Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My new Android game development book just got published

Two days ago, to be precise, saw the official publication of my new book on game development on Android with the AndEngine framework, creatively titled "Mastering AndEngine Game Development". It's available for purchase both at the Packt[1] and Amazon[2] store. This is my first book to be published with Packt Publishing, a large publisher of Open Source-related programming books and similar.

Some of those who follow me may remember me talking about working on this book for the last year and some. Admittedly it's been a long time to finish it up, not in the least because of the many others happening simultaneously to me personally and in my career. Yet it is all done and over with. No more chapter writing, no more revising. No more pleading with editors for just an extra day to finish up a chapter. It's all done with.

To be fair, it feels kind of empty. All of it has been part of my life for over a year and thus it has become part of my routine as well as my thoughts. To think about never having to do any of those things again... it's weird how much it makes you long back to that period.

I guess this should be just more motivation for me to work on my other activities and hobbies, like the countless projects I have left either unfinished, or haven't started on yet. Some projects I'd really like to spend more time on would include my NGS custom processor architecture project and the resulting design and production of a custom FPGA board for it. Also the file-revision system, YouTube electronics channel (NyanTronics), speech synthesis and artificial intelligence projects. That before I even get into the many game development projects I wish to embark on or continue with.

At least I won't get bored any time soon. The last project I need to work on soon is to find a more quiet place to move into. It's hard to focus on projects, let alone feel relaxed when you have the bloody heating system ticking up a storm and can track the upstairs neighbours literally step by step, including their activities in the kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Truly enjoyable and motivating, that.

But those are things which will hopefully work themselves out at some point, hopefully through some lucky contacts and such.

I am curious how many copies of this new book of mine (both dead-tree and digital) will be bought over the coming months and year(s). Maybe it'll motivate me to try my hand at writing more of such books, or maybe not. I may go back to writing my autobiography again at some point as well, but that would require both a willing publisher and me feeling like I can write it without writing myself into a suicidal depression through the fun of remembering everything leading up to a disappointing conclusion. In that regard writing technical reference books makes for a lot more fun.



Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Measure of a human

A while ago a new video game was released by the creators of the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent as well as other games featuring similar types of psychological horror. This new game is called SOMA and retains the psychological part of the previous games, even if it tones down the 'horror' side of things a bit, instead choosing to focus on far more existential questions. Basically it's a pretty heavy game when you start thinking about the things it presents to you.

Without going too deep into spoilers (if you haven't played the game yet, this is your chance to stop reading), the essence of the game revolves around what constitutes a 'human'. That is, what is it that makes a human uniquely human and what defines us as an individual?

To the first question, we can easily deduce this: if you take an average human being and chop off its arms and legs, is it still human? Most decidedly yes. Remove the torso so that you're left with just a head. Is this still a human being? Most would still agree it is. We then remove the skull, the eyes and other tissues surrounding the brain. Is this brain human?

Looking at the pile of tissue we discarded so far, we have to grudgingly admit that none of those bits are truly the core of a human being, even if they are parts of a complete human being as we are familiar with them. Thus we focus back on the brain.

A brain by itself clearly isn't human, so we can conclude from this that what makes something 'human' is something contained by this brain's structures, which is to say the network created by its neurons and their interactions. The conclusion we are thus left with is that a 'human' isn't a physical thing, but is a concept created by a complex network of electrical impulses and biochemistry.

A human is software.

We exist by the grace of this collection of biological tissues which support this network, allowing it to grow and develop, to enrich itself as an entity as it explores its environment through the means provided by its physical body.

There is nothing which would keep us from developing compatible hardware which can host this system we refer to as a 'human'. That is the wondrous part about being a human, it's not something which is necessarily contained by its physical shape, but is instead something which can will itself into almost any shape to accomplish virtually any task or goal it sets itself.

The second question was what makes someone into an individual. What does it mean when we refer to ourselves, when we use words like 'I', 'me' and 'myself'? To be a unique entity, separate from other entities. I think that the most important thing to realise here is that a human being is not a static entity. Every day we change and we are not the same person at the end of a day as the person we woke up as.

Each experience, each event changes the sum of this network which constitutes a human being as new neurons are slot into place and existing neurons weaken or strengthen their connections with other neurons. Just by existing we change. What thus forms our 'self', our quintessential sense of being this one, unique individual? Research suggests that it is mostly just part of the grand illusion our own minds produce to shield us from realising too much of what is going on.

