Since I first opened myself up to others around the beginning of 2007 the scope of this exposure has gradually increased, either through my own choices or via processes beyond my control. While opening myself to the outside world like that was necessary and has helped avoid a potentially dangerous situation, this exposure isn't without its troubles and hazards either.
Armed with the emotional maturity of an 8-year old child, I ventured into a world unbeknown to me other than from what my rational side could tell me about it. With an incredible thirst for love and attention accompanied by an equally impressively sized naivety, I turned out to be an easy prey for those with less honorable intentions. So on one side exposing myself has possibly saved my life and allowed me to progress and meet people I care about and respect, yet at the other side it has made me extremely fragile and possibly permanently impaired some aspects of my emotional development.
Was it the right choice? Was there anything else I could have done? Can or should I blame the VUMC for not responding to my request for help, thus worsening my frustrations and need for help? At this point there is little else I can do but move on with what I have.
What I have at this moment is an appearance in the largest newspaper of the Netherlands within two months time, as well as probably an appearance on national TV, on a national news show called 'Hart van Nederland' which freely translates to 'Heart of the Netherlands'. My thanks go to this wonderful woman I met at the barbershop just over a week ago who offered to ask her friend who works at this TV channel SBS6 whether they might be interested in my story. This is a case where exposing myself was responded to by kindness and a sincere offer for help.
I have no idea what these media appearances will result in, if anything, but it seems to be the best shot I have so far at dragging this case out of obscurity and into the spotlights. At any rate it feels good to more or less extract myself out of the quicksand trap which disguises itself as the medical world here in this country. At this point I'm no longer at their mercy, but I have been permitted to wield the most powerful weapon imaginable outside thermonuclear weapons against corruption and uncaring attitudes with these media appearances. For that alone I am grateful.
Today I sent an email to Inge Wingbermuhle and Engel Vrouwe regarding my decision to discontinue the therapy in Hilversum. In the email I received from Engel Vrouwe he says he understands and supports my decision as he agrees that empathy from the side of the therapist is essential for successful therapy. I am also welcome to contact him as I'm still officially his client. It feels good to know that he supports me.
The risk I'm taking by turning to the media is of course that of getting nasty remarks from people who do or can not understand as well as other expressions of ignorance. It's also a struggle to make the journalists and those in charge of particular shows and magazines understand what the issue is. It is really draining to have to explain the same things over and over again because the subject of intersexuality is such a big unknown pretty much for everyone. It is my sincere hope that after the appearance in De Telegraaf newspaper and on SBS6 will change this, as together they should reach a few million people. If I have to explain what intersexuality is a few thousand times less I'll feel like I have accomplished something already.
The uncertainty is the most difficult thing to deal with at this point. Not knowing what is going to happen, what my future will look like, whether I'll ever learn anything about this body I was born with, and whether I can have a normal relationship with someone I love. Last night I cried again for the first time in a few weeks time and today again. Hopefully I won't ever have to cry again from anything but joy in a year from now.