Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Moving... Again

The very first time I moved was when I was only a few years old, when the farm house we were living in burned down. We lived in a temporary building until the new house had been built and we could move into it. We lived there until my father cheated on my mother and dumped her for another woman. That's when we moved to a nearby city. After half a year we moved to the other side of the country, because there was nothing in that city for my mother. I just went along, as I didn't have anything or anyone keeping me there.

Cue 3 years of medical drama, as well as my first sexual experience in the form of getting raped, both leaving huge emotional scars and causing me to want to run away from it all. Hence I moved to Canada. There I discovered that there was nothing for me either, so I moved back to the Netherlands, where I had to stay at an acquaintance's place. There I had to move from again after a month because they were going on vacation. That's when I ended up where I am living now. 7 moves total, 5 of which I remember.

This morning I started packing for my eighth move. With each of the last couple of moves I seem to carry along fewer possessions.

Sitting here amidst open boxes and piles of books and other items, I find myself looking into the mirror affixed to one of the closets in the room. In the eyes I see reflected back at me, I can see many unanswered questions, and more confusion. I knew that my staying here was temporary, and that I have overstayed my welcome by years, but I never suspected that I'd be leaving under these current circumstances, basically craving to get away as soon as possible.

Half a year ago I dreaded leaving, departing from this place, living on my own, never sharing shopping trips with my housemate again. Now that everything has turned sour and daily life has become an abstract play of tears getting away from here seems to provide at least some solutions.

Not all solutions. Not by far. Yesterday I had a friend over, which was fun and interesting, and we talked about lots of things. Yet social contact like this is a definite double-edged sword for me, as it makes me feel accepted and welcome on one side, and on the other side strongly reinforces the raw pain of the emptiness where for a regular person one's physical identity would go.

I look into the mirror and I don't know what I see. Why does this something, this person I see in the mirror do certain things? What motivates this person? All I know for a fact is that this person I see and which I am likes learning and knowledge, as well as being occupied with intellectual pursuits. As for the physical composition of the body I am seeing, it might as well be a black hole. There is nothing there, just a distorted image I can't make heads or tails of.

One of the topics I discussed yesterday with this friend was that of my promise to myself that I will pursue euthanasia if by the end of next year I will have made no progress in obtaining the answers surrounding my physical identity. I think she understood why I desire this, and why those answers are crucial to me.

There's also the very real risk that if I end up moving to a place I really do not like, it might make me feel terrible enough that I decide to end things before that time. I need to be able to worry less at this point, not more. I couldn't use the additional stress of my current living situation either, or false accusations I can not defend myself against which just make me want to punch things in frustration.

It's hard to imagine ending up in a place worse than where I live now, but I once also thought that a single person couldn't get all the misfortune I have had thrown at me throughout my life. When people say that I'm strong, they actually mean that they appreciate it that I haven't found the courage yet to give up on living and hope reincarnation is real so that I can give life another whirl, this time without having the entire deck stacked against me.

Later this week I expect to hear back on an apartment. Just for once I hope things will work out. It would be nice... *laughs bitterly*


Monday, 27 December 2010

Accusations Without Recourse

The words of the verdict echo between the walls of
The court's hall, unassailable and beyond criticism.
Each syllable burning its way through my mind.
Filled with anger, outraged at this display of
Injustice never forced itself upon me like this.

Glancing about the hall for support, yet there are
Only leering and shouting faces show their support
For the judgement, guilty as charged.
While guards drag me away, I declare my innocence
Over and over again, to the public's amusement.

The bitter realization of truth being that which
The more powerful make it up at their own whim.
Manipulative, self-serving, convinced of their own
Right to do upon others as they deem fit from inside
Their narrow-minded world of deceit and lies.

Never having been allowed to plead my case, my few
Friends are powerless to undo this injustice.
A mere sacrificial pawn for those unhindered by
Morals are only for fools and the weak.
All that rests me are the hours until first daylight.

The morning's first rays, and its mild breeze; I feel
Tears are streaming down my face unchecked. Before me
The executioner's block, fattened from so much blood.
In the crowd, those I trusted, those I thought friends.
I scream out my defiance, my pain and hatred.

Before being pushed down onto the block, head-first
Their amused smirks like daggers into my soul.
Nothing is left, nothing can be done, except give in.
Die, for the satisfaction of those who least deserve
Drawing breath, I bitterly smile for the last time ever.


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry XMas

Nearing the end of this year and I'm beyond and sick of tired of: disappointments, getting harassed and falsely accused, emotions and feelings, people in general, losing friendships, having the Talk after a few dates, being lonely, being different, not knowing what I am, not having anyone care about my issues, searching for a new place, fearing getting kicked out of where I live, getting pressured into performing, not having a stable income, chasing dreams, being bitter, not having basic questions answered, thinking about suicide, thinking about euthanasia, being in pain, not seeing much of a future.

On the other hand I'm grateful for: learning to know more and more new people, being allowed to talk to Dutch politicians about the Dutch medical system, hopefully having a Dutch hospital take me seriously for a change.

I'm also grateful for being someone who: is always nice to those who deserve it, never insults or hurts anyone, has a very strong sense of justice, forgives easily, is intelligent, has a healthy body.

I hope that next year is going to be a heck of a lot more pleasant than 2010. My first priorities will be finding a new place to live before the end of January, preferably sooner, and to get a stable income. The latter will just take some more time and more work on our games; TileWars on the edge of being done, the sad thing is that a nearly finished game is as useful as one one didn't even start on yet. As for finding a place, I honestly do not have a clue, as in a perfect world I'd have the chance to get an income first, then look for a place to live.

At least I should have plenty of places to store my things when/if I end up living on the streets next month. Positive thinking.


Tuesday, 21 December 2010


It just occurred to me that today is the third anniversary of the MRI scan in Germany, and hearing the diagnosis I thought would finally put my life back into order. In light of that nothing could be more ironic than my current situation.

Although I'm being heavily censored, I'll nevertheless attempt to give a description of the events as they occurred. I just recovered from another 30 minute long paralyzation attack, triggered just before starting dinner. It first made me feel shocked deep inside, the feeling of not being able to believe what one just heard, slowly growing into a feeling of being overwhelmed. By the end of dinner I slowly made my way upstairs to my room, already feeling that I was losing control over my muscles.

I did get in front of my computer, hoping that it might distract me and maybe make the event pass without causing me to withdraw into myself. Unfortunately I had no such luck. I felt the familiar fatalistic thoughts and the knowledge that I had reached every limit I could reach. As I realized that I was going to have to ride this one out again without being in control of it, I attempted to get from my chair to my bed, removing the notepad which was lying on it and noticing that my muscle control had degraded to the point where controlled motions were quite hard.

Realizing it would be lucky if I managed to get to my I tried to get into the best position, turning my chair so that it was next to my bed and I should be able to just slide over. Unfortunately I miscalculated and I simply fell off my chair, hit my knees on the floor first, then hurt my left hip as only my right arm and head made it onto the bed. My neck found itself lodged somewhat painfully on the edge, and my left shoulder pressed tightly against the side of the bed. This is the position I found myself stuck in for a full thirty minutes, unable to move, unable to speak or cry out for help.

Not that crying out for help would do me much good these days, though. As said by many before me, Hell is defined by irony. Having the one person who is always there for you when you need help the most turn into the one actively causing discomfort is a perfect example. Committing suicide as a result would then be the ultimate irony.

Just thinking about my current situation I feel sickened and very much discouraged. It's somewhat akin to finding oneself lying with a broken leg somewhere in the midst of some kind of wilderness, without having any clue as to which direction is the right one, while feeling sick from the pain. Melodramatic comparison, I know. Yet it's also very much alike. Such as how most people when stranded in a hostile area will continue to fight, will refuse to let themselves become a victim of circumstances, and do everything they can to survive, I too refuse to become a victim of circumstances. Yet one can stave off the predators and other threats for only so long until succumbing.

I got a response back from city hall earlier today, basically telling me to apply for social housing for urgent cases. I guess that's what I'll be doing. I really do not feel happy or anything else at the thought of moving, though. I'll still be alone. I just won't have people preying on me in real life. I hope. Otherwise it'll still be the same old story. The spark of joy inside my chest is as strong as the fire in a pile of week-old ashes.

Remembering how I felt on that day, exactly three years ago, I can not describe the feelings which threaten to tear me apart. It's such a bitterly poisonous irony to recall the intense feeling of relief and rightness of that day and then remember how every single last bit of those feelings getting crushed slowly during the next years until only the current me is left: a bitter, disillusioned being, a mere shadow, wandering around aimlessly without knowing the reason for its existence.

Isn't life wonderful?


Free Stuff In Life

This morning was a bit of a rush job so far. I was supposed to be at the beauty salon at 9 AM, I got up in time, even prepared to leave a bit sooner than usual because it's snowy, cold and slippery outside. Don't want to take any chances, and such :) That's when things kind of grinded to a halt.

First I found out that my bike has a flat rear tire. The fix I did on the inner tube a few years ago probably gave out since it was on a rather unfortunate spot to begin with, on a seam. I'll probably want to have the whole inner tube replaced by a bike shop to avoid the hassle of disassembling and reassembling the gearing system.