In this SOMA game, the concept is raised of copying a brain or similar. That is, to produce a copy of the person which up to that point was only inhabiting that particular body. Afterwards there exist the original body with the entity and a scan of said entity. This scan can then be copied onto compatible hardware and function there much like the original, depending on the body it was copied into.

Regardless of the approach chosen, there would at this point be a fork in this continuity formed by this single entity. Suddenly there are two entities, which at least for one brief moment are completely identical. What was unique suddenly isn't any more.

Then, with one or more copies of the original entity existing and each going their separate ways, each of them begin to gather different memories, different experiences and views on life. They are no longer the same. What this suggests is that the only thing which makes an individual unique is its collection of memories and experiences. That each entity is essentially an imprint, or an echo if you wish, of these recollections.

A human entity is thus in essence a software construction, capable of gathering, processing, analysing and subsequently expressing preferences and opinions based upon this input, which then determine its following decisions, which thus lead to new input which better fit its preferences.

Much of this is shared with less advanced entities as found in other animals. What makes a human entity hereby so unique is its ability to integrate all of the external and internal input and create a system of self-awareness and self-reflection, which is referred to as 'consciousness'. This ability is what drives them to sate this curious sensation of 'curiosity'.

It is also what gives humans their incredible drive to survive and push the boundaries of what would normally be possible. Part of this is enabled by possessing a body which allows them to manipulate their environment in many ways and to develop complex tools where they cannot do so themselves.

All of this leads us to conclude that there really isn't such a thing as an 'individual'. Every single human being is a constantly morphing entity. Our bodies are pretty unique, but as twins demonstrate, the distinction here falls flat, too. Uniqueness then is a temporary thing.

Maybe it's because of our apparently unchanging bodies that we crave the need to define our minds in a way that they seem static and unchanging as well. Maybe embracing the knowledge of what it truly means to be human can be a very liberating thing, indeed.


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Liar, you always lie

"An hour wasted just because he wanted attention."

Those were the words my father spoke to my siblings and mother when I was eleven years old. That morning I had awoken with the most awful cramping in my abdomen, which had left me convinced that I was dying. I remember having to literally crawl to the toilet at some point because the pain was so bad that I could not stand or walk any more.

It must have taken about an hour before my parents had found me like that and readied me downstairs to get me to the local doctor. By the time we arrived at the doctor and had waited the obligatory tens of minutes, the pain had already subsided and I could not explain what had happened to either the doctor or my parents.

My father deemed me to be a mere liar who just wanted to get attention. My siblings teased me about it. My mother wasn't pleased.

Every time afterwards that I felt similar pains or even any other pains, I'd do my utmost to ignore it and just wrestle through it. The only thing people did not question me on were the frequent fainting spells, which started around that time as well. Apparently proper fainting isn't easy to do, though nobody seemed interested in learning just why I might be fainting so much. It must have been lack of oxygen, said most people.

When I wasn't an obvious liar, I was just a weird kid with an over-active imagination. I suffered the required amounts of severe bullying during both primary and high school. Only my frequent - weekly during one year - bouts of migraines were taken seriously. I had to stand up for myself and beat up the bullies responsible because nobody else would interfere on my behalf.

Years after I quit school, I finally discovered about my intersex condition, even if I did not put that event at eleven years next to it as a possibly related event.

How does it feel to be ridiculed, called a liar, crazy and delusional for only being honest about how one feels and experiences one's body, for a decade straight?

The most recent incident with this one doctor calling me a liar for pretending to be intersex brought a lot of that back to the surface. It made me realise just in how far doctors - not just in the Netherlands - have called me a liar or otherwise rejected me as speaking falsehoods over the past decade and counting. I honestly do not think doctors are real people at this point.

Dissociation is the sensation of feeling one's own experiences becoming more and more removed from the reality being presented that it is as if you do not truly exist any more as a physical entity. It's one's mind trying to make sense of completely conflicting input.

In this situation I have physicians and psychologists on one side calling me a liar, delusional and more regarding me being intersex. They make up fancy, non-existing terms like autoparagynaecophilia to further underline just how delusional I am, insisting that I must just be transsexual and not quite mentally 'there'.

On the other side there is my body being quite clear about what is and isn't real. I can ignore my body, but the symptoms will still be there. I can pretend the pains and discomfort aren't real, but both will still be there, as they have over the past two decades. I can pretend my body is that of a male, but I cannot deceive my environment, dress sizes or biology.

