Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Still searching for a home

Yesterday's appointment with the psychotherapist was - as expected - no big deal at all. I felt quite positive afterwards, and I doubt that the next appointment will make me feel anywhere nearly as apprehensive as this first one. To be continued next month, I guess.

Today I just had a regular working day. Though I'm still kind of in-between projects at this point, it's still pleasant to have the regularity of a day job. It's still difficult to leave there and go home. Or what I'm forced to call my home at this point, that is.

It's a place which is too noisy, poorly maintained and rented at a ridiculous price by an owner who is more than okay with me and others in the building drinking and bathing in rusty, polluted water. This is not a home, yet with every week which passes I'm coming closer to admitting that there may not be an alternative. Not within my current means at least.

At this point I have multiple larger projects in progress, ranging from a new book to a new processor architecture, to a range of video games, the latter together with my best friend. The hope is to make money from these projects.

With enough money I should be able to fix the last issues in my life. Money is after all the most important thing in human society. It's the only way you can get that home you want, or need.


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Terrifying anxiety for no good reason

Tomorrow is my appointment with the neurologist/psychologist. The train tickets have been booked, the route is known, and there's nothing in particular I have to accomplish tomorrow, beyond simply talking through my story and wishes for the future.

Yet I'm still feeling about as high-strung as imaginable. Beset by fearful sensations as well as unpleasant memories - some more clear than others - the basic thought I have throughout all of this is how much I dislike dealing with doctors, psychologists and kin. Not the least because of them being the primary cause of my post-traumatic stress disorder.

I'll just have to grit my teeth for a bit longer, get through today and tomorrow. See what happens. Then hopefully with a few months there'll be just the countdown to the surgery and hopefully finally the release from this nightmare.


Friday, 27 May 2016

Not even human

For the past weeks I have been fearing the impending appointment with this new psychologist, in preparation for the reconstructive surgery as well as general PTSD therapy. Considering that said PTSD is largely caused by physicians and psychologists, I think it suffices to say that this is a very unfortunate situation I find myself in. When it comes to reason versus traumas, the latter is guaranteed to win.

Today I was forced to confront just how far this post-traumatic stress disorder of mine goes, when I tried to visit this local congress (GPN) organised by IT people, including the local hackerspace. For the past days I had said that I would be visiting it since I had passed for the last two years. I made this promise despite the uncomfortable feeling it gave me. I'd just have to force myself to go and it would be fine, I thought.

Throughout today said feeling of discomfort slowly grew into a sensation of dread. A few hours before the congress would start said sensation of dread grew into sheer terror. That was when I had to finally admit to myself that I could not conceivably go there.

Trying to think about it rationally, I understood this fear to originate in both my general fear of other people, as well as the dreadful sensation of feeling invisible and irrelevant. Both feelings originate in countless traumatic events over the past decade.

Despite this, some people I know and who were also at the congress today made me feel guilty for not being there, so I went there after all. I frequented the single presentation which I had meant to go see already, and things were okay. There was just this weird glance by a woman sitting in front of me who gave me the weirdest, body-covering look when she looked behind her and spotted me. Just the usual question of whether people see a freak or the opposite. I am somewhat used to that by now.

After the presentation I saw some people I knew, said 'hi' and they walked on, together. Looking around for a bit I just felt forlorn and invisible. It felt wrong for me to be there, so I half-rushed my way out of the place, heading back home. On the way home I had to dodge countless heterosexual couples, holding hands and more. This didn't really help my mood either.

I guess a lot of what I am struggling with is that my experiences with other people mostly involve them hurting me in some way, and it having been clear for more than two decades already that I am not normal. Not physically, nor psychologically. Even today my life just runs parallel with the lives of others, but I do not and cannot participate in society. I likely never will.

Ironically this new psychologist I'm seeing on Monday may be my only chance to somehow fix this problem I have. Actually getting that surgery in a number of months from now should help a lot, but finding some way to find a way to deal with my fundamental distrust and fear of other people is also essential.

That, and finding a new place to move into. Living in a place where I am neither desired nor wanted, let alone comfortable or happy, is also a major source of stress. Yet finding a new place means dealing with other people. Exactly what I do not want and cannot do in any meaningful fashion.