Okay, so no bike available, but there's still the train, right? Unfortunately while the 8.45 AM train was supposed to be there, it got canceled suddenly, and everyone waiting on the platform had to move to the other train, which departed at 9 AM. So I was going to be late for my appointment.

The nice part is that while waiting on the first platform I had already been looking at the people around me, trying to get a feeling for the situation, as I'm sure many people do. When the train got canceled there was this girl who for some reason seemed receptive to a remark about the canceled train, so I made the usual remarks about them suddenly canceling without telling us.

You really shouldn't ask me how this keeps happening to me, but I frequently have very lively conversations with perfect strangers, it's like there's some kind of invisible signal, telling all parties involved who is up for a conversation or so.

So, this girl turned out to speak English, and Italian because that's where she's from. We were sitting next to each other in the train, talking about culture and language and things like that, I mentioned something about the difference between German and Dutch magazines, in how they handle things, and that's how we ended up talking about the articles I have been in. I didn't tell her anything about my situation, just told her I have done interviews and photoshoots for magazines, and gave her the address of my website.

I like it when things flow naturally like this, and I don't feel like I'm forcing it on the other person. It's not like I am a selfish person, it's just that I have so many things I want to tell others about, and so many things I want attention for and help with, that it is hard to contain oneself at times. The feeling that you're begging for attention is then the absolute worst, as it just makes you feel pathetic.

Anyway, I was only ten minutes late for my appointment, which wasn't a problem. Waiting 20 minutes on the platform for a train back home was a lot worse in comparison. It's freezing about 5 degrees or so, which makes it very unpleasant to wait outside like that.

What is pleasant are such random conversations, as they make me feel like a happy little social critter, and makes me feel better about the world in general. People who seclude themselves from their surroundings and people who derive pleasure from insulting and harassing others are the ones who make this world a miserable place. The former rarely do it on purpose, but the latter should know better and are really among the lower lifeforms on this planet. I do try to stay the heck away from them, as they're just not worth the trouble. Having been stuck among mostly those unpleasant people for the past months, such a random conversation really cheers me up. And it's free :D

Also free is the laser therapy treatment my beautician offered me for next week Tuesday, which I think is incredibly nice of her. With some luck it'll speed up the hair-removal process, and it's free too.

Before the TV broadcast of November 9th I had this thought that maybe someone would offer something to help me with getting my own place to live at. That didn't quite happen, but I sent an email to the city hall this morning, asking them whether they could maybe help me find a new place really soon, possibly through some financial support. Who knows, that might actually work. There are regulations for special, urgent cases after all.


Monday, 20 December 2010

Anti-Depressants Aren't

Last week I was looking for a new source of valerian root extract, as the brand I am currently taking decided to change the contents, adding melatonin to the 250 mg version (Valdispert Nacht ('night')), which does make sense if you take them to sleep easier, but doesn't if you intend to use them during the day. One alternative I found is made by A Vogel, and contains primarily passion flower (P. incarnata)(1) which after some research turned out to function as an anti-depressant (2) thanks to the beta-carboline harmala alkaloids (3) it contains. The P. incarnata alkaloids in particular function as MonoAmine Oxide Inhibitors (MAOI)(4), the synthetic versions of which were common as anti-depressants until SSRI anti-depressants succeeded them.

The MAOI in P. incarnata happens to be both selective (doesn't target both MAO-A and MAO-B recepters) and reversible (doesn't deactivate MAO but merely  inhibits it in a temporary fashion). This makes it quite mild and also largely prevents the so-called 'cheese syndrome' (5) which is associated with the use of MAOI and consumption of tyramine simultaneously, leading to hypertensive crisis, which can be fatal.

Returning to the effects of MAOI, Wikipedia's article (4) lists the following under 'Mode of action':

"MAOIs act by inhibiting the activity of monoamine oxidase, thus preventing the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters and thereby increasing their availability. There are two isoforms of monoamine oxidase, MAO-A and MAO-B. MAO-A preferentially deaminates serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine. MAO-B preferentially deaminates phenylethylamine and trace amines. Dopamine is equally deaminated by both types."

Looking at the types of neurotransmitters affected, we can see that a few of them aren't very useful if you want to feel relaxed, especially norepinephrine (6) which is a well-known stress hormone, together with epinephrine which is more commonly known as adrenaline (7).

The selectivity of MAOIs like the one in P. incarnata clearly doesn't extend to the exact types of neurotransmitters it affects, otherwise it would focus on increasing the availability of for example serotonin (8) instead, which is a substance which contributes to a feeling of well-being. It also makes it a very poor choice to combine with a GABA (9) receptor inhibiting substance like the one present in valerian root, as the relaxing effects of increased presence of GABA are counter-acted by the presence of norepinephrine and epinephrine.

It also shows clearly why both SSRI and MAOI-based anti-depressants are a very poor choice of medication in the case of stress, like mine, as it will actually amplify the fight or flight mechanism, not reduce its effect.

So, to get back to last week, I tried those pills with P. incarnata extract until yesterday and while the first day was fine, after that I began to feel very restless, I began to experience a dull, nauseating headache and found myself unable to nap, or sleep without the use of sleeping pills. I also was extremely agitated, having to resist countless impulsive thoughts and desires. Let's just say that a person in my situation, with this type of medication would be very easily provoked into physical violence, vandalism and many other types of unsavory, impulsive acts.

Yesterday morning I took the last of these pills and last night I took a pure valerian root pill again. I did take a sleeping pill last night, as I was still feeling extremely agitated, making for the fourth in a row which is basically inviting addiction, not to mention a very expensive hobby. This morning I am feeling a lot better, especially after I managed to actually nap for an hour after taking another valerian pill. A few hours ago I went to my GP, had a nice talk with her about this issue and the stresses surrounding my current living situation, and also managed to obtain some Valdispert Nacht without the melatonin, probably an old batch.

Which leads me to my original question I started with last week: where to obtain valerian root extract in 250 mg/pill dosage or similar without any melatonin, passion flower or other unwanted substances added? Maybe I should just look online...



Sunday, 19 December 2010


As I said in my blog post yesterday, I was quite hysteric. In short it's basically what the medical part of my PTSD looks like. This morning I read the next response from the MRI Centrum. The radiologist in question, Philip Pevenage, said that with the existing low-resolution scans he would not be able to see the hole I specified, but mentioned that such a vagina-like hole of insignificant depth is a known occurrence among intersexual people. This is the first time that anyone medically educated has admitted that me and others feeling 'something vagina-like' there isn't just a crazy thought.

He also said that a good, physical examination is required at this point by someone who is interested in answering these questions. He recommended the UZ Gent hospital for this, but as I mentioned in my reply to him this morning, that always comes down to finances again, as my insurance company refuses to pay for anything outside this country, and thus I'll have to secure funding elsewhere before I take such a step.

I also mentioned to him that I am currently waiting for the UMC Utrecht hospital to get back to me, and that I hope that they can do this physical examination. I truly hope they can and want to do so, and that in less than 2 months this will all be over. And yes, I realize I have expressed the same hope dozens of time before. Sad, isn't it?


Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Same Pattern, Again

Earlier this week I sent an email including links to the MRI scans made so far to the MRI Centrum ( here in the Netherlands. They have looked at the MRI scans for signs of a vagina, and moments ago I received their report. They didn't see anything unusual, and concluded that the black tube visible on the MRI scans is just the front of the rectum wall. The German clinics just got confused. The email response continued by noting that I could receive further treatment at the UZ Gent in Belgium, in their transsexual protocol.

There are two things wrong with this. The first is that I am not looking to become anything. Yet again my wishes are completely misunderstood. What in the world would be the point of looking for answers to things I physically feel inside my own body if I'd just as easily get surgery to be a happy transsexual. I don't care about becoming or being a woman. I don't give a damn about gender or sexuality. I just want to know what I am.

This leads to the second thing wrong with this response: I, and others, can feel something underneath the skin which clearly does feel and respond like a vagina. While the MRI report says there's no tube visible, it doesn't provide an explanation for what this 'something' 'down there' is. That there is something is a fact, and I can't believe nobody can tell me what it is. I have sent an email response indicating this. I expect them to tell me that they don't see anything special on the MRI scans and that they can't provide an explanation for it.

If it sounds like I'm on the edge of hysteria it's because I am. Six years later and I'm still working on the basics. The more I try to get answers about what I am, the more I learn about what I am not. I'm not a woman, I'm not a man. I'm not a transsexual, that I could be intersexual is heavily controversial in the medical world. What I do or don't have in terms of reproductive organs and their functionality differs depending on who I ask.

I don't know anything. And I'm so tired of things being like this. It's making me think that the euthanasia option is the only humane way to deal with my situation. Next Tuesday I'll definitely discuss this with my GP, to see whether I can count on her helping me end this torturous existence next year if some ridiculous miracle doesn't occur soon.

Nobody can force me to live like this. Nobody can make me suffer like this. I make my own choices. Because in the end it's more important than anything to be free to choose the path one most desires.


