Saturday, 30 July 2011

I'm Terrified Of Dying, Yet I May Be The One To Kill Myself

Imagine feeling so torn about your life, so filled with memories of traumatic experiences and no clear outlook on improvement. Imagine feeling despair welling up from deep inside you. Imagine realizing that you have nowhere to go, nothing you can do about it, nothing to do but keep waiting like you have done since what feels like the beginning of time. Imagine seeing everybody else being able to live their lives. Imagine all this frustration and anger being without target and turning towards yourself.

Imagine all this hatred, pain and agony coming crashing back, enveloping and choking you. There's no way to fight against so much pain. The first few times you'll be able to hold it off, but it grows stronger, as your situation doesn't change, doesn't improve. Eventually you'll succumb to it more and more easily.

It starts with merely punching yourself a few times. Then scratching. Then tearing off bits of skin. Then blunt trauma. Cutting. And worse each time. You don't want to do it. You know it's not good. You feel more miserable after each time you do it, but you are left no choice. You wish you could direct the pain, hatred and frustration towards a more useful purpose, but there isn't one.

I don't feel proud of what I did earlier to myself. I can feel the bruising and scratches all too well on my abdomen. I managed to at least spare my wrists and hands this time. Limiting the collateral damage. That's the extent of my control. I have to give in to this urge to harm myself or it'll start tearing my skull apart until I'll do it anyway, or worse.

When I begged and asked for help in the past I didn't want to put too much weight on the inevitability that I'll end up inflicting permanent damage to myself, or even end up mortally wounding myself. At this point I'm too terrified of myself to shy away from this, though.

I'm not sure how long I can hold myself together. I'm not sure how long I can hold back that time when I'll inflict serious damage to myself. The past few days I have been more unstable than before. I need help and support to stabilize me. I need something to change fundamentally to change in my life.

Please, I'm begging anyone willing to listen... please save me. I don't want to die... especially not by my own hands.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

This Body Which I Am Not Allowed To Have

I have a complete and healthy body. I am intelligent. I have good social skills. This obviously leads to people wondering what makes me pursue all these things with the medical and political systems. I am what I feel like, right?

Unfortunately, my body was taken from me at an early age, and I have been denied the chance to regain it ever since. What I currently inhabit is a temporary shell, a make-shift construction which allows me to exist, but only temporarily. Until I regain my real body.

I lost my body when I was only a few years old, around the time when children begin to become aware of their own bodies. It was then that I realized that my body was missing. I desperately tried to patch together something resembling a body I could call my own, but despite everything I tried it never turned into a real body. For many years I lived like this, frantically trying to ignore that I had a fake body, while everybody around me was discovering their real bodies as they matured and grew into adults. Not me. My body wasn't capable of that.

I was forced to watch while everybody passed me by. I was just a mind trapped in a fake construction. My real body was nowhere to be found. Where would I search for it? I had no idea. I almost forgot at times that my body was only fake as I got used to the constant pain of its loss.

When I stumbled over my real body, nearly seven years ago, I was at first overjoyed that I would finally get my real body back. I would finally get to catch up on everything I had been missing out on during over one and a half decade. I couldn't believe that it was so easy to find my real body, that it was just in a slightly different location than for others. I could have found it sooner if I had searched a little better, or had received help.

Then, as I tried to cast off my temporary, fake body and exchange it for my real body, this was denied. My fake body was my real body, so said people who supposedly were specialists in this area. Worse was that I needed their help to adapt this real body and make it a part of myself.

Many insisted that this real body didn't even exist, that it was just a flight of my fancy, that I was seeing things which weren't there. Others offered me another fake body. I wanted to yell at them to just give me my real body, that it was right there and that it was they who needed to have their minds examined. No use. My body just floats uselessly over there, almost within reach.

I'm trapped in this fake body. I want to rip it off, tear it to pieces, even if by doing so my own existence is erased. Everything is better than a fake existence. I don't want to live a lie. I don't want to have a fake body.

I can not live, or even exist like this.

I can not understand the cruelty of others in denying me my real body.

Why are things like this?





Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I'm Only A Toy For Others To Play With

Two days ago I sent a second letter to the Dutch Queen Beatrix, the English translation of which can be read here in PDF format. In it I tackle the points raised by the Dutch Minister of Health in her response to my first letter, as well as express my outrage at such a humiliating response. As I mentioned to people I talked about it last week, the Minister's response was akin to wishing someone who is lying on the ground while getting the stuffings kicked out of him good luck and a happy life.

My second letter therefore had as focus to defuse the arguments made in the Minister's response, namely that there is an existing and ready to use law to have one's official gender changed for intersex people, and that the resistance I encountered with the medical system here was for my own protection to avoid unnecessary surgeries. As I also pointed, especially that latter point carries a lot of irony since with the medical system here not acknowledging the existence of intersexuals, hence never diagnosing them as such, the only way to get one's official gender changed is to pretend to be a transsexual and get a sex-reassignment surgery. Irony thick enough to cut with a laser cutter.

The medical system doesn't care about people like me, instead of preferring to play with us like predators with their prey. Same for politicians. Same for the justice system. Additionally because of the uncertainty in our lives we become an easy prey for those who enjoy abusing people. If I had received the medical help I should have been provided with as part of the human rights package I'm quite sure I would not have had to suffer sexual, physical and psychological abuse. Instead I got toyed with like a cat playing with a semi-stunned mouse, just barely keeping it from getting away each time it tries to escape.

Worse is that this pattern isn't limited to the Netherlands. Systematic human rights abuse, discrimination and persecution occurs all around the globe, making sure that there is no safe place for intersex people to escape to. Everywhere we're being toyed with.

A famous quote is 'Do not attribute to evil that which can be attributed to incompetence'. In this case I'm not sure what we're dealing with, however. Is the systematic suppression and persecution of tens of millions of people world-wide not something which has been deemed evil and to be outright rejected by any civilized country? Especially in Europe, which saw many millions of homosexuals, gypsies, Jews and other groups of people deported to concentration and destruction camps during the second World War. You would think that especially here people would be adamant against a repeat of such a horrible thing.

