Friday, 23 June 2017

To experience puberty twice, once as a boy, once as a girl

Around the age of eleven was the first time that I entered puberty and began to notice changes to my body. As I was expecting male secondary characteristics, I only really paid attention to those. The regular abdominal pains I dismissed, along with the period of breast growth. Instead I noticed the (slight and not very impressive) facial hair, the (slightly) breaking of my voice, and more body hair. Looking back it wasn't a very impressive male puberty, with in hindsight also the development of secondary female characteristics, including breast growth, the development of female hips and the start of a monthly cycle.

This all left my body in a slightly confused state, which didn't really resolve itself until a few years back. I guess having the undeveloped testicles removed helped to change the hormone balance of my body from one that was neither male nor female to one that was distinctly female, with normal oestrogen levels produced by my ovaries.

Looking back, 2014 or 2015 was roughly the start of my second puberty. This would see me develop the aforementioned female hormone balance, restart the growth of my breasts and generally change my general appearance more to that of an adult female.


At this point I feel like I'm about 14, maybe 15 years old. Body-wise and also emotionally. With everything that has happened so far a lie and hopefully just a bad dream, it's as if this is me finally doing part of my life correctly. Of course, normally I'd experience this puberty as a girl while still at home with my family. Going to school and hanging out with my friends there. Learning about how things work that way.

I roughly know what it means to have a female body, but it's still weird to see all of these changes happening to my body. Weird, but exciting. It all feels right, though. This is the way that things were meant to be.


Not all that happened before, however. Not this other... puberty that I remember, or this person that I was supposed to be. This... boy. That never happened. It cannot be. Not when I look at myself in the mirror and see these changes. I cannot accept that as part of reality.

I'm 14. Maybe 15. I'm just a normal girl growing up. I cannot have lived as a boy. It must be a lie. Just look at this body of mine.

I cannot integrate these two realities. One of them must be false.


Yes, my body is also different, but it is still that of a young woman. That's the simple truth which I cannot deny. That I also have... male genitals doesn't take away from that fact. Maybe that's where what I referred to as 'being an involuntary female to male transsexual' comes into play. I never wanted to live in a male gender role. That just got forced upon me.

Much like with countless intersex children who suffer the horrors of intersex genital mutilation (IGM), I, too, was forced into a gender role not of my own choosing. Something like that cannot go right. I am still fortunate that I did not have my genitals chopped up by these butchers who like to call themselves doctors, as they do to so many others less fortunate every day again and again.

At least I get to find my own identity in an undamaged body. It will just take time.


Maya

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Living in a world without sound

It's interesting how the way one is born and raised affects one's sense of normalcy. For me it wasn't until I underwent an official test for giftedness as a teenager that I became aware of a very significant way in which I am different from most other people.

During that test I had to repeat strings of numbers and letters, increasing in length with each successive string. The interesting thing was I failed to correctly repeat the first, shorter strings, but repeated the next, longer strings flawlessly. I remember developing a method on the fly for memorising those sequences. The same pattern repeated itself for other tests, every time the test was auditory, i.e. in spoken form.

Further research showed that this pattern is commonly found by visual learners with an auditory deficit. Or in short, I'm a 100% visual learner, with anything auditory being essentially foreign to me. This suddenly explained a lot to me about many struggles up to that point, both regarding the visual way of learning, and my trouble with following and remembering spoken texts and instructions.


It's interesting to consider that the way that I experience the world around me is not like how most others experience it. The fact that I do not experience sound, but just the visual representation it invokes in me. Yet also the limitation I face in that almost all communication between humans happens in an auditory fashion.

I experience music and random sounds as images, almost as tangible objects which I can look at and touch. They have colours, shapes and textures. Human speech too, only if I wish to interpret its meaning, I have to actively process it further, basically treating it as if it's written text. This takes a considerable amount of focus and energy.

The result of this is that I cannot focus for very long on anything with a strong auditory focus. Films are generally fine, due to the strong visual aspect to them. An audio book - or most meetings - is extremely hard and draining for me if I wish to follow it. The audio books which I have tried had me drifting off after less than a minute. Long meetings often have me feeling exhausted and sick afterwards because of the mental effort it took to pay attention to everything that was being said.


I do not mind being different like this. I just wish that others were more considerate and understanding of this difference. Not everyone can handle spoken words as easily as they can. Not everyone can learn and work the way that they can. In some ways my... condition is akin to being deaf, I guess, though admittedly less dramatic.

Pushing myself to ignore the mental strain of focusing on spoken words does come with a high cost, mostly in the form of headaches, migraines and extreme exhaustion. It's sadly still an ongoing struggle to make this work in daily life, especially as it pertains to my work as a software developer.

With popular strategies such as programming in pairs and frequent meetings (daily stand-up, retrospective meetings, etc.), all of which are auditory, it's not easy to exclude myself from such events. Or even to address the subject, as it doesn't seem like something which the average person seems willing to accept. At least I haven't had much luck with it so far.


Some days I think that it would be nice to be just like everybody else, instead of different in almost every conceivable way from the norm. Then again, thinking exclusively in images also means that I am fully immune to so-called ear worms: bits of music which just keep looping in one's head. That's got to be worth it, I think.


