Wednesday, 29 September 2010

On The Bright Side Of Things

First a quick update on the shooting for that BNN TV documentary show. My contact person dropped by today to have a face-to-face meeting prior to the actual shooting. It was pretty fun. At least for next Monday things have been settled: I'll be at the beauty salon at 8.30 AM together with the film crew where the beautician will demonstrate the torture... er, I mean electrolysis treatment she performs on me. After that the film crew and I will go back to my place where I'll have an interview. After that all of us are going to the UMCG hospital by car.

The only thing which can't be planned is what exactly will happen during this hospital appointment. I don't even know which examinations/tests will be performed and whether I'll know the results right away or not. At any rate the goal of this documentary about my life is to give an idea of what I go through as an intersexual woman. It should work out fine. I do hope that Pieter will agree to do an interview as well. So far he seems very reluctant to appear on TV, but I hope he'll agree to anyway since he's one of the best people to clearly and concisely explain the issues in a fairly objective manner. Of course, can't force anyone :)

I'm glad to have this TV shooting thing going on, as it provides excellent distraction, plus the added feeling that I'm not alone in this, that what I do that Monday will matter and that I won't have to face an uncaring world yet again after yet another failed appointment. That alone is something to cling to.

Still left after this shooting on Monday is a session at the swimming pool, to be shot on the 17th next month or so if everything works out. They still need to get all the permissions and such, which isn't the most easy of things depending on the organization. The exact logistics of this shooting are still left to be decided.

I really do hope that this examination on Monday will finally provide the explanations I have been seeking for nearly six years now, and put an end to this medical circus of utter lunacy, in which the wishes and opinions of the patient are of negative relevance and a liability, and only the opinion of the specialist or psychologist counts, no matter how wrong. Maybe then a touch of sanity will return to my life.

Yet whatever happens that day, I should not forget that which I already have. I may not know everything about my body yet, but what I do know for a fact so far is pretty nice. I got an athletic figure most women are jealous of, looks which make many a head turn, and a pretty impressive brain to fill up the space inside that pretty head.

There's also my company and our first game which is looking better and better. I'm actually getting the hang of this UVW unwrap and colouring process using 3DS Max and Photoshop CS5, meaning that I should be able to finish the avatars for the game some time this week. I also started on the AI module, which really isn't nearly as complex or scary as it sounds. The most tricky part is to balance the difficulty settings within the AI.

While I often feel myself struggling to find some meaning in my continued existence, it are those things which do provide me with a sense that not everything is lost yet at this point. I just need someone near me at times, to embrace me and keep telling me these things over and over, whenever oblivion does seem like the only reasonable way out of this madness.


Monday, 27 September 2010

This Ugly, Beautiful World

Among the many abstract, virtually meaningless words people like to throw around without any real consideration as to what they're saying, we find words such as 'love', but also 'beauty'. What is beauty, really? When we say that something or someone is 'beautiful', what is it that we are saying? Can we really say that something makes 'something' beautiful, or should we say that particular processes, accumulations of previous input into our squishy brains causes us to express a particular preference for certain types of input, be it visual, auditory or a mixture? Since nature couldn't care less about 'beauty', my vote is definitely on the latter.

This all means that to consider something beautiful one has to link positive impressions to certain combinations or expressions of shapes, colours, sounds and such. Something is considered to be 'ugly' when it has virtually only negative impressions linked with it. In other words, it's totally, absolutely relative and will differ per culture and individual. Yet, it is important.

When I first started to withdraw into myself when I was about five years old, it largely disabled my emotional side, preventing it from developing itself and causing the parts which had developed to more or less wither away. This gave me a chance to experience the world during the following fifteen years without any interference from my emotional side, which essentially is what gives us our sense of 'beauty'.

All I saw back then was what could be improved, where things were adequate or lacking, what made sense in a logical way or what didn't. I didn't 'enjoy' anything, as I could only classify things into more and less perfect representations of something, including people. I saw the world without this filter people have of 'beauty' and 'ugliness'. I'm not sure I liked it.

Then, only about six years ago I got out of this withdrawal, began to develop my emotional side, noticed that I could actually enjoy simple things like sitting in the garden with the birds singing their songs around me with the smells of summer clearly present. That's also when a lot of negative experiences began to happen.

You say 'love', I think 'suffering'. You say 'beautiful' and I think 'sadness' and 'death'. Through my experiences I have learned to always expect things to end up hurting physically, emotionally or both. The only place in this world I think is still beautiful is this place of innocence deep inside our minds, the place where we concern ourselves with learning about the secrets of the universe, and where we can enjoy small things such as a cup of tea on a summer's day, or just admire the innocence others have put into for example a Hello Kitty plushie. There's just such a lack of bias, of pain, of human corruption in these things that it's so very sad that we can not experience it more often.