Maybe it's that it's not visible enough. We intersex, transsexual and homosexual people aren't being rounded up like cattle and transported to camps. Instead it's a worse kind of persecution: one of denial and suppression. It's still there, but it's hidden and covered up, not unlike the systematic abuse of young children by Catholic priests. The latter was unveiled recently, but long before that it was well known that it was happening. How could a society stand by and watch on while every year countless children suffered abuse at the hands of perverted old men who called themselves 'Men of God'? Are these children only toys? Do they not matter either?

Where does this terrorism come from? Should we distrust the entire system, as promoted by Anarchism? Are it the self-complacent fat cats at the top who can not concern themselves with the miniscule and irrelevant lives of the regular populace? Have medical specialists and even common physicians become so detached from reality and so captured by money and protocols that the harm they're doing to their patients is considered irrelevant?

Here in the Netherlands the medical system is on the verge of collapse. Indications include:
  • A rapid increase in the number of babies dying right after birth.
  • Hospital infections.
  • Managers deciding who gets surgery first.
  • Managers and surgeons opting for cheaper.
  • Inferior replacement hips instead of proper ones.
  • Expensive surgeries being cut more and more in favour of more profitable cheaper surgeries.
  • And so on.

Combine this with the other indications in other parts of society, such as shrinking the available houses on the social housing market and putting them on the private market instead, rampant speculation in the housing market which has increased prices more than five-fold since the late 90s, making it almost impossible to finance even a basic house. The course of the current and preceding governments in the Netherlands has been one towards privatizing, having even hospitals 'compete' for 'customers'. The result is a decline in the quality of medical care, increasing expenses, far more highly-paid managers, a crumbling infrastructure with public transport becoming more and more expensive.

The only conclusion one can draw is that we're rapidly moving towards a situation not unlike that in 19th century England, where the Industrial Revolution devolved into the worst abuse of a population by an elite minority since the time of the French Revolution. Humans rights are an annoying thing to the elite. It limits them in their ability to gain more power, control and money. Eventually any elite power, if given enough room, will become corrupted by said power. And the victim is the populace. You. Me. Everyone. Intersexual people. Transsexual people. Homosexual people. Bisexual people. Anarchists. Humanists. Christians. Muslims. Jews. Atheists. Scientists.

Everyone but the elite is just there to be toys to be played with. Sometimes toys do bite back, though. Sometimes.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Rainy Days

It's been raining almost non-stop here since yesterday. I could be very cliche and say that it matches my mood. It would also not be an exaggeration. Much like my current mood, rainy days are days where one huddles inside, trying to find a spot outside the rain and waiting for the rain to end. Many things grind to a halt.

I have been working since last Saturday on this Android smartphone application for the client who currently employs me in a freelance fashion. I have previously done some work for them already, a simple PHP script used for monitoring their servers, and I guess they were pretty happy with it. Of course, one of the reasons I got that project in the first place was because a friend of mine, Michael, works there too. IRC in that regard is far more useful to me than networking sites like LinkedIn. To be frank I still haven't figured out how that site is supposed to work in the first place.

Anyway, this Android project isn't something I had expected to be working on. If you had told me I would be working on a Kamasutra-like application for Android a year ago I would have declared you insane. First of all because I hadn't done any Android development work at that time, and secondly because of the many traumas I suffer from related to sexuality thanks to having been able to work off the checklist of sexual abuse items.

To be frank, I don't think I'm fine with this kind of work, I do not enjoy looking at the pictures or videos of the available positions, or read the descriptions, but I think that by doing this kind of work and not having others involved while being in a safe location, out of harm's way, might just take the edge of those traumas. I'll still flip out if I hear, see or read others discuss their sex life, but the mere mentioning of sex might just stop making me feel sick. That'd be progress, I guess.

Anyway, I'm on track to finishing this application on schedule, by Wednesday next week. After that I hope to get more projects from this company. Freelancing Android and other programming work really isn't that bad. It allows for a lot of freedom and you pay far less taxes than when employed. Keeping the revenue flowing is the trick, though. That's why I'm glad that Trevor and I are getting close to releasing TileWars, our first game for Windows.

Trevor has been working on it all this time, dedicating all his time to it. The coming weeks we'll be putting the actual game together, after finishing the splash intro, menu screens and such fluff. It'll be wonderful to finish that project and I hope that lots of people will buy it once it's available on Steam. I hope to update the Nyanko website with screenshots and further details about TileWars soon, so stay tuned.

This coming week I have got nothing, aside from finishing this Android project, working on TileWars and visiting the beauty salon on Friday again. Maybe I'll meet that nice guy who recognized me last Friday again. It would be fun. Albeit I hope to talk one day about more than just my troubles due to being intersexual and being persecuted for it. Waking up each morning is still very difficult. I wish I had someone who took care of me, sheltering and protecting me. Giving me the life I so wish for but which was cruelly taken away from me during my youth, together with my human rights.

And still the rain continues...


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Response From Dutch Health Minister

I received this letter from the Dutch minister of Health on July 14th:

English translation:

Dear Maya,

Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to respond to your letter of May 8th, 2001 because the subject falls under my responsibility. I can tell you the following.

I have read your letter with a lot of interest. You describe how at a certain point have discovered that you are transsexual. Afterwards you discovered on the internet the term intersexuality, with which you can identify much better.

You write that many hospitals were not interested in examining you as an intersexual person and I conclude from your letter that you're very disappointed about this. After a search of six and a half years in the Dutch healthcare you have now put your hopes into foreign help.

I regret that you haven't found that which you were looking for in our healthcare and that this has been troublesome for your personal life as well. Looking over your letter I think that you mostly feel the need for recognition and I can find myself in this.

The subject intersexuality also has the interest of the House of Representatives. Recently the Minister of Education, Culture and Science has answered House questions regarding the battle which people in the Netherlands with an intersex condition fight to get (medical) recognition. Although those answers mostly apply to the legal status of people with an intersex condition (it involves the reporting of the sex in the birth certificate and the passport), they also refer to the medical reality. In that connection is the 'Consensus Statement on Management of Intersex Disorders' relevant. This guide line is created in 2006 by medical specialists and advises physicians to avoid hurried and medically not required surgeries. This possibly explains the reluctance which you encountered at the hospitals which you have visited.