Maya

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Relativism and four lights

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode 'Chain of Command', captain Picard finds himself captured by the enemy [1], who attempt to obtain crucial information from him through torture. As part of this torture, Picard is made fully dependent on the person who performs the torture. All Picard has to do is to give into this person's demands, answer his questions and the pain will stop. All he has to do is admit that there are in fact five lights.

The lights in question are bright lights mounted behind the desk of the torturer. There are in fact four of them. Yet towards Picard it is constantly stated that there are in fact five lights, and that he just isn't seeing things right. After being rescued, Picard admits that, near the end, he had begun to believe that he was actually seeing five lights.


When I first watched that episode, it was still years before I would embark on my quest to figure out what my body is, and it was just an interesting story to me, with a deep psychological insight in the effects of torture and mental manipulation. As I now recall the episode's story, it has taken on a far more gruesome note to me, however.

For me there weren't four, nay, five lights. For me there was the knowledge and realisation that what I was seeing was a body that was intersex, yet when put in the room with my torturers (doctors, psychologists, etc.), they'd persist in their notion that I was seeing things wrong. My body was not intersex, or even feminine, but just that of a male.

Much like with what Picard went through in this episode there were many times when I got offered what seemed like a way out. I just had to admit that my torturer is right and everything will be fine. Just admit that I'm not intersex. That I don't look like a woman. That I'm a transgender male. They'll make sure everything will be fine if I just admit to the truth.

Picard was locked in this room and couldn't just walk away from the torturing. I was, and still am, locked inside my body and cannot walk away from the torturing. Not unless I destroy this body. The four lights are always there. I can see them. I know that there are four. Not five.


I only have to glance in the mirror or catch my reflection to see my female curves. I know that my body produces its own female hormones without assistance, from the ovaries with which I was born. I know that my body is not that of a male. That'd be as ridiculous as to say that four lights are in fact five lights. Yet for twelve years and counting that's what doctors, psychologists and kin have been trying to convince me of.

Fortunately since the end of 2015 there has been a shift in this behaviour, with me finding more and more doctors and psychologists who agree that there are four lights, not five. Yet most still seem to believe that there are five lights and that convincing me of this very fact is paramount to my emotional well-being. Even as severe post-traumatic stress disorder and related traumas have been diagnosed by me and I undergo intensive psychotherapy in order to cope with this trauma.

I do not feel that I have been freed yet from this torture. Not while I'm still surrounded by people who insist that my perception of reality is false. That four lights are in fact five lights. That I am dreaming this body of mine, and so on. The torture sessions continue. Relentlessly.


I guess the most comforting thought throughout this is the one which played again through my head yesterday after I headed back outside after work. Whilst descending the stairs, I pictured myself as just a collection of electric impulses zipping through the neurons which make up this brain of mine. A brain suspended in spinal fluid, inside a bony cavity, itself suspended on a spinal column connected to limbs which move this entire contraption around.

Sensors are how we - as a neural network - perceive the world around us. Yet we also make up so many stories around it, adding our own interpretations and flourishes. How much of that is truly real? Aren't we in the end just these weird, biological constructions which lumber around on this planet's surface? Isn't that what humanity in the end is, with everything else just dreamed up inside these bony prisons?


Maya


[1] http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Chain_of_Command,_Part_II

Monday, 12 June 2017

I want to stop being the eternal victim

For a while now I have been trying to recover the memories associated with whatever happened to me as a child when I was about five years old. It was an event which my mother and others in my environment saw as me changing practically overnight from an open, energetic child who loved to hug and befriend people into a withdrawn child, terrified of others and refusing to be touched or hugged, even by my own mother. A child which would later display bizarre sexual behaviour reminiscent of role play one would see in sexual abuse.

As I come closer to the truth I'm ever more reluctant to uncover what happened. At times I can almost feel as though I can reach those memories. Amidst the memories of losing that blue balloon, playing on the farm, of getting that new puppy, family visits, birthday parties and sleep-overs there is... something else. It's so strange that many of the memories of when I was around five or six are so clear, yet when I try to follow my development and my attitude towards others around that time it's as though there's this wall of translucent ice I can't get a hold on.

For each memory of me as this child, I have to change it from the third-person perspective into a first-person perspective. Recall my emotions and feelings at that time, then follow that thread to earlier memories. Then do the same with those memories. Until I hit that same wall again. There's something there of people being horrible to me. Of things happening which I did not like, but which I was powerless to fight against. Because I was just a child.


It makes me wonder whether part of the reason why I stayed a child - emotionally - for so long was also as a form of defence against the world. So long as I did not grow up, I wouldn't have to face reality, or something. I don't know. I'm an adult now, so I don't have that excuse any more. Just these horrible memories and sensations of being victimised.

Memories of which I wish they were just limited to early childhood. Not that I needed them to be compounded by the horrible acts committed against me during primary school when I got severely bullied and made to feel like absolute trash. And again during the first few years of highschool. Just a freak and trash. That's all I really was.


Losing my way in life after finishing highschool and getting rejected by my father after my parents divorced. The hell of trying to find some kind of acceptance for me being gifted and lost in life. Then the far worse hell of finding out about being intersex and suffering the horrific physical and psychological abuse by doctors and psychologists as they abused, humiliated and brainwashed me. Because I'm a freak. Because I'm trash. Because I'm crazy and refuse to accept that I'm male and transgender. Or just crazy. And delusional. They all knew so well what was wrong with me.

