Sunday, 29 November 2015

The transient nature of reality

In a sense every location is its own version of reality. This is especially true within human societies, where travelling from one place to another can change what is and isn't so completely, that one might as well have moved to another planet. With different habits, different food, different sense of morals and ethics, not to mention often a different language, it's a different reality indeed.

Next month it'll be two years since I moved to Germany. At this point I can speak the language reasonably well, and in general I feel that everything here around me is 'normal'. The language, the habits, and so on. It's gotten to the point where I will refer to myself as a German citizen in conversations with my mother and others who do not live here. It just feels natural to do so.

The sense of feeling 'home' is an interesting concept, though. When something feels 'normal', it doesn't necessarily mean that one also feels at home. Thinking back to the past decades - except for when I still was a child - pretty much the entire time that I spent in the Netherlands was one of feeling lost and without a home.

Too many times I would find myself during that time in a train carriage or similar, feeling as if my life was just that: a transient moving between locations with me just there as observer. Gazing outside at the shifting landscape, while the garbled, distorted voices of my fellow travellers formed the background noise to this scene.

Only since I came to Germany have I felt something change there. It's not just the mere fact of having a fun, well-paying job, but also the interest and respect I receive from people here, from my employer to friends and even my family doctor. I never had any of that before.

All of this is a form of... solidity which I cannot quite remember experiencing before. For someone like me, who has moved throughout the Netherlands and the world almost constantly for a decade, the thought that maybe I do not have to live as a transient person is an almost alien and incomprehensible thought to entertain.

Verily, it's been a dream of mine for many years to have just this one house where I could live, do all my hobbies and entertain friends and family there as well. Just... normal, boring stuff. No nonsense about being special, dealing with supposed medical experts or having to fight with organisations and government instances just to be able to merely exist.

My life has become decidedly more boring. Less transient, I guess. Yet part of me still feels like it's stuck in that train carriage: just gazing at the shifting landscape outside while the garbled, distorted voices of my fellow travellers mesh together in an incomprehensible mockery of normalcy.


Friday, 27 November 2015


Yesterday, a few hours after I sent the email to my family doctor, I received a response from her. In it she reassured me that not all doctors are against me, and that she is on my side. She further indicated that she'll look into this issue of who can actually help me further next week.

I really want to believe that I am not alone in this all, that there are people on who I can rely and who can and will help me. The trouble I have is the culminated experience of nearly eleven years of mostly finding out that promises are meaningless and people untrustworthy. What I might want things to be like is irrelevant in this.

Today my body made it quite clear again why I need real medical help. With pain ranging from sharp, stabbing pain in my right side, to the sensation of the entire vaginal area being inflamed, making sitting as well as toilet-based activities into a painful to agonising experience.

I remember the latter experience quite well from back when I was still in primary school, now about twenty years ago. Back then I used to think that it was just the skin being raw and painful for some reason and ignored it. Since this symptom became more severe a few years ago, it's clear that it's not the skin, but something inside. If I had to make a guess, I'd say it's the closed off vagina's inside becoming irritated and possibly inflamed at the end of every menstruation cycle.

It's exceedingly painful at least. Today I'm just taking as many painkillers as allowed, ranging from paracetamol to NSAIDs, in the hope that it'll make it at least somewhat manageable.

I wish I wasn't so terribly alone and so horribly helpless.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

The difficulty in trusting doctors

Today I got a response to my email to this other gynaecologist who supposedly specialises in intersex cases. Their answer was a curt 'no, we have no experience with intersex', then referring me to a neurologist/psychiatrist who supposedly does. None of it made sense to me.

I have sent my family doctor an update on all of this, basically telling her that she's free to contact this neurologist if she wants to, but that I'm done with it. Also that I hope that this upcoming appointment with an endocrinologist is more productive, or that else I'm pretty much completely done with doctors in general.

It'll be hard to figure out a way to continue living without medical help. After eleven years there's no point to searching further, however. The doctors have won. They have successfully denied me medical help or a treatment as a human being. I am helpless. I admit defeat.

Today I suffered through cramps on my right abdominal side as my body apparently is ovulating as is usual during the last week of the month. I also started experiencing hot flashes again today after not having taken the pill for a week or two.

...but I the doctors say I am all just imagining it. I'm just a confused transsexual, after all...


Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Today's appointment with the new gynaecologist was pretty brief. The moment he looked at the referral message from my family doctor he asked me why I had come to him when there's a gynaecologist in the city who specialises in intersex cases. He got me a referral for this gynaecologist as well as the details.

Within five minutes I was standing outside again, with the task to make an appointment with this other gynaecologist. Earlier I sent of an email to this gynaecologist's office with the request to make an appointment, explicitly mentioning that I was being referred due to my intersex case. Hopefully an appointment can be made this year, still.

In a sense I'm feeling disappointed since I have lived towards this day for a while now, and as yesterday's post makes more than obvious, it has a profound effect on me. Not to mention the way it manages to destabilise my emotional stability and make me things I loathe thinking about, such as death, violence and similar things which aren't happy or cute.

On the other hand I'm feeling both happy in a surprised fashion, and annoyed that this other, better gynaecologist apparently exists, but that I wasn't aware of it. Now to see what this gynaecologist can do for me, as well as in two weeks time when I have my appointment with this endocrinologist.

Meanwhile my abdomen still hurt month after month, the vertical line on my abdomen remains, along with all the questions and uncertainty.

Back to the waiting game for now, I guess.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Asking help from people who might wish to see you dead

Tomorrow I will have the first appointment with my new gynaecologist. Sounds innocent enough, but the impact and implications are rather severe. The primary reason why I am changing gynaecologists is because my first one in this city did not wish to examine my case in any detail and ignored the development of pregnancy-related symptoms such as the linea nigra on my abdomen.

This is well-illustrated by the commentary written by my family doctor on the referral for this gynaecologist: "To resolve the contradicting opinions and conclusions by doctors on which organs are present based on MRI scans and other examinations."

In short: I have no clue what this body actually looks like - inside and outside - so please help me figure out why two groups of medical professionals have two completely opposing opinions on this matter.

Worse than those two conflicting opinions is that of physicians and the like who change the opinion half-way through, such as a recent doctor and radiologist who started off with saying that they could see the closed-off vagina clearly on the MRI scans, but the next time they would say the complete opposite: that they could not see a trace of intersexuality.

It is thus why this appointment tomorrow and another appointment two weeks from now fill me with such dread: will it be the same story again? Will they first give me hope, then turn around and make me feel like I'm insane, delusional and that everything I am seeing and feeling about my own body is just... imaginary? That this linea nigra line isn't there on my abdomen, that these monthly pains have no physical cause, and so on?

It is little wonder then that on Monday night I could barely sleep at all, instead feeling consumed by thoughts of suicide. The almost certainty of doctors reopening this barely scabbed over wound where others before have tried to drive a wedge between my sense of self and my body. I cannot accept that my body is that of a male because that's not what I see and experience when I regard this body. Nor do others accept this, beyond a certain group of doctors, apparently.

I am not sure that doctors realise what they are doing to me when the insist that I must be transsexual, when it should be beyond obvious to anyone with a shred of common sense that this cannot possibly be the case. That I have been officially diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their behaviour doesn't seem to matter to them in the slightest.

All of it seems to boil down to the question of whether or not I can trust doctors at this point. Tomorrow I'm putting myself at risk once more, trusting a medical professional who is very likely to just turn around and hammer in that wedge even deeper.

Do doctors realise that they are driving me towards another suicide attempt? Do they care? I doubt it. I wish I didn't need them, but that road too is unfortunately fraught with risk due to the medical complications and weird symptoms which keep appearing these last years.

I need medical help, but judged on behaviour alone, most doctors appear to be more than happy to chase me into an early grave.

Yet to be frank, I'm not sure I really care that much any more. I'm so tired. So worn-out from fighting this same battle for more than a decade now with nary an end in sight. On many occasions I simply do not care enough any more about life to want to go on. I only want the pain to stop. The pain of betrayal and uncertainty, of living in terror of people around me because I cannot trust any more.

If these two new doctors I'll be in contact with end up betraying my trust as well, I fear that I may not have the energy to go on any more. That is a frightening realisation in itself, also because of the subsequent thought of having to come up with a painless way to end my existence. I would just want to switch off my existence, not die. No violence. No pain. Just stop living.

I'm aware that doesn't really make sense, but it's the way things work. One can get to a point where living has become impossible, but one still does not want to die. The question is how long one can stay at that point before finding an agreeable way to commit suicide.

