Friday, August 31, 2012

Funny Friday Post

-falling out laughing-

I love the show "Scrubs." I love the way they picked on my favorite show "Grey's Anatomy". I love how they made fun of NBC even when they were on NBC. I love how funny the show was. I love the underlying gay sexual tension between JD and Turk and I love how they never thought anything of crossing the line, at all, ever.

Since I live with a nurse I also found out that Scrubs got the medical stuff right more than Grey's Anatomy. Now how's that for "irony"?

Anyway, because it's Friday and I woke up in a happy mood (no idea why, just go with it), I decided to share some funny with you. Now, I'm using my JAWS program to do this, so the layout of the videos may be a little off, but I do know that I can check and make sure that it's the right ones.

Enjoy some clips from Scrubs S6E6: My Musical:

So Gay!

Dr. Cox, how you make me laugh

According to Cherie, everything DOES come down to poo.

This is the song that helps me deal with my blindness. I sing it in my head whenever I start to feel overwhelmed.

Have a Happy Friday all!

-Vicktor Aleksandr B

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Graceland by Ally Blue A MUST Read

GracelandGraceland by Ally Blue
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I could feel the emotions of these characters, the gripping fear, the heartbreak, the joy, the passion and the love, they oozed and bled off of every page. I laughed out loud and hell if I didn't cry at some parts.

Being both black and Cherokee Indian I was both excited and nervous about reading a book where one of the main characters is black and the other is Cherokee as there is still some hostility between Cherokee and Freedmen, but Ally handled it with grace, even discussing the tension there. My granny would have loved this book as she was proud of both her African and her Cherokee heritage and she would have found Owen adorable and Kevin sexy.

At one point I could almost hear her say "'Dem boys need to stop actin' a fool and just get together already."

And at the end my Granny Mary would have sighed and looked at me and said, "Now baby, that's real love and commitment. That's trust. That's forever. I want that for you, because if you have something like this, you know it's real."

Yeah I do too Granny.

That's the feeling that I had when I finished this book. That my spirit had reconnected with my Granny's and we'd read this book together. I felt more connected to the Cherokee part of my heritage and the African part of my heritage, but more than that Kevin and Owen's love came out of the book and wrapped me in its embrace.

I wish I could give the book more than 5 stars, but that's the maximum Goodreads will allow me. I totally suggest you read it, especially if you don't think a book has the power to make you feel loved. And read it if you know that it does.

Just read it.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 27, 2012

For Granny

With October 12th rolling around quickly my mind has been thinking of my Granny Mary even more than usual. Instead of once or twice a day it's now once every few hours. Usually I shove the memories away but with me being blind I find myself not wanting to quite as much.

The heartbreak over her being gone? Yes.

The emptiness and hole in my heart from her no longer being around? You betcha.

But the fond memories of her talking to me about what it was like to grow up half "black" half Cherokee Indian? Of growing up in the South during the time of sharecroppers, legalized racism (you know the blatant kind, not the subversive stuff we have today), of girls getting married and having babies at the tender age of fourteen with their husbands who were in their mid-to late twenties? No.

I miss my Granny. I hear her voice in the wind, smell her perfume and her chewing tobacco at the oddest moments. Sometimes I even fool myself into believing that I can feel her brushing my cheek or touching my hand.

She accepted me when I came out to her. She told me that YHVH had created and called me to change the world. She implored me to take care of my family because they needed me "whether they know it or not."

I've been singing her favorite hymnals, been having cravings for her favorite foods (fried chicken, cornbread, greens, yams, macaroni and cheese, black eyed peas and sweet potato pie) and more than that I have felt an almost desperate need to take some time and make sure I have everything typed up, planned out and ready to go for my group home, charities, and human rights programs. Granny Mary, affectionately named "Granny Panny" and "Granny Pantyhose" by yours truly was the one I talked to about these things, even when the Alzheimer's she fought with made her unable to remember most of her life. She never forgot me though and she always encouraged me.

She loved me.

And I loved her.

I still love her.

So I'm preparing to start school and I'm writing and learning to adapt to being blind and I can hear Granny Panny telling me that "being blind don't give you a free pass to not do what you were born to do, it just means that you gotta get a little creative while you doing it."

So I'm going to get creative and by the time the anniversary of her passing rolls around I'm going to be able to say "See Granny? It's done and ready, now you just gotta bring the right folks to me so that we can get it started."