I am beginning to question whether physicians and psychologists truly exist, whether they aren't merely evil spirits which force themselves into my dreams, twisting them into dark, horrifying nightmares in which my very being and self are torn apart amidst their horrid cackling.

How can one sustain the possibility of the existence of two such completely disparate realities at the same time? How can two opposing truths both be the singular truth?

Maybe (most) physicians and psychologists are in fact lying and deceiving, or just being extremely ignorant and harmful in the process. Maybe this person I am is just a liar, so good at lying, that she doesn't realise herself any more that she has been deceiving herself for two decades and counting.

Do I trust my body? Do I trust doctors?

Who is lying? Is everyone a liar?


Saturday, 19 September 2015

The joys of ovulation, or: suffering for a while longer

A few days ago I began to feel the sharp pains in my side again, followed by the appearance of acne, yesterday. Even as the last period's cycle is winding down, with cramping, pain and a numb right leg due to apparently nerves and what not getting irritated or getting pinched, my body is busy gearing up for what will be yet another cycle like the others over the past twenty years. With one every month, that gets me to well over two-hundred cycles and counting. Meaning plenty of time for me to have studied the process.

Most amazing thing is of course that for the first fifteen years or so I pretty much didn't have a clue about this cycle or its symptoms. I remember that as a teenager I'd often have these weird pains, but I'd just ignore them. It's basically only the last couple of years that I'm slowly beginning to form a picture of what is going on behind all of these outward symptoms.

As mentioned the sudden pains and outbreak of acne is the first sign, probably caused by elevated levels of oestrogens as my body gears up for ovulation, presumably due to the existence of (mostly) functional ovaries and maybe even accompanied by the release of an egg. Cannot forget the sore hips, either. The uterus, or whatever tissue I have with a compatible configuration, readies for the reception of a fertilised egg. After this for a week or two nothing will happen, giving me a bit of a break between the last week of the month and the first week of the next month.

That's when the cramps in the centre of my abdomen begin, with apparently the uterus shedding the layer of tissue it created. This then gathers in the vagina, but since there is no exit there it will remain in there for the next weeks as the body slowly reabsorbs it. This seems to be responsible for the nerve pains and sensation of inflammation in the vaginal area, radiating outwards into the groin area and the insides of the thighs. Numbness of my right leg is also very common during this time. This process overlaps with the starting of the next cycle.

I also have the suspicion that my body is changing, hormonally, as it matures. The appearance of the linea nigra may indicate that I have too much oestrogen in my system. I also may no longer need to take the additional oestrogen any longer as my body's natural levels have recovered to normal female levels. Finally there is the possibility that I may have functional ovaries with fertile eggs. That would open another real of questions, possibilities and worries.

In November I'm seeing my new gynaecologist and in December this new endocrinologist about this issue. I hope that some answers can be found soon and with them solutions. It would be wonderful if this pain can be reduced, possibly through surgery which would open the vagina so that I can at least skip these two weeks of having festering menstruation blood trapped inside my body, each and every month. After more than a decade of trying to find such answers, I do no longer comprehend or attempt to understand why doctors haven't helped me before, nor do I expect them to help me now.

There is just this pain. Every month again. Even as I understand it better, this knowledge just feels me with emptiness and despair as it's so obvious at this point, yet I'm expected to keep suffering. Twenty years already. How many more decades? I just want a physician to treat me like a human being. Not kick me to the curb like a scurvy dog as others have done so far.

I will not hope for a solution to this suffering. I will not hope for happiness. Experience have taught me that the are only lies and deception to be found within hope. All I can do is to go through the motions, as my body does the same, every month again and again...


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

No more body for me this year

Today I got the appointment date and time for the appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist from my family doctor. It's in December this year. I guess that means that this year nothing will be happening, medically. I'll just have to survive another three months or so at least this year of monthly pains and what not. Whether or not I actually have a body this year is an irrelevant question. The more I can ignore said body, the better.


Sunday, 13 September 2015

On my singular self and being single

With parties come the inevitable confrontation with the lives of others, including - naturally - all of the couples. Yesterday's party was another such memorable event. It's a familiar thing to many and thus I won't harp on it too much. To me it's mostly about the implications to me as a person. What it means for me to see couples with their near-constant obsessive fondling and more, for example.

