Sunday, 26 May 2013

Am I Doomed To Lose Every Last Bit Of Myself?

In my previous post I described the impact of having to accept that I will never find a surgeon willing to help me with this closed off vagina I was born with. That I will have to learn to ignore that it's there and that I will never be able to use it. I do not have the right to decide about my own body, obviously. Why would I?

The past days I'm having more and more pain in the lower abdominal region, more so than before. At this point it's an almost constantly, mild burning sensation with occasional sharp, stabbing pains around the vaginal area and more towards the groin region. Sometimes it's painful enough that I am forced to stop whatever it is I'm doing at that point and just hunch over in pain. I'll just bear this pain. I do not have the right to have access to medical care. This too I will accept.

Two days ago I came to the conclusion after discussions with some people I know and my psychotherapist that one thing which bothers me even more than being a genital-less person is having the outward appearance of a female, but not the voice of one. Not to say that I have a male-like voice, but it's deeper than the average female voice. Even before I realized that I wasn't a male I felt that something was off about my voice.

Six years ago I already went to see a doctor about having vocal cord surgery. He rudely dismissed me, saying that I should just go to a speech therapist to use my voice differently. Instead I just went to practice on my own, during those six years, using my own ears and the feedback from others to adjust my voice as well as possible. Despite this, I still do not like my voice. Hearing myself back on TV and radio shows I dislike the lowness of it and the result it gives. Resonance is fine, but the pitch is just very low for a female. Since I have female resonance, it sounds wrong to have such a low pitch.

Having vocal cord surgery to increase the pitch of my voice would make me so incredibly happy and finally put away all those traumatizing years essentially since the beginning of puberty when my voice started to break. I was constantly abusing my voice after that until I learned about me not being male and thus not having to force myself to sound like one. My voice has been too ruined by the extra testosterone my body used to produce thanks to the half-formed testicles I had. It hurts me to realize that I actually loathe my voice.

While it shouldn't be too hard to get such a kind of surgery, I find myself already preparing for the inevitable negative repercussions. Even though regular women get such a type of surgery with relative ease if it causes them emotional agony, my experiences tell me that it won't work out for me. Preparing myself, I find that lose even more of myself. Now my voice is gone too. I'm a genital-less, asexual, voice-less being.

I don't think that heading into this course is in any way healthy, but there's nowhere else to go. If only I could get the medical help I need. That would end all this, and help me regain my body. As far as I can tell, the surgery I had in 2011 was a lucky shot. I do not believe that doctors exist to help people. At least not people like me.

I wish I was just a bloody brain in a jar. Fewer problems that way...


Friday, 24 May 2013

Bidding Farewell To Being Intersex

I talked about this a long time ago already, in my vlog video titled: "Intersex, sexuality... and me". Intersex, and linked to it sexuality, are such massive topics for me due to the ignorance and brainwashing by Dutch physicians and psychologists. Back then it was massive already, but it just keeps growing. The trauma and pain... it went past unbearable years ago already. I have come to loathe, despise and hate sexuality and being intersex with an incredible intensity as a result.

A number of weeks ago I expressed the hope that this surgeon I had contacted via a friend might be able to help me get my full body back by having the existing vagina opened and restored. This would have fixed a lot of the pain and put me on a path to recovery. This wasn't meant to be, however. This surgeon has rejected any help for me as well.

My response to this strangely enough wasn't one of agony and a renewed, desperate search for someone who wants to help me. Instead it just broke something inside me. I'm through with those two massive things. No more being intersex. I'll just accept having a body, ignoring its further details. No more sexuality. I'll deny its existence and not participate in it.

Though I can still feel the pain and trauma raging inside of me, I must accept that any further struggle is futile. There is going to be no surgeon who is going to help me. This vagina I have will just be a useless organ forever covered by the merged labia until the day I die. It's okay. With no further interest in sexuality there's no real point in having genitals anyway. It's all fine now.