Yesterday I thought that the world had turned really ugly all of a sudden. Having one's experiences that day feeling discordant and somehow wrong. Feeling unwelcome and out of place. Longing for people to recognize and acknowledge one's accomplishments, yet not finding it. Everything felt grey, cold and unforgiving.

Cycling home after my time at the pool, I couldn't stop thinking about how cold and ugly the world around me was. Everything about it felt wrong. Arriving home and getting off my bike I could barely stand on my legs from the mental assault. I spent most of the afternoon recuperating in bed; sleeping, reading, crying, contemplating suicide. All because the ugly in this world sometimes really overwhelms the beautiful part.

I'd like to see this beautiful side of the world some day.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Learning To Live With The Dark Places Of The Mind

The human mind is the product of countless years of evolution, having had to serve different purposes in different circumstances, ranging from an animalistic, survival of the fittest situation to the current situation where basically everything goes, and yet where few are able to contain their darker sides. These sides being the animalistic urges, things which do not really belong in a civilization, including violent and possessive urges, but also those which cause the other issues surrounding sexuality. As stated by one theory, we're merely slaves to our own genes; puppets on strings, driven towards goals of which we can not rationally comprehend of why they'd be of any use to us.

I too feel violent urges sometimes, this sudden desire to strike out and cause harm. Yet I have learned to recognize that to act upon this impulse would only worsen the situation. They're not part of a rational reasoning, and thus shouldn't be acted upon. I too feel possessive urges sometimes, but realize that they too aren't part of any sort of reasoning. Why would I really need to possess this item, or that amount of money? Why do I feel jealous about it? Only through reason can one understand things, to act without reason is to act upon impulse, on instinct. Not unlike an animal.

Even more mystifying is this whole issue surrounding sexuality. In short it's something beyond insanity. Individuals doing anything, even hurting others in a physical or emotional manner to gain exclusive access to a mate. It's pretty sick stuff. Yet does it make them happy? I don't mean whether it satisfies them for a moment in a physical sense. Does it really cause a sense of fulfillment?

Beyond sexuality people seek companionship, which often takes the form of this mate. Yet why this insane desire to bind oneself so closely to one other person? Why does one feel so incredibly lonely without such a bond? What is the reason behind it? Why isn't having good friends enough? It doesn't really make sense.

Based upon personal experiences and observations, I have come to conclude that sexuality really is one of the most terrible things ever to befall humanity. Its only products are pain and suffering, for in no circumstance can it make people happy. All it causes is strive and friction in relationships, and to those who just like to experience sexuality without any bonds, they don't realize that they're not really free. Its urges still controls them, like a puppet on strings.

Despite knowing all this and having realized what it means, I still can't suppress these urges, these desires and longings. Not fully at least. How does one live with voices which tell one to do something which one knows to be wrong? What if these voices are most convincing, and ignoring them completely causes emotional stress and discomfort? What if they abuse questions and frustrations about one's own body for their purpose?

How does one learn to live with that which tries to control and possibly ruin one's life?


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Don't Think About The Past Too Much

I have this suspicion that recently I have begun to suffer from an emotional breakdown due to social interaction. Symptoms include feelings ranging from disgust to complete lack of interest when confronted with the idea of socializing, accompanied by paranoia, being overly worried about irrelevant matters and a severe and continuous headache. Earlier today I had an especially bad episode, during which I felt so disgusted with other people that I really had to reset by taking a nap. It's also why I have to work after dinner to catch up on lost time.

I have to finish this TileWars game. I have to finish these projects for clients. I have to work on the other projects I have waiting for me. Everything else is secondary, especially this whole socializing stuff, which, to be brutally frank, doesn't make one lick of sense. Relationships, friendship... nothing of it makes a lot of sense, if at all. Maybe it's because of having been cut off emotionally and socially for nearly two decades, but I'm having a lot of doubts about whether there's any point to pursuing such abstract concepts, instead of relying on solid logic.

Another thing which keeps bothering me, but particularly as of late, is thoughts of my past, which is basically everything from the moment I was born until yesterday. Little there makes sense either or is very cheerful. I feel quite disgusted with my past, and find it to be generally depressing to think about. The best way I have found to deal with it is to block out any such recollections. To me there really is no past or future, at least none I would like to think about. Only by staying firmly in the present can I hang on to my sanity for just a bit longer.

Does that sound depressing, not to mention very negative? Well, that's my mood at this point. Can't do much about it. I have never felt as emotionally exhausted as I have for the past weeks and I don't see it improving any time soon. I need a break, some rest, someone cutting me some slack, but there seems to be a snowball's chance in Hell of this happening.