I should stop writing - and thinking - at this point. I cannot predict how the coming weeks will go, even as I fear the worst. I should probably take a painkiller now, as my non-existent ovaries are cramping up and sending imaginary spikes of pain into my side among other delusions of discomfort, because I have been imagining having a menstruation cycle since I was eleven years old.

The most precious commodity in the world is truth, which is why everyone hoards it like it's gold.


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Podcasts are fun to be on

Starting last year I have been featured on two podcasts: basically online audio-only ('radio') shows for those who have been living underneath a rock for the past decade or so. The first one was with the then brand-new 'Roundabout: Creative Chaos' podcast [1], run by a couple of people I had communicated with for a while before then.

The second podcast I was on was the 'Developer On Fire' podcast [2] and was put online last Friday. That one came somewhat out of the blue, with the host of this podcast inviting me based upon my Twitter presence. It was heaps of fun as well, though.

As some of my readers may already know, I have quite some (international) media experience gathered over the past years. Most of it has been due to my intersex condition and the controversy this stirred up in the Netherlands. Sometimes, like with these podcasts, that unfortunate condition I was born with plays only a tangential or even no role.

What I like about podcasts is that it is generally in a rather informal format, more of a chat with a friend, colleague or perfect stranger than in the setting of a big radio/TV channel's studio and everything that comes with it. While TV (live) broadcasts have the fun factor of make-up sessions and meeting Famous People and the adrenaline rush, podcasts are nice in that they are far more relaxed.

And of course there's that I do (not yet) get invited to talkshows or featured in big magazines for anything beyond my unfortunate physical condition. What being on these podcasts help me remind of is that there is still another 'me' beyond this unfortunate victim of being 'different'. That I am also this 'smart' person with a lot of know-how and skills in software development and possibly far more.

As I wrote on my programming and electronics blog recently, I intended to (read: 'should really') get back to working on my software and electronics projects which have been languishing over the past years. Currently high on my TODO list there are a visual novel game, a custom CPU architecture on FPGA, a new kind of file revision system and the production of videos for my new electronics and software-oriented YouTube channel.

It all kind of makes me wish I could slip out of this body into one which is perfectly boring and no longer deal with all of this societal & medical nonsensical controversy and deceit. Yet as they say, when it rains it pours. One can apparently not be just a little bit 'special', but has to hit the entire jackpot plus bonuses.

Lucky me :)



Saturday, 21 November 2015

The psychology of fleeing one's country

I was born in the Netherlands and so far spent most of my years living there. Yet at this point you couldn't pay me to return there. It's not that I risk being arrested and locked up - not to my knowledge at least - but the impossibility of building up a life there. For the last years that I lived in the Netherlands, I desperately sought a way out, a way to a better country and a humane life.

What is it that causes someone to decide that the only thing they can do is to leave the country in which they were born and raised? War and similar conflicts are an obvious reason. Persecution, whether political or for other reasons, is far more of a grey area, as the definition of what 'real' persecution is differs per country, organisation and individual.

At least to the UNHCR, the definition of a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." [1]

Since this definition used by the UNHCR was first created, it has been amended already to include sexual orientation. Intersex, transgender and related thus fall within the same general group as well. One can thus say 'persecution for reasons of not being to the liking of the social & political systems'.

My fear, based on actual experience, is that I will face more brainwashing and brutal indoctrination (including physical 'coercion') if I dare to return to the Netherlands. This simply based upon a medical condition I was born with. Both my traumatic disorders as well as the physical scars and ailments from the beatings and other violence I suffered are testament to this sad fact.

I guess I am lucky compared to other refugees that I did not have to avail myself of the UNHCR or similar organisations, but could as a European citizen simply cross borders to Germany and thus escape most of the persecution. Thanks to the same status as an EU citizen I was also able to get a job and establish a new life in my new home country.

Does this mean that I am any less of a refugee than, say, someone fleeing from an African or South-Asian country? Strictly taken not. I was merely lucky that I was born in the right place at the right time to make escaping persecution almost laughably easy.

I still had (and have) to go through many of the same stages as I come to term with the fact that I will likely never be able to return to the country of my birth, simply for who and what I am. The whole injustice of it all, as well as the letting go of it and all associated memories. Resigning one to rebuild one's life in a new, unknown country and learning its language and habits. Learning to accept help from strangers.

My country of birth is gone. A closed chapter. It doesn't matter whether it still exists or not, because I'll never be able to return there, nor would I want to. Not for all the terrible memories it holds for me.