It's now time for 'me' to take the foreground and let these other parts I dragged along with me be silently discarded. Some of you may already have noticed that I redesigned my personal website ( a short while ago and have pretty much stripped it from any reference to my physical condition and struggles. This is intentional, and it is extremely unlikely that any of it will ever be put back.

I'm not going to change the world's ignorance about intersex, nor am I going to get any help. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. A big part of me is still confident that I am in fact not insane, thus I am left with no other choice but to take this decision. I thought I owed it to the readers of this blog to explain the recent changes. I'm sure you will understand it, and I thank you for your interest in my writings.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

On Being A Medical Experiment

A fun factoid about my body is that large sections of it are still unknown and unexplored. My exact genetic makeup. The exact build-up of my hormone levels and the effects of the in between testosterone and estradiol levels I grew up with. Whether what portends to be my prostate is more like a female or male prostate. In how far my existing vagina is functional, and what state it is in after having been closed off before I was born. Whether an infection has formed and still exists in said vagina ever since the surgery in late 2011, or maybe that a new infection has occurred.

Shortly after the surgery in October 2011 I was put on a month-long regime of medium-spectrum antibiotics due to a staph infection of the surgery wound above the vagina. Last year I was in severe pain for a few months in that same region, but a cause could not be established. When a urologist at a local hospital examined me with me nearly fainting from the pain, he just dismissed it as nothing serious and prescribed strong painkillers (NSAIDs) which did exactly nothing. It took quite a few months for the pain to pass.

Recently I have begun to experience pain that region again, with this time the area around and underneath the old surgery wound being painful to the touch and regular flare-ups of pain regardless of the activity I'm performing at the time. I'm also noticing that I'm short on energy for much during the day and am in general not feeling a hundred percent alright. All rather vague symptoms, and leading me to my plan of action.

I will be doing exactly nothing. My experiences have made it clear that unless there are clear outward symptoms which leave no doubt of something serious going on, there is no way you're getting anything more serious prescribed than painkillers or antibiotics. Even a medical student knows that inflammations in the body can become encapsulated, where antibiotics can not reach them, along with other complications which warrant a proper examination. Unfortunately such an examination is not part of Dutch medical protocols, ergo it's pointless for me to even try.

So far I can still function on a daily basis and do not exhibit worse symptoms than the ones I described. Hereby should be noted that even as a child I rarely if ever developed a fever when I was sick, so that's no symptom to count on. Whether or not at least some of my symptoms are due to simply stress from the situation I was forced into is hard to judge, but shouldn't be discounted either.

Together with my status of 'medical experiment', I think that my best chances lie in awaiting a surgeon who can perform that final surgery on me which would restore my female side. If there is an inflammation in that area, it would be discovered and dealt with that way. If there isn't, it'd be one less worry. Until that time it seems I can only wait.

Here's to gambling with one's own body.


Dream: Executions

This morning I was more or less awake around around 5 AM, fell asleep again and had the following dream:

I walked into this large hall with brick walls and relatively small but copious windows placed in the wall I was facing. To my left the hall opened into a bright market place, but I barely glanced at it as the spectacle directly in front of me, near the wall I could see best from where I entered the wall, had inevitably caught my eye. There, on top of a raised narrow platform a number of men and woman were placed on their knees with their hands apparently tied behind their backs. To my right were I think four men, to my left three women. They all looked young and attractive.

As I looked on - mesmerized - I caught the men standing behind the kneeling men on the right push them forward onto thick, sharp wooden stakes placed in an angled fashion towards their chests. One by one, the stakes pushed into their chests, just below their breastbones, until they were fully impaled. Bleeding and gasping for breath they were left like that. At that point my gaze was drawn to the left side were the women were still kneeled on the platform.

I could see the right-most one the most. She was pretty, with dark hair and a regular face. As the men behind them pushed them forward to similar wooden stakes, I could see her take a deep breath as though preparing herself, while her eyes went blank. It made me think of how odd it was to prepare for your own death that way, though not hard to imagine. As she got closer to the stake, suddenly all three women were inverted, wih their backs towards the stakes and facing their executioners. When the stakes pierced their bodies, blood gushed around. I could see the executioner of the right-most woman pull back and stare aghast at the sight in front of him.

