Sunday, 15 July 2018

Thus we go on

All of us are living, breathing, human beings, with complex feelings and emotions. All that we differ in, is in how much we accept these, and with it ourselves.

When I got bullied and beaten up during almost every year that I spent at school, I never blamed or felt hate for those who hurt me. I bore it as one does everything in life which one cannot change. If anything, I felt sorry for those who are so conflicted and damaged inside, that they can no longer feel their own feelings.

When I got told over and over by doctors, psychologists and others that what I was observing about my body being intersex was merely in my head, I felt frustrated at how they just didn't want to see what was in front of their eyes. I felt sorry that they had become ensnared by their ignorance and obsession with falsehoods.

All of us are living, breathing, human beings, with complex feelings and emotions. We are capable of inflicting enormous damage upon others by closing ourselves off from these.

One bears the effects of the flaws of others, even as one does their best to help them see their flaws, so that they can work on repairing them. One never blames others. Just oneself for not grasping the exact nature of the flaws of others and being unable to help them.

Even as I prepared to take my own life in early 2011 I didn't blame anyone. In the end I was taking my own life so that I could live up to my own inadequacies. Those I would be leaving behind would understand and accept that I was now in a better place.

All of us are living, breathing, human beings, with complex feelings and emotions. We can bring unimaginable joy to those around us by realising their emotions and feelings, and acting upon those.

When my suicide attempt failed, my mother was there to give me a new chance at life, even as almost everybody else dropped me like I was poison. Slowly I recovered and things began to look up, with concrete gains in figuring out my intersex condition, and ultimately me getting started on my career as a software developer.

All of us are living, breathing, human beings. We can destroy others without so much as a single caring thought.

I do not feel hate or animosity towards the owner of the apartment or the court which saw fit to remove me by force if necessary over their lack of communication about when an earlier agreed-up rent reduction would stop. That would be like trying to argue with an avalanche or pyroclastic flow, or any other force of nature.

I feel that I have failed in some way again, by being somehow inadequate. For having missed something obvious and failing to act on something which anyone else would have picked up on. I know with great certainty that I am the problem. Somehow.

Every rejection during now half a year of applying for a new job simply reinforces this notion. The world is fine. Other people are fine. I just missed something obvious and as much as I try to figure out what this thing about myself is that I should be changing, I do not understand.

All of us are living, breathing, human beings, with complex feelings and emotions. We can choose to end our lives at will.

I fear that it has taken me too long to figure what I did wrong. I fear that it is now too late.

Too late to keep living. I simply wasn't good enough. Not fast enough. Not smart enough. Not lucky enough.

Even as I have found myself once again begging to have people give me another chance, I am beginning to find it exceedingly hard to keep up this charade that somehow I'll turn into a real person.

I don't feel real.


Saturday, 7 July 2018

Watching movies on transatlantic flights, or: don't cry in public

As I'm typing this, I am sitting in my Cupertino hotel room, in the very heart of Silicon Valley. On Monday this week I travelled to Canada, for an on-site job interview there. After the Tuesday interview, I travelled to San Jose on Wednesday, where for the past two days I had additional job interviews. In a short while I'll be taking a taxi to SFO to travel back to Europe.

On the flight back I expect to be watching in-flight movies again, just like I did on Monday. During that flight I immediately dove into the Chinese and Japanese movies sections. Though fairly limited in the offerings, I ended up watching one Chinese movie (of which I do not remember the title any more), and two Japanese movies.

Of the latter two movies, 'The last shot in the bar' (Tantai ha bar ni naru 3) [1][2] was a really fun yet still serious Japanese detective movie combining both slapstick elements and intense emotional scenes. By the end of the movie I found myself definitely engaged and interested in how things would work out. The twists the movie threw at me were not obvious and improved the story immensely. I have to watch the first two parts now, for sure.

The second Japanese movie was ゆらり ('yurari', English title: Last Night Rewind) [3][4]. This is a movie that was adapted from a theater play, and one can definitely notice this in how the scenes are put together. This is absolutely not a negative, however, as it allows one to focus on the characters. The movie description made me expect a different kind of movie than what I ended up watching.

Basically, this movie is far better than what I had expected, with the struggles of a number of characters from a couple of families followed as they try to work things out. The first resolutions are emotionally intense, but they are just the beginning. This was the movie were during the final scenes and afterwards I had to fight to not burst out in tears.

Watching an emotional drama in public is slightly awkward at the best of times. In a cinema everyone is at least watching the same movie, so everybody is likely to respond the same way. In a public space where it's just you watching the movie, awkwardness increases exponentially.

Not having to hold back may make a movie even better. Just letting those tears flow freely while experiencing the crushing emotional depths of the story, instead of having to keep them in check. I think this is a good reason to rewatch those movies at some point in a more private setting.

I'm curious to see whether there's a new selection available on the in-flight entertainment system as I fly back in a few hours. And then of course to see how my own story will continue, as I receive the feedback of this week's job interviews.



Monday, 28 May 2018

Vlog: Flying and soaring, or...

