Saturday, 7 April 2012

Still In Survival Mode: The Emotional Risk Of Bankruptcy

After the recent ruling in my favour on having my legal gender changed people seem to assume that I'll be happy now, with all of my goals reached, and nothing left to seriously trouble me. I'm really not sure why people would think such a thing.

Seven years of fighting against hospitals with the preceding years being extremely uncomfortable and confusing as well. The impact of it on one's life goes far beyond the need for legal recognition and such matters, which in the end are mostly just abstract things. The impact on my life which is mostly being ignored is that of never really having engaged in social contacts and the subsequent lack of friends, and above all the lack of a career with the resulting lack of financial resources.

The past days it's becoming more and more painfully clear to me that if I do not find a source of income soon, my life will turn into a far worse hell than ever before. Bankruptcy, the dissolving of my company, applying for welfare, being forced to apply for any job I somewhat qualify for while scraping by each month financially. The Dutch welfare system has been less than stellar for many years already and is being cut back even more this year. While it's a horrible situation to end up in for the average person, I fear that the emotional impact due to my existing traumas will trigger the worst kind of response in me, namely suicide. I'd no longer be able to deny that my life has completely failed.

I have been taking steps back in my life for years now. Financially, socially, in my surroundings (living in the Dutch bible belt now...), in the years still ahead of me which I might be able to spend living. It'd be the ultimate admission of failure.

I have tried my best to stave off bankruptcy, but beyond desperately trying to run my own company I have no other means of earning money. 'Equal opportunity' is a heap of excrement when it comes to reality. Equal opportunity companies like Microsoft and Google only extend equality across 'boring' employees. Why do they hire transsexuals and the occasional intersex person? Because they do not make a fuss, and do not have a background story like I have. They're invisible. I'm too risky, too unknown. Regardless of how much of a brilliant software developer I may be, no one will ever hire me. I have tried applying at dozens of jobs in a number of countries, but now I know that there's no point in ever trying again.

At this point I'm still trying to release products which may actually get me some money, including the donation route via an open source project like my WildFox browser ( Yet the truth of the matter is that in the short time span allotted all I can make are sub-par programs which nobody will spend money on. I do not have the time left to produce that amazing product everybody will want to buy or donate for.

Since 2010 my best friend Trevor and I have been working on a game engine and a first game called TileWars. It's nearing the final stages of completion, yet it will still take at least a month to get it into a playable state. It looks good, has to be fun to play and I hope it'll sell a lot of copies. Yet I have to look at my bank account's current state and realize that while in the past I have somehow managed to survive financially, it seems very unlikely to work out now. People obviously aren't donating to the browser project, the few Android applications ( I put online aren't selling at all, and my insurance company still refuses to pay back the about five-thousand Euro they still owe me.

I do not wish to admit defeat, but at some point even stubbornness isn't going to do it. Fighting against the suicidal moods I'm dealing with at this point is like trying to keep my head above the water's surface of an ocean while all my muscles are cramped up. So much easier to just let go.

Above all I hate being depressed like this. I hate the self-mutilation. I hate the pain. Yet I'm fighting an impossible battle here. Give me a break already...



Thomas said...

Being known and having your coding work online is immensely helpful in the quest to get hired for a programming job.
Because of that I would suggest participating in open source projects. Working on your own browser is something that may not have that much impact, though. Open source or not. You'd have to wait for it to become successful before people will take it seriously for job-application purposes.

I suggest joining a bigger ecosystem and finding a small, existing application to work on and make your own. Make sure you work together with others and become known as a team-player.
I would suggest working on KDE, mostly because of your Qt knowledge, but also because its a wonderful bunch of people and many many people found jobs by being related to the project.

End of the day its about making your work known and networking. Join and hang out on things like #kde-devel for starters.

Oh, and I'm sorry if I sound blunt, but I have to say it; companies will probably have a lot harder time hiring a person who admits to wanting to kill herself.

I think you have a good chance to get hired still, good programmers are very valuable right now.
But you might have to learn how to do the job application thing, which is really not that easy and takes some effort to learn how to navigate.
So don't give up, but learn what you can do to make the next application better.

Hugs and good luck!

Gary Levin said...

Maya, knowing you and your past angst, I agree with Thomas. Start over, forget the past think today and how your life will be in the future, forget about suicide, we would miss you greatly. You have made a giant leap this past month. Minimize the discussions of sexuality for now. Most intelligent people (and there are quite a few) could not care less if you are a man, woman, both or neither. It's more of a curiosity or voyeur thing. Just think of it this can use either rest room hahahaha Good luck finding your financial vehicle. Have you ever thought about free lance writing. You write well. Check out What about non profit work. Look at
How about programming out of the game space? Health IT is exploding in mobile apps both in Android and iOS.

Frans Faase said...

Xsens is looking for a Software Engineer. There offices are within walking distance from Enschede Drienerlo. Company is a spin-off from the UT with mostly academics working there. I expect them to be rather open-minded.

Allan Morais said...

It’s good to hear that, despite having difficulties with your finances, filing for bankruptcy is the option you are trying to avoid. Yes, there will always be a sense of urgency knowing that you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, and it can become much harder once you file for it. However, filing for bankruptcy can also help you with your life. You just have to go about it in a positive way. Think of it as a way to restart your life.

@Allan Morais