That's when the dream ended. I woke up feeling quite tense and somewhat unsettled.

Executions and deaths have long fascinated me, much like they have every average person, but in my case I can not push away the details of what is happening at each point. The severing of nerves, of muscles and ligaments. Of nerve clusters ceasing their activity, and the cessation of conscious thought as the mind starts it inevitable slide towards decay. The abject fear of the victim as it realizes that it'll soon fade into nothing and that nothing can be done about it. One's own death is the most frightening prospect one can think of as it really is the end of everything, ripping control of our existence including our very existence itself from our hands.

Through it all, I have not managed to find comfort in what I consider to be delusional thoughts about things turning out fine because of some kind of 'next step', during which one's consciousness and memories will simply be transferred to something or other. While I do consider that a limited form of reincarnation is conceivable within the boundaries of quantum mechanics through the interconnected nature of the fundamental fabric of matter and energy, the collection of nerve cells and ganglia forming a human's brain is truly the only residence of that particular collection of memories and resulting 'personality'.

The frailty of an existence is both fascinating and terrifying. To me it makes the deaths of people in accidents and during executions so impossible to ignore. It's the moment when one realizes the strongest that one really, really doesn't want to die, that there's absolutely no reason to die as nothing can be worse than to cease existing. Call it survival instinct, or whatever you like. It's the basic tenet of existing, to not die.

My reaction to someone inching towards death in such a fashion and possibly dying is one of feeling sick. I can not even witness the execution of the average convicted criminal on death row, as something just isn't right about it. Maybe it's just my strong sense of empathy, which allows me to experience what that person is feeling and thinking. I have died in many ways already due to it. Every time I go through it it makes me just want to live more strongly.

Death in the end isn't part of life. It is the anti-thesis of life and existence. It's oblivion. Nothingness. Even a black hole is churning with life in comparison.

Still doesn't really tell me why I had to have this particular dream this morning, however. Brains are weird.


Monday, 6 May 2013

Welcome To The Nomadic Life Style

The past months have definitely been an interesting experience so far. Chased out of the place I used to call home amidst the disintegrating mess which maybe with the clarity of vision after the consumption of liberal amounts of alcohol and various substances which may or may not be legal in your jurisdiction could have been called a relationship, my life was properly turned upside-down. So badly even that I'm not even at liberty to reveal at this point where it is exactly that I'm staying currently, or where I have stayed previously, as it's too risky.

In some ways it's as though I was forced to shed a part of myself. Right out of the aforementioned mess I found myself in an ICE train to Germany to start my new job. Only a few months out of my previous job which had been everything but fun, it was all together quite a daunting thing. Over in Germany I did however find myself in good company. The owner of the business is one of the most awesome bosses you could imagine working for, and my colleagues are all pleasantly whacky, just as you'd expect of fellow developers, sysadmins and the like. I felt right at home.

Traveling away again after a short week, I found myself at temporary lodgings. From there I was able to take care of the legal matters required to get my home back, something which I hope will get resolved soon now. I was also able to continue all the other things with regards to the legal case against my insurance company, Unive, and the Pride Photo Award submission. For the former I'm now awaiting the next move by my lawyer, Yme Drost, and as for the latter, it's going to be hard to make the deadline, I'm afraid. I haven't been able to get into contact with the photographer for over a week now. Maybe that one is a loss after all.

In the end, though, the one thing I have learned through all of this is how it feels to be a nomad. I have no fixed place of residence, no large possessions and can pack up at a moment's notice. My laptops are the only things which combined with internet access give me some kind of fixedness in this world. It does mean that I largely exist on the internet, and that the world around me has become something less... solid and less relevant, I guess. It's there and then it isn't any more. My days mostly exist out of working on my laptops and going outside only to buy food and other necessities. When I'm not traveling, that is.