Do I hate seeing couples like that? Does it make me want to yell and throw stuff at them because they Have It, and I Do Not? If only things were that simple, really. While I do remember being together with someone else in a similar fashion and the comfort that brings, mixed with those pleasant memories are also the traumas involving men. Not only involving myself but also others. Then there are the traumas involving girls using me. Then finally the toxic sludge that is the possession of a physical body and the horrible traumas that spawn from this fact, such as sexuality.

I hate bodies, sexuality, couples, men, women, everything related to it. All because it is all in some manner traumatic to me. I feel horrible every day about having a body universally loathed by physicians. About psychologists gleefully trying to brainwash me into believing lies about myself. Society trying to force stereotypes and images on me which just hurt me.

Happiness hurts. That's probably an abstract way to summarise things. My body doesn't provoke happiness for myself, or for others. Nothing I do or say is that important to this other special person. All I struggle with on a daily basis is to stay stable, capable of dealing with daily life and attempt to recover from sudden assaults and setbacks as quickly as possible. Life to me is more like a war. There is no happiness in a war.

To me it's not about being happy. Yes, of course I wouldn't mind finding that wonderful person with whom I could share the rest of my life and be grateful for every moment together. I'd be a complete idiot to mind that. The point I think is more that of facing reality instead of losing oneself in dreams and 'what-ifs'. At this point there is nothing which would warrant me spending energy on finding such a type of happiness. Survival, including staying the hell away from another suicide attempt, is definitely far higher on my priority list.

Maybe some day, when my life no longer is about survival. Until then I'll just have to grit my teeth and ignore those bloody annoying couples flaunting their soggy happiness.

...or maybe I should just be searching for a fellow compatriot instead for this war of mine. It's not like I'm in any form or shape 'normal', nor will my background or future ever be. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree and that what part of me perceives to be 'happiness' is merely a preprogrammed part of my brain responding and making me believe things. The desire to be 'normal', like everyone else, and 'fit in' is in that regard the obviously wrong approach.

Preprogrammed nonsense or rational thought? Tough one...


Physicians: do no harm and practice empathy

After the doctor's appointment on Friday morning I noticed just how tired I was by the time I got to work shortly after. Most of the day I just drifted through things, being quite aware of how sleep-deprived I was and only keeping myself going through liberal application of caffeinated drinks, pretty much. Not that surprising after getting barely any sleep since Monday thanks to that physician's outright rejection, followed by having to prepare for this appointment with my family doctor.

In the end I probably didn't have to worry as much as I did about this latter appointment. I got the feeling that my family doctor had been giving that question of what the difference between intersex and transsexuality is some more thought herself as well. After sketching out the scenario of what would happen if I were to simply play along with this transsexuality thing, as described in the previous blog post as well, she saw my point of the issue quite well. I also added to this having to spent at least half a year trying to convince a psychologist that I truly am transsexual, adding to this the issues of a) not wanting to become a regular woman, b) already being a woman officially and c) caring only about getting some answers related to my intersex condition, not some horrific sex-reassignment/'normalisation' surgery which would wipe out parts of my identity I actually care about.

Having established that point of understanding with my doctor, the next question of course was what to do now. For this I could recount to her the advice I had been given by a number of friends, first of which was to establish my current hormone levels. Pregnancy-like symptoms are also common when for some reason oestrogen levels are relatively high. The other item was to get into contact with a reproductive endocrinologist, which fits together fairly well with the first time. My doctor will be making an appointment for this now.

The reproductive endocrinologist would be to have my hormone levels examined in general, but also to examine this apparent menstruation cycle I have undergone for the past twenty years. This might also shed light on the question raised by a friend this week as well as over the past years by others, namely whether or not I have functioning ovaries. A possible consequence of that might be that I could be (partially) fertile as a woman.

The pattern this monthly cycle follows has been quite regular for the past decades, as far as I can determine. It starts off with the sharp pain in the lower right or left side of the abdomen for a few days, then basically nothing for a week or two, then abdominal cramping for a number of days and increasing pain in the vaginal area until that too fades away. Then a week or so later it starts all over again. It's really incredibly joyful. It would be nice to learn in how far I have normal female reproductive organs underlying all of this.