I hate how such spiral of despair and hopelessness always tends to end up with the warm, comfortable thought of just ending my life. I mean, why not? All the pain will be gone. All the problems resolved. No waiting for the inevitable doom and extended suffering as every fear I have about my fellow human beings turns into nightmarish reality.

I really hope that I am just being driven mad by stress and despair. I would hate for this... paranoia to actually be justified fears.

Who can say?


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Obedience, control and human intelligence

The assumption that each average, adult person is capable of reason and come to a conclusion based upon the available facts underlies most of modern human societies. Based upon it, concepts such as democracy and representative forms thereof were formulated, in which a group of adults make decisions for the - presumed - benefit of the entire society.

The tragedy thereby is that decades of studies have found little evidence to support this theorem of human intelligence and associated reasoning capacity. It was especially after the horrors of the second World War that people began to question how millions of people could so have lost their sense of humanity, succumbing to the betrayal and extermination of their fellow men.

During the 1920s and 1930s Europe was beset by nationalism [1], which is the belief shared among a group of individuals that their geographic location (nation) and the culture and individuals they associate with said location is more important than any other. Mild signs of nationalism include the displaying of a national flag and the performing of a national anthem. Extreme forms involve the deportation of 'unwanted groups' as well as other forms of cultural and racial purity efforts.

When the question is thereby raised whether or not nationalism is a rational thing, the answer is an unquestionable negative. While nationalism can offer people a feeling of belonging, ultimately nationalism is nothing but an expression of irrational blind faith, as demonstrated over the course of recent history in nations such as Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia North-Korea, the USA, Japan and others.

Thus the question comes back to why individuals are so eager to follow orders, that the orders of a handful of leaders can be amplified into such a devastating impact. The basic conclusion to be drawn just upon the evidence provided by history would lead one to conclude that seemingly human intelligence is vastly overrated, yet can it truly be that so many people are seemingly devoid of reason?

Many people are already familiar with the theory of group behaviour, in which the behaviour of a single human individual changes significantly when placed in a group relative to when that same person is not in a group. Observed changes here include increased risk-taking, increased aggression and less consideration for social rules and laws.

Such a breakdown of rules has been most famously observed in the context of a control and obedience experiment, called the Stanford Prison Experiment [2]. During this planned two-week experiment in 1971, 12 of the 24 participating students were assigned the role of prisoner, while the other 12 were to act as prison guards.

Long before the sixth day of the experiment it was becoming awfully clear that things were out of control, with systematic psychological and other abuse by the guards towards their prisoners. Afterwards comparisons were drawn with the 1961 Milgram experiment [3], which involved volunteers being told to apply electrical shocks to a test subject, with which they generally complied.

The Milgram experiment (in full: Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures) was set up to answer the question whether the Nazi war criminals and their accomplices who were on trial at that time were truly all just following orders. The idea being that if regular people could be asked to do something terrible to another person, and they complied, it'd change the way we would have to look at those who participated in war crimes, including the Holocaust.

The Milgram experiment and its subsequent derived experiments all showed one inescapable conclusion: that in the face of an authority, on average the majority (60+%) of those who participated were willing to apply the possibly fatal 450 volt shock to the (anonymous) test subject when coerced by the researcher leading the test. Also telling was that of those who refused to apply the final shock, none of them demanded that the experiment be stopped or insisted on checking on the health of the test subject.

A related experiment, the 1966 Hofling hospital experiment [4], showed that the vast majority of the nurses involved (21 of 22) in this study blindly followed orders by whom they presumed to be a doctor. These orders involved the administering of an overdose (twice the listed maximum dose) to a patient, which could conceivably lead to injuries or even death to said patient.

Beyond these well-documented experiments, there is also the Third Wave experiment [5], involving a US history teacher setting up a movement among students reminiscent of the Hitler Jugend during Nazi Germany. His goal was to demonstrate to this students how Germany's population could have gone along with Hitler's plans. After five days of the experiment running out of control, the teacher finally explained this experiment on fascism to the students, which ended the movement.