Some refugees still want to return to the country they fled if the situation there changes, while others do not. Many acknowledge that what drove them to flee in the first place isn't likely to change or improve in their lifetime. Acceptance of this is the first step towards rebuilding one's life in a new, better country.



Thursday, 19 November 2015

Stop the gender-based indoctrination

Pre-Second World War Western society was a very strictly binary society when it came to the biological sexes and gender roles. During the 50s and 60s this began to change, culminating in the exploration of many alternative views on both biological sex and gender roles in general. This also led to the general view that raising children in a gender-neutral manner was a good and positive thing.

I was raised in such a fashion, thanks to my mother who has always been a big advocate of self-determination and exploration, especially for children. Both my bothers and I were provided with all types of toys as we grew up, from toy cars to dolls, so that we could figure out what we liked and didn't like, without enforcing any kind of gender role.

Looking back, I can honestly say that this likely helped me a great deal as I began to figure out what was the matter with my body and my life. Without any set notions of who I had to be or how I had to behave, the only thing I had to fight with were the pre-set notions of society with regard to biological sex and gender roles.

For some reason it seems that since the 1970s, society has regressed into the binary notions towards these topics. Where raising children as just children, we now don't call them 'children' any more, but split them into 'boys' and 'girls' even before they are born.

When I was talking with this famous Dutch biological - Midas Dekkers - a few years ago after a talkshow we were both on, he noted that biologists do not distinguish between the physical sex of offspring until they become fertile, as there's no point to it. They are completely indistinguishable up till that point, after all.

When it comes to human offspring, much the same applies: the genitals are inactive organs, their hormone levels are identical, there are no significant neurological differences. They are just children.

And yet for some absurd reason most parents start with the indoctrinating of their offspring before birth by ensuring that their child will grow up in an environment which reinforces stereotypes for one of the two gender roles approved by society. The child's room is painted pink or blue. It has either 'masculine' or 'feminine' decorations. The child is given only toys approved for the gender role their physical sex is matched to, with toys clearly divided in toy stores into 'boys' and 'girls' sections.

To an outsider this may seem like a bizarre psychological indoctrination experiment, without any regard for the emotional or psychological well-being of the subjects. It would be reminiscent of a highly (in)famous case in psychology where in the 1960s the circumcision of a male baby went awry, and the decision was made to turn the baby's genitals surgically into those of a girl. Even though this child was raised as a girl afterwards, the gender identity of the child as it neared and entered puberty remained that of a male.

Having struggled myself over the past decades to find the proper (gender) role in life, I am all too aware of how difficult it is to figure out one's true desires and feelings without having society trying to brainwash you. I was saved this indoctrination for the largest part as a child thanks to my very wise mother, yet over the past decade I have suffered a similar type of indoctrination as psychologists and doctors tried to make me believe that I had to be a transsexual, biological male.

The effects of such indoctrination are horrific. Something about those brutal attempts to rewrite your personality and sense of self is just damaging beyond description. For me it were those indoctrination attempts which probably contributed to my post-traumatic stress disorder the most, as I fought to hold on to my true self, even as every attempt was made to erase every last trace.

Between the forced genital mutilation of infants born with even slightly ambiguous genitals and the indoctrination into a specific gender-role, the genderisation of society is a barbaric and highly damaging practice, not unlike the suffocating atmosphere of Victorian society, but with more mad medical 'science' thrown into the mix.

Yet this genderisation doesn't even stop there. Among claims for 'gender equality' in politics, science and information technology, feminists and kin keep perpetuating the myth that there are just men and women. What is the point of raising one's children in a neutral fashion if when they grow up they are exposed to such mindless lunacy? How can one prepare them for a society which absolutely must divide individuals into either of two buckets?

I say we let our children just be children, let them have and play with any toys they bloody well like, and grow up into the person they wish to become through self-discovery. As for us supposed adults... we should maybe consider embracing simply humanism, treat our fellow humans as individuals and stop forcing them into groups like 'men' and 'women'.

Maybe one day we will then finally learn to look beyond genitals and sexual secondary characteristics and see the person behind all those ultimately irrelevant details.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

The arguments to reclassify homosexuality as a disorder

Until 1973, homosexuality was globally classified as a mental disorder, with others and ultimately the World Health Organisation following in 1990 in removing this classification. The description of homosexuality as an 'unnatural' form of behaviour started as early as the 12th century, and it was featured in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) in 1952 as a mental disorder. [1]

A mental disorder is by definition a mental condition which causes issues making it hard to impossible for the affected individual to lead a normal life. A requirement for something to be classified as a mental disorder is that it has to cause 'dysfunction', i.e. symptoms which are not caused by merely a preferences or a temporary state of mind, such as grief.