A last item we discussed during this appointment was that of further help options. She understands that getting help from a psychologist is a risky proposition, especially after I told her some more about my experiences with Dutch psychologists doing their utmost to make me believe that I had to be transsexual and even attempting to get me to agree to be locked up inside a psychological ward for 'treatment'. In this light, she suggested maybe looking further into genetic research as well. There are a couple of genetic research centres here in the city, so I could at least ask them whether they maybe do chimera testing as well. This would be fairly involved testing, requiring around 30 tissue samples to get a half-way decent sample size. It could tell me however whether I am in fact an XX/XY chimera as the current evidence seems to suggest.

Finding said XY chromosomes could be tricky, however. In one documented case of a hermaphrodite woman who was fertile and gave birth to a child, she only had XY chromosomes in about 4% of her cells. The phrase 'finding a needle in a haystack' is most definitely apt there.

At any rate, I'm fairly happy with how things went with this doctor appointment on Friday. I also hope that this endocrinologist can give me some answers, clear up many questions which have bothered me for decades now. Now I just need to catch up on all the sleep I missed this week, which might be the trickiest thing of all.

I must say that I'm still happy to have this family doctor. Most important thing is that she never seems to judge me. Not like many other doctors, psychologists and others did, using their voice, body language and words. From my doctor I only sense a desire to figure this issue out somehow and bring it to a good ending. Almost as I am a fellow human being, with feelings and a mind of my own. I think it is pretty amazing when a health professional gives you that feeling, which is a bloody shame, indeed. No doctor should ever willingly and knowingly harm a patient. No doctor should be devoid of or lacking in empathy, empathy is a crucial part of doctor-patient interaction.

Here's to 'hoping for good results' part five-thousand something or other. I lost count already...


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Physicians do not understand intersex

Of the email response I sent to that doctor in Frankfurt a few days ago I also sent a copy to my family doctor. This morning I got an email from her, in which she expressed her worry for me. Most particular about her email was her question about why it is so important to me that I'm referred to as being 'intersex'. As she put it, this doctor has offered to perform 'the surgery', just under different conditions.

I wasn't going to discuss that whole matter, especially not in German via email correspondence, so I agreed to make an appointment to discuss it face to face. This appointment will be on Friday. During it I will have to somehow make my family doctor realise the difference between intersex and transsexuality. In particular this 'surgery' she refers to seems to indicate that she thinks that what to me important is is to have a 'sex reassignment surgery' (SRS). Never mind that a transsexual is a healthy person who wishes to transition from one physical sex to another, while I am neither of these two.

To me it's not about undergoing this surgery. If examinations showed that this rudimentary vagina I have is usable for a reconstructive surgery, I will most likely agree to it. If only because at this point it seems like every month fluids are pooling up in it because it is closed off, causing the pain and discomfort as the tissue of this vagina becomes irritated over and over again. If I were to play transsexual, they'd simply keep denying I have this vagina, perform the sex-reassignment surgery, likely forcing me to give up the male member in the process, and ripping out the rudimentary vagina and replacing it with a fake one.

In that case I'd keep the monthly menstruation pains, with possibly dangerous complications as the space provided by the natural vagina would be gone and fluids might end up pooling between my organs instead. I'd also not learn anything about the background of this menstruation, whether I have endometriosis or something similar. I'd simply be written off as another transsexual, and after the SRS I'd be filed away as 'solved'. My intersex condition would be denied forever and I'd continue to suffer without answers or resolution. The fake vagina would be a constant source of emotional and psychological agony.

So that's not a path I'd like to try venturing on again. I tried it years ago, back in the Netherlands at the VUmc gender team in Amsterdam, yet it only brought me agony. What I did learn from it is that I am absolutely not a transsexual. This also leads me to the other issue with playing transsexual, as I found out back then: passing the transsexual protocol, i.e. the convincing of a set of mental health professionals over the course of at least half a year that you really wish to convert to the other sex.

Back then I still was officially male, and it was already an impossible task for me to play a transsexual. Now my official identify is that of a female, with a female name, all changed due to my recognition as an intersex person based upon medical evidence. And they'd expect me to play a transsexual to obtain such a disastrous result which will likely only further push me towards another suicide attempt? No thanks...

I don't know what it is that makes doctors in general so completely devoid of empathy and imagination. While there are many types of personal situations I cannot fully imagine being in, I can at least use my sense of empathy to get a pretty good impression of what it would be like. Maybe it's that doctors have been raised inside this restrictive binary system of only male and female, that the rusted-together gears inside their minds cannot shift even a millimeter any more. Transsexuality does fit well, however, since it too can be stuffed cleanly into the two boxes 'male' and 'female'. Male wants to become female, or vice versa.