Getting raped by a 'friend' because I thought I could trust this person, but that was not what he wanted from me. Me making one poor decision about who I could and couldn't trust after another. Getting stalked by those who wished to bully me into me trying to commit suicide again. And succeed this time.

Having all of my possessions stolen and becoming homeless. Living on the scraps others would toss at me, out of pity. The continuing abuse by doctors and psychologists. Then getting deceived and abused by landlords as I try to find a place to live. Today again getting an update via my lawyer making it clear that my current landlady would gladly ignore the signed statement by my psychotherapist indicating my fragile psychological state and risk of suicide. Supposedly I'm just stalling to keep off the eviction.

They're okay with me committing suicide. It'd probably make them overjoyed as it'd speed things up significantly. Too bad for them so far the court has decided to wait until November this year before the building inspector will take a look at the issues in my apartment, meaning that nothing is likely to happen until then. It's a small comfort.


Part of me wonders whether the abuse which I likely suffered as a young child is something that continued afterwards up till today, with no end in sight. Especially dealing with this eviction case and the fear that there's nothing standing between this horrible landlady and me losing everything again makes me consider that possibly the only way that I can make a fist against being the eternal victim is to commit suicide.

When I'm dead, I'm free. I'd no longer be a victim. Nothing would matter any more.

Of course, that's the easy way out, or so people keep telling me. The real way to make a fist and to get revenge on all of those who have wronged me is to live a great life. I'd love that. I really do. I just wonder how realistic it is.


This past weekend I have spent in pain again, as whatever is happening inside my abdomen at the peak of each monthly cycle is causing incredible pain and discomfort. Today as well. It has me regularly bend over from the pain in my lower abdomen, which along with the sharp pain in the vaginal area is at times too much to bear. Toilet visit have become the usual nightmare.

Next month is the follow-up appointment with the neurologist. He'll have looked at the scans of my brain and spinal column and likely conclude that there are no signs of inflammation or other issues would would offer an explanation for the numbness and pain in the right side of my body. The next possible diagnosis of endometriosis is then likely the correct one, also since now after a couple of months of using the contraceptive pill again I can conclude that with it I seem to barely experience this numbness and other symptoms. Just the horrible pain and discomfort in my abdomen.


To have that examined, however, I absolutely need to see this intersex specialist. Even though my medical coach has been calling after this for months now, progress there is slow. Maybe I'll have an appointment this year. Maybe not. I have been at this for over twelve years and counting. It may very well take twenty years in total to get some kind of proper diagnosis of my intersex condition, and possibly a treatment for, or solution to these horrible monthly pains.


I'm just tired of feeling like the eternal victim. It's as though I am a horrible person who deserves all of this. Maybe this already is Hell. It might very well be. I keep trying, yet with every setback I have to really wonder whether it's worth it to keep fighting. If I will always keep having horrible stuff happen to me, it has to be a problem with me, no? In that case there really is no point in trying to continue to live if I cannot seem to fix whatever it is that I'm apparently doing wrong.

...yet that'd also make me into a victim again. I don't want to die or commit suicide, or even think about such horrible things. I want to tell all of those horrible people that they can go f*ck themselves, catch spontaneously on fire and die horrible, agonising deaths. Because a bit of anger is good and proper here, I think. They want to screw me over along my future? Not like I am going to care in the slightest about their well-being, then. F*ck that.


It's the classical struggle for any victims of severe, long-term trauma, I think. Part of one's psyche wants to blame oneself. The other part wants to lash out at those monsters who caused the trauma. There's the blame, anger, self-doubt, suicidal thoughts, crying, depression, self-harm and rage at the world in general. Just the process of trying to make sense of 'why'. Why me. Why did they have to do that. Why did no one stop them. Why didn't I say no. Why didn't I just leave. Why. Why. Why.

I guess I am beginning to slowly accept that I am most definitely not doing okay, and that me accepting help from not just one but two psychotherapists for simultaneous therapy is an absolute necessity. Me handling both the psychological and medical problems in addition to my daily struggles was more than any person could possibly take. Off-loading most of the first two to others likely will save my life.


There was a time when I'd smirk at the thought of psychotherapy. I always figured that I didn't need to talk about things. That such things were useless. I figured that I'd be strong enough to handle any emotional issues on my own. Maybe some day I'll write that long-promised autobiography so that others can read about how incredibly weak, and yet how incredibly strong I was throughout this ordeal. Weak and strong in so many different ways. Ways one doesn't truly realise until long afterwards.

I'd like that.


Maya

Sunday, 11 June 2017

How feminism made me loathe Wonder Woman

I never really was into super heroes as a child. Mostly because most of them were so unrealistic that I could not imagine how they would appeal to an audience. Regardless, over the years I have caught up on this craze through watching various films and cartoons featuring these characters.

Of all of these super heroes, I like the anti-heroes the most, to be honest. Especially characters such as Dead Pool and Wolverine. They feel like real people, with a real background and personality with whom you can relate. The X-Men series in general appealed to me because it features characters who were just thrown into that role through genetic fate, causing lots of struggles as they came to terms with their condition. Many of these characters are quite relatable as a reason.

