and some of them still don’t, but for me it was important that they saw this part of my identity and understand that just because I am with a male partner, doesn’t mean that I am no longer Queer. When I educate, I like to tell people not to make any assumptions about what someone’s gender or sexual orientation is, but instead to use gender neutral language and to ask someone what their pronouns are.

Even for me, it takes some time and practice using gender neutral terms. I am in my mid-40s, and I feel like people in their 20s and 30s are much more comfortable with some newer language and pronouns than I am. I have accidentally misgendered people out of 40 years of habit. But I am willing to listen and willing to learn. If I do make a mistake and misgender someone, I apologize, and I work on correcting my language.

Now, in terms of my disability, in the past I wore the mask of a sweet helpless little girl. The reality was, I was carrying a lot of anger. This was not anger about my disability. I was never angry at God because I couldn’t run or because I needed crutches. I was born with a disability, so this has always been my reality. Having a disability is just part of who I am. It is not a misfortune. It is my identity. For me, it is just like having brown hair or needing glasses.  

What I was angry about was how people treated me differently because of my disability. My family and close friends never treated me different. It is usually strangers and acquaintances who don’t know me well. I recognize many people aren’t used to being around someone like me who using crutches, (or seeing someone using a wheelchair out and about), so they may feel uncomfortable. They often talk to me as if I am a child. I can’t tell you how many times I have been patted on the head or how many times I have been prayed for by strangers. Complete strangers who see me walking slowly with my crutches and praying for me has actually harmed my spiritual life. I always knew I had a disability that wasn’t ever going to go away, and I had symptoms that would get worse over time with age, and I have accepted that. I didn’t want to be around people who were going to be “praying for” me for some type of miracle. Those messages made me angry. I also don’t like hearing that I am “inspirational” or “so brave”, just for getting out of bed in the morning and living my life. Now, if you want to tell me I wrote a great article, go ahead. That would be awesome. But just for going outside? No. Saying things like that is very patronizing.

What did I do with that anger? I never showed people that I was angry. I kept a fake smile on my face while my blood was boiling, and then I went home to my refrigerator. I took that anger out on myself by eating compulsively. I couldn’t take it out on person who said it because they didn’t know any better. They didn’t know that their behavior was offensive.  In the past, when people would overstep my boundaries, I would say to myself, “well, they mean well” and I let them overstep.

Today, I am in recovery. While I still will not outwardly express my angry at someone when they say something inappropriate, I am learning to be more assertive. I will ask for help when I need it. If someone offers to help me, and I don’t need the help. I will say “no thank you” and I will continue doing what I am doing independently. It is actually very important for me to continue to be as independent as possible.

I know that my OA recovery has saved my life. I also know that there are many more people like me who need OA. The opinions I express here are my own. I cannot speak for all LGBTQ+ folks, all people with disabilities, or all compulsive overeaters. I can only share my own perspective and share my personal truth. Thank you for reading and allowing me to share.


The Toll Social Distancing takes on Relationships

How is your relationship managing through this period of social distancing due to COVID-19? How are you handling it? Feel free to post your comments below.

This strange period of time can be hard for people in long distance relationships, or even relationships where you don’t live with your partner(s) and see them often. People, now a days, are utilizing technology (Zoom, social media and phone calls) rather than spending time together face to face. Using technology is certainly better than having no contact at all. However, we may still miss physical connection when we rely on technology. We not only miss sexual intimacy, but also the intimacy of cuddling, or even simply hugging a platonic friend. I have seen a meme going around stating “I will never again take a hug for granted” and I feel that very deeply right now.

Social isolation can take a different type of toll on relationships when you live with your partner(s). I will share the toll it has been taking on my relationship and how my partner and I are handling it. I hope it is useful for some of you.

My partner and I are both home all the time now. Having a disability, I am used to being home during the day. My partner is not. He is used to working a lot of overtime. So while he is enjoying this much needed rest, he is also struggling with boredom.

As a couple, we are not used to being home together all day long. I admit, there are times we can get on each other’s nerves. This doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. I wouldn’t want to ever live without him, but still, being together all day long, every day, is quite an adjustment.

Here is a small example. My partner loves watching tv and movies. I like to get the dishes cleaned right after we eat, but he doesn’t like me running the water while he is watching one of his shows. So, I have to be mindful of that. I try to wash the dishes when he gets up to do something else.

