Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Understanding others and emotions

Today I found myself talking again with someone who knows about my personal situation and with whom I have talked repeatedly about this issue. We didn't just talk about those things either, but throughout it felt like we shared at least some level of mutual understanding. It's not a feeling I frequently feel, but it's very... warm and fuzzy, I guess. If I let this feeling get too strong it tends to make me tear up, because it's hard to believe that such a feeling can be a real thing in this world.

Last Monday I had my first appointment with this new psychologist. Despite my GP's assumption that it'd be nice for me to speak Dutch with this psychologist, we ended up just speaking German in the end. I find my feelings on Dutch as a language to be ambiguous, still. While I can speak it without feeling all too emotional about it, I prefer to simply not speak it. The reasons for this are probably legion, including my general agonized feelings towards the Netherlands as a system and my preference to let such a horrible part of my past rest, which also means not using the language which was part of that period of my life.

While my feelings towards this psychologist are generally positive, I have since come to the conclusion that there is no way that this or any other psychologist could ever understand, let alone help me. How could they even begin to grasp the experience of living outside society's gender binary? Of being too intelligent to be accepted by others? Not to mention the horrors of rape, sexual, physical and psychological abuse, all against the background of complete uncertainty about what one's body actually is. The feeling of sheer hatred towards one's own body. What would they even help with? Help me make sense of things? It's all pretty clear to me already.

I know I said in the previous post that I'd do anything to get help, but that's exactly the point here. It's quite clear to me that at this point the medical problems I'm dealing with are the number one issue. A psychologist can not help with that. The psychological problems, from traumas to PTSD to depression, are things which all flow forth from these medical problems. Being in chronic pain virtually every day, feeling my abdomen become more and more distended while stabbing, burning and other pains as well as loss of sensation in my right leg plague my lower body. It all wears on one. Not just the pain, but also the uncertainty of what it means for one's future.

Monday is my appointment with my gynaecologist. Not the new one yet, but the same one I frequented last year. My hope is that he'll organize examinations which will tell me why my abdomen is bloated and distended to the point where it looks like I'm far along in a pregnancy when I don't strain my abdominal muscles. I also hope that these examinations will tell me why in the vaginal region it'll often feel like it's on fire, inflamed or just plagued by stabbing pains. It really upsets me to suffer these pains without the faintest clue of what might be causing these pains. Part of me still believes that they're all imaginary.

How long can one live with chronic pain, ignoring it as much as possible and lying to oneself when one states that one's life isn't so bad yet? What is the cost of such a lie?

Admitting to the truth is the first step towards self-improvement.

I am mentally much stronger than most people. The proof for this is in me getting through more than a decade of incredible abuse and neglect, despite the entirety of a country's systems being pitched against me. What I cannot help myself with is the medical help and examinations. I have done all the possible research there, but it's up to a doctor to finish things there. Which is where this 'trust' thing comes into play again. How do you know a doctor can be trusted? How can you know that a doctor speaks the truth? I still believe that some - very few - doctors can be trusted, even though I have no solid evidence for this theory.

Similarly, I have found all psychologists to be unreliable, untrustworthy, even harmful individuals - aside from one - so I have very little faith in psychologists being trustworthy people. There the cost versus benefit rule comes into play. How badly do I need a psychologist that I'd risk stumbling across more who will only further hurt, harm and traumatize me? I do not think it's worth that risk, as I cannot see how a psychologist could conceivably help me, ergo the possible benefit is zero. This is different from doctors, where a single helpful doctor can simply wipe away most of what troubles me, making the risk large, but the possible benefit very large, too.

Come Monday I'll find out whether this gynaecologist is trustworthy or not. If not, it's up to the next one. I have a reference for one who is supposedly pretty good. And then there's this promised one who specializes in intersex, yet who seems to be incredibly hard to get an appointment with.

Through all of this I do however realize very strongly how much the lack of a functional emotional side plagues me. At the age of 21 I still had effectively the emotional age of an 8-year old, due to the uncertainties about my body and self - as well as possible sexual abuse - stunting my emotional growth, making me skip emotional puberty. In my early twenties, I still found it to be weird to have people refer to me as an adult, as my self-image was still that of a child. Then, the next decade saw 8-year old emotional me get put through getting raped, suffering horrific psychological, physical and sexual abuse, being driven to a suicide attempt, repeatedly becoming homeless and losing one's possessions, and being betrayed over and over by those who were supposed to be there to help.

If a regular 8-year old grew into an 18-year old adult while suffering through similar experiences, there'd be little doubt that a lot of counselling would be required, if they got through it at all. I think what saved me so far is my intellect. Being able to reason my way through situations, to understand emotions through logic and experiences is what allows me to thrive in social situations and even get a measure of enjoyment out of it. Yet through this all I'm painfully aware of the reality of my emotional side. It's akin to the bombed out shell of a once thriving city. There are still patches left which remind one of what once was, but most of what one sees and experiences are the raw, gaping wounds.

I have said it before and I will keep saying it, probably for a very long time: I have no hope that I'll ever partake in 'normal' human life. I do not foresee myself building up traditional relations, whether just friends or something more. Decades of harsh experiences have made this abundantly clear. It's best to simply accept it and leave it at that. One can keep waiting and hoping for something better, something more pleasant, something which will end the painful aching of the many bleeding holes in one's heart, yet this is not to one's benefit. One has to keep on living, even if it means forever numbing one's heart to the realization that life can also not hurt.

Maybe in the real world the ruins of a city will carry many flowers, but in the world of humans no such certainties exist. Allowing one's heart to flourish like a desert flower at the mere hint of life-bringing water only risks pain and death. I wish I didn't just write all of that, but with decades of brutal experience behind me I cannot conclude any different. This is a world filled with many people, many of whom are each other's enemies, others who do not care about each other. Whether someone is truly a friend is almost impossible to determine. This makes it all such a cruel game.

And the worst part? You know you really, really want to trust people and call them friends. We are only human, after all.

Here is to Monday's gynaecologist appointment which will be another dice roll in the game of humanity. Just a giant experiment, with us all running around heedlessly in a gigantic maze, bludgeoning each other over the head for no perceivable gain. I don't even know, nor would I be be capable of grasping why a gynaecologist would not simply do his or her job, but instead brush patients off, or outright lie to them.

I'm just feeling so very confused, exhausted and frustrated.


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