On top of that comes the BNN TV channel discussing dates for when they want to shoot which parts of the documentary, which is quite frustrating as well. I just want it, the UMCG hospital appointment, the TileWars release and everything else be over with. Maybe then I can find a bit of rest. Depending on the hospital appointment maybe forever, though.



Sunday, 19 September 2010

Don't Think About The Future Too Much

I just woke up from another nightmare. It featured a Resident Evil-esque scenario; I was part of this small assault team of about 4-5 people. Some things had happened already and we were being sent down into a situation to rescue what felt like one of our people or something similar. We were wearing those full SWAT-like outfits, with gas mask and everything so I was seeing everything through the eyeholes of it.

Our squad leader signaled us to depart. We walked down a flight of concrete stairs of what seemed like an emergency escape inside a building. We end up in this expansive hall lit by sunlight from the right side, the rest was stone and decorated in a fancy, modern way. Also to my right the hall went around a corner where it continued its course. There were a few people walking around, going on their business.

The squad leader was talking at a hallway desk with this older woman who stood at the same side from the desk as him. I didn't see anyone behind the desk. She was talking about her son, saying that his condition got worse, even after she gave him his medication and that he developed two new ones. I didn't know what she meant. That is, until she began to change. Her skin turned ashen and she got the look of a corpse having lied in a coffin down in the ground for a few months. I noticed that the other people in the building underwent the same transformation.

The way the woman talked, I felt like this was their true look and that they had just fooled us with an illusion. A howl emanated from within the building, and was taken up by the creatures near us. The woman's corpse moved towards us now, and her movement was quickly copied by the mob of the creatures. I just had these two handguns, but I started using them anyway, even if I couldn't hold back an entire crowd of these things. I shot at the woman's corpse but it didn't really seem to harm her. My last thoughts were a jumble.

Waking up caught up in this pervasive grip of utter fear is getting old. I'm still recovering from this nightmare. I'm not trembling or such, just feeling like I woke up from a really deep dream and can't really unify it with what I am seeing around me at the moment yet. For all I know it wasn't a dream and in a moment the door of my room will open and these... zombies, I guess will come pouring in, emitting that god-awful, soul-piercing howl.

Anyway... what I really wanted to write about today was another fear, that of thinking about the future. I really do not know a darnest thing about my future, most of it is obscured by this big event next month at the hospital and whatever comes after it. There's also the uncertainty about how well TileWars will sell. I think I'll go run through some additional 3D Studio Max tutorials after dinner to help with the last point and to bring some sanity back into my life after that freakish nightmare.

A fun thing which happened at the pool was that this Chinese woman I have been chatting with for over a year now was talking about how tricky it was to pronounce Dutch and English, two languages she's learning, so I offered to help her with that. In exchange she would help me learn Mandarin. She happily agreed to this and another woman, a friend of hers will be present at least next time as well so that I can help her with her Dutch pronounciation. She's also really good with Mandarin as it's her original language, so that's a great help.

I really think I should find someone to practice my Japanese with as well, or just bite the bullet and work through some mind-numbingly boring exercises to finally learn enough Kanji to make myself understandable to other Japanese-speaking people and the other way around. 250 Kanji just ain't cutting it :)


Saturday, 18 September 2010

Narrowly Escaping A Self-Induced Fate

I must say that a sleeping pill does do wonders when one of the things troubling one is a lack of proper sleep. I felt a lot better when I woke up this morning, and even the pain from this supposed kidney stone wasn't too bad. It wasn't until a few hours ago that it started bothering me again, making me wonder whether I'll actually be able to sleep tonight thanks to the pain. Maybe it's time for a prescription painkiller Pieter has for his back. It's pretty strong stuff :)

Yesterday I got the confirmation of my first name change having been fully entered into the system by email and later today again by snail mail. I had made an appointment for today to get a new driver's license, with Pieter tagging along for emotional support. After getting some new pictures taken for the driver's license we went to the appointment. That's where the trouble started.

A while ago I had resorted to scratching away the name and gender on any form of ID I own, including my ID card, driver's license and passport, resulting in the not so pleasant situation today that they were considered to be invalid due to tampering. Officially that is. Officially I also would have had to get a new ID card first before I could get a new driver's license, meaning that I'd have to get two ID cards in about six months time, as I reckon I'll get the official gender change confirmed in about 4 months time as well.

Fortunately the girl helping me talked to her supervisor a few times and managed to get an exception for me. I'll be able to pick up my new driver's license on Friday. At least I'll have a valid method of identifying myself by then. Also interesting was this girl mentioning that she studies medicine and that she thought my situation was intriguing. I left her the address to my site. If you're reading this: hi :D

How does it feel to be rid of this old name of mine and to have Maya be my real, official name? The best thing I guess is that when some institute allows me to be registered as 'Maya' it's no longer something they do out of a kind of pity for my situation. It definitely makes things seem a heck of a lot more normal. It's just that name and nothing else. It's so... normal. And I like it.