I have seen a few Super Man films as well, but as with characters such as Captain America and kin, it never felt real. With an unrealistic premise, ridiculous forced character development and a cardboard cut-out for a personality, such films never connected with me. I definitely liked the Bat Man films more there, as Bruce's character was relatable in its imperfections.


One of the few characters whom I had not seen in a cartoon or film before in any significant fashion so far is Wonder Woman. She just seemed like yet another one of those 'me too' ridiculous over the top American super heroes with truly one of the most ridiculous outfits (easily beating some of the more extreme Cat Woman outfits). Fighting in such an outfit? I'd have trouble merely catching a bus wearing it.

So then there was this Wonder Woman film this year, and people got all excited about it, because it was supposed to be really good. And presumably it was. Yet I doubt that I'll try seeing it, because I can't get this grimy taste of smug, third-wave feminism out of my mouth whenever I think of Wonder Woman now.

What mostly repulses me about Wonder Woman in general now is that she has been made into this feminist symbol which will inspire young boys to always be nice to girls and women, and young girls to... grow up to wear costumes which show off lots of cleavage and
come to prefer hot pants. Or something. Or to not take cr*p from anyone while wearing such a ridiculous costume. I guess.


I have always been quite frank about my dislike for feminism, just like my mother. This mostly due to the inherent discrimination in third-wave feminism. My mother saw it all take shape over the past decades while growing up as a young woman. My generation now has to live with its consequences.

As some may have gathered by now, I wasn't raised in a traditional female role. Courtesy of having been mistaken for a boy due to my intersex condition, I initially got brainwashed into the stereotypical (for the Netherlands) male role. Thanks to having been raised by my parents in a gender-neutral fashion, I was able to transition fairly easily into a female role instead after I discovered that my body is primarily female (just with male genitals as bonus).


What irks me the most about feminism as a result of my experiences so far is just how self-centred and self-serving it is. Albeit supposedly feminism is supposed to be about 'equality', in reality it is anything but. Although I'm also a woman, I'm in the first place a human being. Secondly I'm a hermaphrodite. And I do not feel that I am included in feminism.

Feminism is about enforcing the gender binary. About segregating people into 'men' and 'women'. About assigning stereotypes and allocating victimisation quotas. About telling young girls that they should be 'proper women' and being different from 'those men'.

Feminists do not give a fig about us intersex 'women', or the troubles (and genital mutilations) we suffer. Few Western feminists even care about the troubles suffered by women in non-Western countries. Instead we just get Western feminists cheering over a fictional character in a fictional universe somehow going to pull 'those men' into line and somehow inspiring 'girls' to become whatever. Not like a character such as Ripley in the film Alien from the 1980s being a far more realistic role model. I thought she was pretty rad, at least.

But really, if it's about equality, then it should not matter which genitals, gender, sexual preference or such a role model has. If it does, one merely discriminates. All that should matter is the person themselves. How they treat others, expect to be treated by others and their goals and path in life. An idol has to be stripped of such mundane attributes which ultimately do not define them as a person. Things like genitals.

I could have watched the Wonder Woman film the way I watched the Super Man films: as a way to stay updated on popular Western culture, and maybe enjoy a film, similarly to how I watched Dr. Strange recently and found it to be an interesting film. Yet it has become impossible for me to watch this new film now. It has become too tainted due to these connections with feminism, ruining any chance of me enjoying the film.


This rant sums up the basics of my feelings on this subject. I have long thought about whether I should write this at all, because I have seen the flak caught by those who dared to object to Western third-wave feminism. As an egalitarian and humanist, I do feel that people like us should speak up more often, to stem the populism of feminism and its damaging effects on society. For the sake of equality and egalitarianism.

I do not think that feminists are terrible people, just misguided. I think that they truly believe that they are doing good, but they haven't gone through the same life experiences as others. Sometimes they really need to step back and reassess their interpretation of reality. Maybe realise that their version of reality does not include a large group of people, and likely butchers biological facts into an overly simplistic interpretation.


Maybe then I could finally just be able to watch films without all of these unneeded connotations.


Maya

Monday, 5 June 2017

A dying fire's ember

Earlier today I published a new short story, titled 'A dying fire's ember'. It can be read here for free at Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/document/350421631/A-Dying-Fire-s-Ember


For those who have already read the story, don't mind spoilers, or just wish to read my thoughts and motivations behind this story, please keep reading on.


As those who have read the story may already have gathered, it's a story about life and death, as well as how those involved deal with it. It is actually based on a real story, by an actual doctor who was on duty in an American hospital's ER one day when this one heavily injured girl was carried in.

After consulting with the on-duty surgeon, it was concluded that a major vein innervating the liver had become ruptured and it was impossible to repair the damage. Even as blood packs kept the girl alive and she was talking with the doctor, being fully lucid and fine aside from this one injury by a single ricocheted bullet, it was concluded that there was no way to save her.

This doctor was left to hold the girl's hand as the life literally slowly drained out of her, until eventually the light in her eyes (the 'ember' in the story's title) faded and she died.


Upon reading the story by this doctor, I could not stop thinking about it, and had to somehow give it shape, as it seemed so important to me. The primary thing which hits one about the story is of course the utter sense of helplessness. Even though nobody wants the girl to die, they are all powerless and in the end are forced to watch her simply die.


