Saturday, 20 June 2015

The loneliness of a guinea pig

Recently as I was talking with my mother, I was telling her about the current medical events I'm going through, including the medical attention I'm getting for the current complications of my intersex condition. What hit me was how enthusiastically she responded to my story, exclaiming that it was wonderful that German doctors were actually paying so much attention to my situation and actually (seemingly) helping me, very much unlike those Dutch doctors. At this I realised that this was indeed the case. My life has become easier and better.

In many ways it's a good thing to regularly talk with someone who still knows you from many years ago, unlike people who have known you relatively briefly. Mothers (and some fathers too, I reckon) are generally perfectly suited for this, as they have watched you grow up and develop into the person you are today every step of the way. My mother has made it very clear that I seem far more calm and composed than I used to when I still lived in the Netherlands. Thanks to her I am reminded of the fact that despite everything that is still not right in my life, real progress has been made thanks to the bold decision to pack up and abandon the Netherlands.

When we last left off on this blog I was anxiously awaiting news from this radiologist who had let me know that he wanted to speak me on Monday about 'something'. I realize that I haven't provided an update on this yet. Unfortunately this week has been rather busy with work, in addition to me not feeling well in generally, mostly in the form of abdominal cramps and extreme exhaustion. Monday's phone call with this radiologist turned out to be not so bad after all. He just wants to see me again next Monday for some further examinations as he wasn't quite clear about my genital anatomy and would like to fill in some details before finishing his report. Come Monday I'll thus be visiting the clinic again after work.

Following that I have an appointment with my gynaecologist on Wednesday. Topics there will probably include further blood tests for pregnancy hormones as well as tumour markers. I'll also address the reconstructive surgery to fix my female side. Since I do have a vagina and it is closed off, still, it makes sense to have it reconnected to the outside as this is the only way to actually inspect what is going on there with the pains and discomfort without cutting me open each time a sample has to be taken or examination performed.

Throughout all of this there is mostly just the pervading loneliness. I notice that I still have a lot of difficulty interacting with others, simply because of the disparate experiences as well as my post-traumatic stress disorder often twisting reality for me. Trusting others is still completely impossible for me, as betrayal remains the expected response. Because of this I keep my distance, which of course doesn't help to solve the aforementioned problems. It's a cycle that's very hard to break.

It's not something which I can change. I cannot make people like me. I cannot force people to become friends with me. I cannot break through more than two decades of trauma on my own. I cannot even considering starting a relationship when traumas make me both unapproachable and paranoid. Getting closer to people just results in more pain and confusion or even anger on both sides.

What can I do? I can continue on this course to hopefully solve this medical problem of my intersex condition this year, physicians willing. I can work on my pet projects at home. I can work on my professional career. I can keep eating healthy, sleeping regularly and do household chores.

I can however not fill this gaping hole of utter loneliness and betrayal that I feel inside my soul. Maybe time will heal this. Maybe others will eventually help me with it. Maybe not.

But may the gods strike me down if I'm not the prettiest guinea pig I have ever seen.


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