I love you Granny. Always and forever,

Your great-grandson,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blind & Online: Groups, Treatment & Acceptance

A while back my therapist diagnosed me with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), shortly after that I was told that I had OCS (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Situation-because it's not preventing me from living my life, so it's not a disorder, it's just a situation). Those two things alone can cause much anxiety and stress. Enter the lightheadedness, pressure in my head, words not making sense every so often, and the loss of vision and my life turned into a barrel of fun.

Being blind presents its own challenges. Not feeling as independent as before, feeling helpless, feeling like a burden. I could feel myself sinking down into depression. I didn't want to get out of bed, didn't want to see anyone, talk to anyone, nothing. I didn't want to eat, I wanted to waste away into nothing because I felt like I was nothing.

The disappointment I felt every morning, waking up and realizing that I was still blind oftentimes made my whole outlook for the day dreary and yeah, I felt myself getting angry and annoyed by sighted people. Especially sighted people who tried to tell me that they "understood" how I felt or the ones who ignored it completely. I hated feeling that way and so I didn't express it. I shoved the anger, the annoyance, the anxiety and the stress as far down as I could and put on a happy smile for everyone.

"I'm fine."

"Gotta see the bright side."

"I can totally use this to feel up hot guys."

And for the most part, I did feel that way, and I do still feel that way, but the nightmares started happening. People stealing money from me, people I trust, who in my dreams were not as trustworthy as I thought. Being kidnapped. Being attacked, raped, brutalized. All of these things happened in my dream. Why? Because I couldn't see. I can't watch my bank accounts like I want to everyday. I can't sit with my back to the wall and watch a room to make sure there's no danger coming. I can't keep my eyes constantly looking around for shady characters. I can't protect my sisters, the Nieceling, or Chipmunk because I can't see.

So the paranoia that had been dying embers for a long time began to heat up and spark, catching flame until I didn't want to leave the house because how could I be sure that no one wasn't out there to kill me, hurt me, attack me?

I talked to my blind counselors Megan and Kelly, I talked to Cherie, I talked to my friend Keesha, but more than that I found a few groups online that I could share all of this with.

I hate feeling paranoid, anxious and as if I'm either going to have an anxiety or a panic attack at any given moment. I hate feeling like I can't trust people that I just started to trust and I hate feeling like there is evil, and darkness darker than the one I already live in day-to-day.

So I was happy to find one group in where everyone there explained that what I was feeling wasn't wrong, it was normal and that if I needed something to help with the anxiety until everything is settled down that there was no shame in that. I'd been told that by Cherie and Megan and Kelly but, wrong as it is, I believed it when I heard it come from others who are blind, just like me. I breathed a sigh of relief today and yes, the anxiousness, the anxiety, the slight paranoia is still there, but now I know that I'm not a bad person because I feel this way. I don't cut myself slack, I try too hard to be everyone's perfect something. And then I get overwhelmed and I just want to disappear. Those are two extremes and I'm learning how to find middle ground.

Tomorrow I go in for more testing and I'm going to see Brandi, my therapist. I'm hoping that they can find out what's going on with me and why I lost my sight, but even if they don't, I'm starting to accept the new path and direction that my life is taking. It sucks, good lord, does it suck and in those light night hours I ask YHVH how much more can I take before I break and each time I remember my book: Broken, But Not Destroyed and I realize that I'm not destroyed and I won't be destroyed no matter how much more gets thrown at me.

Yes, I'm blind and physically I'm not 100%. Yes, I'm single, and my daughter (Chipmunk) lives in Florida. Yes, I've had "family" members, biologicals, and "friends" hurt and betray me. But I'm still here. I'm still surviving and living and I'm still pushing forward and determined to make it. Failure and quitting aren't options for me, not at all.. So I accept my current situation, and I accept that in the end I will overcome it and survive.

-Sigh- Let's just hope I remember this post the next time I feel like the walls are closing in on me.

-Vicktor Aleksandr B

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Celebrate Your Sexy!

I am making a global declaration. -clears throat- As Supreme DICK-tator of the world. I am declaring this weekend "Show Your Sexy" weekend. So you are all to take at least two minutes every day this weekend to compliment yourself and then to find something that you would call your "sexy" (ie, your eyes, your lips, or your ass -me-) and show it off, even if all you do is bat your lashes, purse your lips or in my case, smack my own ass for just being so damn cute. You don't have to do this in front of anyone, but this is the weekend when YOU are to celebrate the wonder of YOU.