Why homosexuality was classified as a disorder (and still is by some), is that it is the displaying of behaviour which runs contrary to what was dictated and ultimately expected. This expected behaviour being heterosexual behaviour and attraction. Anyone not displaying the correct behaviour was thus said to have a mental disorder. Pretty simple and easy. And also hopelessly wrong, of course.

What I really want to address with this article is not homosexuality and its classification as a disorder, but to use it as an example of how mistaken people can be, even if it is with the best of intentions. Those who put homosexuals through 'therapy' over the past hundreds of years would usually not have done it with any kind of malicious intent, even if the result was the same.

The exact same thing is happening today with intersex individuals. While previously largely ignored or brutally forced through 'normalisation' surgery (akin to 'gay therapy' in many ways), quite recently (past few years), there is a movement within the medical world to rename 'intersex' to 'disorder of sex development' (DSD).

Another 'disorder'.

If we look at the medical conditions intersex people deal with, we can see that by and large none of them are troubled by it. Normal bodily functions take place, they grow up with normal brains, normal intelligence. They are all rather boring and uninteresting from a medical point of view. Only thing that might be different in some cases is the endocrinological and reproductive formation and development, but this rarely necessitates any kind of medical interference.

Yet every day at least one intersex infant forcefully undergoes this 'normalisation' surgery, in order to remove any trace of being intersex. A sex is forcibly assigned, despite there being no scientific grounds for assuming that this is anything but a wild guess. A preference for physical sex and gender role is not encoded in one's genes after all, or the world of transsexuality would look very different than it does today.

The real reason why physicians and parents would genitally mutilate infants is because the topic of intersex is as embarrassing to them as it was to have a non-heterosexual child years ago. Or still today for some. As homosexuality is slowly becoming an accepted thing in societies around the world, intersex is still something which is seen as something which does not belong in a binary society.

For sex must be binary. Society has accepted homosexuality, because it doesn't break the sex binary. It has accepted transsexuality, because it doesn't break the sex binary. Neither of them upset the delicate balance of having just men and women.

Intersex destroys all of that. It shows that sex isn't a matter of absolutes and extremes, but a spectrum. As any zygote in a pregnant woman's uterus is initially female, this shift towards becoming 'male' is a gradual process, requiring many chemical triggers and other signals to be released and started at the right time. In the case of a chimera (mixed genetic material, e.g. from multiple zygotes), the end result is unpredictable.

If society were to accept intersex, it would have to abandon its concept of male and female. It would have to rethink and reshape itself completely from the ground up. Entire bureaucratic systems would have to be scrapped and rebuilt.

Societies are about inertia and will perceive any rapid change as a threat. This is why homosexuality got marked as a threat within the highly conservative Christian medieval times. This is why intersex has largely only ever been accepted by small, scattered societies around the world.

This is why intersex has been marked as 'disorder'. Not because those physicians care about us intersex individuals. On the contrary, they couldn't care less about us. What they do care about is the preservation of the status quo. The only way they can continue to keep erasing traces of intersex features in infants and children is by coming up with a new justification now that the world is becoming aware of intersex.

This justification is through redefining it as a disorder, which gives them all the legitimacy to continue these experimental 'normalisation' surgeries. Because they aren't harming us intersex individuals, but 'helping' us, as growing up intersex would be a traumatic experience. Or so they claim.

I'm sure they believe every word they say and may really think that they are helping us, but really... it's still pretty darn evil what they are doing.



The shameful taboo of a traumatic disorder

Earlier this week I had an introduction meeting at the corporation which owns the apartment I most recently looked at to rent. We went through all the usual questions and wishes, and I mentioned of course that I really prefer a quiet place. The man I was talking with mentioned of course that what is an acceptable amount of noise differs per person.

I wanted to explain that I have severe post-traumatic stress syndrome, that many noises from neighbours, heating systems and such startle me and make me want to flee or even commit suicide if they continue for an extended period of time. But I didn't. I just said that I like quiet apartments, with no neighbours above me and such.