The other thing is of course that medical progress is the only thing which makes such deaths unnecessary. For the girl who died in the real-life story, there in that real-life ER, such a death would no longer be necessary, as damage to this major vein behind the liver can relatively easily be repaired now. Anyone like her who comes into an ER now will receive surgery and will likely be fine.

This is also why in the story which I wrote I took it a little bit further. Instead of merely a singular injury to a major vein - which would be easy to fix - instead I opted for major trauma, to many veins and arteries. Such large-scale forms of internal trauma are still basically impossible to repair today, although research projects exist which aim to handle such trauma.


Today Kathy still has to die, but hopefully a future Kathy would in fact be able to walk out of that hospital alive, apologise to Marilyn for taking so long to get her that book back and to return to becoming that scientist. Maybe she'd discover something that would save the lives of many other children like her, with injuries that are still fatal today.

And our story's doctor? He wouldn't have to watch on helplessly as his patient dies in front of his eyes. Instead he would be able to visit her at her hospital bed and maybe stay in contact later as well, possibly guiding her in her future career.


That, to me is the true message of this story. Even though things may seem bleak and hopeless now, with our combined efforts and intelligence, we can prevents and fix so much suffering. Lives which would have been cut short can instead go on living. It's a message of hope, of science and complete faith in humanity as a whole.

We are in this together. We can make life better for all of us. Because we are human beings.


Maya

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

10th MRI and an inflamed brain

Yesterday was a pretty momentous day, involving my tenth MRI scan in almost as many years. This one was also special because it was the first MRI scan of my head and top part of my spine. At this point every single part of my body has been imaged by an MRI scan.

Goal of this tenth MRI scan was to clarify whether or not the numbness and pain which I feel on the right side of my body is due to an inflammation or swelling in my spinal column or brain. One twenty-minute scan and a brief wait later, I got invited by the radiologist to have a look at the results.

Though the spinal column itself looks fine, with no obvious swellings or inflammation, the brain itself did show a couple of spots which might be inflamed or similar. It'll be up to the neurologist to determine whether these spots are anything to worry about.


It's still very probable that these numbness and pain symptoms are a result of endometriosis, which was the neurologist's second option as well. For this I need to see an intersex expert, which is a process which may take a while. Fortunately my medical coach is handling the matter of getting an appointment at the right person, but just making the initial appointment is taking months already, with the actual appointment maybe still taking another few months as well.

On the bright side, since I started back on the contraceptive pill, the numbness and pain seem to be significantly reduced. Aside from a couple of days during which my abdomen felt like it was rotting away and severe pain in the vaginal area, the only thing which I'm really noticing currently is an incredible feeling of exhaustion. Far more than usual.

I'm not sleeping well, naturally, and maybe this is just the point where the lack of proper sleep and the constant feeling of extreme stress due to the eviction case is finally catching up with me. For all I know this stress underlies these possible inflammations in my brain, courtesy of my immune system being undermined by the stress that I'm under.


In short I'm still left with many questions and many uncertainties. Hopefully at least some of it will work out over the coming months.


Maya

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Having fun with electronics

Last year I noticed that my boss had two Gameboy handheld game consoles lying on his desk. When asking about them, I learned that they were the original 'family' Gameboys from the 1990s. They had served faithfully for many years, but unfortunately the years had taken their toll on them. Before they could be added to the retro gaming room at the office, they'd need to be repaired. I thus offered to repair them.

Fast-forward more than half a year, and I had not done so yet. Not because I didn't want to, or couldn't, but because I was struggling with depression, significantly worsened by the sudden eviction case against me. I wanted to be happy, to fulfil my obligations and have fun, but I simply couldn't.

These past weeks, however, things have been changing gradually. Even against the background of a forced eviction, becoming homeless, losing all my belongings and emotional destabilisation into suicide. Maybe it's just that I have been under so incredibly much stress the past months that I simply cannot care any more, thus learning to finally let go and not worry as much. Whatever the reason, I finally managed to fulfil at least my promise towards my boss regarding these Gameboys.


In the end it's an easy repair: disassemble the system, remove the rubber strip on the display's flatflex tape followed by heating it with a soldering iron to make the solder connections reflow and restore the pixel columns on the display. Then clean the contacts (both sides) with isopropyl alcohol and reassemble the whole thing again. Or put it into a new Gameboy shell, as the case may be.

Doing this kind of work is fun, and makes lots of people happy. I also recorded a video of the whole repair, which I hope to soon edit into a short video which I'll put on my new YouTube channel. I still have a Commodore 64 left to fix in my backlog as well, which I hope to get to soon as well, along with a number of other projects, including a robot cat, power COB LED module heatsink and power supply experiments, and of course the custom CPU architecture on FPGA project.


It makes me happy that I am now finally able to do these things, and have fun with them as well. Yet it's still hard to shake off the leaden feeling that I may only have weeks left to live, depending on the outcome on the eviction case and its effect on my emotional stability.

This week I sent an update to my lawyer that the owner of the building has seen fit to finally have some maintenance work performed on the building, which seems to have fixed the rusty water issue that existed from the beginning. That still leaves the incredibly noisy heating system and cold air pouring in from gaps around the windows during the winter, but it's a start, I guess.

I still hope that the building owner gets told off by the court, leaving me free to cultivate this small seed of normalcy that I seem to have found, as well as work out what I want to do with my future.