  • On getting evicted.
  • Maybe a new job and moving.
  • Working on my autobiography, part I.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Being evicted next month

Today I had my psychotherapist guide me through the findings of the court in the eviction case against me. The news is pretty bad. Not only did the landlord get the okay to evict me without any further pause after the appeal period ends early next month. I will also have to pay a considerable fine. The total amount that I may stand to pay including lawyer costs and such would be about 10,000 Euro.

Naturally I have made use of the appeal option, with my therapist writing a new report on my psychological state because the first one got rejected on account of being 'too old' and 'not reflective of my current state'. This letter makes it again very clear that an eviction at this point would likely lead to strong suicidal feelings and a likely new attempt.

As during the therapist appointment I suddenly... seized up and found myself convulsing on the floor on account of the flood of emotions, after first resisting the urge to claw open my own throat, I would agree with this assessment. I'm barely holding things together as is.

It seems that the court here has managed to not only ignore the available evidence, but has made no effort to consider my fragile psychological state, or my unique position as a minority (intersex). All of this over a lack of communication from the landlord's site that led to me continuing paying 10% less rent as agreed. All I got were bills with increasing fines, with my attempts to communicate going ignored.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I really hope that I can soon get that new job and move to the UK. With all of the negative things that are going on at this point I'm not sure how much longer I can keep things up. I'm longing so much for a normal life, working an interesting job, having a pleasant home and hanging out with friends. Also receiving psychotherapy to deal with my PTSD, this time without living in an environment which just worsens said PTSD.

Maybe coming to Germany was a mistake after all.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The child, the adult, the tears

The child who's crying in the dark room, as the sound of the angry man's voice still reverberates in their mind. The sensation of adult hands painfully clasping around their limbs and grasping at their body remains, as does the realisation of being all alone in the world. None of this is right. None of this will get better.

The same person, years later, finding themselves back in that same room. Crying. Feeling the pain all over, as they anticipate the next act of violence. What can one do but submit oneself to those adults? You're just a child. They know better. They have the strength.

Dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder is... well, you're not really dealing with it. Especially for childhood traumas it's just something that is there. It's become such an integral part of who and what you are that it's almost inconceivable that you can ever change.

I know that all of those horrible things which I remember, all of those sensations, that they are a thing of the past. That those adults who hurt and harmed me can no longer do so.

Yet today as I got the conclusion in the eviction case against me, I'm right back in that dark room, crying and feeling violated. I haven't even looked at it beyond the summary provided by my lawyer, and I'm already in such a state. I will have to wait until tomorrow, to read through it together with my psychotherapist. It's too dangerous for me to do it by myself.

Even though I already know from the summary that I can stay in this apartment, just nothing about any fines yet, it's not about those details. It's about the experience, of being dragged through the mud for two years, of having my integrity as a person question and having felt terrified for all that time that something horrible might happen to me any day now. Of feeling adrift and uncertain about my future.

If there's a bright spot in all of this it has to be that my search for a new job may have resulted in me scoring something pretty close to a dream job. Next week I'll be flying over for an on-site assessment. With any luck I'll not only get the job, but also assistance with finding and moving to a new home.

I'm honestly looking forward to this, and the positive impact it would have on my psyche. In some ways it'd feel like a little bit of justice still exists in this world.


Monday, 14 May 2018

A person's path to happiness

Surging blackness, coursing through one's mind
Overwhelming pain that blinds one to reality.
Just this feeling of bleakness,
The futility of existence.

Glimpses of other people, living
Lives which are so easy and filled
With carefree attitudes, which
Brush off anything negative in life

Sorrow using its razor-sharp claws
Tears apart the very essence of who and
What I am, until nothing remains but
A shadow of who I once thought I was.

Nothing left but these tears which flow down
My blood-streaked face, but whose blood?
I do not know anything, it's all
A blur, all of my memories.

Warmth, the promise of happiness,
A care-free life, free of this endless
Suffering that makes every one of
My smiles seem fake, like plastic.

Could I truly be permitted,
Feel this terror subside,
Embrace a sensation of safety,
Even if it's just an illusion?

I see others, smiling
Laughing and dancing with
Hearts that are unburdened by
The tragedy of existence.

This horrible feeling that once
I could have been like them.
No more, paradise lost, innocence
Perished in a dark alleyway.

Yet I smile, laugh, even though
It hurts so much inside.
Telling myself that it's much worse
Inside the confines of my thoughts.

There will always be sunlight,
Happy people, laughing and dancing.
There will always be darkness,
Sad people looking from behind bars.

Some people cannot be happy, as
It is not permitted for everyone
To be happy, to maintain
The tragedy of existence.

These bars I find myself behind,
Are they of my own making?

Happy memories of sunshine, of walking
Barefooted on grass, looking forward
To a long Summer holiday, fondly recalling
What seems like a torturous lie.


        A sun-shaded path.
A promise, far away.
Walking barefoot on
A gravel-strewn path.
Any day now.

        Ignoring my blood,
        Splattered on the path
        Behind me.
Almost there.


Saturday, 12 May 2018

The big talk on intersex: video now online

Yesterday was my talk at the Gulaschprogrammiernacht as announced in my previous post. The video recording [1] of the talk is now also available for your viewing pleasure:

The slides can be downloaded or viewed online [2].