A few days ago I was on my way to do groceries on my bicycle, when first this guy and then a girl ended up waiting next to me at a traffic light. They started kissing. The sensation of sickness, rage, terror and panic was just too much to describe in mere words. I wanted to scream, yell, run, get away from there. For hours and until the next day this feeling lasted. Yet I kept it all inside until I was back home and could cry and openly express the ripping pain I felt inside.

I am well aware of how far my PTSD and related traumatic disorders affect my life and how irrational the beliefs are which originate from these traumas, such as that everyone wishes to harm me, that all men are rapists, that all physicians and psychologists are evil, conniving psychopaths, that the only reasonable thing I can do is to take my own life. That there is nothing left to salvage in my life or in humanity as a whole.

Maybe it's because all of it sounds so completely crazy and out of touch with reality that I cannot and will not talk about with just anyone. I also realise that heterosexual couples have likely no idea how much emotional pain and suffering they cause with their openly affectionate and intimate behaviour. The hatred I feel towards the latter is born from the pain they caused, not because they knowingly and willingly caused my suffering.

Yet all of it comes down to that thanks to these traumatic disorders I have a lot what normal society would call 'crazy' inside of me. Safely locked away until something triggers it. And very few people - basically only those with traumatic disorders themselves - can comprehend what it feels like to survive through each and every day like that.

My name is Maya, and I have multiple traumatic disorders, yet I do not talk about it out of fear that society will shun me even more.

Welcome to today's enlightened society, I guess...


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

How not being punished gets one into jail

It goes something like this:

  • Be born intersex.
  • Get psychologically and physically tortured for years, suffer severe traumas.
  • Try to commit suicide and fail.
  • End up in the national Bible Belt and try to find a new doctor.
  • Get refused by first doctor for being intersex.
  • Get accepted, then receive hostile attitude at other doctor.
  • Try to ask for help anyway, get the run-around.
  • Have one's dissociative identity disorder (DSD) triggered at said doctor, suffer a blackout.
  • Wake up in a cell, naked, bruised, battered and with an extremely sore knee, courtesy of the police.
  • Suffer through countless court-cases, have charges of attempted murder and such dropped.
  • Enjoy many months of revalidation, permanent nerve damage and bruised bones.
  • Be found guilty of vandalism, but not get any punishment due to the circumstances of the event.
  • Be still forced to pay thousands of Euros because the uninsured art work of a local artist got damaged.
  • Face the threat of paying up or spending 39 days in jail.

But I'm not being punished is the claim. Today my lawyer communicated me the final verdict in this case back in the Netherlands, and despite the very act being illegal according to Dutch law, I still have to pay this artist for being too lazy and/or stupid to insure the works she put up on public display where any child could have tipped them over.

To me the impact of all this is largely psychological. There's the injustice of having to pay, sure, but to me this last ruling seems to also have cut the last thread of hope I had that maybe my country of birth would maybe not have been quite so bad. With that hope shattered, and nothing else tying me to the Netherlands after I pay up this punishment, it feels like a chapter will have been closed.

For all I care the entirety of the Netherlands can go slide into the North Sea. All that I harbour towards this country as an institution and symbol is negative. It's a haven of corruption, of intolerance and bigotry. That I got my first name and official gender changed there was almost pure luck, the latter only thanks to German doctors providing the details and performing the procedures Dutch doctors refused to perform or where they felt had to lie about the results.

I will start a crowdfunding thing for this amount I will have to pay later this week, just in case anyone feels like lightening my burden somewhat - both financially and psychologically - since it's still a considerable chunk out of my meagre savings. I have only been able to save up for the past two years, after all, courtesy of having been robbed clean of money and possessions in 2013.

My general mood at this point is still one of mostly shock, as well as bitterness and disappointment. It is the last vile act by a country which I once saw as my home and where I felt at home. After more than a decade that feeling of safety and belonging has been stripped away, until only the barren reality remained. I cannot and will not ever return to the Netherlands. It's a part of my past that is so hideous and so repugnant that it benefits no one to linger any period of time on it, let alone within its borders.

Only way forward from the lowest point is up, right?


Monday, 2 November 2015

That horrible moment before judgement is rendered

Waiting for a possibly life-changing or at least very important moment in my life is something which I have gone through more than a hundred times in the past decade. From the thrilling adrenaline rush prior to a live TV appearance, to the nauseating, hyperventilation-inducing experience of doctor appointments, down to the absolute horror of hearing the results from a doctor or such.