The one thing which annoys the heck out of me at the moment is to still have the 'Sir' part in front of my name, as it still doesn't stroke one bit with how I and others perceive me. It's just wrong, and I hope this gets corrected soon so that there will be one less thing for me to worry about.

So, tomorrow it's time to go swimming again. I just hope that this bloody kidney stone won't bother me too much. I would like to get in a kilometer worth of laps again, which is hard to do when it feels like someone is kicking you in the kidneys. Getting a good night's sleep would contribute greatly to a successful day tomorrow as well.

Beyond that I hope that I can do some work on TileWars tomorrow and next week. It's time to wrap this puppy up :)


Friday, 17 September 2010

Toughing It Out

According to Pieter his behaviour yesterday was just part of a plan to make me more independent when it comes to those paralyzation/withdrawal episodes. He recognizes that they can be really dangerous, especially when I'll be living on my own in a few months time or so as there will be no one around to help me snap out of them. I'll leave whether it is the right approach up for debate.

Last night was another terrible night. Throughout it I have had one nightmare after the other, with a text message from a friend waking me up from the first one at around 0.47 AM. I was glad it woke me up, as the nightmare had left me drenched in sweat, with my heart pounding wildly and the sensation of something out there getting ready to pounce me not subsiding much even after waking up.

After that I fell asleep again only to wake up again from another disturbing dream. By the time I decided it was time to get out of bed it was past 7 AM and I crawled out of bed more than I gracefully got out. I literally couldn't walk properly, so I shuffled around. After a while I started to feel better, if still sleep-deprived.

By the end of the morning Pieter had just left for a wedding and I was chatting with my mom on the phone when I suddenly got this terrible pain in my left side. After a few moments of it only getting worse I told my mom that I was going to disconnect, which I did. Then I lied down on my bed until the pain began to subside somewhat. It was located in the lower part of my back, on the left side. Based on the type of pain and other symptoms I figured it was a kidney stone stuck in the left kidney. After drinking a lot of water the pain nearly went away, but I'll have to keep an eye on it.

A kidney stone may also explain the extreme nausea I felt before, as pressure on the intestines from a kidney stone may trigger the nausea/vomit response which is an embryological left-over, according to online references.

At any rate it really doesn't improve my situation. At the moment I feel so incredibly tired and I'm delighted that I have the option of taking a sleeping pill tonight as I'm not sure I'd last another night without getting some real sleep. Today I only did a tiny bit of work, due to the issues mentioned, but also because I feel so tired and scatterbrained. I'd like to sleep, nap or otherwise get some real rest, but rarely is my sleep that peaceful as of late.

I could put a wild-eyed, outrageous emotional outburst here, but to be quite frank I don't have the energy for it. It feels similar to when I had been awake for nearly 40 hours a few years ago while traveling to and from Canada with all the delays, lay-overs, uncomfortable airplane seats and such, with me about to topple over from exhaustion and feeling ill.

I just can't find any rest anywhere.


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Feeling Terrible

Just a quick update. Today basically went from bad to worse and I'm not sure where it'll end. At the moment it seems to have stabilized somewhat, but earlier it was quite critical. I have been feeling physically sick today and emotionally exhausted and numb, a short while ago I began to get strong suicidal thoughts, shortly after which I succumbed to another paralyzation/withdrawal episode.

What made it worse was that Pieter didn't seem to notice that I was about to fall out of my chair and just kept telling me to wake up or to fetch something, even though I couldn't move a muscle and was in an increasing amount of pain. If he hadn't returned later to return me to a more comfortable position and later put me onto his bed in front of the TV before he left. I might have done something terrible. Instead I just cried a lot and spent time watching TV.

Right now I'm not feeling alright, I'm definitely very upset emotionally which I'm trying to compensate for by focusing on purely intellectual matters. I still feel quite terrible though: quite lost and tired of everything. It's more a general feeling than focused on anything in particular. This whole day I have felt like that, pretty much.

Another thing which probably doesn't help that is that I got some advice on my In Between and Neither story which I'm definitely considering, namely to rewrite the story to make it more descriptive and less distant, while only releasing it once it's complete. I am thinking of following this advice and release a book 1 a few months from now or whenever it's done with around 20 chapters. It's definitely not easy to decide on such matters.

What should fall under the header 'good news' has to be a telephone call a few hours ago with the county's office informing me that my first name change will be handled today and I'll get a confirmation in a few days time. For some reason it doesn't do me a whole lot.