Although I sympathize with your situation I have to point out that the responsibility to medical action lies with the professionals in the healthcare. As a minister of VWS I can of course not take such a professional responsibility upon myself.

I include the House questions which I just mentioned and I conclude this letter in the hope that you'll finally find the recognition you seek. Finally I gladly wish you all the best for the future.

Best wishes,
the Minister of Healthcare,
Wellness and Sport,

Ms E. I. Schippers


The included attachment referred to in the letter basically comes down to that intersexual people in the Netherlands can legally change their gender without issues, as a law exists for this already (1:24). I have of course encountered this law already when I was discussing my first name change last year with my lawyer. The requirement for this law is that you are recognized as being intersex by a hereto approved physician. Sadly the physicians in this country refuse to identify people as being intersex, rendering this law pointless.

I will be writing a follow-up letter to the Queen and send it next week. My first letter was mostly just an overview, and since this Minister clearly did not bother to even glance at my website I will have to put the relevant items into the letter itself.

My response to the above letter is mostly one of extreme bitterness. To have my troubles just brushed away like that and with her having the nerve to rub it in by pretending she cares. It really, really hurts really badly. If this doesn't underline why action is required to give intersex people their human rights back, I don't know what will.


Friday, 22 July 2011

Grass Roots Movement

Today I went to my weekly appointment at the beauty salon in the nearby city Deventer. While the usual electrolysis treatment was hardly surprising after all this time, it was really fun to meet a new intern who is working there at the moment. A somewhat shy and very gentle girl, we had a very enjoyable talk while she used me as a practice subject for a foot massage in the mean time. She was very curious as to what my situation was, and I found it very pleasant to explain it to her.

The beautician herself had caught a re-run of the BNN TV show I appeared in last Wednesday. They're doing a re-run of the entire 2010 season at the moment, and she just happened to catch that episode. She hadn't seen it yet, so it was a pleasant surprise for her as well.

While waiting in the beauty salon I also talked with this really friendly lady, with whom I discussed my situation and my campaign as well. She was very curious to how such a terrible situation could be in a country like the Netherlands as well. I ended up giving her my business card so that she can look at my website.

On my way back from the beauty salon I decided to pop into this phone store to see whether I could get a cover for my new phone. While looking at some covers on display, I suddenly saw this big black guy enter the store, walk towards me and put his hand on my shoulder. I think I must have blacked out a bit, as next I know we're chatting about how he has seen me on that re-run on TV as well and recognized me as I walked past his shop. I told him that I don't have people recognizing me like that often. I gave him my business card as well and we had a nice talk until I had to leave to catch my train.

Once back home I wrote an email to the Humanitarian Broadcast channel here in the Netherlands about the campaign for giving back intersex people their human rights. Maybe they'll even bother to respond.

Regarding getting recognized, it is my experience that people do recognize me a lot more often, but as I noticed when I was sitting with a few others in front of the entrance to the photography exposition early this month, it was clear when people recognized me, but they'd quickly avert their gaze. The natural response for a Dutch person appears to be to avoid any confrontation and prefer to talk about a person behind her or her back. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it would be nice if Dutch people learned to engage more often in spontaneous conversation. Maybe it's indicative of the reason(s) for the lack of political and other change in this country. This country's culture is nothing if not hyper-conservative and outdoing even the US when it comes to enriching the rich.

I watched the news earlier on the bombing in Oslo, Norway and the shooting elsewhere in that country. Just horrible. When I visited Norway back in 2007 I very much enjoyed the people and culture there. To see its tranquility torn apart like that without any reason just brings tears to my eyes. I am well aware of the feeling of wanting to be and feel safe, and I can imagine the terror of the Norwegian people as they try to figure out whether they should flee or stay where they are.

Meanwhile I'm working furiously to finish this Android smartphone application. I'm supposed to finish it by Tuesday next week, so it's going to be a rush to finish it on time. It's fun to be working freelance-style on a paid project again, though. My skills are very much appreciated by the company which hired me, and they are ready to offer me a lot more work after this. I bought my first Android smartphone to use for testing the applications I develop, a Huawei U8800 IDEOS X5, which is comparable to a Google Nexus S, a mainstream to high-end phone. Not as cool as the Galaxy S II or similar high-end phones, but more than suitable for everything from playing videos to running 3D applications.

After yesterday's blog posts one might wonder how I'm feeling today, to which the most basic reply is 'tired'. I'm still promoting the petition, even today while talking to these people, I'm just not putting my hopes on anything. As I wrote yesterday, I can not see a future right now, and all I can do is wait until one gets handed to me. The only thing I know is that I need to find a place where I can feel safe. It'll probably take a miracle and a granting of refugee status and/or humanitarian protection to accomplish that, though.

Hope is for those who can see a glimpse of the future. I can not even glimpse a future, ergo I have no hopes.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

I Want To Stop Crying...

I have been crying nearly non-stop for two hours now. I just can't stop. There's so much pain inside. I feel so tired. I feel so weak. I feel like something really broke inside. I don't feel like hurting myself right now. That's good. Probably is only a matter of time before the sadness and grief turns to anger and finds a target in this despicable body of mine.

Please, please, please... allow me to stop crying. Allow me to experience a happy life. If that's possible. If it really exists. I don't know any more. Nothing makes sense. From what I hear and have experienced, being intersexual is an automatic death sentence, involving rejection, painful (physical) treatment and abuse, discrimination and worse. How could I ever hope for things to improve with all that being true? Who would take care of me? Who would protect me?

Worst is all those people saying how attractive I look and how hot I am. Why am I cursed with this hideous body? Why this torture? Why did things end up like this? Why? Why? Why?

There are only two possible ways out of this nightmare... one is for me to get help, the other is for me to die. I'm more than open for suggestions on the latter. I'm still afraid of pain, and the more gruesome ways to die, but at this point it sounds like the only plausible way out.