Come Friday I will have to explain all of this to my family doctor. I think I'll start off by asking whether she thinks that intersex and transsexuality are similar. Then based upon the response I'll discuss what she thinks my goals are, contrasted with this offered SRS and in how far it'd answer any questions and resolve any issues I have at this point.

In more positive news, yesterday I had a friend contact me after my previous blog post to discuss the symptoms. They asked quite a few questions, but in the end the conclusion was pretty clear that all of these pains I'm suffering in my abdomen, hips and such are completely normal for a menstruation cycle. The sharp pains primarily on the right side might indicate a functioning ovary on at least the right side. With the pain pattern following the normal pattern it's not impossible that I have a uterus in some form as well. It all seems too regular and normal to indicate endometriosis as well.

This friend will be contacting some people regarding getting me proper medical help. To be honest this one conversation and offer of help gave me a lot of hope and energy. First of all from just having someone listening to me and offering useful feedback and questions. Secondly for offering a concrete path to hopefully resolve this issue. Maybe via friends like these I will be able to find a doctor I actually can trust.

For the nightmare image I have, is that of surgeons forcing me to undergo one of these 'normalisation' surgeries, either by brainwashing me until I finally break and give in, or by having me declared insane and incapable of making decisions any longer. Some of my nightmares involve a scenario like this, where I am waking up on a surgery table, to then flee through the dark, nightmarish hallways of a dark, deserted hospital, while surgeons follow me like savage monsters, only intent on my destruction. Once they get their hands on me, they rip open my abdomen, rip out any organ and tissue that's female and then stitch me back together, declaring me 'fixed'.

I do not wish to be terrified of doctors. It's bad enough to be terrified of clowns without adding another category to the cabinet of horrors. Yet here I am, with doctors fuelling not only my traumas but also my nightmares. It's ironic and tragic in so many ways that those who vowed to do no harm are almost fully responsible for all the harm that's been done to me in my life.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Memories of escaping Dutch persecution

Nearly two years I left the Netherlands - my country of birth - for good. Background was nearly a decade of constant harassment by Dutch physicians and psychologists, who were adamant that I should believe that I was transsexual. That my beliefs that I most likely had an intersex body were just a delusion. While the medical evidence for the first few years was rather flimsy, soon the evidence began to pile up, thanks to German physicians. From the first MRI scan showing me to be a hermaphrodite in late 2007, to the exploratory surgery in 2011 which confirmed this even further, it seemed pretty irrefutable.

Yet the Dutch physicians and psychologists wouldn't budge. I couldn't be intersex. It was impossible. Even if I didn't show any signs of being transsexual, even as the medical evidence in favour kept mounting, even as the Dutch legal system approved my official gender change based upon an intersex law. Even while I didn't appear masculine in any form or shape and suffered immensely in daily life due to having a male identity but a female body. They were still trying to convince me that I had to be transsexual, down to the last appointments at the gender teams in Amsterdam and Groningen.

So I left the Netherlands. Clearly all the Netherlands could offer me was more pain, suffering and continuing harassment. About a decade of brainwashing and psychological torture attempts had left their traces, showing in a severe lack of certainty about what my body truly is. I was an emotional wreck.

Yesterday's lecture by this German physician about how I simply have to be a transsexual brought all of that back again. I do not f*cking know why physicians are either so ignorant, misguided or utterly retarded that they'd keep proposing something which is by any stretch of the imagination impossible. Clearly they do not have a shred of empathy, or professionalism for that matter, or they wouldn't suggest something that is so utterly stupid.

After more than a decade of studying on this subject I know very well what a transsexual is. I am not one. I never identified as either male or female. I do not regard my body as either male or female. I do not wish to change this body I have. I didn't start in a gender role, I'm still trying to find a comfortable one for myself, though I'm not entirely sure why I'd need one.

What's more than that, after studying up on intersex I am now also an expert on that topic, easily competing with those who have a fancy paper to supposedly prove that they remember anything about medicine. I have been living, breathing and suffering through the topic. I am painfully aware of the fact that my body isn't strictly male or female, biologically speaking. The skeleton is decidedly female, as is the musculature, yet the reproductive organs are a completely disorganised mess, resulting in me having been born sterile.