One thing which I have also learned from doing electronics for years is that it requires a lot of space. Buying that single-family home might be the only realistic way to move forward from here, yet there the medical issues take priority for now. I need to be healthy first before I take on more stress.


Maya

Saturday, 27 May 2017

When others feel the need to push you closer to suicide again

Over the past months that the eviction case against me has dragged on, it has become abundantly clear that what is at stake here is not just a place to live, or even something as abstract as 'justice'. Nay, as evidenced by my own feelings on the issue, and corroborated by the reports from my psychotherapist, what is at stake here is nothing less than my very life.

The official diagnosis is 'latent suicidal depression', in that I will generally not exhibit any suicidal behaviour or tendencies, but that certain events can trigger these. Events such as the forced eviction in early 2011, which led to my first suicide attempt, and later coming very close again, when after a physician- and psychologist-provoked PTSD/DID blackout episode, I was forced to pay for damages which I did not remember causing.

Dealing with doctors, anything related to intersex, transgenderism and sexuality also carries a massive risk. Yet with therapy and a quiet, safe environment in which to recover I should be just fine.


My fear is that even after resisting the horrible stress of the eviction case it will still result in me being forced to pay tens of thousands of Euros, get forcefully evicted, or a combination of these. There's no guarantee or certainty that this will not happen. That's enough to make it into a constant point of negative stress which keeps triggering a suicidal depression. Not strongly, fortunately, but sufficiently to keep up a feeling of constant existential dread.

When I try to think carefully about my emotional state if any of those scenarios were to happen, I have to admit that without any external interference, I will most likely end up killing myself. And that terrifies me even more.


There's always this misunderstanding that mentioning one's suicidal feelings means that one is either mentally ill or is using it as a hostage-style threat ('give me what I want, or I'll kill myself'). The more reasonable explanation in most cases is that each and every person has a psychological breaking point: a limit to what they can handle emotionally and mentally. The closer one gets to this point, the more it hurts, in a way that's worse than mere physical pain. This emotional pain cannot be shut out or ignored.

Reaching the actual breaking point is even worse; to reach this point causes a type of emotional agony that's worse than any physical pain which I have ever experienced, which includes fun things like kidney stones, abdominal inflammations, crashing on tarmac at about 60 kilometres per hour and very nearly having various limbs snapped off like a twig. Those are child's play in comparison. The only thing that came close was this one severe migraine episode, which nearly had me begging to be killed. Yet that one passed after I finally managed to fall asleep.


I think I reached my mental breaking point quite a few years ago already, probably around 2008, when things went rapidly south for me, to ultimately hit the low point of that suicide attempt a few years later. I have not had any significant therapy since then, let alone found a quiet place to recover in. My emotional and psychological health have been hovering around that null point for many years now. And now there's this new threat which may push me far enough that I would be forced to experience that blinding, numbing pain again.

And why? I didn't do anything wrong. Nor was there any reason for those doctors and psychologists to punish, rape and torture me like that. I guess that based on those years of experiences I simply must conclude that there doesn't have to be a reason. Doctors, psychologists and others who hold power over others will simply get whatever they want, no matter the consequences.


I really hope that I do win this eviction case, merely so that I can continue to go on living. Things are finally beginning to look up for me. I think it would be somewhat tragic if this is where my existence were to end, if still understandable.


Maya

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Understanding an intense hatred of sexuality

For the past years now, there have been a number of things which instantly make me feel sick to my stomach, but without knowing or understanding why. Usually this takes the form of people showing (intimate) affection to each other, but things like pregnancy also triggers this strong sense of nausea and dull headache. Something about it physically hurts me.

Not that it's something limited to just the past years, either. I remember quite well how at the beginning of puberty, I felt disgusted by these sensations of physical lust. I wanted no part of it, and sought to banish any of such feelings from my life.

Part of those feelings of disgust may have been because of some weird sexual experimentation and experiences before that. I remember showing behaviour that was definitely over-sexualised, while not knowing why or who had shown or taught me anything like that.

For some reason it seems to come down to whatever happened to me when I was about five years old. Whatever happened back then might explain why I showed such bizarre behaviour, a couple of years later. Behaviour which unfortunately led to things which I regret now, or which hurt me in ways which I cannot begin to formulate, such as getting raped by a 'friend'. Experiences which led to me hating sexuality and everything related to it with an intensity that is simply absolute.

When I can only summarise it in terms which generally upsets others, it makes me again feel like something else is broken about me as well. From presumably getting sexually abused as a child, to not being able to give sexuality a place as puberty came and went, to finding out about being intersex, but having to fight over what essentially amounts to my own sexuality with doctors and psychologists.

Ever thought about what getting regularly 'physically examined' in one's most intimate regions by doctors who couldn't care in the slightest about one's well-being would do to one's emotional health? I didn't, and now I regret it. Last time a doctor asked me, I refused to comply.


I hate men. I want to see them all die horrible, agonising deaths for the monsters that they are. I hate women for being dumb creatures who just go along with whatever men tell them to. I hate that I feel this way, and do not understand why I feel this way.


I try to understand. I try to dig into my psyche and my memories as I attempt to find some clue, some memory which might offer an explanation. Yet I cannot find anything. There are just these intense thoughts and feelings which seem to spring forth out of a part of my psyche to which I do not have access. It's like a phobia, but even stronger.