As for the former options... I'll believe it when I see and experience it. If the severity of my situation won't even be acknowledged by anyone who can help me, how could I ever get help? It's a chicken-and-egg, a catch-22 scenario. There is absolutely no way it could ever work out.

I'll just keep crying some more...

*hits self on head so hard she screams it out in pain*

*runs off to throw up again*


Nervous Breakdown

Just experienced yet another nervous breakdown. The experiences the past days of so many brief surges of hope followed by disappointments is too much for me to take. I can clearly no longer promote the petition, or otherwise be actively involved with anything. Guess my final stand didn't last very long.

I'll be focusing on the few things I do have control over and which are useful to my life, such as my work. There's no future for me as a person at this point, and I clearly lack the energy in addition to being too traumatized by the past six plus years to fight for any kind of improvement. Hence I'm giving up on it, instead leaving it to others to take over this burden.

Please... don't say it'll be fine, or to give it some more time. It just hurts me to hear such obvious fabrications. You know it's not true as much as I do.

I and others have asked people with a lot of influence to promote my cause. They never responded, except for one former Dutch politician who deemed the petition too unreliable to support. After a short burst the number of signatures is stuck at 260. Not even a single percentage of what is needed to get the attention from something like the United Nations. Pointless.

I'll stop worrying about it. I should worry less. All I have to worry about now is how my life will go from here. Will I be dead in a few months? Weeks? Days? Will sudden help arrive and my life become all fine? The only thing I am certain of is the here and now, and I hate it with a passion. Hate and frustration are the only two things I have plenty of.

I have said many times that I do not want to die, that I just want to be given a chance. Please give me a chance...

*sees all the leering and laughing faces around her and breaks down in tears again*


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

More Medical Incompetence: My Lung Infection

For over two years now I have suffered from a significant increase in mucus production ('slime' produced in the lower airways and coughed up), as well a near-constant cough and episodes of shortness of breath. I have written about this before already a few times. When visiting multiple family doctors and ER doctors over the past years I have been given the following range of diagnoses: 'nothing unusual', 'just a bad cold', 'a slight infection in the chest, will pass in two weeks', 'asthma'.

First of all, the persistent cough is a very big hint, together with the increase in mucus production: "A change in the amount, color or tenacity of sputum is often extremely significant and may indicate the presence of a bacterial infection or other type of lung condition, such as pulmonary edema, chronic bronchitis or bronchiectasis." [1]
"Bronchitis may be indicated by an expectorating cough (also known as a productive cough, i.e. one that produces sputum), shortness of breath (dyspnea) and wheezing. Occasionally chest pains, fever, and fatigue or malaise may also occur. Mucus is often green or yellowish green and also may be orange or pink, depending on the pathogen causing the inflammation." [2]

There's a big difference between asthma and chronic bronchitis, the latter being part of the group of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD): "Distinguishing between asthma and COPD can be quite challenging, even for the most seasoned medical professional. In fact, COPD is often misdiagnosed as asthma, leading to ineffective treatment and management of the disease.

Although asthma and COPD share similar characteristics, they are two very different animals in terms of disease onset, frequency of symptoms, and reversibility of airway obstruction. "

Looking at the symptom comparison, plus considering the additional symptoms which are not part of asthma, but are part of COPD like the mucus production and the consistent cough it seems pretty clear that we're talking COPD here, and not asthma. For one, the symptoms of having restricted air is near-constant, and just worsens at times. The inhalator I got from my current family, the one who insisted it had to be asthma without even listening, having a scan made or anything, does exactly nothing positive, as is to be expected if it is COPD.

So, in a nutshell, my experiences in this matter are pretty much a mirror image of those with my intersex issue, with symptoms ignored, no proper examinations carried out and the patient not being taken seriously. If they did, they'd do the following:

"The presence of a productive, long-term cough that lasts 3 months out of the year for 2 consecutive years points doctors in the diagnostic direction of chronic bronchitis.
A diagnosis of chronic bronchitis is made by obtaining a complete history, including family, environmental and occupational exposure, and smoking history. Diagnostic tests may include:
    Arterial Blood Gases
    Chest X-ray
    Pulmonary function tests
    Complete blood count"
The nasty thing about chronic bronchitis is that it's irreversible, and will lead to reduced lung function during the life of the patient. Treatment is required to prevent further degradation of lung function. If it's truly what I have, then treatment is required immediately.

Unfortunately, as I pointed out with my comparison with the intersex case, it's unlikely I'll find a doctor willing to take me seriously in this country. I'm really not sure what to do here, considering that without treatment my lung function may be degrading every day a bit more. Help?



Friday, 15 July 2011

Open Invitation To Join The Revolution

Dear Sir/Madam/Other,

We are all aware of the inequality and oppression in this world. Most recently people in Middle-Eastern and North-African countries rose up against the dictators who had made their lives miserable. Some of those dictators have or had been in power for over twenty years. This is the most visible kind of oppression, where an entire population aside from a very small elite suffers, and even then it took so long for anything to happen. What it took was for a Tunisian man to set himself on fire out of protest in the capital city.

When I was born, in 1983, most of those dictators were already in place and I never knew these countries as anything other than poor dictatorships. I am now twenty-seven years old, twenty-eight in a few months, and it has taken those countries that long to realize that a revolution was necessary. Similarly, it has taken me this long to realize that another revolution is required as well. Much like how the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya and the others fought or are still fighting for personal freedoms and basic human rights, there is a world-wide group of people who are being systematically discriminated against and persecuted. These are those who do not fit into what's 'normal' and 'regular', particularly when it comes to sexual diversity.

Intersexual people like me are suffering the brunt of this, with it not being recognized by the governments of many countries and the United Nations (UNHCR) not recognizing intersex either, including not as a reason for assigning refugee status when these people are being persecuted and wish to request asylum in another country. Not that there is a safe place to flee to, though, as I found out when I tried to do so. Australia is one of the more liberal-minded countries when it comes to this subject, but even it doesn't fully recognize it or offer medical treatment. Many intersexuals still opt to undergo sex re-assignment surgery to become a 'regular' man or woman, or their parents opt to have surgery performed shortly after birth. In fact many transsexuals are actually intersexual people who have been mutilated like this after birth and feel that the wrong decision was made.