So it is written, so let it be done. I have spoken!

-Vic, Supreme DICK-tator of the World

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012


We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hey everyone I know that it's been a while since I've blogged, but I must admit that I've been trying to deal with the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that's been trying to strangle me. Not just because of my blindness but in how those around me have been handling it. It's hard to go from being completely independent and helping others to being dependent on others and having to ask for help. For me it's not just a change but it's a pride thing. I never knew exactly how prideful and untrusting I was until all of this went down.

I barely trusted myself so trusting others was an exercise in futility.

I spent days trying to figure out why YHVH would have me endure something like this. I struggled with the whole: I'm being punished because I'm transgender, because I'm gay, because I'm not living a life of holiness like I'd always been taught to, because I'm black...

Because I'm me.

And I don't like to whine and I especially don't like talking to people who I feel either don't listen, don't know me, who are going through their own shit, or who I feel resent me for some reason. Like I said, I have been struggling with this whole trust thing for a while, so I can count on one hand the number of people that I feel like I can call or talk to, no matter what time it is, and say:

I hate being blind. I'm fighting so hard against depression and anger. I'm trying hard not to be suspicious of everyone and trying hard not to be paranoid about everything. I can't look out for danger and attacks any more, I can't look at people's faces to see when they're annoyed by me, when they want to talk about me, when they're angry and it makes me not want to talk to anyone at all. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm confused. I feel helpless. I feel lost.

I feel...

And this isn't everyday, it's sporadic. There's no pattern, no rhyme or reason to the days that it happens. I was so out of it and focused on the whole me being blind that I didn't write a blog post or say anything about the fact that July 27th was the 6th year anniversary of the day that Christopher passed away or the fact that August 8th was when I lost Vivianna. I feel like my life and the days are passing me by and I'm stuck in quicksand and goop and unable to pull myself out of it.

It's frustrating and annoying and hell if I feel like I can actually tell someone that I feel like that and not feel as if I'm going to be chastised or demeaned or whatever. And I'm not saying that they will, I'm saying that this is the litany that chases through my mind whenever I think about calling my friend Keesha or one of my older sisters or my older brother or sending an email to my dad or one of my moms. I've pushed back my own feeling and emotions, much like I did when Christopher passed, by telling myself that there are people much worse off than me. I remind myself of that daily, that it could be so much worse. I could have AIDS or cancer or be dead. I tell myself that I can't be sad or angry or be suffering from depression because it's really not that bad.

But that makes those moments of helplessness, hopelessness, fear, anger, sadness and depression so much worse, so much stronger and so much deeper. And it's made me want to just stop... everything. Stop writing, stop being in a family, stop being a father, stop being a friend, stop being a son, stop being a brother or an uncle... just... stop.

Those are the times, every single time, when I hear my Granny's voice:

Me and My Granny, back when they mistakenly put me in dresses, notice how unhappy I am.
Baby, love is powerful it's true, but hope? Hope gives you the power to believe that love even exists in the first place. People get it wrong, hope is the most powerful emotion, the strongest feeling out there. If you have hope then you have faith, you have love, you believe, you do, you say and you feel. You need hope for all of that.-Granny Mary

And I remember to hope. And I think of every hope quote that I have ever heard or read and it helps that tide to recede and it helps me get my head above water and breathe and keep going forward, keep pushing, keep surviving for another day.

Hope does that. Not love, support, encouragement, though they work with hope to do those things, but hope, for me, is the foundation upon which love, support and encouragement are built on.

Hope helps me to believe that people can change, that people will change. Hope keeps me from giving up on people without giving them another chance. Hope helps me to speak my mind when I need to, to stand up against injustice, to work on the charities that I've always wanted to have.

Hope keeps me living.

And that, I think, is a very good thing.

