Friday, 3 April 2015

Identity and intersex

I had originally wanted to wait a while longer before writing this blog post, but seeing an article on one country (Malta) finally seeing the light [1] when it comes to intersex individuals convinced me to just write it already.

Some may have noticed my sudden absence from social media, ceasing any and all communication there. This was deliberate. Though I'm more than willing to try and detail what exactly made me take this decision, it's been my experience in the past that people do better with a brief and generic explanation, so I'll just say this: things just couldn't go on the way they were going any more.

Call it an identity crisis. Call it dissociation. Call it an existential crisis. I don't honestly care too much what others call it. All that I know is that I'm at a point in my life where I had to make a decision. I just didn't know what I was choosing between. I still don't, really. With the sudden blossoming and developing of me as a respected, responsible adult at work I think it was enough to make me aware enough of everything that was wrong in my life.

There are two things which I have to decide about. One is regarding the mind, the other about the body. Essentially my identity as a person purely as an emotional and intellectual construct. Who I am, in short. After two decades of just utter confusion followed by a decade of psychological torture by physicians and psychologists, I simply cannot say any more.

The basics seem easy enough, I'm an intelligent (gifted) woman, with a mild obsession with cats and cute things in general. But that's just the framework. Who am I really? What do I like, what don't I like? There's the many things I do not like, which upset me, or which I even hate with a passion, but of which I am pretty sure that I would not feel about them that way if I didn't suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of those three decades. In how far is PTSD part of me as a person? In how far does it define me? Has it destroyed the 'real' me already since PTSD is a permanent, neurological change to the brain?

Those questions always transform into questions about the second thing where I have to make a decision. My body. The 'what am I' question. It's clear that I cannot just let things go on the way they are now forever. Or well, I could, but a life of chronic pain and the possibility of severe medical complications isn't really much of a choice, but mostly just plain suicide. Not a choice I'm opposed to on principle, but for the moment I would like to entertain the possibility that there is in fact a way that I can keep living and not be in pain.

As far as my body goes, the only non-lethal choice I have is to keep going to physicians and hope that the Next Time (tm) will be different. That I won't be sent away, ignored or ridiculed. That is assuming that I'm in fact not crazy and not imagining my abdomen bloating up, distending and hurting for weeks on end. That I am not imagining what could be a vagina being inflamed, irritated and causing significant amounts of pain and discomfort for weeks on end. That I don't imagine the throbbing, stabbing pain in my lower abdomen, mostly on the right side. That I am not imagining my right leg going partially numb for a few days. That I am not imagining my hips hurting like heck for at least a day or two every month.

The feeling of a complete disconnect there is what frustrates me the most, and which makes me realize so strongly that I don't seem to have much of a choice there. Keep doing the same thing over and over again for year after year, just like the past decade, in the hope of achieving a different result? I am pretty sure that's the informal definition of insanity.

So, while I can possibly assemble my actual identity together from bits and scraps from amidst the ruins of my life, it strongly seems that that as far as my body goes there's only the 'suicide' ending, i.e. doing nothing. Albeit in the faint hope that maybe the next time a physician examines me things will be different.

The only way I can actually live a life with that horrific knowledge is to push the fact away that I am intersex and that I am in pain. Much like I have been trying to do for the past decade, in other words. Only this time even more strongly. Even if it means erasing parts of my past, of my interactions with others and possible avenues of rescue from this 'suicide' option. While I figure all of that out I'll have to shrink down my interactions with others significantly. That means I won't be on social media any more, not for a long while. I probably won't be talking to many people at all or only sporadically.

I just need some time, if I can find some.


Maya


[1] http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/04/02/malta-becomes-first-country-to-outlaw-surgery-on-intersex-babies

2 comments:

Björn Bidar said...

I like your posts even as non intersex it's interresting to see what is witch those that don't fit in existing genders.
Even more when I think of the gender equally here in germany.

Jon said...

Endometriosis is also very difficult to get correctly diagnosed. It is possible you have these cells in areas of your lower torso. Not an expert, just heard some info. about and thought you might find it interesting.