Friday, 17 December 2010

Emergency Room, Yet Again

A few moments ago I was yet again at the local hospital's ER to have whatever condition I have checked out. From what little I can remember - because my memory is still seriously failing me - there is an inflammation in my chest which causes the chest pains, but I do not have bronchitis or worse, just a really bad cold combined with far too much stress to be healthy. The doctor's advice was to take it easy, relax, take a vacation, etc.

I have a deadline to make or I'll be living on the street early next year. Relaxing? I don't even know what the word means.

I'm really feeling at a loss here, to be quite honest. Not only will I keep feeling miserable for the next few weeks, be forced to skip one of my few social events of the week because I can't go outside, have to cancel a family dinner if I don't start feeling better really soon, and on top of that I also can't do any, or at least a significant amount of work because it's pushing me too hard?

To be honest I think that my work is the only thing keeping me slightly sane, while everything outside it, in the so-called 'Real World', is more of a kind of freakish nightmare of which I don't know how in blaze's name I ended up there. All I know is that I do not wish to spend any significant amounts of time there as it's bloody confusing and utterly painful.

Drama, yes. Lots of it. Welcome to my life. It's sometimes hard for me to step back and realize just how strangely I appear to others, especially in my desire to end my own life if I don't get a few answers about how my body is put together. Yes, my body is healthy, there's nothing wrong with it, I don't suffer from some kind of mystery illness or anything. And yet I so loathe it for what it stands for. Because of what its existence has done to my life. I don't just feel bitter about it, it's something far stronger than that.

Something like, why does everyone around me seem to know how their body works, but is this somehow information I'm not allowed to know. What is going on? What am I supposed to do with this body? I can't figure it out on my own. I need help here. Why am I not getting any help? Did I do something wrong? Shouldn't I have been born? Is my mere existence a mistake?

Facts and actions speak louder than words, and thus everything anyone tries to tell me to assure me that there's nothing wrong with me and that I'm okay just the way I am, and that one day I will get those answers and that I will just need to hang on for a little bit longer can just keep talking and talking, but they can not make me feel better. I know that they're trying to make me feel better, but they can not talk away my suffering at the hands of the cruel psychologists and doctors in this country. It is a fact that I was and still am being treated like garbage.

Maybe that UMC Utrecht hospital can change this view, but at the moment the doctor there is still on vacation so I won't know until later next year at the earliest. I also sent an email to the Middlesex clinic at a London hospital, and a friend sent a few emails to a couple of Norwegian hospitals. Further maybe my appearance next month in a big German magazine will make something in that country happen, it is a pretty good article. Finally Linda Voortman can maybe do something for me after our talk in about one month time.

All hope isn't lost, but I wish I at least had a stable financial and living situation. Those two things alone would take away so many of my troubles and stress. I'd like a life of my own, not feeling like I'm living on the scraps of other people's lives. I already have zero self-esteem without all these issues and people bashing me over the head with things they see as failings about me and my life.

I'm trying, even if I perhaps really do suck at life. I'll be quitting by the end of next year if it still hasn't worked out, though. One has to know when to stop being foolhardy.


Please Join The Back Of The Queue

Just over two weeks ago I got a cold. Nothing special, just a sore throat for a few days making swallowing a painful affair. Then the coughing started, plus I spent a day in bed with a fever. I would like to note that fevers are very unusual for me. Even as a child I spent more time in bed whenever I was sick being utterly bored than with a significant fever. Now, I thought it was kind of unusual that I kept coughing and feeling unwell for so long. When I mentioned this yesterday in my IRC channel (irc://, someone there mentioned the possibility of bronchitis, based on the symptoms (1).

This would explain the coughing persisting for weeks, the shortness of breath which I have been experiencing for a while but simply ascribed to hyperventilating, fatigue and the chest discomfort. Then some people on a forum I frequent urged me to go to my GP right away with this, as bronchitis can develop into pneumonia (2).

Reading the list of symptoms on pneumonia was interesting, as it listed a chest pain which fluctuates with breathing (pleurisy)(3) as one of the symptoms. This just happens to be something I have been experiencing regularly for months now. Pleurisy is caused by an inflammation of the double membrane lining the chest cavity and surrounding the lungs. It's a common complication of pneumonia.

Considering that I have apparently experienced pleurisy for months, this could indicate that I have been walking around with developing pneumonia for a while now, and that only now it's becoming serious. Of the listed risk factors for pneumonia I do not classify for any of them, except one: compromised immune system. Prolonged exposure to significant stress levels have a proven negative effect on one's immune response, and the past few months have seen a significant increase for me, with a sharp spike during the past few weeks, coinciding with the occurrence of all these cold-like and bronchitis/pneumonia-like symptoms.

Whether I truly do have bronchitis, pneumonia or something else I won't find out until next week Monday at the earliest unless I go to the ER, as my GP didn't have time for me until Monday morning. Later today until late Monday I'll be home alone. Hopefully there are no complications during the weekend requiring assistance, as especially pneumonia isn't exactly known for being a mild condition.

I'll be staying at home, skipping swimming on Sunday morning as I do not wish to expose my lungs to more cold, dry air, nor possibly infect others. Maybe I'll manage to get some work done if I can stop feeling so darn fatigued and my memory starts cooperating again.



Saturday, 11 December 2010

Morphing Into A Social Butterfly

Yesterday I went to Amsterdam to visit the concert given there at the Van Gogh museum. The concert was about Chopin's life and works, and was performed by someone I'm proud to call a friend: Misaki Yamada. She played the piano and was accompanied by a video displayed on a big screen detailing the life of Chopin using Misaki's own drawings. It was very well done, very well performed and at certain points very funny or very touching. It made me wish the concert was even longer as it was very interesting and ended almost too quickly :) There should be a video of the concert available soon.

I also ended up talking a lot with the other girl who was having that birthday party on Tuesday. I ended up telling her a bit about my situation and she genuinely seemed interested, so we kept discussing the subject. It was very pleasant. As it turns out she also teaches at a place near where I live in Almere, so she'll be dropping by my place some time for a drink.

After the concert Misaki, me and a few others went to a nearby cafe for a drink. It was a lot of fun, even though Misaki was about to fall asleep as the exertion of the concert and the weeks of feverish preparation finally took their toll. She did make it home safely, fortunately. I hope to see her again soon.

With another friend I went to a birthday party of one of her friends, some girl I didn't know yet at all. As it turned out she was very nice as well and it was a fun party, even though we arrived quite late and the birthday girl was pretty much dozing off near the end. What struck me was that even though I arrived as an unexpected guest and perfect stranger to her, when it was time to leave she embraced me as well, and was chatting with her until everyone said their goodbyes. I even have added her to my Facebook friends list and she sent me a really nice message today. Chalk up another one for unexpected and very pleasant meetings.

I also met a guy at this party who offered to translate the article from next month's issue of Maxi from German to English and German to Dutch, which I thought was a very generous offer, especially since he doesn't know anything about me or my situation :)

After this birthday party my friend and I walked back to her place where I spent the night. Maybe it was because it was the first time I had spent the night there, but I didn't feel very well-rested by the time we had to get up. We walked to the station after a quick breakfast and around 10.30 AM I was back home. The primary sensation was that of exhaustion, though I didn't feel unhappy.

I ended up taking a 2-hour nap, caught up on my usual internet hangouts and email, didn't do the work I had promised myself I would do today and a few moments ago I had pizza for dinner and am kind of debating whether or not to take a sleeping pill tonight.

Why a sleeping pill, you might ask. Shouldn't I be feeling happy and satisfied and nearly stress-free after such a fun time? It's kind of complex.

While, as pointed out by multiple people yesterday, I am very social, easy to talk with, and happen to know a lot of things which keeps any discussion interesting, that's just one part of socializing. There's also the part I prefer to call the Dark Side, which is composed out of topics such as relationships, sexuality and friendship to some extent as well.

The issue I keep running into is that when it comes down to it part of my emotional development are still stuck somewhere before the full onset of puberty, due to the fact that I do not know what my body is really like, and have no means to learn to know my body, ergo my development in those areas is practically absent. The result is akin to being torn apart, in an almost literal sense. Part of me is elated at discovering how easy it is for me to make friends, and that I seem to have no self-esteem issues there at all.

At the other side there is the part where I'm feeling deserted and abandoned. Where I feel like huge chunks of myself are missing. Where confrontations with the Dark Side of socializing make me feel very upset and depressed, and make me cry uncontrollably in sheer misery like I did earlier. It feels as though that with this part of my very being is being ripped away. There's no harmony, no union. There are just these two parts threatening to ruin my life if I persist in continuing my current course.

Where I notice this for example is in how much my hatred of sexuality and disgust with relationships have increased as of late. It's taking on very grotesque proportions, to the point where it is purely irrational emotional negative energy. It makes me pause and consider the consequences of the current changes in my life.

What is so screwed up about this whole situation is that if the medical system in this bloody country had actually done its job I wouldn't be stuck in this impossible situation. I would have gone through a somewhat difficult but not impossible late emotional puberty, and things would have balanced out by itself. Now however I'm stuck with a situation which can only end badly.

The doctor at the UMC Utrecht hospital who had offered to help me is currently absent, but will contact me as soon as he returns. I hope it's soon and that he can offer me real help. I'm not looking forward to the suffering I'll have to undergo or worse if this all takes much longer.