Ah well...


Down The Trenches We Go Again

I'm beginning to discern a pattern: talk in-depth about my troubles and wake up the next day feeling like a wrung-out towel. This time around I even got some extra fun, with me feeling utterly nauseous last night for the better part of an hour while I was lying in bed. Most unpleasant. This morning - which started at around 4.50 AM for me - I awoke to a headache, as well as being overly sensitive to sounds and lights. Yes, like a hangover, but without the drinking the day before :)

Yesterday morning I had my second torture appointment of the week, followed by rushing home to ready myself to catch the first train to Amsterdam where I met up with my friend, after which she and I left for the Film Museum, at the Vondelpark. At that point I had had breakfast and a quick lunch involving a croissant with jam, she had had nothing yet. She tried to convince me to eat something as well, but I said I wasn't hungry. Which I wasn't.

The movie Casablanca is interesting. It is set in late 1941, right after the German invasion of France and in particular Paris, which isn't a setting we get to see very often in movies, unless I missed some. For such an old black and white movie it's really great, it draws you into the story, even despite some rather silly facepalm moments in the dialogue (be warned of the 'romantic' scenes), and right up till the very end you really don't know what's going to happen. I'd definitely recommend this movie.

After the movie my friend convinced me to eat something as well, which basically meant a late lunch. While we were sitting there at the table of the restaurant, we talked a lot about a lot of things and while very interesting and probably useful, it does take quite a toll on a person. By the time I got home I literally crashed, dragging myself upstairs for some quick tea while trying to stay awake long enough. I did go along with the walking of the dogs, though, which resulted in both Pieter and I (as well as the dogs of course, but they don't care about it) getting soaked with a keenly executed attack from the rainclouds above. In short: it was dry when we left the house, and dry again by the time we got back. Don't you just love the Dutch weather?

Yesterday morning I also finished part 5 of In Between and Neither. Yes, it's a tad depressing, but hey, so is my life. Just be glad I don't go to such extremes yet as Alice :) To be quite honest I'm glad I haven't been beaten up like she has so far; I did get bullied a lot in the past, but fortunately nobody knew my 'secret' yet back then. Including me. Sigh.

Today it's back to the trenches as I resume my work on TileWars. Expect a big update on that one soon. I also got the feedback from my cousin on the site design mockup I made for her company's site. Got to incorporate these suggestions.

I just hope I'll manage today despite my condition. I'm definitely feeling under the weather, even after sleeping away most of the morning.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Annoyances And Progress

Any person I meet I try to give a fair chance at proving him or herself to me, and I try to be patient and open whenever the situation asks for it. That said, I'm currently quite taxed by this friend Pieter has staying over from Taiwan at the moment. I already knew she was a bit 'unusual', but it's not often that I meet someone who is so withdrawn, so impossible to approach, maybe even aloof, let alone possible to understand. I have more or less given up on trying to start even a basic conversation and went to my beauty salon appointment this morning sooner than usual just to get away from it all. There's something unnerving about having someone staying at your place who is essentially a stranger and does everything possible to keep things that way. It creeps me out. I know it isn't nice to say, but I'll be glad when she leaves tomorrow.

Despite all this, I had a good day yesterday, despite or maybe thanks to a dose of sleep-deprivation. I completed some resources for TileWars, mostly for the menu and finished a mockup of the site design I'm making for my cousin's business. I also wrote the first page of part 5 of In Between and Neither, which I intend to finish later today. I'll also check out the 3D capabilities in Photoshop CS5 and get the first avatar model coloured. Using Genetica I will try to create a mockup of the Nyanko splash screen. It's a busy schedule for sure.

As an aside, I mentioned the aftershocks of my dating adventure before. When I returned home earlier from my appointment Pieter and his friend were watching a Friends episode (a New Year one). At some point there was some kissing and I really couldn't look at it as it made me feel very ill inside. It's the first time I have felt like that. I'm not sure what it means.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Making The Case For Intersexuality

Yesterday I released part 4 of In Between and Neither. It's not the ending of this story as some have asked me. Consider it to be the introduction having come to an end. The real story starts from here. How it'll end? I will tell you right after I know how my own life is going to proceed from here on.

Also yesterday was the first photoshoot with the photography student. This time she mostly did profile shots. Later this month we'll probably do another shoot involving more full-body shots. The question she and I have been mulling over is how to use a photograph to basically show that a person is intersexual.

Take my case: when I'm just walking or sitting about, everyone will assume that I'm just a regular girl, whether walking around fully clothed on the streets or in a skimpy bikini at the swimming pool. Including a picture of me in her project is therefore going to be about as effective as including a picture of any reasonably attractive regular girl. Nobody will be able to tell the difference. So what's the solution?