There are recent studies which indicate that belonging to a religious group can reduce one's tendency towards altruism [6]. Hereby should be noted that religion is highly reminiscent of nationalism, in the sense of putting one's own culture and related above that of others. As has been amply demonstrated over the years, nationalism reduces feelings of altruism towards those who are not part of one's own group.

This, together with the studies on obedience of an authority, make it tragically clear just how humanity can find itself repeating the same mistakes over and over again. With little capacity to question orders, while others revel in the control they have been given over others, the possibility that a disaster instrumented by a small number of people will be prevent is practically zero.

The pessimistic sceptic might hereby note that it must be solely due to a lack of homicidal authority figures that humanity hasn't managed to wipe itself off the face of this Earth. So far.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofling_hospital_experiment
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave_%28experiment%29
[6] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/children-with-a-religious-upbringing-show-less-altruism/

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Mutagenic breeding: why irradiating seeds is better than GMOs

Amidst the controversy surrounding genetically engineered (GE) organisms - also known as genetically modified organisms (GMO) - it's easy to forget that the first attempts at directly manipulating the DNA of plants didn't start recently, but rather over eighty years ago, in 1930s.

Through the discovery of DNA and the finding that changes ('mutations') to the DNA of an organism would result in different properties being expressed (or lead to diseases/cancer), it was postulated that by exposing plant seeds to mutagens, one could create many mutations and thus speed up natural evolution considerably. The name for this is mutagenic, or mutation breeding (MB) [1].

Since its introduction in the 1930s, mutagenic breeding has taken off in a massive way, leading to the introduction of no fewer than 3,200 different new species. Used mutagens include x-rays and gamma rays, as well as chemical mutagens such as ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), an alkylating agent. These mutagens will randomly introduce mutations in the DNA, the results of which are then verified as the plant grows.

Unlike with GEs, there is no laboratorium-based validation for MB organisms. While desired mutations may appear, the mutation-induced DNA damage may have caused unwanted, but invisible, changes elsewhere. This is very much unlike with GEs, where the change is always localised, known and any possible effects including regressions are studied.

The ironic thing is that MBOs are being sold freely, without labelling or investigations into their safety for human consumption, while GEs have been thus examined, found to be safe, yet still face mandatory labelling.

How can one be against GEs while blissfully consuming MBOs as if they're any less riskier than the former? This should be the question being asked by anti-GE activists around the world. Either we label/ban MBOs as well, or we freely allow GEs as well. There's only one line to be drawn here.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation_breeding

Why I still do not care one bit for the Netherlands

For the past few days I had my mother and brothers visiting me here in Germany. I guess it was both a weird experience to speak so much Dutch again, and also very normal. It also made me aware of just how much I have been trying to forget about the Netherlands.

Over here in Germany I have been trying to rebuild my life, starting off with almost zero possessions and zero money just a few years ago. I have been painfully aware of just how traumatic my life back in the Netherlands has been.

Aside from the brief interlude of my youth, the confusion and loneliness of trying to understand who I was led up to figuring out that I was intersexed. Instead of a solution and end of confusion the next decade would bring only pain and suffering. From psychological to physical and sexual abuse, psychologists, doctors and others all seemed to conspire against me to make my life a living hell.

This all against the uselessness of the Dutch legal system which failed to protect me when it should have, or understand the plight of intersex and similar minorities. I'm still frankly amazed that I got my official gender changed, even if it was all thanks to German medical results.

While my time here in Germany hasn't been and still isn't easy, it's laughably easy compared to the horror that were the past two decades or so in the Netherlands. I have nothing to thank the Netherlands for. It didn't shelter or protect me. It wasn't there when I needed it the most. Its people may not be mean-spirited, but I can feel nothing but bitter hatred for the country as a whole.

All the help I received inside the Netherlands and outside ultimately only led me to the inevitable conclusion that I had to somehow escape.

Even though I did escape, I clearly did not escape the traumas these experiences left me with. How to trust people again? How to like and love oneself? How to not view life as an endless treadmill of misery and pain until one's inevitable death? My experiences in my country of birth never taught me any of that.