-Vicktor Aleksandr B

No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.
George Chakiris

Friday, August 3, 2012

Now Legally Blind, Still Emotionally Strong

The paperwork was signed and sent off to the state of New York to have me declared legally blind yesterday. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. On the one hand I’m happy because it means that I now have people who are not only trying to find the cause of my blindness but are working to make sure that while I endure this trial that I am taken care of on all fronts.
I have a fucking awesome medical care team now, whereas I didn’t have one before.
On the other hand, this makes it official. It’s like it’s real now. Not that it wasn’t before. I mean, you can only wake up blind so many times before you realize that it’s now a major part of your life. But I’m now realizing that my life is very drastically changed and it’s stressing me out and my sister, Cherie, who is like the world’s greatest big sister and who is helping to take care of me, in spite of the fact that it’s stressing her out so much.
Now I really am blind. Now doctors are acknowledging it and the State of New York is going to be acknowledging it and, oh shit, I’m fucking BLIND!
That was pretty much my thought process last night, but in the middle of the night my phone rang and it was a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known since my freshman year of high school. He was calling to check up on me and when I told him where my head was at, he sort of chuckled and reminded me that I’d been blind before they acknowledged it. And then like a bolt of lightning he got all wise and shit on me:

A: You know, you do that a lot.
V: Do what?
A: Don’t believe that something is true until someone else acknowledges it for you. Actually, until a bunch of people acknowledge it.
V: What? What does that even mean?
A: Remember when you made the Dean’s List back at Southeastern? You carried the letter around with you everywhere and people thought it was because you wanted to brag but it was because you needed to have other people confirm it for you before you would believe it.
V: That’s not true. It’s because I’m an arrogant, self centered bastard and I need everyone to acknowledge my greatness.
A: No, it’s because you need people to acknowledge you period.
V: Ouch.
A: It’s the truth. You’ve been walking around for almost three weeks completely blind, fighting off depression, trying to still be yourself and trying not to be a burden on everyone and it wasn’t until a doctor or two confirmed that you were blind that you finally accepted it? I bet you’re still not believing and accepting that you’re a bestseller on Arizona or whatever.
V: Amazon.
A: That’s what I said.
V: Okay Mondo, whatever.
A: I’m just saying that you probably tell people with that little disbelieving smile on your face. The one that says, “I’m so happy to be receiving this award/acknowledgement/opportunity but I’m not going to hold onto it too tight because I’m sure you’re going to realize that I don’t deserve it and take it away from me.” You did the same thing with Christopher.
V: I did not. I loved Christopher.
A: Yes you did. You loved him so much you didn’t know how to handle it, so you cheated on him at first, then you treated him like shit and when he still wouldn’t go away you finally started to treat him decently and love him the way you wanted to. I wish you could see what the rest of us see.
V: I do too.
A: I’m not talking just physical sight, dumbass. I mean I wish you could look at yourself and see why the rest of us think you’re so amazing. I wish you could see why you touch people, why people get upset at those who use you, who discard you, who mistreat you. You bring out these feelings of protection in people.
V: Whatever.
A: I’m serious. Ask Cherie. I bet she’ll agree with me. The biggest thing is that you have to start believing things when they happen the first time. You have to start believing the good things that people say about you the first time they say it because one day you’re going to get an opportunity and they’re only going to say it once and if you don’t believe them the first time they say it then you’ll miss it.
V: Thank you Obi-Wan. Whatever would I do without you?
A: Turn into a pillar of salt and blow away I’m sure.

So now that I’m blind my friends feel like they can offer all of this sage advice to me about my life and circumstances. The kicker is, I’m actually listening now… at least a lot more than I ever did before. And while being blind when I could see just a few weeks ago is different, the actuality of losing my sight is not as difficult as I might have imagined. I think that having those people who still see me as being me, the ones who still tease with me, still talk to me and support me, who aren’t afraid that it’s contagious… is amazing and made even more so because now, in my blindness I can actually see how very supportive and caring those people have always been. They are the ones who have always had my back and have supported me from beginning to end, they are the ones who are helping me get through this.
So thank you.
I am making my way downtown today with Cherie. We are going to get my official name change paperwork and then going to see my VA Vocational Rehabilitation counselor so I can get all of this stuff together for school.
I actually smiled this morning when I woke up. I’ve been waking up and crying when I realize that I’m still blind, but this morning was the first time I woke up and smiled because you know what? Things could be so much worse.
Another positive note: Elian, the first book chronologically in my “The Marriage Groups” series (the prequel to my LiAW story Steamy) is at over six thousand words according to my narrator. It is at six thousand nine hundred and fifteen. When I lost my vision it was at three thousand. So I’m back to writing and yes, it’s only about a thousand words a day or so, because it’s frustrating me sometimes, but at least I’m writing.
At least I can still write.
It could be so much worse.
I encourage you all to remember that as things happen in your life, whether they are craptastic or easy as apple pie, look at what you can learn from your situation. See how the lessons life is teaching you can actually improve your life and the lives of others around you.
Have a good weekend everyone.