Yet I know nothing. Those oh so smart doctors know it all better than me. I just have to shut the f*ck up and listen them, accept that I'm just a happy little transsexual so that they can get me on the surgery table and cut out every single part which would conclusively define me as being a hermaphrodite and intersex. For that they need to convince me that I wish to become a regular female. They have been trying to do so for a decade now. I. Do. Not. Wish. To. Become. A. Female.

I am intersex. I am a hermaphrodite. While I mostly identify as female, my sex is 'feminine hermaphrodite' and this is just fine to me.

I just would like to know whether anything can be done with this rudimentary vagina that was discovered on the MRI scans and during that exploratory surgery. Also whether I should be worried about these menstruation and pregnancy symptoms, also because it's all closed up and if any fluids are produced each month, they have nowhere to go. I just want to feel reassured and get some answers to these questions.

If any of those questions are things a transsexual would ask, I think I have talking to the wrong transsexuals over the past decade.

F*ck physicians. F*ck psychologists. Damn them all to hell. If there's a good one among the lot of 'em, let God sort them out... I know I won't ever meet one I can trust.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Coming to terms with physicians wanting me to be transsexual

A few weeks ago I got the following message from this physician in Frankfurt I have been in contact with over the past months regarding my intersex condition:

"Today our radiologists showed us the MRI-pictures which you sent us before. It looks like there is a remnant of the vagina over a length of 10 cm between bladder and rectum. As my secretary asked you before, we should really have a  karyotype characterisation of any intersex abnormality, before we talk about operative procedures."

That message filled me with the hope that maybe this time it would work out. Then today I got the following message:

"after proofing all the results and findings of your patient history, I cannot find a clear sign of intersexuality in your history. The histology of the removed testicles proofed a typical pattern of testicle histology under hormonal therapy. Genetic analysis could not find any sign of intersexuality, MRI-findings could not identify clear signs of intersexuality neither. You probably suffer from a gender identity disorder, which should be defined by a specialist psychiatrist excluding any other form of psychiatric disorders. Operative measures are only indicated if two independent letters of recommendations from these specialists are identifying the disorder and giving the indication for hormonal and surgical treatment.  Both these letters of recommendation and petition can be given to your medical insurance for confirming to take over the costs of a regular sex change operation."

After working through the immediate trauma and thinking about it for a while, I sent the following response:


"Today our radiologists showed us the MRI-pictures which you sent us
before. It looks like there is a remnant of the vagina over a length of
10 cm between bladder and rectum."

You are denying your own findings and those made during the exploratory
surgery in 2011. If I am on some kind of blacklist so that I won't ever
get medical help, just be honest and tell me already.

For more than ten years now I have been trying to find the truth. I know
I am not transsexual. I know I do not have the body of a male. I know
that I suffer from menstruation symptoms. I know that this linea nigra
on my abdomen is real.

You are a liar and a traitor to the medical profession.

I hope your conscience will torture you for the rest of your life for
causing so much suffering to intersex individuals."


Suffice it to say that I'm feeling rather... destroyed in an emotional sense. I honestly do not understand anything of it any more. In particular why I have to go through this same pattern with physicians time after time. Sure, the surgeon who operated on me back in 2011 just did his job, as did the radiologists of the first two German clinics who analysed the MRI scans. Beyond that...

I have suffered from monthly cramps since I was 11 years old. I am going through what appears to be a pregnancy, with the linea nigra line on the abdomen, swollen breasts and everything. As I went through puberty I had fewer and fewer people see me as a boy, even when I still thought I was one.

The dismissal of the genetic results is inane, as it was performed only on the white blood cells and the report itself admitted that more detailed research would be needed. The MRI findings... even this physician saw the vagina before he then turned around and vehemently denied it. It's as if I am truly on such a blacklist and the moment a physician sees this they have to deny me further care as an intersex person.

It's amazing to me that they would try to make me believe that I am transgender/transsexual. I have never felt anything in common with such people, or have had any feelings or thoughts in that direction. The past decade I grew up from a child into an adult, slowly learning about this body of mine. I have never seen this body of mine as being male, nor has my environment. I also loathe the thought of becoming just a regular female. To me being a hermaphrodite is normal, as that's simply who and what I am. It defines me as a person, together with everything else.

