Once again I'd like to start with the disclaimer that I may be somewhat incoherent and rambling, this time due to a party I had last night, resulting in a slight lack of sufficient sleep. I guess it's a good sign that I'm actually building up a network of friends and acquaintances, even if it can be quite tiring at times.
The last time I wrote on my blog I was about to move to a new place. This has since happened, moving me to the other side of the Rhein river, opposite of Karlsruhe. Other things have also happened or are in the process of doing so. The first is the health insurance with the German Krankenkasse. This turned out to be quite easy as my employer will set this up for me, with me only having to indicate which insurer I'd like to be with. This I took care of last Friday, together with the request form for a German bank account. Hopefully this will take care of these issues.
Next week I'll register as officially living in Germany and the colleague at whose place I'm staying will be contacting a real-estate agent about a house which is for rent. Hopefully I will have my own place by next month. The old apartment I hope to be rid of next week as well. It appears that my TODO list is finally shrinking somewhat.
That's not to say that I'm feeling happy or content in any sense, though. As I mentioned in my previous post it's a struggle for me to fit into a normal life, having to adapt to a life style I am unfamiliar with as well as having to fit all of my memories of especially the past nine years into this new life. I'm not sure that's even possible. I noticed that with the party last night, for example. Regular social interactions work out okay for me because I know how I'm supposed to respond and act based upon previous observations. I also liked the movie we watched: Dark City. For some reason my PTSD got triggered during the movie without there being any obvious triggers in the movie. It was probably more due to the stress I'm under at this point.
The main sensation as the dissociation which accompanies a PTSD attack set in was one of being lonely, abandoned and unloved. I just saw myself lugging this body around to places when people told me to, but it never amounting to anything. Eventually the dissociation got bad enough that I couldn't move or feel anything any more. Fortunately the student at whose place I stayed before was present as well, and she knew how to deal with dissociation. After a brief bout of crying I snapped out of the mood, more or less. The hours after that I'd gradually normalize and stabilize again.
At some point the party's guests had divided themselves into two groups: the men and the women, me obviously being in the latter group. As seems to be standard when you put a group of women together, the talk invariably turns towards periods and sex, not necessarily in that order. As far as the first item goes, I do have periods, but since I lack an open vagina and other organs it's not as messy, just really painful and inconvenient. The student was quick to point this out to the others as an advantage. The second item really doesn't have any advantages to me, however. When asked at one point I could only say that until my final surgery has succeeded, sex will remain something traumatic to me.
While sitting there with the other women it made me realize that while I have virtually nothing in common with men, even physically, I do not feel completely in my place with regular women either. It's not that I feel embarrassed or anything, but more that I realize how much my life has deviated from that of such women. My first period involved me having gigantic cramps for over an hour, but since it's all internal and no one saw anything I merely got scolded and made fun of by my family for making a fuss. Similarly, all of the other usual things were experienced in such a different manner by me that I almost feel like I'm some different species. Not a woman, not a man, not a human. Just something vaguely like it.
The past days and weeks I have been talking a lot about my experiences in the Netherlands, my hopes for the future and the details of my intersex condition. I'm not sure whether this is responsible for the surge of emotions and memories I'm struggling with recently. It feels as though a certain numbness is gone and the pain about my treatment by Dutch physicians is only now turning up to full strength. The apprehension I feel when I think about the upcoming surgery must be fuelling it as well, with this same apprehension being fed by those traumatic memories in a hellish feedback loop. The urge to break down in crying is almost too strong at times.
If I have to say what my life's philosophy is, I'd have to say that it's about seeking out what is positive, while avoiding that which is negative. While going through life all these years I have only sought out that which is negative when I expected that by going through the negative part I would gain something positive. Call it optimistic positivity if you wish. I suffered through years of medical incompetence because I knew I had to find the positive solution to the problem I was having, no matter the cost. This year again, seeking contact with a surgeon and baring my soul again to the possible backlash if things do not turn out the way I had hoped, or if I somehow have to defend myself again. All because I know that there is only one possible outcome which is fully positive and that is through such an uncomfortable experience.
Even if I do not end up with a fully usable vagina after the surgery, I won't be too horrible upset. Disappointed, yes. Yet I realize quite well that just the fact that I have a developed vagina is biologically speaking something of a minor miracle. As long as it's in some way usable and perhaps fixable would be infinitely preferably over just leaving things the way they are now. Optimistic positivity. I think and hope that with a successful surgery behind me I can finally successfully fight back against those horrible recollections of Dutch physicians. There just is no other way to conclude this medical chapter.
I guess that meeting this surgeon and the surgery which should follow it are at this point the biggest items on my TODO list for the coming weeks and months. It's looming up for me like a gigantic iceberg out of the darkness. Looking at its impregnable surface I can only shut off my emotions as well as possible and just continue. One second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.
Don't think. Don't feel. Just look at the positive things and keep moving. It's all that's keeping you sane.