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?



Aurelius R said...

Maya --

I've totally been there. Somehow, some way, we get through all this shit. It seems impossible, but all you have to do is just give it time. Just be. Even if you have to go on auto-pilot for a while, and detach, time will pass and one day you'll look back and say, what was I thinking? How did I see things in such a bad light? Everything turned out just fine!

If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm always on #tymkrs. Take care!

Rabbit Rabbitsio said...

I can relate to your PTSD. I'm intersex and have PTSD from the doctors treatment of me.I hope knowing that you have my support is helpful to you. You are not alone. I send you supportive thoughts. You can get thru it. You can get help from supportive people: friends, a therapist, doctors, maybe some kind of support group. You are not alone. Lots of people have doubts about how they look, not just the intersex. Lots of people have Social Anxiety. It's not just you. Probably the vast majority of people are insecure about a lot of things. If someone isn't respectful or supportive, disconnect from him/her. Choose to be around people who are respectful and good to you. I find my pets are helpful because they give LOVE and no bullshit. I wish I could be there for you, and not inside this electronic gizmo I'm typing into. I bet we could have some good conversations. Make friends with really good people. And don't let stupid comments or looks bother you. (easy to say, hard to do). It helps me to realize that some people are just jerks, and I can choose who I accept as my friend. Choose friends carefully. When I was in a mental health program some years ago, I found that the other patient's with various diagnoses were amazingly WISE beings. Acknowledge to yourself that you are smart, and wise, and being intersex is not like you're weird . You're NOT weird . Being intersex gives you insight into things that are important. Being differect is a gift to the world. Just remember that people who are cold or rejecting or bigoted are lacking within themselves. There's nothing wrong with you. It's the bigot that has an issue to work on. When you get to be my advanced age, you start to learn that YOU are OK. Really YOU are OK. Find things that HELP you, especially out of your depression. (What helps me is taking care of my pets, gardening, cleaning (!), leaving humerous posts on stupid You Tube videos, sending funny emails to my sister). Find out what works for you. And don't take people's opinions too seriously. A lot of people have shit for brains, and if they have a low opinion of you, it means you are doing something right ! Be a member of your own fan club. I know it's hard moving to a new house & country (I just moved too). You get used to your new environment, and it becomes HOME. With email and phone, you can still be in contact with those you love. My sister is 300 miles south of me. I'm in contact every day. It helps. Please do not think suicide. Life is too good when you get thru the rough parts. Things will get better. If you are distressed, contact your therapist, or one of us by email, or a supportive friend or neighbor. Call a favorite relative. They won't mind. I'd rather have my sister call me if she had a problem. Reach out. Maybe a phone hotline if you're thinking suicide. (we have hotlines in my areas). The therapists in my area all take suicide seriously. Can you talk to your therapist about it ? Best of luck to you in getting thru stressful times. Know that my thoughts are with you, and I am grateful for your videos. You are a gift to many, many people. Be well, and continue to be there for yourself, and when you are able, to be there for others. Your videos are appreciated, as you are for being who you are. Sincerely Jahan

Eli Broome said...

It's not easy to open up about yourself, especially about areas where you feel you are vulnerable or open. But you do a very good job expressing yourself here in this post. I think you don't have to be so trepidatious about this new doctor, because talking to a person, even a trained person, doesn't have to be scary and is no different than writing about it.

Eli Broome @ The Relation Foundation