It just taught me how to survive. How to be mean, how to bite back, hide, deaden one's emotions, suppress memories and feelings, and accept being just an unworthy scrap of life in a cold, uncaring society. Thanks to this I still cannot ask for help, nor do I expect that anyone will help me. I expect betrayal and a cold shoulder. To me that's all normal. Just the way life works.

Thus I left. Thus I won't ever go back or forgive the Netherlands for what it did to me. Thus I keep hoping that maybe things can be different as well. That maybe I can be different.


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Life is awesome, life is terrible, life is strange

A while ago I watched a play-through of the game 'Life is Strange' in the original Japanese version. Over the course of watching the game's story unfold for me, I felt many strong emotions. From a yearning to the peace and quiet of living in a suburb, to the regularity of being a university student, to lots of feelings regarding friendship.

I feel that in many ways this game summarises my life pretty well, from the incredible changes even a single choice or event in one's life can have, to being forced to contemplate about what truly matters the most to one in life. Also in that many choices given in life, can be quite literally the impossible choice between certain doom and slightly less certain doom for oneself and/or others.

I love being alive with all the options it gives me. I also hate being alive for all the pain it causes me. I want to work on all of these things which make me feel happy and joyful. I want to run away from everything that causes me pain and, if impossible, kill myself. It's that contradiction, that balance in life which defines it most strongly of all.

Living on borrowed time in a run-down apartment, not knowing when the landlady will launch the next hateful action, as well as going through what should hopefully be the past months in a traumatising medical quest, none of these are things which make one happy. They're stressful, and require one to constantly see a way out, whether in the form of finding a new house to move into, or constant, proper medical and psychological support.

I realise that I am still suicidally depressed and doing my best to hide this fact from my environment, except when I write on this blog, or have a personal talk with people I trust. The balance in my life is still completely off in favour of the 'life is terrible' side.

With for example my previous blog post indicating the completely helplessness and hopelessness I feel regarding escaping out of this hell-hole I'm currently renting, it seems fairly obvious where most of the stress I experience at this point originates.

Medically I'm less worried. Even with some lingering issues still there, at least I'm getting some form of actual help there now, instead of just outright denial and a cold shoulder. There I just have to visit this psychologist later this month in preparation for my impending surgery, later this or next year.

Yet what is the point of finally getting that recognition and medical help after more than a decade, if I'm still living in a place which I hate and where I will be forced to leave before long anyway? It barely budges the happiness balance.

It feels somewhat like the situation the best friend of Life is Strange's main character is in, with her new dad being a complete tyrant and not only making her life a hell, but also pushing her to do things she would otherwise never have done. Not having a safe, proper home is one of the worst things imaginable, while longing for a different reality is perhaps one of the most painful.

And yet, next week I could suddenly get a message from someone, about a great house I can rent almost immediately. Then after a flurry of moving, contracts, packing and unpacking, I could see all of these worries and stress suddenly evaporate.

Because life is strange like that, and people can also make life awesome.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

The pointlessness of seeking a better place to live

Technically the first time I moved houses was when I was less than a year old. This was due to the house I was born in burning down. After this it took a while for the new house to be built, forcing the entire family to stay in temporary housing on the farm premises.

After that the concept of 'moving houses' was very alien to me, however. Until 2003, that is, when my parents divorced and I found myself living in a small house in a nearby city together with my mother and younger brother. Half a year later we'd move again.

Then after a while I moved to Canada for a short while, returned to the Netherlands, stayed for a month in one place, three years in another, was forced to leave, found a new place, but tried to commit suicide before I could move into the run-down, super-expensive place I had found.

I stayed at my mother's place while I recovered from that ordeal, found a job, moved into an apartment which I shared with this other woman (see recent blog post), was forced to leave due to domestic violence, had all of my belongings stolen. I stayed first at my mother's place, then at my older brother's place, then briefly in Germany, then again at my mother's place for a while until I decided to move to Germany permanently.

There in Germany the first place I had rented was inhabitable, so I stayed at my employer's office, at a colleague's place, a student's place, another colleague's place, then ended up at my current apartment.

And now I'm being forced to leave this apartment.

The ironic thing I guess is that even though the owner of this apartment hates me and is fine with me drinking polluted water, shivering during winters from the poor insulation, suffer through noise pollution, I do not think that I can find anything better.

