Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A Decade To Get Surgery

This year it's a decade ago that I began my medical quest for the truth. A decade which for the most part has revolved around the central topic of my female genitals and reproductive organs, with for me the fundamental question of what I would or wouldn't want to keep of the male and female side. I knew soon that I wanted to have the female side as usable as possible using the existing organs and tissue. Thus getting this one surgery which would restore my female side became the core of my quest.

Connected to this wish to have this reconstructive surgery are a lot of uncertainties and fears. I have talked about this many times before already, but it seems so hard to explain why this surgery will help me so much. People seem to take the whole 'believe what you are' thing as something that is actually realistic. To me it's absolutely pertinent that I get this surgery as to me it's the only way I can ever truly learn who and what I am.

This also takes a lot of explaining. The carefree attitude with which people tell me things like 'just be a girl' or 'forget about the past' or 'just be yourself'. None of that even remotely works for me, in fact it merely helps to frustrate me. What I see when I look at my body is some freakish thing which appears to be feminine if it wasn't for the male genitals present on it. I have extreme difficulty on many occasions to see my face as something which belongs to a female individual. It's not something I have control over. That's the subconscious part of my brain, trained by decades of brainwashing, showing me things.

When I try to match my way of thinking to something either male or female it's tricky too. While people around me seem to consider both my physical appearance and my way of thinking to be primarily feminine, I can not just shake off years of indoctrination. Thirty years during which I was either told that I was a boy/man or torn between two completely opposite medical conclusions. I notice this especially when I'm in the company of women and it almost feels like two completely opposing versions of me - one male, one female - fighting for control. This again leads me back to this reconstructive surgery.

What I will gain from this surgery is the ultimate, final proof to every single part of my brain which is still rebelling against the notion that I could conceivably be female, or that I am actually a hermaphrodite. It will take away the lingering doubt that the German physicians were right about how my body is put together and allow me to finally put to rest the constant fear I live with that the Dutch physicians were right after all. It should allow me to stop hating sexuality and relationships so much as much of this hatred I feel is the result of the hatred I feel against my own body, itself due to not receiving medical help for so many years.

Most of all it would finally allow me to stop fighting so much. As I'm writing my autobiography at this point, just having finished the period up till 2005, I can see more clearly than ever before that my struggle to find my body and myself started when I was about five years old already. I have never truly known the certainty and comfort most people feel about their own body and the sense of being secure in one's own self.

For this autobiography it would be nice too if I could finish the last chapter in it with this last surgery and the end to all these decades of searching for myself, but I would gladly trade just about anything to finish this journey. It's been far too long.

In many other ways it would be most helpful too to have had this surgery. Two weeks ago I ran out my supply of the regular anti-conception pill, with as result that I'm experiencing a much more severe period than I would otherwise have, with a completely sore lower abdomen, painful hips and even loss of sensation and control in my right leg at times due to nerves apparently getting pinched. Since my female genitals are all hidden away underneath skin it is very hard to tell what is going on inside my abdomen and whether having it closed-off is harmful to me. After the surgery it would be very easy to examine it.

I fortunately have found someone who wants to make the phone call to the clinic to hopefully get some of the questions answered which I asked over two weeks ago in an email to my surgeon to which I still haven't received a response. So far it seems to be mostly a communication problem, which is where my poor German skills and the tendency for such a phone call about a for me so delicate and highly emotional issue to wreck me emotionally for days. Hopefully this week I'll learn more.

I hope that this surgeon is truly the one I need. I did hear via others that he has done a similar surgery on a case much like mine, which gives me hope. If the answers to my questions are satisfactory, then I will first need to go to the clinic for an examination. It's about a four hour trip from Karlsruhe, I think, so I hope that I can have someone more experienced handle the logistics there. Same for when/if the surgery gets planned.

I remember all too well my emotional state when I was on my way to Hamburg in 2011 for the surgery and I felt so horribly conflicted while sitting there in the ICE train that every second of that journey felt like torture. Just writing about this issue like above is very hard for me, making it abundantly clear to me that my emotions and nerves are completely raw and bleeding when it comes to dealing with it. After a decade of working towards this moment and false finish last year with that Dutch surgeon I really can't take much more of this. This has to be it.

I'm so tired...



Russell McCarten said...

I really hope that you get the peace of mind that you wish so much for.

Paul said...

I can see why you have difficulty with "just be a girl/be yourself" concepts. These ideas, if you followed them alone, can only take you so far in your reconciliation of 1) your personal identity (or your emerging concept of your identity) 2) the physical image you associate with that identity (or acceptable range of images) and 3) your actual biology.

What I am saying here is simplistic because I have not mentioned your own personal history, gender behavioural stereotypes, social and familial expectations, and numerous other factors and, to be honest, I do not know you beyond what you say in your blog. So forgive me if I get your personal situation wrong.

For some people just living in a gender is enough for some it is not enough. I hope you find what works for you. You certainly deserve that and the peace that would hopefully come with that.

Aaryna Irwin said...

What you describe rings very true to me. While I have not been through the same level of strife that you have, I definitely understand the need for that completion. To simply "move on" is impossible. It is like moving into a house where they forgot to put the doors on. People can tell you that the neighborhood is safe and nothing ever happens and that you can't even tell. But you still can't feel safe and at home because the house is not done - someone could walk in at any time and you can't just pretend that is not true. Not a perfect analogy but the point is, I get it.

At least you have some progress forward - a phone call. Even a little progress is something. I really truly hope that this surgeon works out after all. You deserve to be complete.

Maya Posch said...

@Aaryna Irwin - That analogy of a door-less house is quite accurate, I would say. There's always that overwhelming sense that something is left unfinished and incomplete, together with the terror that something bad will happen because of it.

The longer the situation stays like that, the worse that terror gets until you it begins to rule your life.

@Paul - You're very much right about that assessment. Compiling a singular physical and psychological identity out of so many conflicting parameters and memories is nearly impossible.

I do think that having this surgery will help a lot there. If only because it will finally confirm to myself 100% that I am in fact a hermaphrodite and will allow me to never have to think or talk about how wonderful it would be to find that one surgeon who could help me. It should give me a lot of peace and certainty in life, which is exactly what I need to most in confirming to myself who and what I am.