Saturday, 4 December 2010


Last night I went to bed around 9 PM, got woken up by the dogs howling downstairs, couldn't sleep afterwards and didn't have the luxury of taking a sleeping pill because my housemate had forgotten to give me one. Ultimately I stayed up until midnight, an hour of which was spent talking on the phone with my mother, on the current situation between my housemate and I.

This morning I woke up feeling pretty okay, until things came crashing down around 8 AM, when I began to feel really sick. I don't really remember every detail of or order in which things happened, but all I know is that I took my temperature and it was around 37.6 degrees Celsius. At least it explained why I wasn't feeling so well, as well as my fuzzy memory. I went back to bed and slept for at least three hours.

Waking up my temperature had dropped 0.1C. Yay. I still felt quite miserable and absolutely not like eating. I did take the second valerian pill of the day, however. I felt miserable enough already without increasing the emotional misery as well :) I think it was around 2 PM when I finally began to feel a bit better. My temperature by then had dropped to just above 37C, which is still elevated for me (normal is ~36.6C). I was just left with this piercing headache and nasty cough.

The former was easily dealt with a handful of painkillers, the latter I can't seem to find any effective therapy for. Cough drops and such don't seem to have more than a very slight and temporary effect, so I'm just kind of struggling on there. The worst part of the experience so far was when I began to feel really suicidal and such. As I mentioned before, physical discomfort can really push me off a cliff, or at least very close to the edge.

Curious about this all is that I haven't been sick like this for many years. The last time I can remember was when I was still a child. My suspicion is that the added stress of the past few days has really affected my immune system, making me more susceptible than normally. The canker sores I got a few days ago are also a hint towards this.

The past few days have been quite surreal. I guess it's all part of the usual mourning process after realizing some terrible truth. First of course denial, then anger, bargaining and finally acceptance. The last stage kind of began yesterday, with yet another argument between my housemate and I which I think finally made me realize that bargaining really isn't going to work. Hence acceptance, no matter how hard it is. I can feel a lot of sadness and grief now when I think of how pleasant the past few years have been, which makes it so hard to deal with the current situation.

I guess things are going to rapidly change for me now, with the first release of a video game by Nyanko hopefully this month before XMas, which should lead to proper revenue for the company and financial independence for me, allowing me to start living on my own at last. I'll also start lobbying next year January, and I'll have my media debut in Germany that same month.

I also seem to be developing something resembling a network of friends. Next week I have one birthday party and one friend's concert scheduled. This would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. I'm also having the weekly torture appointments at the beauty salon again, which I'm looking forward to because the people there are just so nice and friendly. I'll never forget how they took care of me when I came there that one weekend, completely in shock and unable to speak even a single word lest I'd burst into tears.

There are so many good things in my life and so many good things just on the horizon, but Heavens know how hard it is to not be overwhelmed by darkness. Just a few more months...


Friday, 3 December 2010


If there is one thing I desire most in my life it has to be stability. If there is one thing human society is the antithesis of, it has to be stability. Note that I mean stability here as the opposite of a chaotic system, a system in which there are too many variables to reliably make any long-term predictions. In essence a stable system is one in which change still occurs, but which is very predictable in a short-, medium- and long-term perspective.

In my own life that would mean actually knowing what will happen to me next year, next month. Even next week. At this point I do not have a clue. Even this morning part of me was still convinced that I would find myself homeless due to an argument with my housemate involving our friendship and the unmentionable thing which I'm forbidden to ever write or speak about in public. Suffice it to say that it involved harassment last night by one of my very own stalkers, which sent me into shock and ended up in me actually physically hurting my housemate.

None of this I could have predicted even half a year ago. The human tendency to completely change the course of their lives seemingly at random is something which truly mystifies me. My own goals and lists of things to accomplish in life are pretty clear and there is absolutely no chance I'll ever deviate from it, aside from suicide. Irrational behaviour is something I can not understand or come to terms with. All I can do is ignore it and focus on what can be understood.

One thing which offers me some stability - if I ignore my work - is the group of friends I'm beginning to gather around me, also thanks to the girl I dated a few months ago, who introduced me to some of her friends and whose birthday party I'll frequent next week, followed by a concert by one of her friends later that week. While no one around me can possibly understand or do something about this intense feeling of loneliness and craving for understanding I feel inside almost every moment that I'm awake and often bothers me while asleep, it is reassuring to know that I'm still part of something. Some kind of network, with individuals who do care at least a bit about me. If I was still stuck here at home with no one to talk to but some friends thousands of kilometers away, I'm not sure I'd still be here.

As I said, I do not know what next week will bring. I have my usual two appointments at the beauty salon, I'm also getting my hair cut on Tuesday with that birthday party later that day and the concert on Friday. Those are factual things, of which I do not know what may transpire during or between these events. I do not know how I'll feel after the party, after the concert. I do not know whether I'll get a response from the UMC hospital. I do not know whether they can really offer me anything or whether it'll just be another disappointment.

People have told me that change is part of life, but as I said in the beginning, there's a difference between stable, predictable change and erratic, chaotic change. The latter is bearable to some extent, but at this point I feel like nothing but a cheap plastic toy being tossed about in a fast-flowing river, getting sucked under water, crashing into rocks and so on, with no idea when it will end, or which pains and disappointments I'll be forced to suffer next, without being able to exercise even the tiniest amount of control over my life.

I can say that there are some good things in my life, that some things are fun or enjoyable, but taken as a whole, I honestly do not know why I'm still bothering. I'm just too tired to deal with the constant 'surprises' life keeps shooting at me using an air canon at high speeds.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Help At Last?

Before I begin, I apologize for any glitches you may encounter in the following post. I'm trying to cope with a somewhat degrading living situation and any fall-out which may be the result of upcoming confrontations. It does take a fair bit of one's concentration and energy :)

Earlier today I received an email from my contact person at BNN, who forwarded me a message BNN had received on November 17th (yes, two weeks ago), from a surgery-assistant at the UMC Utrecht hospital, directed at me. The woman in question informed me that she had seen the TV broadcast on November 9th and since she works at the Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis (Wilhelmina Children's Hospital) which is connected to the UMC Utrecht, and she encounters quite a few intersex cases among the children she sees during her work, it piqued her interest and she decided to discuss it with a doctor there.

This doctor, a urologist called Pieter Dik, indicated that he could possibly help me, so that's when the assistant decided to send me the message. Although the time delay did put somewhat of a blemish on the joy this evoked for me, it's nevertheless quite possible that this is the breakthrough I have been looking for. I sent Dr Dik an email at any rate and hope to hear from him soon. I also sent the surgery-assistant a thank-you email for her troubles :)

Part of me feels exulted at this news, while another part is completely skeptical. The coming months should make it clear which side was more justified in its response. One thing which helps is that this is the first time a hospital has come forward and offered to help me, instead of me having to go there to beg for help. I'd like to think I'm done with the groveling at this point.

Maybe if things go well, I could stop using these sedation pills as well. The past two days I had been experimenting with a lower dosage (240 mg/day instead of 500 mg valerian root extract), but with a clearly more distinct emotional response and duration during the day with the sedation effect quickly wearing off after dinner time, making my nights quite restless. I had to resort to taking extra pills of the 60 mg variety the first night, and a sleeping pill the second.

The complete rush or should I say torrent of feelings and thoughts which assault me without the sedation effect is just astounding. I can't believe I managed to do anything useful with all that going on inside my head. Suffice it to say that I won't be rid of these pills until some things in my life fundamentally change, the primary ones being getting the answers I seek about my body and becoming financially independent and living on my own. I never thought I'd yearn to leave my current place, but lately triggers related to traumas have been sneaking into life here, and I feel I need a complete break from it.

Maybe next year is the year when everything turns out alright after all...


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Nyanko CMS

Today marks the first day that Nyanko Content Management System (NCMS) is in actual production use, running a commercial site. After starting the project a few years ago to replace the 'lite' CMS the site was (and still is) running but never making much headway, I got the opportunity to finish developing it just over a month ago when my cousin gave me the go ahead to use NCMS as the basis for her company's website.

Since then I have spent weeks analyzing the existing code, rewriting some parts, debugging many lines of code and encountered some rather silly glitches such as not using mysql_real_escape_string() on a string I had to insert into the database, which would hilariously result in query execution errors when you least expect them. Another favourite error of mine is the one when opening files in PHP, using a function like fopen(), or file_put_contents(): "[..] failed to open stream: No such file or directory in [..]", which basically comes from the fact that while these functions can open and create files, they can not create directories in the path provided which aren't there. You have to create those yourself.

The CMS itself is pretty advanced in many respects: fully modular, PHP-based, limited to a MySQL backend but easily extended, with separate development and production website instances for the more demanding enterprise situations. It also features an AES-encrypted link between the development and production sites making the use of HTTPS and an expensive SSL certificate unnecessary. Finally NCMS employs a powerful and highly configurable caching mechanism, allowing it to scale to even the largest sites.