Back in 2012 when I sought a place to rent in the Netherlands I could still do this research myself. In 2013 I noticed that when I tried to find a place in Germany, I began to feel suicidally depressed when doing so. I still have this problem today.

What do I have to look forward to in trying to find a new place anyway? I won't find anything better. Nobody will just hand me that One Perfect Place. Shivering from cold, ignoring the noise while drinking polluted water and having people get upset at you for renting a place larger than one 'needs', this seems to be the best one can do.

This seems to be all that I am worth.

I do not want to search for a better place which likely doesn't exist. I don't want to start feeling suicidal again when I see how much I will have to compromise on again just to not be homeless. Being happy and feeling like one has a home aren't even considerations. This is all about raw survival, about not living on the streets, about not losing one's possessions again and to not want to just end this endless suffering called 'life'.

And that, in short, is why all I can do is hope and pray that a miracle happens in my current housing crisis. The only miracle which will come from my side is organising the moving company and packing up my belongings for yet another move. I wish, but do not believe, that a house exists in this area where I can actually feel safe and happy.

Depending on how things go, I may end up losing all hope and just wander into the streets one day, never to return to this life again. Just leave and walk. Until I die somewhere, alone and unloved, as a fitting conclusion to the utter pointlessness of my entire existence.


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Let's talk about being a hermaphrodite and unicorns

Imagine for a moment that unicorns are real. They're rare, but they're out there, as real as a regular horse. There's just one problem: they look just like those regular horses and thus most people are unaware that they actually exist. Then there are those who acknowledge that they exist, but feel that if one is found, it should be turned into a regular horse, just so that it can be happier instead of 'different'.

That, in short is the basic summary of what it feels like being a hermaphrodite in human society. It's mostly about feeling invisible, with no one who sees you noticing that you're not a regular, binary-grouped critter. It's also about feeling disjointed from society in general because one feels neither associated with 'women' nor 'men'.

Over a decade ago I felt uncomfortable in the role of a 'man', which as it turned out later was due to the dissociation between said gender role and my body's characteristics. Then as a 'woman' I felt more in the proper place, but still in the knowledge that I would never fit into that gender role either.

My body is that of a woman, more or less. I have a female skeleton and musculature, as well as a vagina and ovaries with associated hormonal fluctuations. Yet I also have a penis and the memories of being on 'the other side' once. Not the clear-cut, transgender way of hopping across a binary gender line, but in a confusing way in a body which displayed both male and female secondary characteristics during puberty.

Everything 'they' told me about puberty at school was a terrible, confusing lie.

That's essentially the summary for the past two decades, ever since I got my first period pains as a young teenager. Me trying to fit in and understand myself and life using the provided information, only to find out decades later that everything I had been told was wrong and less than useful.

A unicorn is not a horse. It's distinctly different. A hermaphroditic human is not a male or female human. It's distinctly different from either. Preserving and respecting this distinction is important, for either side. For us hermaphrodites it should feel natural to feel as such, while for our environment it should be equally natural.

This of course raises the question of what should be in one's passport, if not an 'M' or 'F'. To that my answer is a simple 'neither'. Biological sex or gender should not be registered anywhere. It should be either self-evident in the way a person expresses themselves, or completely irrelevant unless the goal is to start an intimate relationship with the other person.

The validity of this approach is also apparent in us hermaphrodites, as for us any kind of distinction is largely irrelevant, if not impossible. From our bodies to our minds, we represent both sides of the sex and gender spectra so fully that to make any distinction is sheer folly.

And just that is why I could never be 'just' a woman. After decades spent coming to terms with being a hermaphrodite and fighting against a medical world which just wanted to forcefully cut out anything which makes me 'different', I can now honestly say that I am proud of being a hermaphrodite and proud of what it means in today's society. It's not an easy path to travel, but to be one of the few who get the chance is an honour, indeed.


Friday, 6 May 2016

Finding a new place as soon as possible

In my last proposal to the owner of this apartment which I rent I suggested that I would move out in 'a few months' time. Not having received a response since, I assume that they have accepted it. At this point there is also no alternative way which would not involve lawyers and similar thrilling fun.