I do know that it's not something about individual humans. I do not have a problem with them. I just have an issue with sexuality, with the entire physical part. I know from what my mother told me that before whatever happened to me as a child, I was a carefree, open child who loved to hug and be hugged. Then practically overnight this changed; I shut myself off from the world and did no longer want to be touched. Only a couple of years ago did I reach the phase where I allowed my own mother to hug me again. With other people it's still complex and generally I will pull away from any attempt at physical contact.


I hope that through therapy and by hopefully soon reaching a more quiet period in my life that I will be able to access this part of my psyche and memories where whatever causes these super-strong sensations are located. Just ignoring it and pretending it doesn't bother me doesn't work, much like how I could not ignore getting physically tortured and beaten.

I would love to reach a point where I no longer have to feel this horrible again due to this 'sexuality' thing. Maybe it will even allow me to reach a stage where I would actually be okay with entering into a relationship: being able to trust another human being to such an extent that I would simply not feel apprehensive or terrified around them.

I might even let this person hug me, a lot.


Yet for now, I'm basically more of a really smart machine. A machine which does not try to feel too much, too often.


Maya

Summary of my medical history

Since I now have an official medical coach, I needed to summarise my medical history so far, to help her make sense of all that has happened, been concluded and done so far. I must say that it's definitely an impressive list, if only in all the wrong ways.

Have a look, if you want:


2005

  • Realisation of being intersex.
  • First appointment at gender team at the VUmc in Amsterdam.
  • Second appointment after half a year (with psychologist).
  • Blood test supposedly shows normal testosterone levels (results not found in VUmc file).
  • External examination by gynaecologist, who claims to see ‘no signs of intersex’.
  • Last talk with psychologist before being dismissed.
  • Letter is sent to GP describing Maya as showing ‘unusual behaviour for a transsexual’.
  • Start of therapy at psychologist in Zutphen. First appointment psychologist describes Maya’s thoughts about being intersex as ‘delusional’.

2006

  • Psychologist keeps trying to convince Maya that she cannot be intersex, but should just go back to the VUmc and follow the transsexual protocol.
  • Maya relents and returns to the VUmc gender team.
  • Multiple appointments with psychologists follow. The one before last appointment, the psychologist promises that Maya can already start on hormone therapy and that the number of psychologist sessions can be drastically reduced because of the many sessions Maya has already had with a psychologist.

2007

  • The last psychologist appointment, all of these promises are withdrawn and Maya is told to follow the usual protocol of half a year of talks before any decision can be made. Maya gets angry, throws her belongings on the floor and leaves the room.
  • The members of the VUmc gender team talk with Maya’s mother, asking her whether Maya is violent towards her, or even physically abuses her.
  • After hearing of this, Maya cancels all outstanding appointments at the gender team.
  • Maya orders testosterone blockers and estradiol via the internet and starts hormone therapy on her own, supported by hormone level tests provided by her GP.
  • After a period of experimenting, Maya settles on 25 mg Androcur/day and 4 mg Progynova/day.
  • On December 21, Maya has her first MRI scan in a private clinic in Germany. This shows her to have both male and female genitals (closed-off vagina, no prostate).

2008

  • Maya’s GP sends MRI scan results to VUmc gender team. They immediately want to make an appointment.
  • Results of the first chromosome test on Maya’s white blood cells: show XY pattern.
  • At the VUmc, Maya is told that they didn’t see anything unusual on the MRI scans. They insist that she’s just a regular male.
  • Official first name is changed to ‘Maya’ from the male first name by a Dutch court on the basis of her clearly female appearance.
  • Appointment at the Erasmus hospital in Rotterdam. Leads to two MRI scans (September 11, November 6th). Both radiologist reports insist Maya is a normal male. Note is made of two testicles inside the scrotum, even though only one testicle ever fully descended.
  • Multiple appointments at AMC hospital in Amsterdam with endocrinologist and finally with a gynaecologist. The latter talks with members from the VUmc gender team and concludes that Maya suffers from autoparagynaecophilia, a term indicating that Maya thinks that she looks physically female, even though she is not.

2009

  • Start of appointments at second Dutch gender team in Groningen:
  • Denial of any intersex condition.
  • Insistence that Maya is physically fully male.
  • Refusal to communicate with the German doctors who first diagnosed Maya with an intersex condition.
  • Basic chromosomal testing (white blood cells, cells from inside of cheek) show 46,XY pattern.
  • Insistence that Maya suffers from gender dysphoria.
  • MRI scan at Onze Lieve Vrouwen Gasthuis hospital in Amsterdam (December). Radiologist report indicates no sign of an intersex condition.
  • Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by psychotherapist.

2010

  • More appointments at the second gender team, mostly with psychologist.
  • Examination by urologist of the gender team, including a painful examination of the urinary tract and bladder. Conclusion is that there’s no sign of intersex. Entire day filmed by Dutch documentary team.
  • Appointments at VUmc gender team, who offer to ‘turn her into beautiful woman’, but no physical examinations, just the transgender course.