My story started seven years ago when I began an adventure which as it later turned out was actually a war. The subject of this war: intersexuality. The victim of this war: me, with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder and various other traumatic disorders and physical injuries. The cause? A complete refusal by the Dutch government, medical specialists and psychologists to even acknowledge the existence of intersexuality, let alone consider the option that I might be intersex, as well as the use of force when I refused to play along.

After even having been put shortly into jail and suffering abuse at the hand of Dutch police I decided at first that I would leave this country, until I found out about the above issues. There is no place to flee to, basically. This is why I decided to start my own revolution; by giving up on trying to escape and instead facing the problem head-on. I believe that one should stand up and fight for what they believe in. What I believe in is that intersexual people should be given full humanitarian protection, full human rights, recognition by every government and medical instance and that treatment should be both available and covered by insurance.

My only crime was to be born like this, why should I suffer for it? Why should anyone suffer for being born different? Why do I not have the right to be recognized for what I physically am? To get a diagnosis and peace of mind since intersex conditions often have an increased cancer risk? Why are billions spent on fertility treatments each year, usually fully covered, despite this putting a burden on society, while 'non-regular' people are denied even the most basic medical needs for their condition?

I invite not only intersexual people to join this revolution, but also transsexual people, who are being persecuted and discriminated against around the world as well, as well as homosexual people, of whom even in Amsterdam each year over a thousand are beaten up for being what they are, and further anyone who believes in justice and equality for everyone. This is my final stand. There is nowhere to go from here but through the oppression.

Everyone is invited to the revolution.

Maya Posch

Sign the petition at

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Putting Australia On Hold; Indefinitely?

The past time everything has seemingly revolved around getting me to Australia, and getting me a job. OII Australia's response was exactly like that too. Once I would be in Australia things would turn out fine, or so people assured me. Not so.

The future I'd jump into would mean living in some expensive rented room heavens know where, trying to find a job and making ends meet after spending most of my money on getting to Australia. Would this make me happy? Would this really solve the issue which caused me to leave the Netherlands in the first place.

Last night's dream forcefully reminded me of this, and my friend Trevor also warned me that I was moving far too fast yesterday. In the dream I saw all those things which in some form symbolize happiness. In the dream I experienced intimacy, careless happiness, a child's innocence and so on. When I woke up I felt sick. Looking at the twisted reality I was building for myself, stripped of any form of happiness.

Most importantly is that in this reality which had been spun partially by myself and by others there would be no space for my intersexuality, and for the reasons why I can not build up an existence in the Netherlands. How could six and a half years of psychological and physical torture and brainwashing together with an unhappy youth be brushed away carelessly like that? I suffer from a collection of traumatic disorders worse than what most soldiers and abuse victims are forced to deal with every day. Does this not matter? Shouldn't I receive professional care for this?

A person's personality and behaviours are formed by one's surroundings and memories. If you refer to me, you basically refer to the reasons I described above. They formed and shaped me over the past two decades plus. I can not suddenly pretend I'm not like that. I already have to wear a mask in daily life to hide the worst pain and suffering. I could not conceivably manage that for the rest of my life.

No... there still is no future at this point. I know where I need to head towards: where I as a person, together with my past is taken seriously, acknowledged and where help is available. A humanitarian protection visa and the accompanying special humanitarian protection program in Australia would probably be an example of this, but so far I have received no help in ascertaining that this would work, or to carry out the necessary steps.

Where I am now is not the right place to be. I'll never become happy here. I can not grow or live while I stay here. It's still better than making another mistake, fleeing with unseeing eyes, much like when I fled to Canada only to return in misery a few weeks later.

What did I suffer for again all those years?


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Australia At Last, Yet Should I Be Happy?

Today an Australian friend from Sydney said I could crash at his place and he'd ask friends whether they had a spare room. Another friend is also looking around for me. Once I have a room the countdown to my move to Australia begins. It might be as early as this week.

Now that it is quickly becoming a reality, I'm assaulted by so many doubts and fears. Why shouldn't I stay here, where everything is familiar and safe? Why go to some strange place and use up all your savings? Why? Why? Why? Today I don't think I can answer those questions. My resolve of the past months which led me to consider Australia seems to have vanished for the time being.

I have requested a price quote from an international moving company. I will possibly book my plane ticket this week. Things are moving forward, but to where? I don't know where I will end up, only in 'a room', surrounded by people I have never once met in my life, and with the daunting task of finding a job lest I run out of money within a month or two. I don't know how much support I'll get there, or whether I'll remain a stranger all the time.

Of course I'm used to the Dutch way of doing things, where most people never bother to learn who their neighbours are. I hope things aren't like in Australia, but I'm feeling so very small and so very afraid.


Wanted: Miracle

So the world doesn't want me at the moment? Doesn't want my skills? Doesn't want me to show what I can do for it? I will just have to stop trying then. A future is something is something other people have. I'll just have to stay in the present and maybe a bit in the past as well. Maybe a miracle will occur and the world will accept me.

Until that time I'll just... exist.

Farewell, and maybe I'll see you again, in the future.


Hunger Strike

Yesterday OII Australia seemed to make a U-turn on their offer of help, seemingly telling me to figure it all out on my own, without help from their side. This led to me taking an overdose of a certain medication, fortunately not fatal.

Now I'm feeling all on my own again. I don't know how or even why I'd go to Australia. It's so much work, so much trouble and I can't do it on my own. Never done it before, and I'm so tired that I start crying at the slightest.

My hunger strike kind of just happened. Been eating less and less the past weeks until lately I almost began to feel disgusted at eating something. Two days ago I almost had nothing but lunch. Yesterday I didn't eat anything. Today I'm not feeling hungry at all.