The most obvious solution is of course to take away every bit of clothing, to show everything and make it completely obvious that this body of mine with its near-perfect feminine curves has an oddity to it. A possible problem with this is how to do it without make it look out of place. It has to be done in a tasteful manner. I'll leave that issue to the student. I just discussed it with her, asking her about the target public, which turned out to be mostly teachers and students at her school, so there's the assumption of a reasonable level of maturity among the viewers. I guess I'll find out later this month what she came up with. I'm just the model :)

Moving on... the aftershocks of my dating trial are still causing damage and it'll probably take a while longer for things to settle down a bit. With relationship and sexuality no longer being of relevance to me they have already been dumped into the 'unwanted and evil' bin by my emotional side. I think it's acting mostly out of confusion, as it seems to be unable to understand anything about these topics. Logically I can not seem to make head or tails out of it, other than to discard both as silly courtship and reproduction rituals which have no relevance to me. Whether trying out this dating thing was the right choice is still very much up for debate.

Anyway, at least I did keep my date as a good friend, and Wednesday we're going to see a movie: Casablanca from 1942 with Humphrey Bogart (, a classic I have wanted to see for a long time. I'm a sucker for certain old movies and this might be one of them. Another one I saw a while ago thanks to Pieter was 12 Angry Men from 1957 ( which was fascinating even though the characters in this movie never leave the room they're in until the very end. It was all in the acting and dialogue, in other words. Definitely recommended.

Next week is going to be busy again, with that movie on Wednesday and my usual torture appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday. At least the latter seems to be making serious progress now, with the last traces of facial hair rapidly diminishing and playing an increasingly less important role in my daily life. With some luck it may be done by the end of the year. I'll then have spent somewhere around 5,000 Euro on it, and recouped maybe 750-1,000 Euro via my insurance company. Being intersexual is an expensive hobby.

Pieter is also going to have a friend over from Taiwan this coming week, who he'll have to show around this little country. It's somewhat funny that it takes less than a week to show basically everything of relevance in this country. I have never met this friend of Pieter before, but I doubt I'll see much of her except at breakfast and sometimes dinner. Not that this matters to me, except that I may have to cook for myself a few times. I like strict planning :)

Going back to yesterday's talks with the photography student, one thing she was quite adament about and which I agree with is that of including teaching about intersexuality at schools, during biology and other relevant classes. it's ridiculous that each year in this country alone tens of thousands of children if not more are born intersexual and 80-90% of this country or so isn't even aware that intersexuality exists, or what it is really, with a similar pattern among medical personnel. I would really like to lobby politicians to give this issue some attention, but I'm not sure my voice carries any kind of power. Most likely it will just get ignored.

I also compared the current taboo on intersexuality with that of the racial segregation in the US in the 60s. It took a few coloured people to stand up and say that they weren't going to take the way things were any longer, and that they demanded change. This is what should happen among intersexuals as well. The student's experiences when contacting AIS Nederlands, an organization for intersexuals, was that none of its members wanted to do anything for her project except just maybe have an anonymous interview. My experiences with other intersexuals are much the same.

Intersexuality isn't something to be ashamed of. We were born this way and we deserve to be recognized as such, public opinion be damned. Who's marching with me? :)


Friday, 10 September 2010

Vestigial Emotions

I just woke up from apparently a fairly restless sleep. It's a tad past 5 AM and I really don't think I'll be able to sleep any more. Partially because both the dog of the neighbour is barking (audible through multiple walls) and Pieter's dogs (he himself being in Belgium at the moment) happily wailing along. I also realized something I wasn't aware of yesterday, while I was having my third and apparently last date with this girl I was dating.

Often have I commented on how strong my rational side is, and how weak my emotional side, and yesterday was an excellent demonstration of it. The thing is that before yesterday this girl and I had an email exchange in which she mentioned her doubts about the long-term prospective of our relationship, and yesterday we decided that we would just go on as hopefully good friends.

When I got her first, 'I got to tell you something' style email, emotionally I first didn't respond to it other than wanting to throw the email away largely unread and just blame this retarded body of mine for everything, as it usually is at fault anyway. How I felt about it at the time? I don't know, apparently kind of upset, because I felt quite bad and spent half an hour crying or wailing, rather. Then Pieter asked to read the email as well and deduced that I had been largely overreacting. Score one for my emotional side.

Yesterday I thought that my emotional side was present during the exchange as well, yet looking back it seems like it shut down somewhere around Wednesday afternoon, when I had a pretty bad emotional collapse and stayed in bed until dinner time feeling sick. Then after dinner I collapsed again, and had to drag myself literally upstairs to my bed, where I withdrew into myself for a bit, until I began to get this horrible feeling again of needing to escape, and suicide being the only option. It's a far too familiar feeling and its pull is incredibly strong. Only Pieter's intervention probably kept me from doing something foolish.