Why didn't I pick another, existing CMS? Why not go with Joomla, Drupal, or one of the dozens of other PHP-based CMSs? Primarily their complexity and wealth of bad design choices which resulted in limitations. The focus with NCMS from the beginning has been to make the design as uncompromising as possible, with only the most minimal set of requirements on each module. Template files need only the most basic adaptations to use them with NCMS and modules communicate using strict APIs and protocols.

At this point NCMS is essentially still a prototype. Particularly the administration section is still kind of basic and many more tasks need to be simplified and automated. What I'm considering is porting the current purely PHP-based administration section to a C++-, Qt-based desktop application, mostly for ease of installation and use, as well as for performance reasons.

I'll be using NCMS for future client sites, as well as my own sites. Once it's more developed I'll also consider licensing the CMS itself, commercially and maybe a free license as well. Open sourcing it is not on my list of options at this point, however, as I fail to see the point of doing so.

*dodges incoming flames*


Thursday, 25 November 2010

German Magazine Interview

Some time after noon today I was visited by the German journalist as I mentioned before for my interview for the German magazine Maxi. She (Soerre Wieck) turned out to be a very nice person and we had a long (~3 hours) and fun interview. Interesting coincidence was that the copy of the current magazine which she had mailed to me some time last week ended up arriving just as we were finishing up the interview. We were joking about it being faster for her to take the magazine along next time than to mail it. I still wonder how it's possible for mail to be delivered with 1 day in the Netherlands and 1-2 in Germany, yet for it to take about a week to mail the same between these countries.

I learned that Maxi, the magazine, was looking at writing an article about intersexuality, and Soerre ended up searching on internet looking for inspiration. She ended up stumbling over my website. That she contacted me shortly after the broadcast here on national TV was simply mere coincidence. On which note, I put the edited and English sub-titled version of that broadcast online, on my website's Media page and on YouTube.

Using Sony Vegas I cut out the sections which didn't feature me as well as the intro. It felt kind of good to remove those parts, I must say :) At any rate it turned out to be a 13 minute, 25 second long video after editing. More than 250 subtitle lines had to be written. This time I used Aegisub instead of my usual Sabbu for the subtitling and timing, which was a positive experience after I changed my speaker setup to stereo as somehow it'd otherwise refuse to output on the front-left/right channels and thus my headphones. Weird.

I ended up having issues with VirtualDub with the x264 codec, resulting in out of sync streams. Using Avidemux's implementation solved this. It wasn't easy, but hopefully worth it :) Maybe Soerre will pick up a few more things from it as well. She said she'd watch it later.

Today's interview wasn't very different from previous interviews, though it seemed mostly focused on facts, with my feelings more secondary. It felt fine. She also asked a question which I don't really remember, but which resulted in me saying something about how I experience things differently from people without PTSD, which basically came down to that my traumas make me very vulnerable for new traumas and that's why I can't easily shrug off things others wouldn't give a second thought, such as meeting hurtful/negative people and getting hurt in relationships, as these can amplify existing or create new traumas. I think I got a few new insights there.

I'm pretty sure we treated every other subject as well. The interview was done in English, of course, and I had no trouble understanding Soerre. In other news, a German accent is kind of cute :) Also cute are my Hello Kitty plushies, according to her at least (me too, I guess :D ). At the end of the interview I felt satisfied albeit with a slight headache and feeling drained, as is usual after such an interview. It's not easy to do such a long interview and still feel alert afterwards. I'm glad I didn't have to drive home :D

According to Soerre the article will be published in January. Maxi magazine uses a publication schedule in which the month name on the magazine is one month out of sync with the actual month for some reason. The copy I got today, for example, is the November number, but is called the December number. It probably makes sense on some level, but at least it means that the article will be published one month sooner than I believed before.

Today was most definitely a good day, even if I'm now even more behind on my work schedule :P


Monday, 22 November 2010

Party Time

Saturday I went to the graduation party of a friend. This was also basically the very first party I have been to, making it in many ways a difficult first step. In the end, though, it really wasn't that bad. In fact it was actually pretty fun.

All the people at the party (except me) were musicians, and aside from me there was just one person who spoke Dutch so English was the primary language used. There were people from Israel, US, UK, Japan, Germany, Spain and other countries. The first thirty minutes or so after I arrived (around 8 PM) I made for a pretty wall flower, chatting a bit with this one German girl but otherwise feeling a bit lost.

This changed somewhat when I started talking with this American girl I had met before on Facebook. Familiar faces are reassuring at a party. I also had the first guy ever compliment me on having such pretty nails. I must say that male musicians in general tend to be slightly more... feminine in their behaviour than the average guy :) In general my impression was that everyone at the party was nice albeit mostly somewhat closed. As a stranger to most of them I think I talked with about 5 people total out of the about 30-40 present.

The most fun part was with the Japanese people; the girl in their group at one point sat down next to me and we just started chatting. Note that this was the first time I had ever talked to a Japanese person in real life. We ended up talking for at least two hours total, and it was awesome to discover that my Japanese wasn't that horrible at all - I actually got complimented on my pronunciation - and that I generally felt completely comfortable and at home discussing things related to Japanese culture in general.

I hope that I'll be able to meet up with this Japanese girl more often, and have fun swimming and helping each other with languages. I did think it was curious that yet again I end up talking the most with Asian people while finding little in common with Western people and those close to them.

By the time I left the party, together with the Japanese people, it was close to midnight and I still had over an hour to travel back to home. After a long, long journey through the Amsterdam subway, which does have very interesting types traveling in it at that time, and nearly falling asleep in an almost empty train I arrived home at about 1.30 AM. It was about 2 AM before I finally fell asleep.

Waking up at around 5.30 AM, I was definitely not that pleased, especially when I discovered that I couldn't go back to sleep. I felt too restless for that. After tossing and turning for a while I got up. At around 9.30 AM I was at the swimming pool, feeling kind of out of things with just 3.5 hours of sleep, but managing. It didn't seem to impact my physical capabilities too much.

At 3.15 PM Pieter, I and the girl I met before at the pool were at the cinema, to watch the new Harry Potter movie: Deathly Hallows, part 1. I had managed to cram in a few more hours of sleep before this.

For reference, it's not a particularly good or bad movie. It's just so-so. Even after 6 previous movies, the characters still have the depth of a sheet of paper, the story in this movie is vague and illusive, as the director has opted for an abstract way of shooting, with plenty of close-ups and scenics which just add to the distancing of what one sees with the story one knows is supposed to be occurring. It's very different from the previous movies and to be quite honest I'm not sure whether to like or dislike it. A bit of both and neither, I guess. It's cliche and two-dimensional, but it has its funny and interesting moments. It just seems to keep detaching itself from the story all the time, instead opting for this very airy, abstract atmosphere it maintains throughout the movie. If you've seen the previous movies, you can safely watch this one, although I do wonder how they're going to wrap things up in the next and final movie, Deathly Hallows, part 2. We'll see next year.

After the movie the three of us went back to Pieter's place, where my friend cooked us dinner. It was tasty. The ice cream dessert afterwards was nice too :) We watched The Princess Bride during dinner, which still has to be one of the most awesome movies ever, right up there with Space Balls.

With dinner and movie finished, Pieter went upstairs, while my friend and I kept talking for a bit until she went home. I went to bed after that and slept until 6.30 AM. Not bad.

Summing up my thoughts on this for me very unusual weekend isn't easy. On one hand I feel it was a very positive experience, meeting so many new, nice people and challenging my continuous feeling of loneliness. On the other hand familiar voices keep insisting that I'm still just deluding myself, that to a something like me friendship and anything more is just not possible. Part of it comes from fear, I guess. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting hurt again, fear of losing myself to this sometimes desperate feeling to be accepted and loved I feel inside. And of course this intensely bitter realization that I'm 'just a freak' who doesn't belong.

Emotional stuff isn't nice or pleasant most of the time, and whenever it is pleasant, it's a fading thing. Emotional attachment can only come to grief, as people's paths never cross for very long. Aside from the very rare cases in which two or more people seem so perfectly alike that they're called soul-mates, as though they're fragments of the same soul re-united. I like to believe that I have found one such person already in my best friend Trevor, and pray that I may encounter more of such wonderful people. Maybe then it will feel as though my own soul is finally complete.


Saturday, 20 November 2010


A while ago I encountered this girl my first impression of whom was decidedly negative, yet she kept hanging around. Some people near me actually did like her, and told me that she really wasn't a bad person, that she read my blog and actually cared about my situation. I couldn't decide whether my first impression was off, that I was overreacting in some way and that I could actually like her somewhat. Until yesterday when this girl finally showed her true colours, and made it abundantly clear in some comments on my blog that she doesn't think much of me, accusing me of many things I would never even dream of. This came as a relief because at that point I could firmly put her into the 'negative person' category and move on, as I refuse to interact with negative people. Chapter closed. Hopefully. I have a hunch I'll get harassed for a bit longer as that's generally how such people boost their self-esteem, like bullies on the playground. Which is something I'm quite familiar with :)

Yesterday I got invited to a graduation party of a friend, the British girl I used to date. It is today, in Amsterdam. I'm pretty sure I'll be going, if only to get away from things here a bit and mingle with people, even if I only know this British girl well, one friend of her somewhat and everyone else is a complete stranger to me :P

My work on my cousin's site is going well, albeit slower than expected. I'm still debugging the Content Management System for it, but fortunately it's nearly done. I'll be more than happy to hand over the keys to her. Of course, after that's all done I'll have to keep developing this Nyanko CMS as it's merely a prototype at this point and I think it's brave of my cousin that she's willing to use it for her company's site :)

The first playable version of TileWars will be ready by the end of next week, thus Trevor assured me. I have a feeling that I'll have to get back to working full-time on that game soon as there are still a number of things I have to do. Even more reason to be happy that NCMS is nearly fully working, I guess.