What would happen if I just stayed here in the Netherlands? I'd never be acknowledged as being intersexual, I'd never receive help with it. I'd have extreme difficulty finding a job due to my lack of formal education, I'd remain a burden on my mother for heavens know how long and I'd never be able to be myself. Plus this is the country which discriminated against me, refused medical help and even tried to brainwash me. Should I just take all that and pretend nothing bad happened?

I can't take it already right now.

What I need is a place where my intersexuality is acknowledged, where I can easily get a job with my qualifications and where I can mostly be myself and where I already have quite a few friends. A country like Australia, in other words.

Just obstacle after obstacle keeps getting thrown in my way. OII Australia most recently seemed to tell me that I can just rough it out, staying at youth hostels and such until I find a job and a place to stay. I can imagine what that would do to my emotional state, as I was in a similar situation back in 2007 when I went to Canada and had to stay in a motel for a week while things got sorted out. It was one of the most terrible experiences in my life.

I need safety and comfort. Not another prison cell with its restrictions and limitations. All I ask for is someone, a family or someone else to provide me with a place where I can stay for a bit, and some help with getting a job. Is this really too much to ask?

Until such a miracle happens I'll be counting down the about 3-4 weeks until my hunger strike becomes life-threatening. At this point I don't think I have much concern for my own life any more anyway, thanks to what others have taught me.


Monday, 11 July 2011

Friends Nearby; Friends Far Away

You say you care about me. You say you love me.
You hug me. You embrace me. Closer together isn't possible.

You say you care about me. You say you love me.
You hug me. You keep a bit of distance.

You say you care about me. You say you wish me the best.
You hug me. You keep your distance.

You say you care about me. You wish me the best.
We shake hands. We'll probably never see each other again.

You say you care about me. You wish me the best.
We never so much as shake hands. The smile might be true.

You say you care about me. You wish me the best.
We just randomly met.

You say you care about me. You wish me the best.
You sent me a message and never follow-up on my response.

You say you care about me. You wish me the best.
You live at the other side of the world. They're just words.

You say you care about me. You say you'll help me.
I don't know who you are. Who am I?

You say you care about me. You say you'll help me.
You vent your frustrations on me. I feel miserable now.

You say you care about me. You say you'll help me.
I'm feeling so terrible right now. Where are you?

You say you'll be there for me. You say life is worth living.
I couldn't take the pain of life any more.

Where were you?


Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Many Questions In The Agony Of Being Intersexual

Today I have fallen ill again. Unsteady legs, dizzyness, difficulty focusing both my eyes and my thoughts. Only a general feeling of misery. Yesterday I was sneezing and coughing constantly. In this all I'm quite certain it's the result of the chronic stress I have been suffering from for at least six and a half years which is now manifesting itself in a gradual decay of my immune system and general health. The official term for this is decompensation [1], which is part of the third and final stage in the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) stress model [2] as developed by the discoverer of stress, Hans Selye.

In Selye's original article [3] he describes an experiment on rats which got exposed to stressors. During the first stage (Alarm) they suffered severe physical degradations in their organs to the induced stress, which they mostly recovered from during the second stage (Resistance). After a certain period the third stage (Exhaustion) sets in. During this final stage the rats began to show symptoms similar to those in the first stage, yet instead of eventually improving many of the rats died before the experiment was stopped. This indicates that chronic stress is in fact lethal due to the physical degradations it effects.

Looking at my own case, it's not hard to identify stressors. First of all there are the countless questions, each of which cause a significant emotional response:

  1. Why was the possibility of me being intersexual never entertained by Dutch physicians?
  2. Why was the possibility of me being intersexual never entertained by Dutch psychologists?
  3. Why did I have to wait half a year for the first appointment at the VUMC hospital and call myself when they said it would take 4 months and they'd call me?
  4. Why did they keep asking/telling me that I wanted to become a woman?
  5. Why did the VUMC hospital only perform a quick physical check-up by someone inexperienced with IS?
  6. Why was the diagnosis of hermaphrodite by German clinics ignored by all Dutch hospitals?
  7. Why didn't the Dutch hospitals discuss their findings with those German clinics?
  8. Why did the UMCG hospital fake a mosaic test, pretending that one tissue would suffice for it?
  9. Why does every Dutch radiologist have another interpretation for the tube which is clearly visible on MRIs?
  10. Why did at least one Dutch radiologist mention the presence of two testicles in the scrotum where only one was visible?
  11. Why were all the clinical symptoms regarding the prostate, palpable structures underneath the skin, hormone balance etc. ignored?
  12. Why did the AMC hospital come up with the not-existing diagnosis autoparagynaecophilia, pretending it was all in my mind?
  13. Why did the VUMC hospital want to have me taken into a psychiatric place instead of perform examinations?
  14. Why is the lack of existing medical protocols a reason to not perform appropriate examinations?
  15. Why did the Dutch politicians not care about this situation?
  16. Why did one Dutch politician accuse me of lying instead of the doctors lying to me?
  17. Why don't I know yet what my body is like?
  18. Why can't I live a normal life?
  19. Why isn't there a safe place for someone like me?

And so on and on and on...

If the GAS model is correct, then I am probably in the third and final stage now of Exhaustion. After six and a half years of constant presence of stressors this isn't too surprising. It took the rats in Selye's experiment only 1-3 months to move from phase 2 into phase 3. The stressors of getting arrested and spending a night in a jail cell with all the uncertainty about whether I would get out on the second day must have really pushed me over the edge.

Why did all of this have to happen? Is there a quick way to get me into a stressor-free environment? It seems essential based on the available evidence that something is done soon. I'm not so much talking about suicide, although that is a distinct possibility considering past behaviour, but mostly about the severely negative effect on my immune system, presence of harmful visceral fat [4] and other health issues.

Another stress factor got added yesterday when I learned that while Australia is a lot better for intersexual people, there are still stupid and backwards limitations, all of which act as additional stressors for me, and clearly overburdening my system. I can notice that I am in the Exhaustion stage, as I can not find a way to deal with it, put it aside or just accept it.

A voice in my head, one which sounds quite calm and reasonable, keeps stating that it is a much more reasonable and logical option to take my own life than to continue this struggle which I obviously can not handle any more. It's literally too much for me to take at this point and only rapid external help can save me at this point.