In some ways it's liberating to not be fixed to a single location and all the taxes, duties and annoyances and burdens which come with it. On the other hand it's also unsettling to be a transient. It does make one realize how fixed everything is in this world. It also makes me realize how many things are trying to pin me down to this one location as well. With currently four legal cases underway, me awaiting the judgement of this one surgeon and various bits and ends, I could easily stay fixed to this location for a very long time.

I'm a nomad and yet I'm not. I have a home and I do not. I may get this surgery or I may not. I may win certain legal cases or I may not. I definitely could use more certainty in my life.

On another note, I'm planning to obtain a video camera soon as some of you may already have gathered from following my online postings on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. With it I'll attempt to resume the video log I started back in 2011 but didn't quite continue in 2012 or this year so far. Maybe it'll give some more solidness to my currently quite insubstantial existence and words.

Maybe some day I'll be able to vlog from a place I can call 'home'. Haven't done that yet.


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Is One Allowed To Hate One's Country, Or: Finding That One Perfectly Illusive Country

To those following me it's hardly a surprise that I do not much like this country I was born and raised in. Yet despite everything there are enough people who keep telling me that I am essentially not allowed to hate the Netherlands and everything it stands for. Their reasoning is more or less that with all the bad that this country has inflicted upon me, there are still so many good things, and that I should be grateful that I grew up in a rich Western country like this.

Of course, that reasoning is about as sensible as telling a woman who is constantly being beaten and sexually assaulted by her alcoholic and aggressive husband that there's also a lot of good about him, because he always does the dishes, takes the garbage outside and picks up the children from the daycare. Some things just can not be overlooked. A country which is guilty of just one major lapse in morality does not deserve it to be praised, much like in a relationship there's a lot you take of the other person, but physical and psychological abuse are some of the lines which should never be crossed.

To summarize my relationship with my country, I have been exposed to brainwashing by Dutch psychologists and physicians who knowingly and willingly ignored my intersex condition and attempted to make me believe that I had to be just a confused transgender boy. Two letters to the Dutch Queen didn't receive any personal attention. The first got forwarded to the current Dutch Minister of Health, who dismissed my case, insisting that the Dutch physicians 'know best'. On top of that the Dutch police force saw it fit to violently arrest me despite me offering no resistance after a Dutch family doctor called them upon me, and detain me for an entire night under inhumane conditions, while denying me needed medical and psychological care.

But hey, at least I get to grow up strong and healthy in a wealthy country, right? Even if I have to launch lawsuit after lawsuit to fight for my basic rights, as physicians and my insurance company alike discriminate against me. I can feel totally safe here, right? Even if I suffer severe psychological and physical trauma due to the actions of health specialists and friendly police officers.

I do wonder what the good points are again about this country, and why I am not allowed to just outright denounce it as a horrible place to live if you're not white, rich, male and preferably Christian. Not to mention for homosexuals, transgenders and the even larger group of intersex individuals. All of us have our basic human rights trampled. But it's still an awesome place to live in. Better than in a less wealthy country. Even though the education system, healthcare system, infrastructure and general economy in the Netherlands are crumbling a bit more every day.

I'm sorry, I must admit that I live in a very different side of reality in which the Netherlands is not a pleasant country to live in. I guess that's the point of Calvinism, which underlies Dutch culture. Be white, rich, male and Christian and you're awesome. Otherwise you may as well get out while you're ahead.

I, too, want to leave the Netherlands. Preferably before the end of 2014, to stay realistic. Around 150,000 individuals left the Netherlands forever in 2012, and I intend to join them. To go where, though? I'm not entirely sure.

There are so many countries out there which have varying degrees of 'pleasantness' when it comes to embracing intersex individuals. I have looked at places like Canada, USA, Norway, Australia, South-Korea, Japan, China, New Zealand, and many more. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. At this point I'd say that it's a pretty illusive choice to make. Secretly I hope for something or someone to help me with making this choice. Maybe through my media attention which should be spreading world-wide this year, I hope. Maybe due to a relationship I'll suddenly find myself in with a 'foreigner'. Maybe due to something I can not possibly foresee at this point.

At any rate I do really hope, wish and pray for that one country and place which I can actually come to like if not love.