Next week Thursday I'll have a journalist of the German magazine Maxi flying over from Hamburg for an interview. This will be my foreign debut in the media, and I'm really looking forward to it. So far Germany has been the only country which has had a positive effect on my medical case, and maybe by appearing in a German magazine which is read by about 600,000 people something good will come out of it. As far as I know the article would be published in the February number next year, but magazines like to shuffle things around a lot.

All together still quite a bit to be relieved about, even if other parts of my life aren't really working out yet.


Friday, 19 November 2010

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Despite comments like those on my previous post displaying a complete lack of understanding of my situation and that of other PTSD victims in general, I'll provide a more detailed and descriptive list of what has changed recently for the handful of people who actually do give a damn and want to understand it. I'll be using DSM-IV, as summarized at Wikipedia:

First of all, let me establish firmly that in my case one can't talk of post-traumatic in as much as that the traumatic events aren't all over yet. I am suffering from what is called PTSD, but not all of the factors contributing to it have been removed as of yet, most particularly the medical factor, which is characterized by intense rejection without proper reasoning and a general feeling of being abandoned and unimportant. The existence of this factor most strongly contributes to a worsening of my general situation.

Anyway, here are criteria A through F in DSM-IV:

"A: Exposure to traumatic event"
Check, check, and continuing, with new traumatic experiences (noticable by me going into shock and such) being added almost weekly. The experience of asking for help and being coldly rejected being the primary event, combined with that of experiencing rape as secondary event.

"B: Persistent re-experiencing"
Strong and continuous flashbacks: constantly, mostly during the day, sometimes during dreams. They tend to completely overtake my sensory perception for a moment.
Recurring distressing dreams: I have described a few of such dreams on my blog before, and I seem to wake up from a not remembered nightmare on a regular basis.
Subjective re-experiencing of the traumatic event(s): together with flashbacks this is very common. Flashbacks come uninvited, re-experiencing is usually when my thoughts accidentally drift off into regions of such memories.
Intense negative psychological or physiological response to any objective or subjective reminder of the traumatic event(s): my worst issue by far. Anything related to sexuality, relationships, transsexuality, intersexuality, certain areas of medical science and some others contain a lot of triggers which cause such a severely negative response in me, leading to me feeling unwell or downright sickened (physically) and collapsing. This has been worsening lately.

"C: Persistent avoidance and emotional numbing"
I avoid any thoughts or feelings related to the events, I don't like talking about it, preferring a rational, factual discourse over discussing my emotional state. I avoid behaviours, places and people which do or may lead to distressing memories and/or feelings. I can not actively recall or passively remember large sections of what happened to me during my rape, or during more recent traumatic events, and where I can recall it, there's a distinct absence of emotional recollection.
My capacity to feel certain feelings is numbed to absent. I actively suppress some, others I simply can not experience at all. This has been worsening as of late.
I think that my previous post and many preceding it are sufficient proof of an expectation that my future is constrained in ways not normal to other people. This is where many, or maybe I should say most, people fail to grasp my situation most of all. I feel that this is why most people do not realize that resolving especially the medical stand-off is crucial, that there is no possibility of just 'moving on', and that this is the primary source of suicidal thoughts. It is also increasing in severity most strongly as of late.

"D: Persistent symptoms of increased arousal not present before."
A random reading through my blog posts the past two years should suffice to show the trend in this area. It has worsened considerably. Sleeplessness, insomnia, unusually strong outbursts of anger and sadness or grief, periods of paranoia, lack of concentration and strongly shifting moods in general leading to irrational displays of emotions.

"E: Duration of symptoms for more than one month"
I think one can safely say that I have been experiencing these symptoms for well over three years now.

"F: Significant impairment"
I quote: "The symptoms reported must lead to "clinically significant distress or impairment" of major domains of life activity, such as social relations, occupational activities, or other "important areas of functioning"."

I think that's another set of check marks.

The assumption often made by those who do not understand PTSD is that those affected have some kind of choice in their behaviours and general life. They clearly demonstrate ignorance on what a trauma entails, let alone something of the severity of PTSD. PTSD in particular is known to physically affect and change the brain itself:


Thursday, 18 November 2010


I'm experiencing somewhat of an existential crisis at the moment. Emotionally I fail to see the point of everything, basically based on nothing working out, being pointless and emotional stuff being useless when it comes down to it. Why waste so much energy on things which don't matter?

Besides, I'm burdened with a body I simply can not live with, that much is becoming clear to me these past few weeks. If I didn't keep myself in check rationally, I'd have done the most horrible things to my body and probably committed suicide already. There just isn't any point in living when it comes to emotional stuff.

Earlier today I had a discussion with Pieter on this topic, and he really can't see my point, let alone understand my situation. I have had to deal with an in my eyes useless body which is always frustratingly beyond understanding. At this point it's pretty clear that I'll never get any answers to my questions about it. I don't expect to hear back from the US hospitals and I don't expect anyone else to help me. I do not expect anyone to happen, ever, to help me understand what kind of freakish body I ended up with.

These thoughts lead to a rejection of emotions due to self-protection, a very negative outlook on things other people consider normal and even pleasant, yet which fill me with loathing and even disgust. And what I'm going through these past few days is absolutely nothing compared to any time before. At any point before this I had the thin, but ever-present security blanket of the hospitals in this country to deal with, and the hope that if I got famous enough someone, somewhere in this country would step forward and offer some kind of help. The first is gone, the second has proven to be another deceitful illusion.

The short version is that if I let my mind wander on topics like these, I will become depressed and I will end up killing myself. For the simple fact that it is more than I can bear. Only by ignoring it, my emotions and my body and all troubles associated with it can I prevent doing anything like that. This also means that anything which may lead me to start thinking about those dangerous topics is off-limits.

At least I'm feeling very numb about many topics which used to upset me. When Pieter announced earlier that he was going to his girlfriend again Friday through Saturday night, I first felt the all too familiar shock, like a knife being twisted around inside my chest, after that I realized that I really don't give a damn. Because it doesn't matter. Pieter doesn't matter. His gf doesn't matter. Anything they say or do doesn't matter. Life doesn't care about them. Life doesn't care about me. Life doesn't care about anyone. it just tramples over everything and the only way to escape it is to die. Or become immortal and rid oneself of this nuisance of being human.

In the end I'm more tired, mentally, than I have ever been before. I really should have been dead already, as I truly can't endure any more of this, yet it's this whole 'killing oneself' thing standing between me and escape.

Depressing, yes. But also the culmination of over twenty years of frustrations, pain, traumas and crushed expectations. Say the word 'happy', or show me something innocent and cute like a Hello Kitty plushie and all I can do is cry in helplessness.

I hate life so much...


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Sedation Experiment, Day 12

When I last described my experiences with valerian root as a sedative, I mentioned that it made it impossible for me to care about anything. Things have changed somewhat since then.

I guess the best comparison I can come up with is that of trying to sleep while the neighbours are having a very loud party, with the stereo cranked up to at least eleven. This describes my initial situation. Impossible to ignore, and leading to acts of unspeakable violence if it persists.

The valerian pills were then like the police dropping by those neighbours after multiple complaints from people about the noise, causing the stereo to be turned down to a more reasonable level, say around four or five. Much better, and it appears that one can finally get some rest now.

Sadly with the loudness gone, one's hearing refocuses on softer noises, meaning that now one can hear the stereo playing softly and people, lots of people talking and laughing and so on. It's distant and hardly distinct, but it's still there in the background, sometimes getting louder after a particularly interesting joke or topic has been addressed.

Did the situation truly improve? The noise is easier to tune out and there's actually a possibility of going to sleep, but it's still far from ideal.

Similarly my mind seems to have adapted to the lower 'volume' of my emotions, which I initially experienced as an almost complete absence. The past weekend I managed to nearly snap completely again, coming closer than ever to committing suicide. The cause was probably a combination of getting kicked out of the last hospital, nothing to look forward to media-wise or elsewhere and basically dropping into a black hole.

Oh sure, I can more easily bear the weight of this stress, but it doesn't mean that I can't be pushed over the edge any more. If anything it's worse now because I haven't fully adjusted yet to the signs of something going wrong emotionally now that they're far less obtrusive. Bloody double-edged swords.

I think the short version of my prediction about my future is that without help soon there's a snowball's chance in Hell of making it through next year. With the proper help there's a chance I'll make it, but I do need a break very soon now.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Ethical Science And Charities, Or: The Manager Infestation

Ethics are a main topic of discussion, in which everyone likes to claim the high ground. Science, especially medical, is a fertile ground for these debates. Science and technology enables, and large groups of people desperately try to push back the genie into its bottle over and over again. Instead of reasonable debate here we usually see irrational versus rational behaviour. One group acts upon their 'instincts', whereas the other uses logical reasoning. This is the reason why people who call themselves 'pro-life' can end up committing terroristic bombings and assassinations. Irrationality can be a scary thing.