Sometimes the latter can be positive, such as when I had my first MRI scan in Germany and the radiologist afterwards confirmed my intersex status. Usually it is negative, however. Most appointments with doctors ended up with them trying to make me 'see' that I had to start believing that I am not intersex, but transsexual. That everything I had been told by German doctors was a lie and nothing on the MRI scans showed that I could possibly be intersex, let alone a hermaphrodite.

Similarly soul-crushing is to wait to hear judgement rendered against you in a legal case where officially you haven't even received punishment, but you are still waiting to hear what your punishment will be. I assume that paying a very large sum of money is a form of punishment, at least.

This particular ruling will occur tomorrow, definitively ending a more than 4-year long journey from court case to court case through the Dutch justice system, which saw charge after charge against me dropped as my medical background and its resulting psychological traumas provided sufficient reason to explain and excuse my behaviour, leading to the previous verdict, dating back to a court case last year when I last appealed the verdict preceding it.

Here, too, is there the possibility of extreme joy or extreme psychological pain. Joy if the punishment is not upheld and I am free to go. Pain if I have to accept the punishment, for I will have to give up a large chunk of my savings, and I will feel even more bitter about a so-called justice system which violates even even its own rules under which it is not allowed to assign monetary punishment if no other punishment is assigned.

Two possible outcomes tomorrow. The end of too many years of agony and many psychological and physical scars and injuries. Hopefully the last I will have to do with the Netherlands in any form or shape. Hopefully another step towards me moving on with my life, instead of being held back by the past.

For now there's only tension, uncertainty and nausea.


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Why feminists like Sarkeesian and kin really get on my nerves

To not have heard anything about Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and other self-professed feminists the past years, one must have lived underneath one serious rock. Amidst unsubstantiated claims of sexism in video games, broad-ranging fraud in gaming journalism and the (in)famous quote by Sarkeesian that 'everything is sexist, you just got to keep pointing it out', a surge of so-called '3rd-wave feminism' took hold of the world.

What this essentially came down to was media report after media report of gang rapes on university campuses, of women being only paid a pittance at work compared to their male colleagues while having to suffer constant sexual harassment. Of women only being used as objects in movies, video games and accusations of young boys being 'programmed' this way to become abusive, objectifying monsters themselves when they grew up.

Most of this was quite familiar to many people already, at least those who had been around during the late 90s when the now infamous lawyer Jack Thompson made it his campaign to point out that everything in video games was about violence and that this was the explanation behind the (non-existing) rise in real-life violence, including the Columbine mass-shooting which supposedly was 'caused' by the video game 'Doom'.

Thompson's range of lawsuits and basic premise was soon to be found to be without any merit whatsoever, with study after study finding no link between violent video games and real-life violence. In fact, around the time that the first 3D first-person shooters were being introduced in the US, the crime statistics show a sharp drop-off in violent crimes. Ultimately Thompson was kicked out of the lawyer profession and faded away into obscurity.

Fast-forward to 2014 and we got Sarkeesian and others loudly proclaiming that it is 'proven' that sexism and sexual violence in video games teach boys and men to be sexist and violent towards women in real life as well. Sounds familiar? It should be, because it's the same song and dance all over again, only this time the main character is a woman and not a lawyer. Cue the 'must protect all women' politically correct memes.

After collecting over half a million dollars in donations and getting invited to the United Nations to propose legislation which would make it basically illegal to disagree with a woman/feminist on 'anti-harassment' grounds, those of us who are not part of Sarkeesian's army of loyal feminists and social justice warriors now are expected to go along with this, or risk being accused to 'harassment', 'rape threats', 'internalised misogyny' and 'supporting the patriarchy'.

Frankly it's all such an immense pile of hogwash, it is astounding that the world plus dog have gone along in it for so long. Or at least the mass media has, reporting on each accusation uttered by Sarkeesian et al. as if it is part of the Holy Gospel itself. Some have already jokingly begun to refer to Sarkeesian as the Pope of the Church of Feminism.

Now, let's wind back a bit. First of all, let's see what Sarkeesian and yours truly have in common. We are both white women. We were both raised in a rich, Western country. Both of us have been provided with virtually every opportunity imaginable. And yet Sarkeesian is claiming that she receives constant harassment and abuse from men, and that women in general in Western society are being oppressed, objectified and have little say in their future.

