Saturday, 7 March 2015

In the end it's all about control, or the lack thereof

If there's one thing which has frustrated me over the past decade and then some, it's always been and still is the matter of explaining just why it matters so darn much to me why I need to know those things about my body, and need surgeries and what not. Why can't I just be grateful that I have a healthy body and move on, rebuild my life from there? What is keeping me stuck and obsessed with the past? Every time I try to explain why these are inane questions by people without any real understanding of the issue I'm dealing with, it just falls on deaf ears.

The only people I have encountered who truly understand what it is that I'm trying to say are those who themselves share similar experiences: either through medical trials or something similar which came to threaten their own body or that of someone dear to them. It's only through such experiences that one can come to understand what it means to lose control and through it lose one's body.

To the average person their body is just something they carry around, do stuff with, some things which are healthier, some less healthy. In the end it's always their body and their choice, however. Yet to someone who suddenly becomes very sick, or suffers a major accident there is this transition from the first situation to an entirely new one in which they do not control their body and do not make the decisions. Suddenly it's the doctors around them, family members, friends and loved ones who assume this control. For people who become incapacitated like this for a long time, this experience can be beyond frustrating. It's why people become angry at and try bargaining with physicians.

In all of this it's one thing if it's your own body that's resisting recovery, such as in the case of revalidation, because that's something you can conquer with sheer strength of will. It's something else entirely if that control is ripped away from you and you have to rely on some doctor to help you. Maybe it's something undefined and undiagnosed, yet serious enough that you'd want to have some examinations performed, yet you cannot find a physician willing to perform such examinations. Maybe you're waiting on a surgery date, months into the future. Both leave one helpless. Worse, both steal one's body away for the time being.

In my experience I don't have a body. Worse, I haven't had one for the longest time, if I ever had one. First there was the Lie. About me being a boy, then a man. Only to figure out much too late and after many harrowing years that I am not male, that my body never was that of a male. Even the horrible duality during puberty didn't clue me in, as neither I nor my parents knew about intersex. Those were twenty-one years during which I didn't exist. I didn't have a body there. Not a real one, but an imagined one. I had no control over anything there as there was nothing to control.

Yet even after discovering what was really going on on - now over 10 years ago - and figuring that now I could regain my body and find myself again, control was wrested away from me once more. Nearly a decade of Dutch and other physicians and psychologists denying me help, assistance, examinations or anything else remotely useful, while forcing their delusional lies upon me. More lies, again. At no point could I even begin to regain control over myself, my life or regain my body.

How could I, really? In the first place I didn't - and still don't - really know what this body is, so there's nothing to regain, or accept for that matter. All control there lies with physicians. Both emotionally and rationally I cannot even begin to solve this most fundamental of issues. In the second place there's all the traumas. Not just the physical and emotional abuse from physicians and psychologists, but also from others who saw fit to make use of me in my confused state.

I can really notice this control issue in daily life. Now that things are going well at work, I find that I enjoy going there, putting in a good day's work and feeling good at my progress there. At work I'm in control. Then, once I'm home again, I feel the lethargy and despair sink into my very soul once more as I feel so overwhelmingly clear that I'm not in control of my life there. I can pretend to be just another woman at work, but I cannot do so towards myself. There's no deceiving myself. I am generally not bothered by my traumas at work now, yet at home it's what I spend most of the time fighting against. At work I feel like I can be myself, even if it's through shutting out reality for just a few hours. At home I have to face the gritty truth about my future.

I am something. I'm a puppet. I'm controlled by physicians, psychologists and regular people. The strings attached to my joints are called hope and despair, and they allow anyone who desires so to make me dance. It's why I have come to hate both hope and despair so utterly and completely, for both represent all that's wrong with my existence. Until I can cut these strings I won't be free, and won't be in control of myself. It doesn't matter where I go or how far I travel, for these strings are infinite.

And this is why I need to have these answers about my body. It's why I need this reconstructive surgery. It's why I need to close this medical chapter. It's to regain control, regain my body. Cut the strings, so that I can finally be a real human being.

My only request to those who still wish to batter me with reassurances or 'helpful' advice is: don't. If reading this post didn't clue you in, I'm not sure what will. This isn't about health, or intersex, or anything as simple as that. This is about freedom and the ability to decide about oneself, which is to say an attempt to regain all of that, in so far as I have had any of it during the past decades of my existence.

Don't make me dance. Just cut the strings.


1 comment:

Jules Tabak said...

so this is about control, or lacking it....
the "issue" of control being symbolised by the body, feeling that your right on self determination is being denayed by "others"....
this leading to an experience of feeling utterly frustrated, for "others" are responsible for my lack of control and therefore my frustration....
This, to me, raises some questions:
Is control something we can gain or lose? Has the body a mind of its own? Am i "a body"? What is there to control? Can i ever be "in control"? Am i of my own making? is there a solution to the frustration felt?....
And if there is, who controls it, me or someone else?