Another fine example of irrationality is embodied into a group of people who seem to be multiplying faster than rabbits during a fertile season: managers.

Don't get me wrong, some level of management is necessary in any sizeable project and company, but this type is special. They are the ones who lack any qualifications for the work they're managing, are okay with getting paid four, ten, or even twenty times more than the average employee in the company or organization and their position is, when viewed rationally, wholly redundant or can be scaled down significantly. Meet the Manager Infestation.

One example of this infestation I read about a short while ago, with an article on what managers at the Dutch Cancer Organization get paid: around 200,000 Euro/year, or roughly 8-10 times as much as a well-paid employee here in the Netherlands. If you consider that all this organization is supposed to do is allocate donations to worthy projects and providing education to the public, then one can begin to wonder where these managers can show their worth. If there are even just five of such manager types being paid 200k/Euro a year, that's still 1 million which gets largely paid from, you guess it, donations.

Also outrageous was the recent series of bonuses given to top managers at certain large banks here in the Netherlands during the economical crisis. While they had to be supported financially by the government, and employees were being fired or had their pay reduced. If this isn't a sickness I'm not sure what is. Ethical it sure isn't.

Moving on to medical grounds, we can see a bureaucracy where managers have gummed up the wheels, making everything cost ten times as much as it used to, while making everything a hundred times less efficient. Here in the Netherlands this really began to happen after a previous, wonderful government decided to fully privatize healthcare in this country, because it would 'promote competition among hospitals'. Instead within a year or two the number of managers on each level of hospital management as well as at other care centers has more than quadrupled, with no appreciable increase in efficiency. This is the point where an ethical government should step in and end this crazy experiment.

Finally I would like to address another pet peeve of mine: terminal patients and drug trials. It's not uncommon for there to be apparently very successive new therapies and drugs for terminal diseases like aggressive cancers, degenerative diseases and more, yet these remain stuck in red tape for many years while they're being tested for 'safety' and effectiveness. Meanwhile there are patients out there who know that they'll die from such a disease sometimes in less than a year and are more than willing to volunteer for such a therapy or drug if it means that it would accelerate the approval process, and save lives that way.

Their requests are denied by the medical 'ethics' commission, which deny those people their last chance to really do something for others. If that is ethical, then I'm pretty sure we should review the meaning of what unethical means as well. In a sense, one can see this medical ethics commission together with the general medical bureaucracy as another example of Manager Infestation, where so many managers manage to clog the mechanism with useless meetings, rules and protocols while sucking out much-needed resources until everything just grinds to a halt.

When talking about nano technology there's the 'grey goo' nightmare scenario. I'd propose that we devise an equally catchy term for a world overrun by managers, in which nothing can exist either as it'll be managed to death.


Sunday, 14 November 2010

That Elusive Sense Of Peace

The past few years many people including me have made statements and predictions about my situations. At this point no attempts from my side or those from others have resulted in anything useful, lending a lot of credibility to those who pronounced my search for answers to be ridiculous. Yet even those people can not agree on whether it's ridiculous because they feel that such answers can't be found and I'll just have to accept things for the way they are now, or that there never were any answers to begin with because the questions I'm asking are delusional.

This weekend I finally watched the BNN show 'Je zal het maar zijn' in which I feature. The contrast between the two others in it who have chosen for their discomfort and me, who hasn't chosen for a life like this, couldn't be larger. Where's the obsession in my case? In my own view it's something I just can't get around, as it's blocking the path I need to follow towards a happy life. Only with the proper answers will I be able to clear this obstacle, but instead of receiving those answers many people have been very eager over the past few years to put in even more obstacles instead.

No matter what I do or decide now, I can not possibly participate in 'normal' life, as without those answers my body is just worthless. Oh sure, it's healthy and everything, but I am forced to abandon anything related to emotions, including relationships, sexuality and to some extent friendship as well, all because it doesn't make sense to me in my confusion and just leads to pain and frustration. I still do not really exist, neither officially or unofficially. My problem is still a non-issue, except to me.

One thing I realized thanks to a friend is that the reason why I started with the hormone therapy was not because I wanted to become anything, but because I was ready to accept my body for what it is. My body is that of a female, there's nobody who can or should be able to deny this. Clearly society as a whole isn't prepared for this, however. Even after working my way through so many difficult decisions, I still find myself in a situation where none of these decisions truly matter. There still doesn't seem to be a way out of this for me.

I had expected an answer from the US hospitals already, but none seems to be forthcoming. There are no answers to be found in this country any more. There doesn't appear to be anyone who can and wants to help me. Maybe what I'm trying to do really is a fool's errand and I'm just deluding myself in thinking that anything I do matters even in the slightest.

With absolutely nothing to show for my efforts these past six years, I feel more stupid and dispirited than ever. Is there really a point to this all? I say there isn't.

I'm not strong, I'm just a poor loser...


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

TV Broadcast Aftermath

Yesterday was the TV broadcast of 'Je zal het maar zijn' on Dutch national TV. I didn't see it yet, because I couldn't.

After dinner, around 7 PM, Pieter and I went upstairs after watching an episode of Columbo, to have some tea and watch that JZHMZ episode upstairs on the BNN site. I was feeling kind of nervous then already and was thinking that maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to watch it then, but I thought I could just push through.

Seconds into the show I was already feeling very uncomfortable, then began to feel physically ill and indicated to Pieter that I didn't want to watch it. Instead we ended up watching an episode of 'Who's line is it anyway' and an episode of Bob Ross's 'The joy of painting', with me crying randomly throughout this and Pieter awkwardly providing comfort. At some time after 9 PM I went to bed, took a sleeping pill and slept before 10 PM. I had turned off my mobile phone just in case anyone want to congratulate me with the broadcast or so.

I'm thinking that my usual troubles with late-night (anything after dinner) emotional stuff played a role, since I'm truly a morning person and therefore worthless after about 8 PM. Other factors may include stress from worrying about the outcome of this broadcast, changes in my environment such as having to find a new place in about three months time, rushing to release our first game before Xmas, and many other little things.

At any rate I felt so completely done with everything related to me, myself and intersexuality in general. I was thinking about quitting my website, a bit about committing suicide... it was quite extreme and quite sudden. Right now I'm feeling better, especially after reading some of the comments from people who watched the show, but I'm still not quite sure how I'm supposed to feel.

What's going to happen next? I have no idea. I have severe doubts about those US hospitals even bothering with a response, I don't know whether any other TV show is or will be interested in me, and basically just feel cast adrift with only my work acting as a kind of lifeboat. Everything at this point basically feels like I'm still in the 'before' phase. Before happiness. Before success. Before recognition. Before finding peace. Before financial independence. Before everything which would make me feel like my life is worth living.

In happier news, TileWars is approaching the finish line at a rapid pace now. Trevor is working on the collisions module which will finalize the gameplay and should be done with a day or two. After that we integrate the netcode (for LAN play) and AI (for people playing in their lonesome). Then it's down to finalizing the resources (models, textures, BGM, SFX) and playtesting. Seems like it's finally going to happen this time.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Test Results And TV Broadcast

I just got the results back from the last blood tests. Unlike what the UMCG hospital reported last year my testosterone levels are normal (0.7 nmol/L) unlike what they reported (2.4 nmol/L). With oestradiol also normal (401 pmol/L, range is 40-720) this is a kind of relief.

Also in the report are the values for PSA, or the Prostate-Specific Antigen. The value listed is <0.1>0.1 pg/mL? Perhaps a more sensitive PSA test is in order to obtain more useful results. Considering the clinical symptoms regarding my 'prostate' I'm tempted to say that all of the PSA in my blood serum is from other tissues, and not the prostate.


In other news, yesterday's sedation experiment went pretty much as I predicted on Saturday, with a spike in emotional unrest when Pieter returned home. I didn't have thoughts churning through my head, specifically, but I did have this general and quite severe feeling of unrest and of being agitated. Getting out of bed again to spend some time online seemed to do the trick, though. Around 12.30 AM I managed to fall asleep again without any sleeping pill.

Also remarkable is how much my attitude towards Pieter has changed. I made some remarks on this previously, but yesterday and today I got to verify my predictions. Emotional responses are minimal, responses to references to his girlfriend and similar subjects are characterized by a short, negative burst. There is no persistence of such negative responses. I can feel no emotional closeness to Pieter or anything beyond a more business-like, sometimes casual relationship.

I do feel a certain pressure on/inside my head, localized on the forehead, and yesterday I had episodes of hyperventilating. Apparently the decreased emotional response is still sufficient to trigger such symptoms.

Moving on, tomorrow is finally the day when the 'Je zal het maar zijn' episode featuring me will be broadcast. It's been a few months since that journalist asked me whether I'd want to participate in it, the filming and tomorrow's broadcast. On the first of August this year journalist Lydia van der Weide asked the question, making it just over 3 months from conception until broadcast.

