Sunday, 4 May 2014

Shopping Around For Major Surgery

Yesterday I made an appointment at a nearby women's clinic. As it turns out, there are many places in Germany where they treat cases like mine. Instead of having just the one option in Erding I now seem to have this second option opening up and possibly a third one as well later next week. The first appointment I have at the nearby clinic is on the 13th this month at any rate. Just two months before my scheduled surgery date. It's definitely going to be a race to see which place can offer me the best surgery prospects.

In many ways I'm glad that I am getting all these options now, though I'm still intensely bitter regarding my experiences in the Netherlands. It's only through actually living in a medically sane country like Germany that I realize just how horrific the Netherlands truly was. Virtually all of the physicians and other medical professionals here are honestly intrigued by my case and are doing their utmost to help me. No more being treated like an annoyance and a delusional boy.

Not that I have a lot of contact with other intersex people in Germany, though. So far I have established exactly zero contacts and I am not really interested in contacts either. I'm not sure whether it's because of their damaging experiences growing up, or it's simply the few German intersex individuals who approach me, but I can find no common ground with them. I actually had to 'unfriend' one yesterday on Facebook after a message informing me that she was certain that I have PAIS based on 'looking at your pictures'. Right. PAIS for those who forgot is a form of AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) which results in various degrees of female development despite having a male genotype.

I know that I don't have a form of AIS because a) the symptoms don't match up and b) so far four German teams have confirmed genital duality, which doesn't occur with AIS. Yet this hasn't kept various people from making this claim over the years. The thing for me is of course that I do not have absolute certainty about this female side of mine in the sense that I can not drop my pants and confirm it beyond a shade of doubt that way. When people then claim that I'm basically deluding myself again, it's painful.

I know I have touched upon this a lot in my past posts, and I probably won't shut up about it for a while still. To know what I am is what I am looking for at this point. In the midst of so much contradicting 'evidence', opinions, statements, proclamations, and heavens know what else, it's reached a point where I cannot honestly look at myself in the mirror and know what it is I am seeing there. When then a friend tells me that I'm 'a pretty girl', I feel both happiness and a lot of pain and confusion. Because I don't know whether it's true.

Honestly, I feel as incorporeal as some mist. A wisp of smoke. Linked with it my horrible sense of insecurity. About my body. About my skills. About how people see me. About everything. It's a miracle I can still function in public at this point. I know that most of it is just part of my brain forcing the rest of said brain and with it my body to get along with the program for now and see where it all ends.

That said, I have managed to burden myself to the point of bursting from stress. With a full-time job, another full-time job writing a technical reference book, the shopping around for a good surgeon and the few moments of relaxation it's a miracle I haven't burned myself out yet. At least I have put the writing of my autobiography on hold for now after the writing of it in English didn't work so well for the Dutch publisher. As I don't have a contract with this publisher yet, I may just find an international publisher instead. With the surgery settled I could then use the time that frees up to resume work there.

In some way it would be a relief to not have a Dutch publisher any more. Having it only published in Dutch and sold in the Netherlands would be so utterly disappointing and useless. It's a story which concerns everyone in every part of the world. What happened to me is something everyone should be aware of so that no one else who has the misfortune of being born like me has to suffer the same kind of agony. Especially not those born in tyrannical countries such as the Netherlands.

It's been about half a year since I left the Netherlands and every week I feel a little better about it. Leaving there was the best decision I have made in my life. While there are many things I still have to fight for in Germany, at least they're not medical things and they're not dehumanizing. I as a person am allowed to exist here and hopefully I will also finally be able to find myself here.


1 comment:

Patrick Horgan said...

Hey Maya. To me you're just Maya - and awesome. I'm on your side no matter what. Have a most awesome day:)