At the basis of this conflict lies this owner's outright refusal to fix issues in the apartment which have been known to them since I moved into the place, years ago. Issues such as the rusty, brown water, which according to them is 'normal' and 'no problem'. As a consequence they insist I should pay the full rent instead of the same minus 10% which I have been paying.

While I am legally in the clear, I derive no satisfaction from living in an apartment which is poorly maintained, poorly insulated, has rusting water pipes, the noisiest heating system in the history of humankind and lacks sound insulation so that one can enjoy everything the upstairs neighbours are doing.

Thus I am looking for a new place to rent, which should be available within a few months from now. Primary requirement probably has to be that it's not a place owned by EWG (owner of my current apartment building). Beyond that, no neighbours above/below (I'm done with apartments), 80 square meters or more, up to 1,000 Euro a month (inclusive). Having it be a quiet place (house) is important, as is having internet faster than dial-up available. Preferably I'd be able to take my current cable connection with me.

I currently live in the city of Karlsruhe, but I am not bound to the city and would in fact prefer moving out of the city. Travelling to my work in the city would have to be realistic, either by bicycle or public transport.

I would very much appreciate any help with this. With the better options rarely being put online, and with me being hardly fluent in German it's far more difficult task than it possibly should be.

Thanks in advance for any help :)


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Domestic violence and a real home

This morning, while waiting with my bicycle at a traffic light, I saw this young woman crossing the street in front of me. Even though she was attractive enough, I nevertheless felt extremely uncomfortable, as she reminded me too much of this one person who once made my life a living hell.

About four years ago I was just in the process of finding a job in the Netherlands when I encountered this rather odd girl. Long story short, I agreed to help out with her laptop at first, then she managed to worm herself more and more into my life, asking for help with her parents and sister. She'd accompany me to some job and media interviews. It was frankly quite bizarre.

Then, despite the warnings from my mother, I agreed to rent an apartment together near the new work I had found. While the original idea was to each have separate bedrooms, for reasons I cannot distinctly remember any more - but likely born out of inconvenient compromises and wishful thoughts - suddenly we were in a 'relationship' and sharing the same bed.

Maybe it just wasn't that I wasn't occupied with any critical thoughts regarding what was happening that I missed or dismissed the obvious first signs of manipulation and physical violence, but after a few months my days consisted out of getting up early to head to work, get home late to cook, do the dishes and go to bed far too late. During this time I'd often find myself struggling to stay awake at work.

Sleep-deprivation was one thing, but the endless arguments were something else. Everything I said was wrong. Everything other said or did was wrong. There are no words to describe the incredible amount of negativity and paranoia I had to deal with over the about eight months that I stayed in that apartment with that woman.

I'm pretty sure that it was a combination of things slowly getting worse combined with my boundless optimism and naivety at the time, thinking that I could change people. Instead my life turned into a real-life version of The Shining.

Often when I'd be taking a shower, I'd turn around and she'd be just standing there in the door, staring at me. Not saying anything, only looking at me. Then when at other times she did talk it was only to deconstruct everything about me, and change me. It was like some evil spirit had taken over my life, invaded my body and mind, with me only able to watch on as it lurched inevitably towards disaster.

And that wasn't even the worst of it. The absolute worst part of it was the sex.

There's absolutely nothing more base, more disgusting and repulsive than sex. Almost all of my experiences with sexuality have been negative, with what I experienced during those months topping the list. I'm not even sure why it happened. Just that it happened a lot. Too often. It was unpleasant, uncomfortable, even painful, both psychologically and physically. I just got used.

Near the end things became more and more violence in a physical manner. As I began to show some signs of independence, even considering taking up this job offer in Germany, she began to threaten me. At some point I remember lying wrapped into a blanket against the inside of the bedroom door, barricading it, while the woman was talking with my mother on the phone, assuring her I was fine, that I was just having psychological problems, but that she would take care of me.

If only that was the truth. The reality had been her yelling at me and calling me names for what may have been an hour straight, continuing even as I was lying curled up on the floor, covering my ears with my hands. Thus I ended up barricading myself, nursing a bloody lip and other injuries.