~Vicktor Aleksandr B

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wanting to Quit: Weathering the Storms of Life

Not sure if any of you have noticed, but I have not been around for quite some time. That is because I have gone blind.  We still don’t know why, though we have some ideas, but that is not why I am using my speech recognition and narrator software to write to you today. I am blogging today because I want to tell you all about the days that I almost gave up. I wanted to give up writing, being online and do nothing but lay around all day and bemoan the loss of my eyesight and the loss of my faith in certain people.
Really, that’s the reason behind this post: loss. Back in February the pain that I’d been experiencing in my back and hip, from being injured in the Army, got worse and were only surpassed by the dizziness and pressure that I experienced in my head every day. When that dizziness and pressure turned into words no longer making sense to me—leading me to feel like I was becoming stupid—I knew that something was definitely wrong. The first time I lost my vision it was only for five minutes and it was more everything went completely white. I stopped in my tracks and immediately sat down, putting my head down and blinking rapidly, hoping against hope that it would pass.
It did.
I called the nurse manager for my former primary care doctor and left a message on her voicemail detailing that the symptoms were getting worse and I needed her to contact me.
That was about two months ago.
When blurriness and flashes of white turned into melted colors and finally to the morning when I woke up and was completely blind for two hours I prayed. I prayed to YHVH and I prayed to Jesus. I cried for my Granny to help me and desperately wanted to talk to one of my parents. I even considered calling my biological mother. I thought I was being cursed, punished for being transgender and gay. I thought it was because of my penchant for standing up against bullies, perhaps because I’d just had an extremely stressful time online only months ago.
I was grasping at straws.
When my sight returned I told my sister, Cherie, and we began stepping up trying to me in to see the doctor. Weeks passed and my periods of blindness extended, each instance becoming longer with less periods of blurriness or clear sight.
Then two and a half weeks ago I woke up and was totally blind. My sight hasn’t returned at all.
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m scared.
I’m absolutely, totally and completely scared shitless.
I have moments where I want to curl up in a ball and sob my eyes out, ask God what I’ve done wrong to deserve this treatment. I have moments where I want to throw shit around the room and destroy everything around me. I want to push everyone away, scared that this “curse” is going to spread and contaminate them as well. At the same time I want to gather all of my family and friends around me and be surrounded by support and encouragement.
I feel confused and scarttered and not just because of the fact that words don’t make sense to me all of the time.
Writing is harder than it’s ever been before and I’ve only recently realized that I can actually send emails and things, although I’m never sure if things are spelled correctly unless someone tells me. My narrator can read emails to me, in her monotone voice, and read the immediate screen to me so I know what my next action should be. I am back to writing, which makes me happy, but at the same time I recognize much more than ever before the people, the friends, the “family” who are no longer around.
I realize that my life can be filled with drama and very soap opera-esque. I realize that can be hard for some people to take… and because I have so much going on I don’t need people who are leaves in my life, who when the wind blows hard they disappear. I had some who as soon as something bad happened they disappeared. I Don’t need people who are like butter and as soon as the heat turns up they melt. I need solid people especially as I walk through this unknown terrain of being blind and not exactly knowing the cause of it all.
A lot of different guesses and opinions have been thrown around, everything from MS (multiple sclerosis) to stress to testosterone overdose—which is very unlikely as my T-shots have been monitored from day one—to diabetes. No one knows exactly, but everyone knows that support is needed, not just for me but for the people whose lives are being affected right now: Cherie, the Neiceling, and Chipmunk to name a few.
So to those of you who have been sending emails and tweets and Facebook messages and comments to me, my assistant Cinders, Lor or Cherie, even those of you who have been showing support to Chipmunk, thank you so much. It means a lot to me. Now that I know I can use my speech recognition and narrator I will try to be online more than before, but until my sight returns or my accommodations improve, it won’t be completely like before. Thank you, in advance, for understanding supporting and encouraging me, it is greatly appreciated.

Vicktor Aleksandr B
Vicktor Alexander