Anyway, yesterday this girl and I had this heavily emotional conversation, talking about relationship stuff and such. After deciding to just be friends from then on, I felt relieved inside, and I thought at the time that it was my emotional side which was feeling that, and that it was okay with it. Even suffering another bad emotional collapse during dinner didn't seem to dampen my conviction of that. This collapse was a new type; it mostly seemed to weaken my muscle control but not obliterate it while jumbling my thoughts and making it unable for me to think clearly, let alone speak.

When I woke up earlier I realized that my emotional side hadn't been involved yesterday at all, that it was my rational side which had taken over and concluded that relationship stuff is irrelevant anyway, or something. It just doesn't like anything for which it can't see any practical purpose. This morning I could notice my emotional side whining, feeling lonely and useless. It seems to have decided that relationships and sexuality are highly overrated pieces of junk anyway, meaning that apparently I'm back to square minus one-hundred on those again.

At this point I'm really not sure whether my emotional side serves any kind of useful purpose and isn't just a stupid prank or left-over thing. The only thing it's good for is getting in the way, tricking me into doing stupid things and basically standing for everything my rational side loathes. I wish I could cut it out like a diseased appendix.

To be clear, I'm not upset. At this point my rational side is in control as usual. It's just highly annoyed at this blubbering piece of emotional side which keeps messing my life up. With it out of the way there wouldn't be disrupting thoughts and worries, no pain and no frustrations. Ergo it's a cancerous element and preferably removed before it can do more damage.

Elementary, you know?


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Making Sense Of What Doesn't Make Sense

Yesterday I finished part 3 of In Between and Neither. In this episode we see more controversy, more violence and twisted perspectives. Check it out at my Scribd account, at Writing this part was tough as usual, with the first section being particularly draining, and the rest revealing parts of my personality I hadn't expected. It definitely was unexpected, even to me.

Some of it was no doubt influenced by a recent development in my life, namely that of dating. It's a brand new experience to me and brings a lot of fuss with it, with both sides having to figure out where they want things to lead to, what their expectations are, what the other person wants and needs. I'm fairly confident in stating that walking through a minefield is probably a heck of a lot less accident-prone.

Anyway, today I suffered a pretty serious burn-out, spending most of the afternoon in bed sleeping and staring at the ceiling. I think that the recent things surrounding this whole dating thing have just added that little bit extra stress to make the proverbial cup overflow. I guess the worst part of this whole stress overflow thing is the hyper-ventilating combined with a sensation of... despair I guess, where one feels so much pain and one's outlook on the future is more pitch-black than bleak. If I hadn't nagged Pieter about it earlier when I felt so terrible I might have done something stupid again. I guess that's where one absolutely requires good friends nearby.

With this dating stuff that's also the main thing I'm looking for. My date wrongfully assumed at first that I was looking for commitment and a serious long-term relationship, whereas I'm just looking for stability and someone who can guide me while I explore this 'relationship' and 'sexuality' thing in a way which won't further scar or traumatise me. I must say that my date so far has managed this quite well, and that it has changed the way I look at some things already. I won't say silly things like that I suddenly understand what it feels like to be in love, as I still refuse to believe that there is such a thing beyond a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain caused by a boobytrap planted there by that pesky evolution thing.

But enough blathering from my side. Tomorrow I'll be seeing my date again; we're going wander around the city for a bit and talk about serious stuff. Friday I would be home alone with Pieter gone for a family party in Belgium if it wasn't for the photography student dropping by to do that photoshoot for her project. Seems like I'm going to be the main subject in that project. I guess I should be honoured.

Tonight I'm going to take that sleeping pill I skimped on last night. Got to be all fresh and awake for my date, and of course do some work tomorrow morning. TileWars isn't going to finish itself.

On a sidenote, here is the cover I designed for the In Between and Neither story. Let me know your thoughts on it :)


Sunday, 5 September 2010


Yesterday was my birthday. For a change I didn't really feel that depressed or anything at all about it. What I did worry about a bit was having this new friend - the English student, if I mentioned her before - over for the weekend; thanks to previous and virtually all bad or at least terribly confusing meetings like this I was feeling most definitely apprehensive about it. As it turns out, this feeling was totally unwarranted.

On Saturday I first got my birthday gifts from Pieter: a Hello Kitty plushie and keyring as well as a new hairdryer. What can I say? I'm a sucker for cute stuff :) Pieter and I did groceries as usual, dropped off a package at the post office and returned home where I had time for a quick breakfast. At close to 11 AM I had to catch a train to Amsterdam where I met up with this English student and my mother, the latter having asked me to meet her there as it would be more convenient for her. This would be the second time I would meet this student.