Then of course, there is the matter of who controls the remote to the tv. Typically, he does. Because he works so much, I usually watch my shows while he is at work. That of course, hasn’t been the case in the last couple of weeks.

Now these are small examples, but if we allowed our feelings to fester, they could turn into bigger resentments. To avoid that, I told my partner how I was feeling. He told me how he was feeling. Communication is key in any relationship. We communicate and we make adjustments where we need to in order to compromise. He has since given up SOME control of the tv. Lol.

It is important to make time to connect in other ways and that helps. Things like sharing ideas about the future, doing projects around the house, and turning the tv off to talk during dinner. You never know what you might learn about your partner, even when you have been together a long time. We have been discussing the type of house we dream of living in some day.

We also spend some time doing individual projects and that helps our relationship as well. As much as I love him, I do need some alone time and some personal space. I think most couples do. I spend a lot of time in our home office while participating in online meetings and chatting with friends. I crochet and loom-knit. He does woodworking. Of course, when he goes to the garage, it is the perfect time for me to grab that tv remote.

Whatever toll this social distancing has been taking on your relationship, please remember that social distancing won’t last forever. Our communication skills may be more important right now than ever. Whether it is telling your partner about your needs before you get frustrated, telling them about your future dreams, or telling them you miss their touch. Communication may be hard at times, but your relationship is worth it.

Kinky and Bored?

So all major sporting events are being cancelled. Many smaller business/vendors are closing in some areas. If you live in one of these areas, what should you do?

Many are looking for stress relief and are feeling bored isolated at home.

Many are already posting about the potential baby boom we may see, as we are secluding ourselves at home.

At the moment, kink events and munches are also being cancelled. I typically endorse sex positivity (while being safe, of course), and alternative relationship, aka consensual non-monogamy, BDSM play, etc.

Is it safe right now to engage in these activities? At a time where we are avoiding hand-shaking? Sex and any BDSM play includes close contact. Most of the time, that’s what we are craving. So if you participate it in right now, I don’t judge you, but if you are looking for some safer alternatives, I provided a list. What other alternatives can you think of?

1. Masturbate.
2. Sex or BDSM play only with primary partner(s) you live with, for the time being.
3. Journaling, write down those sexy fantasies.
4. Organize your toys.
5. Sexting.
6. Take time for negotiating scenes you want to have in the future by phone, Skype or Facetime.
7. Watch or read erotica.
8. Take up a new hobby. Put that energy into something else.
9. Interested in providing service? Learn a new skill. Create a service resume.
10. In an authority-based relationship? Create your household manual or contract.
11. Have a household manual? Review and revise it. My Sir and I will be working on ours this week.
12. New to Kink? Write out your hard and soft limits. Everyone has them.

Whatever you do, stay safe and wash your hands!

I am excited to get my wheelchair!

Today is #NationalWheelchairDay. I have recently talked with my doctor at my local Spina Bifida clinic and I asked for a wheelchair evaluation. This will be my first. I started gradually using crutches in high school, after much resistance. As an adult, I have resisted the idea of using a wheelchair for a long time. What has that resistance caused me? It caused me more knee pain, more back pain, and a very limited social life over the past few years.

At age 44, I am excited and looking forward to getting a wheelchair. I am hoping to get a power chair or scooter as I do not have the arm strength for a manual chair. I am looking forward to being able to do things again. The only thing that’s been holding me up from going to my evaluation has been insurance issues. But starting today, March 1st, I am getting new insurance, so I can schedule the appointment.

I have a list of things I want to do once I get my power chair. I am looking forward to being able to go shopping in the mall, go to museums and the zoo, and go sightseeing outside. These are outings I haven’t been able to do for years and I miss them. Ooh, and I will be able to travel again! Most of my social outings today revolve around eating out or going to the movies. I miss being active.

I am also looking forward to getting involved with events in my area like Pride and Disability Pride, and walk/roll fundraisers for the first time. I can’t wait to be active in my communities.

Some may see using a wheelchair as “giving up”, and to be honest, I used to think that way. Today, I am seeing how much I will gain from using a wheelchair. It is not only going to give me my life back, but it will give me an even better life with new experiences to look forward to.