I cannot say that I share this opinion at all. In fact, I have a view on this issue which Sarkeesian doesn't and likely never will have, thanks to the things we do not have in common. I was namely not born as a regular woman, but as an intersex - specifically a hermaphrodite - woman and due to this spent the first two decades of my life thinking that I was male, due to my body's physiology and my environment.

Basically I am supposed to have experienced the 'male privilege' people like Sarkeesian claim exist and which women do not have access to. If this exists, I am not sure what it would be. I was bullied, harassed, beaten up and had to defend myself against bullies despite supposedly being part of the 'patriarchy'. I went through primary and high school being lonely and feeling different, ultimately finding out about my own giftedness.

Being gifted is a terrible curse and gift. Society doesn't understand it and the amount of cruel jokes, misunderstandings and outright abuse you receive as a result of it is astounding. All that you are theoretically capable of is mostly wasted on trying to deal with a society which is primitive, flawed and ignorant. It doesn't feel like you truly belong on the same planet as the people around you, but were transported there from the future or some advanced alien society.

Later I also found out that I had never been male, but am this intersex female. A hermaphrodite. If I thought before that being gifted was hard to live with, being openly intersex quickly made me reconsider that notion.

I learned about the horrific world of genital mutilation being forced upon intersex infants in so-called 'normalisation' surgeries, medical records being kept hidden from the victims of these practices, and a general approach towards exterminating every trace of intersex individuals, even classifying intersex as a disorder, with the term 'Disorder of Sex Development' (DSD).

For myself, I was brainwashed, made to believe that I had to be transsexual, go along with the whole transsexual protocol and undergo genital mutilation so that every trace of my intersex condition could be removed. I would be 'cured' at that point. I am pretty sure that is the standard approach among psychologists and physicians towards intersex cases. It is the reason why I fled my country of birth, to escape this level of persecution which saw me unable to get proper medical help for my condition.

As a result I suffered severe Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), along with a host of other traumatic disorders, as I began to suffer medical complications as a result of my untreated intersex condition. At this point I am still looking for medical help.

Did I mention that I have also been living as a woman for the past eleven years or so, the past three officially, even?

Being a woman never was a problem. Sure, I had to learn how to deal with (heterosexual) men, as due to my lack of a real puberty I was left completely naive and wholly unprepared for male attention. True, I did get raped back in 2006, but I would not put that on 'being a woman'. On that issue I blame being intersex and the largest 'gender team' in the Netherlands mistreating my case in every way possible, reducing me to an uncertain shell of a human being, looking for just someone to give some attention. On that count my hatred is fully directed towards the pig-faced bastard who did this to me, as well as those Dutch medical 'specialists'.

So no, being a woman never was a problem or issue. Being gifted and intersex most definitely were, though. It makes sense in a sick kind of way as well: men and women are normal in society, after all, while gifted and intersex people are seen as 'freaks' and not quite 'normal' humans. With doctors teaching (prospective) parents to see intersex children as being the victims of a birth defect, tragedy is unavoidable. Have fun randomly assigning a physical sex.

And gifted children? Child prodigies often burn out at an early age, never fitting well into society. Most others prefer to withdraw from the same society which harassed and bullied them and later simply refused to understand them. It is mostly just a lonely existence.

Returning to these self-professed, 3rd-wave, radical feminist types like this Anita Sarkeesian, I would thus like to in summary proclaim them to be a collection of self-absorbed, delusional and very pathetic whiners. They like to imagine a world in which their existence is required, where they can feel validated, even if it is at the cost of those women who do not wish to go along with their ideology, not to mention society in general.

I would never call myself a feminist. I proudly proclaim myself to be a humanist, for I do not discriminate. To me each person's suffering is equal. As I type this, both men and women are being oppressed in the cruel, Shari'a-ruled country of Saudi-Arabia. In Thailand young girls and boys are being raped in brothels by mostly Western tourists. In oligarchies like the US a small elite remain unfathomably rich at the cost of everyone else.

I am a strong believer in giving everyone an equal start and opportunities in life. One's accident of birth should be no ground for determining in any way or form what one can or cannot become in life. I believe in self-determination: full control over one's own life and body. I am vehemently against non-critical, non-medical surgeries on babies, infants and others who cannot make a decision about it themselves. I could not care in the slightest what the gender, sex, sexual-orientation, skin-colour, religion or favourite colour or food is of the person in question.

And Sarkeesian et al.? They would like to prosecute everyone online who disagrees with them, because mean messages on Twitter give them 'PTSD'. They're not victims. They just play one on TV.