After a bit of logistics we finally met up at the train station where the student gave me her birthday gift: a CD featuring music by her and another girl. After waiting for a bit - my mom's train was supposed to arrive at 11.32, but this turned out to be 11.38 for some reason - but eventually we found each other as well. My mom really wanted to meet this new friend of mine, so she finally got the chance.

We went to a little cafe some distance away from the station where we had a drink. My mom gave me this heart I could write a message on, a pair of luxurious chopsticks and some money. What puzzled me a bit was that when the student was away for a moment my mom said to me "Well done finding this girl." or something to that effect. I wasn't sure what to think of that. I actually still don't :)

Anyway, my mom got picked up by a friend of her while the student and I went back to her place to pick up some things she would need, like a swimsuit. We walked both ways through the streets and parks of Amsterdam, which was made very pleasant by the fine weather. Eventually we returned to the train station and caught the first train back to Almere.

Once back home we had cake, drinks and tea, then watched a movie (Spaceballs, a classic), had dinner (Chinese take-out, yum) and the student and I took a walk, then watched another movie together (Secret Window, an okay movie based on a book by Stephen King). After that she was pretty much nodding off already, so we decided to go to bed early.

For me this was the first time I really did the 'pillow talk' thing; talking about mostly girl stuff with another girl. I must say that it is pretty fun ^_^ It's times like that when I miss not having had any female friends before. Actually falling asleep was more difficult for me, with PTSD flashbacks keeping me awake. Eventually I did manage, but I have no idea whether I slept more than a few hours at most. The student had no such issues, though :P

After getting up we had to rush to make it to the pool, where we had a fun time. The student got a chance to socialize a bit with my other friends/Pieter's friends, while I caught up with some people I hadn't seen or spoken to since the summer vacation started. This was pretty fun, especially to see those Chinese girls and their mother again. They seemed very energetic today and when they saw me they called out my name, asking me to join them. I love children like them :)

A few hours after we got back from the pool the student had to leave for an appointment. I took a nap soon after that, as I felt pretty tired. Waking up from it, I felt rested but also kind of lonely. It's easy to get used to the presence of fun people :) I'm really glad I met a friend like her: someone who is fun to talk to, mostly sane and likes to have in-depth talks on the finer points of life and everything. It's something I used to do a lot with my mom a few years ago, and it's fun to do it again but this time with someone my age.

All in all, not a bad birthday, and I think those long talks with this student are really changing me. It certainly beats visiting a shrink ;) I also like discussing such matters in English instead of Dutch, due to the former being so much more expressive. I'm having some difficulty at the moment switching back to talking Dutch again, as I seem to have a strong preference for English. Fortunately not many people get to hear me talk in Dutch :P


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

In Between And Neither

On Monday I wrote and published the next part of the In Between and Neither story which is slowly turning into a novel. You can read both parts which have been published so far here:

For me this story is also very interesting, as it is a different way of looking at myself and at my past. There are a lot of elements in it which really happened, some of them exactly as in the story, others in different situations or contexts, with some elements made up, but which are still 'what ifs'. What if I had found out about what was going on when I was still going to school? What if this mob who bullied me during primary school had found another thing to latch on to?

The character Alice is of course completely based on me, and I just threw her into a slightly different universe, with some of the above changes added. As far as I can tell it makes for a story which is in many ways different from my own life, and yet offers many insights which are relevant to my own life. I guess it offers a form of therapy.

Catherine is the mother figure, who has experienced something terrible herself, allowing her to gain a better understanding of the darker side of humanity. I think her character is based mostly on this woman I met a few years ago, who when she was about my age had a boyfriend who turned out to be somewhat like those figures you see in bad horror movies. In short she got terribly abused in a sexual manner by that boyfriend. In the story there's no such experience for Catherine, but something which applies more directly to Alice's situation. In a sense Alice is the daughter Catherine was never able to see grow up thanks to ignorance.

Writing these chapters is quite tough on me, as it draws directly from my own memories, pain and frustrations. This is why I have to write a whole chapter (parts) at once, as once I have started there's no way I can stop writing, much like I can't stop these PTSD flashbacks once they start again. Follow the rabbit into its hole and see where ever you end up, Alice. Or something. I think the Alice in this story did end up in a kind of Wonderland, although more like the one in the Czech movie 'Alice' than the one in the children's story. Much like my own world, hers is somewhat of a twisted, nightmarish world where there is no escape, no time or place to rest and only things to run away from.

I wish there was someone like Catherine in my life as well. Or maybe there is and I haven't noticed yet?