But I guess this tired anger I feel at this point is just kind of wasted. I will not get medical help. Even if I did get the acknowledgement that I am intersex and a hermaphrodite through that exploratory surgery in 2011 and the subsequent gender change based upon that result, it's not enough for other physicians. I must be a transsexual. I simply must be. Clearly I have and still merely imagine all of these symptoms I have suffered for decades now. I am a transsexual. Definitely. It's the same pattern they have put me through over and over again for the past decade. They obviously know what they're talking about.

I guess it all moves things into this part of the medical community which frightens the heck out of me. It's the part where they want to classify things as a 'disorder'. They no longer call it 'intersex' there, but a 'disorder'. Even if it's not a medical problem, it's still wrong, because it's not normal. And thus we need to cut and slice and tear things out until it's all back to normal. That's maybe why they want me to be a transsexual so badly: because it'd give them an excuse to tear out any trace of me being intersex while turning me into an obedient little transsexual.


No matter how much I rant here, it's all futile. There clearly is nothing more I can do, nothing I can accomplish. All I can do is self-medicate and keep an eye on these symptoms and pains. See where they develop from here. I do hope my boss doesn't get all too frustrated with me likely calling in sick more and more often if these symptoms worsen. Chronical pain is a horrible thing to live with.

Be it endometriosis, other growths, cancer, or something else entirely, it's up to myself to manage it as well as I can, because no doctor will ever believe or help me. I have tried to prove myself wrong for over a decade and even fled my country of birth to what I hoped would be a brighter future, all to no avail.

I still do not blame my body. I do not regret having been born. They are things which just happen. But physicians... they are where everything went wrong. They are the core of the entire problem: the cause of and solution to everything that is wrong. Yet they don't seem to have a shred of empathy. No humanity. Nothing which would hint at them having taken the Hippocratic Oath. I cannot and will never trust them again. They do not have my best interests in mind, just their own twisted, dark agendas. They caused the PTSD I suffer from. They made me indirectly hate my body and myself.

We'll see how long this body of mine holds out, or whether it kills me psychologically before that, I guess.

Welcome to the end of the road...


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Back to playing doctor

Most of my world seems to revolve around pain, it seems. While last week was relatively pain-free, last weekend it began again, worsening this week until apparently peaking today. First symptoms included abdominal distension and lower abdominal pain as well as sharp pain and discomfort in the vaginal region. It also included pain while urinating and similar, as well as diarrhoea. This week it added to that a pain mostly in the lower right abdomen and right side of the torso. Thoughts of appendicitis returned. Yesterday I was feeling incredibly tired, while suffering nausea. This evoked the possibility of food poisoning.

Today I basically wasn't getting out of bed. Only after sleeping a few hours more was I able to function, though even at this point I'm not feeling great. I'm not throwing up, though, and managed to eat a decent amount of food without ill-effects. The fear of appendicitis was however quite real throughout the day, as I felt this both sharp and dull pain in my lower right abdomen. This pain however subsided, to reappear occasionally throughout the day, albeit in the form of cramps in the same region.

This all is far more consistent with the period-connected pain I have been suffering for years now, although it is getting more severe every year. I remember vividly how when I was 11 years old that I was unable to move for what felt like hours due to excruciating pain in my lower abdomen. I think that may have been my first period. Two years ago, in late 2013, I was lying in bed when I felt intense pain in the lower right abdomen. I thought I would die simply right then and there.

After that occurrence in 2013, I have begun to feel that particular pain more often, around the time that I also suffered from other pains related to my period. My period seems to roughly occur by the end of the month, beginning of the next, based upon the pain I experience.

Putting these pieces together, as well as the symptom of cramping which is not associated with appendicitis, it seems far more likely that most if not all of these pains are in some form caused by rogue tissue - left-over from the failed formation of my reproductive organs - is becoming increasingly more active. The appearance of linea nigra on the abdomen since a few months back is another indication of this.

Whether this can be classified under endometriosis isn't easy to say, as that is generally a fairly consistent, very painful, but otherwise rather harmless condition. It also generally doesn't involve symptoms like linea nigra. What is going on might be something else entirely, with unknown consequences and unknown outlook.

Seeing a doctor about this who actually is capable of diagnosing and treating a condition like this would be the most pertinent next step. Unfortunately the one doctor who can help me at this point may still take another few months to make an appointment with, as for some reason I have to get every single medical file and what not to him first, even when they do not contain any relevant information. This is currently very frustrating.

Hopefully I'll get that appointment soon, and with it the medical attention this issue seems to require...