I'm Exhausted. End of the line.



Saturday, 9 July 2011

OII Australia To The Rescue?

Yesterday I got into contact with Karin Gottschalk of OII Australia. OII stands for Organisation Internationale des Intersexues, the international organization for intersexual people. The Australian site can be found at Her response was so matter of fact and friendly that I found myself wondering why I hadn't contacted OII before. Maybe it were my previous negative experiences with such organizations, I guess.

What OII Australia can apparently offer me is support for my intersex condition, help with finding a job and getting settled in Australia. It's all volunteer-driven, so it won't be an easy ride, but at least these are people who know what is like to be intersexual. So far it's a stark contrast with my contacts with transsexual people, including those in Australia. I'm not sure where this difference comes from, all I know is that I much prefer the intersexual side. Maybe it's because intersexual people aren't so desperate to belong to one of the strictly defined groups of males and females? I don't know.

Anyway, things are looking up a bit now, for which I am grateful. Now to see whether this is just a breathing space before things go south again, or that it's finally up from here.

Things I do not really like so far about the picture being painted for me is the difficulty is getting hormones for Hormone Replacement Theory. Most seem to order them online as I used to do as well. It's much easier to get them locally instead of waiting a month for them to arrive. I'll have to see about this.

There is also the matter of getting the examinations and tests I require. For surgeries everyone seems to go to Thailand, which fortunately is only a small hop from Australia. For examinations and such I'm not sure where I could go to and who would pay for it. These uncertainties ruin my mood, still. Some physician has to be interested in a unique case like mine, right? Right? :(

Above all I notice how incredibly tired I am, and how little it takes for me to start crying and shut out the world. I am pretty sure this is what they call a burn-out. It really makes it extremely difficult to cope with every-day life, let alone complex things such as a relocation. There can be no opportunity to recover from this burn-out, though. Not here in the Netherlands where I can't keep from flinching every time I see a police uniform and medical help won't arrive until intersexuality is officially recognized by the Dutch government by perhaps 2050.

Once in Australia I will need someone to hold my hand as well, as silly as it may sound. Just to help me get settled into a routine and to consult with about medical things.

Just please... no more setbacks. I am sick of feeling filled with agony and despair. It hurts so bloody much. Make me believe that life can be fun and relaxing instead. Last time I felt like that I must have been 5 years old or so...


Monday, 4 July 2011

Hospital Appointment And The Things I Gladly Leave Behind

The thing I like about traveling by train and other public methods of transport is meeting new people. On my way towards the hospital I ended up chatting with this girl about her notebook, DSLR cameras, the HKU school where I was yesterday since she wants to become an interior designer and she didn't know about this school yet, and of course my troubles in this country. I handed her my business card before she had to leave the train. I talked with a few other people as well, and got some very grateful 'thank yous' after assisting others, but that first conversation was the most remarkable, I think.

At the hospital itself I ended up talking about my issue as well when I had to register. Two ladies behind the counter were quite interested in my story so I gave them my business card as well. Ditto for the girl behind the plastic surgery department counter. All quite interesting and pleasant.

The actual appointment was less fun. The surgeon in question was a very twitchy, absent-minded person. Soon into the discussion it became clear that he was taking an offensive stance and I was back to defending myself, as I have gotten used to with Dutch physicians and such. This attitude would not change at all during the appointment. What I found annoying was that this surgeon kept pushing me towards having an artificial vagina installed, without any apparent interest in finding out whether I already have one. Finally he also called in other patients when I had left for a minute to go to the toilet, meaning that I had to wait ten minutes or so in front of a closed door with my belongings still inside.

There was no mention of the scan or x-ray with contrast dye and when I steered towards the subject, he stayed dismissive, and jumped to various conclusions. I didn't get the impression that he really believed my story, and wasn't particularly interested in examining me. What he did suggest was to have an ultrasound performed, but after a lot of calling back and forth with the radiology department it was decided that they just needed the MRI scans which I had with me on an USB stick. Then some confusion when I arrived at the radiology department as the people at the front desk didn't know about this request to have them read in the MRI scan data.

After spending more time waiting I got told that they couldn't use the JPEG files included in the scan data I have, but require the original DCOM format. Ergo they have to ask for this data at the OLVG and Erasmus MC hospitals. My presence clearly wasn't needed or required. The surgeon's conclusions based on the MRI scans will also be discussed by phone, two weeks from now. Good thing that the journey was kinda fun.

It was a good thing that I didn't have any expectations for this appointment, as otherwise I'd surely have felt disappointed. As things stand now, I merely feel that it is a confirmation of the reasons why I am leaving this country. Another confirmation are the frequent flashbacks I suffered today, with details like a side table design reminding me of the table in my jail cell, and a dress a little girl was wearing at the hospital reminding me of the bag they made me wear at the jail. Very unpleasant memories and still far too real.

Hopefully the last pieces before I can go to Australia will fall in place during this and next week. I got one friend helping me with that politician and the professor we got referred to, and the asylum request, and another with the housing part. Other friends are helping me with various details around finding a job and such. Ideally I would like to get a chance to heal up once I'm in Australia. Spend a month or so adjusting, and letting the bad memories fade somewhat while adding new, fun memories. Professional help might be welcome too, considering that I do suffer from PTSD and such, not unlike a soldier returning from a war zone.

We'll see.


It Doesn't Really Matter Any More

In a few hours I'll be leaving for a hospital appointment at the other side of the country for an x-ray with contrast dye which should indicate whether or not I have a vagina there. A friend arranged this for me via a surgeon.

Just like yesterday's visit to the photo exposition, today's appointment is an - even stronger - confrontation with everything that is wrong about me and my life. I don't even care what the result of this examination is. All I can feel is sick, nauseous and completely miserable. My emotional state is distinctly unstable and I can't stop crying.

I did some reading up on Australian asylum and humanitarian protection programs. They might be an option. I don't know. I will have others look into it for me. Much as I need others for everything else. A job. Housing. Everything. There's nothing I can do myself.