Then my mother requested to speak with me, after which I was given the phone. I was so thoroughly brainwashed and broken at that point that I actually assured my mother that I would be fine. That I would manage somehow. Yet of course my mother understood that this was all a complete lie, instead convincing me to pack up some belongings while she would drive with the car to my place to pick me up and take me to her own place.

Moving forward again, the manipulations by this woman didn't stop. She'd try to convince people around me that I was the evil manipulator and attempt to worm her way back into my life. In the end I gave up on trying the apartment back, heading there with a moving company to just rescue my belongings. Naturally, once we got at the apartment, we found that she had (illegally) changed the lock.

Eventually she opened the door, to first attack me and my mother. With the police joining the fray, I was able to enter the place and discover that it had been stripped clean. None of my belongings were left. I had lost virtually everything I had ever owned.

For more than a year after this, she would still be harassing me, breaking into email accounts and pestering journalists and others. She can at least be proud of having been the most persistent and most aggressive and violent of my stalkers so far.

At the risk of making this woman feel even better about herself, I must admit that the effects of this domestic abuse will probably take a very long time to subside. Last time I spent some time together with a woman, even sleeping in the same room, I'd have vivid nightmares involving this perpetrator of the worst domestic abuse I have been a victim of at this point.

How can I learn to trust people again after such an experience? How can I possibly date women again when such instinctive, paranoid fears linger in the back of one's mind? How can I ever live in an apartment again without jumping at every sound of footsteps, a running faucet or with the sudden feeling of absolute, terrible certainty that she's standing there again.

Just watching. Staring, soundlessly.

At this point I would probably welcome living, isolated, in some mountains or forests somewhere. Away from people and from the unwelcome memories they too often trigger for me. Somewhere quiet, with just the sounds of nature. A place whose tranquillity can calm the blood-tinged seas of my memories and maybe allow me to brave the ravages of society once more.


Monday, 2 May 2016

Happiness is a memory

Yesterday I again talked with my mother via video chat as we regularly do. This time we once more touched upon my youth and the many happy moments in there. Even though there was the bullying and harassment, as well as other unpleasantness at school, at home things were generally positive. Or at least most of the memories I have of that time are positive.

My love for nature, biology, science and technology can be traced back to those early years of my life. Growing up on a dairy farm, surrounded by the reality of animal husbandry as well as early personal computers thanks to my father who used the latter for his accounting while also encouraging my brothers and me to use these computers and eventually the internet.

Together with my younger brother I developed a love for classical video games, both on video game consoles and on the PC. To me most of these years have anything negative which may have happened during that time more than cancelled out by positive experiences.

To then look back at the time since then and see, as well as feel, my struggles since then. Not having a real home for more than a decade and counting. Struggling to make some sense of a body I no longer understood. Dealing with a world which simply does not understand me, yet seems to be intent on punishing me physically, psychologically and financially for who and what I am.

At this moment in time I am living in an apartment where I am totally unhappy, with its owner hating my guts while not bothering to fix fundamental problems in the place. That horrific 'justice' system in the Netherlands still seeks to punish me financially for having the nerve to break down completely after years of psychological and physical torture, not to mention medical neglect. I'm also inching towards what may become the most crucial surgery in my life, all while dealing with resurging traumatic memories of the past decades.

I generally do not feel that I live in quite the same world as people around me any more. Maybe it's just that I have seen and experienced too much, but it feels more as if I am drifting alongside all of these people scurrying around, doing their thing, while I can only feel a sense of despair and emptiness at this sight.

Inside I feel fundamentally unhappy and broken. After more than a decade I have had to long since admit that I won't ever live in a place again where I will feel comfortable enough to really call it a home. A broken down hovel suffices for the likes of me. I only can do things any more if they have some kind of long-term goal, something which will help me live forever, learn everything, and so on. For anything less than that just feels meaningless and empty.

Except when it involves something which reminds me of those scarce happy memories. Allowing myself to sink back into those recollections for a little while, to return to that time when life seemed a whole lot brighter and less terrifying than it turned out to be.

As happiness is a memory, suffering is the dystopian present and future.

I wonder at what point I took the wrong pill...