What do I expect from tomorrow's broadcast? I'm not sure. I mean, it's not like it's the first time I have been in big media, although that was in magazines and maybe it wasn't the right audience. Being a mostly text-based media versus the full video and audio experience of TV is probably quite a difference as well. I guess I'll just have to see. What I do know is that the other two people who feature in this episode are the true freaks. They have chosen to abuse and mutilate their body whether it's through bodybuilding, or through tattoos and piercings. Neither of which are rational let alone sane or healthy choices and they're likely to die young.

The theme of this episode is 'Obsessed by one's body'. I figure that my dealings with my own body could be called an obsession, albeit one not originating from irrational and/or unhealthy impulses. Mine is a quest for answers about my body. I would never want to harm or disgrace my body by abusing it, or sticking pieces of metal through any parts of it. I do not even understand why anyone would want to do such a thing. It's like a kind of mental illness as far as I'm concerned. After watching tomorrow's episode I'm sure you'll agree with me on that.

I think you'll also agree that compared to those two people I appear very normal and innocent :) Anyway, still about 36 hours to go until the broadcast.


Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sedation Experiment, Day 4

Last night was similar to the previous one, aside from me taking a sleeping pill to see what would happen. The conclusion was that it didn't do a lot, as I still woke up around 4 AM. Ultimately I slept until 5 AM before I got out of bed.

Sedation has really become a safety blanket for me, and it is relatively often on my mind. Not being assaulted by hostile emotions is still a huge relief, and with each passing day that it holds up against the assault of external triggers I'm even more grateful. I'm convinced this weekend would have been extremely difficult again for me otherwise.

Today at the swimming pool even more so. This time it seemed like everyone in this city I have ever inadvertently hurt and who hasn't forgiven me was assembled. While I could now clearly see how my PTSD has manipulated me into saying things I didn't mean to, it's also clear that they don't see things the same, and other than begging for forgiveness things aren't likely to change. Next question is whether this is really such a terrible thing. I don't like the feeling of having done something wrong, and I dislike people who can not simply communicate. In the end it was like seeing part of my past being played back in front of me.

Moving back to the present, I met another fun person at the pool: a very friendly woman a few years older than me. We ended up talking a lot, and now she has found both my website and Facebook account. I hope we can keep in touch, as talking with her was a lot of fun. Her thinking that I was 15 years young was only part of the fun :)

Today I also once more made the observation how especially Dutch people really often look very negative and scary. When reaching out to others, whether it's just smiling or holding open a door for them, it's those types who don't say a word, even look at you with an almost hostile look. I think I notice it even more strongly now because I can feel how inside me positive emotions are far more frequent. Basically I just feel more often at peace, even happy. I'd say that it's the reduction in stress and the suppression of negative feelings which allows me to become more positive. More like myself, how I really am and already was as a child, as my mother would say.

At this point I'd like to add a quick update on TileWars: aside from the final integration of all the resources we're pretty much done. Trevor is hunting down a few puzzling bugs regarding the framerate but I have full confidence in his capabilities and expect big things before the end of next week. Tomorrow I'll probably put up the site for TileWars at the Nyanko site. I'll also update this blog by then with my thoughts on Tuesday's TV broadcast.

Stay tuned...


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sedation Experiment, Day 3

Last night I slept reasonably well, I woke up once around 3 AM and fell asleep again until 5 AM when the dogs downstairs began to howl. I decided to get up at that point. Again I tried to assess my emotional condition and noticed an increase in the persistence of emotions, essentially in the proliferation of emotionally charged thoughts. After taking my first valerian pill of the day this quickly subsided until the pill truly began to work. This was noticeable by a distinct sensation of warmth throughout my body, combined with a feeling of peace and happiness.

My general mood can be described as distant. Functionally nothing seems to be amiss; my ability to recall and store memories seems unaffected, and I can perform my work without any difficulties. Communications with others, whether digitally or verbally - like earlier today when I went to the neighbours' to play a few games of Settlers of Catan - are as far as I can determine normal.

I can still feel the emotional responses, but it's as though they're at the other side of a padded wall, allowing me to only feel the vibrations of their pounding on the wall, so to speak. Thoughts of socializing, of friends and such largely emotional constructs fleetingly make their appearance before vanishing into the aether again.

What I'm most curious about is whether this all can be considered to be emotional suppression in the sense that the emotions are still there but ignored, or that they are truly just faint and unremarkable. This with regard to the possibility of an emotional backlash. Today I feel any emotions more strongly than yesterday and the day before that, but it is hard to derive any conclusions from this, as I know from previous experiences that weekends like this are accompanied by an intense feeling of loneliness, confusion and an almost pitiful desire for Pieter to return home.

It would be logical to conclude therefore that what I have experienced these past few days in terms of emotional response is just the usual pattern, but strongly reduced in amplitude. Tomorrow a similar feeling to what I feel today should then persist, which will then start subsiding again by Monday through the rest of the week, until the next time Pieter leaves for another weekend or so.

While I'm grateful that these pills have allowed me to gain a semblance of normality, one aspect I'm somewhat worried about, although it could be perfectly normal. This refers to an earlier statement of mine, on the fading of things the moment they're no longer actively being referred to. That statement referred to emotions in specific, but it seems to be more generic than I thought.

When I said that I no longer have to care about things, I should add that it's more like I just can not care. Not unless I really focus on it, or if it's something purely intellectual. My awareness of this world around me has changed together with its perception by me. The lack of emotions may play a role, in creating this sense of disconnect. When I look around my own room, I don't really feel anything. When I think about Pieter I don't feel anything. When I think about my family, I don't feel anything in particular. When I think about my body and medical situation I feel a tinge of sadness, but that's about the extent of it.

Is this a bad thing? After spending years in an emotional turmoil after snapping out of my 15-year emotional withdrawal it's actually kind of comforting. Emotions, when it comes down to it, are mostly painful anyway, and the more pleasant and innocent emotions I can still feel despite everything. I can feel joy, happiness, contentment and similar, maybe because they too are relaxing emotions, and thus aren't blocked by the increased stimulation of the GABA receptors unlike more negative or disruptive emotions which would instead go for the excitatory glutamate receptors.

So far I would say that this experiment seems to be going well. Tomorrow I'll spend the morning at the swimming pool. It'll be interesting to see how I'll experience that event.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Sedation Experiment, Day 2

My sleep last night was interesting; I slept soundly from about 10.30 PM until 1 AM, woke up, fell asleep again, and repeated this at least two more times during the night. The last time I woke up I was covered in sweat again, which indicates that I had a nightmare. I still felt rested, however.

Moments after waking up that last time this morning I could feel that the sedation had worn off. Not completely perhaps, but enough that I could feel myself respond far more severely and lengthy to impulses. It was kind of frightening after the peaceful daze of the day before.

Today I felt I responded better to the valerin pills. I had less trouble remembering things and had fewer memory issues in general. I managed to perform a significant amount of work and never felt particularly unable or unwilling to perform required tasks. Last night and right now I feel both tired and not tired, in the sense that I can close my eyes and feel a kind of weariness, yet I do feel alert and capable of performing tasks.

Also today a challenge took place, with Pieter leaving today for the weekend to visit his girlfriend. It's an event which previously caused a severe emotional response on my side, resulting from a number of causes, most particularly that of loneliness. Preceding Pieter's departure, about fifteen minutes ago, I didn't feel particularly agitated or focused on this event. At his departing I just found myself unable to focus on it at all, let alone respond.

One characteristic of being sedated like this is that I can still feel emotions, it's not like they have been completely suppressed. It's more like they have become very distant things, I can feel and observe them, but they're kind of remote and seem to move in slow-motion, allowing me to study them more closely than I could before. Acting upon any of those emotions is virtually impossible, because the moment I consider doing so, it has already begun to fade.

This weekend will be the real test, I guess, with nights still being the most tricky part of this phase of the experiment. During previous occurrences of this event, without sedation, I found myself completely unable to sleep in any form or shape unless I took a sleeping pill. Two weekends ago I managed to rack up three sleeping pills in a row, where I was only allowed to take a single one. It'll be interesting to see whether this weekend will be different.

One thing which should help is that if a feeling isn't being actively stimulated by something I see, hear or otherwise observe, it just fades. It is a pleasant sensation to not have to care about anything at all unless I choose to do so. To be quite honest it really feels like I'm more myself when my intellectual side is totally dominant like now, while emotions do not play any significant role. I would almost claim that at least to me emotions are a purely negative thing, serving no practical value at least where it concerns so-called 'adult' emotions. The simple expressions of joy and other responses from a child are an example of positive emotions. They're simple and pure, not the dark, polluted and most convoluted emotions most adults carry around with them.

On that note, I really enjoy being able to play Wii Sports again. It's a very simple series of games which still feel incredibly rewarding when one completes something successfully. I also like to really express my joy or disappointment at any results, in a manner I would definitely call carefree :) My favourite game is still Golf, and I like to think that I'm pretty good at it too :) I'm sure I'll be aching all over from today's Wii Sports session.

Anyone up for a Wii Sports session at my place? Other games are allowed too. Just remember to bring your own controller :)