I feel so worthless. Weak. All I can do is feel miserable and cry. Part of me insists that I'll never make it to Australia. Not in my current state and not with the limited help I'm getting at the moment. I'm actually beginning to feel extremely suicidal again today. I simply can't take the facts of my existence any longer. By hitting and inflicting physical pain upon myself I can draw myself away from a suicide attempt somewhat, but it's a losing battle.

There's nothing I would like more right now than to take a pill, vitally injure myself with a knife or otherwise cause my own death. Everything is better than to suffer like this.

No one cares. Or I wouldn't be writing this. What am I hoping for anyway... I should just get this over with instead of wasting more time and energy on writing useless posts like these. F*** this all. F*** all of you useless people. F*** this useless world. I'm through with it. Just...

I'll struggle on anyway, until this last thread of sanity snaps.

*winches in pain as she hits herself on the chest and abdominal areas some more*



Sunday, 3 July 2011

Photo Exposition And The Things I Leave Behind

I guess today was all about feeling torn about my decision to leave the Netherlands. This morning I felt a bit nervous about the photo exposition in Utrecht I would be visiting, which made my stress levels spike and made me feel nauseous and miserable. I still dragged myself to the train station, though, and once I arrived at the HKU school building things improved rapidly.

Being among people who are interested in me and above all feeling part of something, belonging to a group and purpose is amazing. I talked to a number of people there, including the photography student herself. Most interesting person I met there was this Muslim girl from the fashion part of the school. Her project was about analyzing and dissecting the 'world of fashion' to discover the authentic identity of a fashion product. I.e., whether there is a point where an article of clothing or shoes are just that and not a brand or a model or an ideal world. Imagine plain deodorant versus Axe with its 'Axe effect', whereby application of this deodorant will draw hordes of sex-crazed women to the guy in question. Ideal world versus reality. I thought it was fascinating and I was pleasantly surprised to encounter such a project among those at what is after all a school for the arts.

Also fun was this project by a Chinese student, involving glass structures which while balancing on a central point would lead water from a reservoir to a plant on the other side of the central point, causing a balancing effect between the two sides which could be very telling depending on what you set it up to measure. I thought it was very elegant in its simplicity and I expect to see this product in stores soon :)

As for the exposition involving my pictures, it was set up slightly different again than from what was described to me last time I talked to the photography student, Milou. Aside from it being a tad dark it was very well set up, with one having many different angles to look at things, and a need to search for the next photograph and piece of text. Milou had also used some pictures from my photo gallery I took a few years ago to complement her own pictures. I thought it was a nice touch. As for responses from people, when they leave the exposition they are generally 'shocked', in the sense that they didn't expect it, and are impressed by it. Although my name or the name of my condition is never mentioned, it does make it clear that such a physical condition exists. And that's where it all starts from, I guess.

Near 5 PM it neared closing time and Milou walked me to the bus station. When the bus arrived we said our goodbyes. I don't know when or if I will see her again. It's been about a year since we started working together on this project and it's been a lot of fun, and an anchor point for me. The positive reception of the project at her school, both by her teachers as well as her classmates, most of whom I have talked with, was amazing. I'm so glad that Milou contacted me for this project and that I had the honour of being part of it. It didn't make it easy for me to return home from Utrecht. Nor did the severe headache I was suffering from at that point.

I'm not sure whether it was the headache which made it hard to keep my eyes open and impossible to read in my book, but as I was sitting there in the train home I began to recall the things which are good in this country. The people I met at the HKU today, for one. But also so many little things I have grown accustomed to, like the trains, the landscapes... it's hard to express it really, but I nearly started crying while sitting there in the train. I guess part of me will miss this country, but as with everything nothing is absolute. I will miss the good parts of this country, while being grateful I'll be rid of the bad parts.

What I need the most now is to find a home in Australia. I'm not sure what it'll look like, and it'll probably change during the first few months that I'm there. But a home it shall be nonetheless, with a little bit of help from my friends and acquaintances. Getting dumped straight into a 40-hour a week work schedule doesn't work, if only because of the massive jet lag and the emotional turmoil I will undoubtedly feel as I adapt to my new surroundings.

Uncertainty is no fun, especially not while I feel this torn inside.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

A Foothold In Australian Politics

Last Tuesday an Australian friend (I guess I should start saying 'mate' by now) sent an email on my behalf to a politician in Melbourne, regarding the issue of intersexual and similar people who leave their country due to intolerance and persecution for their condition. With this politician also being intersexual my hope was that I could get some help or advice from this side as well. What I didn't know was whether I would get a response at all, or if I did, how long it would take and what the contents would be. My only experience with politicians regarding this issue has been with Dutch politicians, which as described before has ranged from near- to complete disinterest, so while I had some hope my expectations weren't that high.

Naturally I was aware that Australia is a lot more considerate and aware of sexual diversity in its attitude and laws, and for crying out loud, the politician receiving the message is quite like me. Still, I had no real idea of what to expect.

A few hours ago I received an email from the friend... sorry, mate who sent the email with news about the response he had received from the politician. Not only did this politician inquire about more details, a reference was also provided to a professor at a local hospital. Only took about four days. Not bad. And the response itself was far beyond what I could have imagined. The follow-up from our side is now to provide the requested details, mainly about my case. I'm quite thrilled to see how this will develop from now on.

In other news, I'm awaiting news on a job in Sydney and got a very real job offer waiting for me in Newcastle. With a bit of luck I'll get to choose between jobs next week and begin to make final arrangements for my move to Australia. A slight sticking point in this is Dutch bureaucracy: my beautician has called my insurance company a number of times about the price quote they demand for approving full coverage for electrolysis treatment, but each time the person who supposedly handles such things wasn't present. It's silly because first of all such a price quote is impossible as treatment duration differs per person and is unpredictable, and because they don't have the right person available on this special phone number during office hours, and second it's silly because everyone who qualifies has to go through this futile routine.

What I should get once this request is approved is close to 4,000 Euro, which I have saved up over the past three years. Not that I'm financially in such a tight spot, but it would give me some more breathing space with such a big change in my life coming up.