2011

  • Suicide attempt using sleeping pills after a forced eviction. Maya wakes up in the ER and is taken care of by her mother.
  • Rejected by (Christian) GP due to her intersex condition.
  • Poor treatment by new GP leads to a black-out event (triggered by PTSD, possible DID), during which Maya is subjected to severe violence by police who were called onto the scene. Maya suffers bruised bone in her right leg, severe bruising and peripheral neuropathy.
  • Attempts to get help at John Hopkins Medical in the US, is rejected because ‘they don’t do sex-reassignment surgery’.
  • Appointment with urologist at hospital in Almelo, gets told to seek help in Germany, forget about The Netherlands.
  • Decision to focus on getting her legal gender changed, as her legal (male) gender does not match up with her appearance, which causes a lot of confusion.
  • Has surgery in Hamburg, Germany, whereby the testicles are removed via an incision on the lower abdomen. An exploratory incision is made in the perineum whereby the entrance of a vagina is found.
  • The biopsy of the removed testicles shows that they are underdeveloped, explaining the low testosterone levels and making clear that they never produced sperm.
  • The use of Androcur is no longer needed and is dropped.

2012

  • Maya’s legal gender is changed to ‘female’ based on the surgery’s findings of her having been born with both male and female genitals, using a never before used (1980s) Dutch law.
  • Beginning of pain and numbness sensations on right side of the body.

2013

  • Multiple appointments with a Dutch surgeon who specialises in reconstructive surgery, to determine the possibility of reconstructing the (closed-off) vagina.
  • MRI scan at the MST hospital in Enschede. Radiologist concludes that there’s no sign of intersex.
  • The surgeon refers Maya back to the VUmc gender team.
  • Maya moves to Germany.

2014

  • A reconstructive surgery is agreed upon with a German surgeon, but the surgery confirmation never comes and calls to the clinic go unanswered.
  • Multiple appointments at the university hospital of Tubingen. Physical examination by surgeon. Blood test: shows 46,XY pattern for white blood cells, normal SRY.
  • Another MRI scan is made, radiologist report indicates no signs of intersex.

2015

  • Appearance of linea nigra on Maya’s abdomen. Multiple appointments with gynaecologist.
  • Two MRI scans. The same radiologist first sees a healthy vagina, the second time no vagina or signs of intersex are seen.
  • Appointment at new endocrinologist. Multiple hormone level tests, with and without taking artificial estradiol. Maya’s estradiol levels without hormone therapy are found to be normal female levels.
  • Presence of at least one functional ovary is presumed, along with a monthly cycle since the age of 11.
  • Maya no longer takes any form of hormone therapy.

2016

  • Linea nigra vanishes.
  • Maya awaits updates on a possible surgeon contact.
  • Monthly pains are becoming very significant, along with increasing numbness in right leg.

2017

  • Surgeon appointment, with Maya referred to an intersex specialist. Surgeon is uncertain about Maya’s intersex condition.
  • Monthly numbness and pain spreads to the entire right side of Maya’s body.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Accepting help also means accepting that one has a problem

The past days has seen the numbness and pain in the right side of my body virtually disappear again, as my body goes through the motions of its monthly cycle again. It's a nice week or so of respite from having to worry about me turning into a permanently crippled person. Because of this variation in the symptoms, I do not expect that the MRI scan in two weeks will show anything to be wrong with my brain or spinal column. Best to be safe, of course. Plus it's nice to have that tenth MRI scan achievement unlocked, I guess.

As the scope of the medical and psychological help which I'm receiving slowly expands, I now find myself with a psychotherapist for regular therapy for my PTSD and other traumas, another psychotherapist who acts as a medical coach to handle contact with clinics, doctors and so on. Getting proper communication out of this intersex clinic - my next target - is slow, frustrating and thus I'm glad that I now have someone who is doing all of that for me, after twelve years of me dealing with it directly.


All of this means a large number of appointments and both help, but also the constant confrontation with my problems. From PTSD, various traumas and other psychological issues which have build up over decades, to the twelve years of horrible frustration and maltreatment of my intersex condition which may now be causing these physical issues that are causing me chronic pain. Even without an active eviction case against me this would be a lot to deal with. Add that to the mixture, realise that a negative outcome in that case may push me to try my luck at suicide again, and the need for intensive therapy and other forms of support becomes very obvious.

Without the stabilising influence of my day job and my friends, I would most likely already have been put on suicide watch. As things stand, I'm already skirting pretty close to the point where my therapists would feel obligated to interfere.


Here again I am confronted with the stigma of mental illness: you cannot see it, so it cannot be there. Me feeling suicidal must therefore be a conscious choice, ergo I can just stop thinking that way. The reality of the matter of course being that I am not actually a person suffering from depression, but merely someone who has felt so threatened and has been repeatedly attacked by others for over a decade, that it has made the thought of continuing to live... unpleasant.

I just want people to leave me alone. I didn't do anything wrong. People should just do their job and act like decent human beings. The past twelve years have shown to me beyond a shade of doubt that most people are (unknowingly) evil or just don't care. This is not the world I'd want to live in. Thus I focus on the decent human beings in the world, but one can only ignore the former nightmare world for so long.


Maybe I just have terrible luck and have come across every single terrible excuse for a doctor, psychologist, landlord, 'friend' and what not. While going through therapy, I have to go back to parts of my life which I do not care to remember, as well as some parts which I would love to go back to.

I still don't know what happened when I was a young child that was traumatic enough that it completely changed my behaviour. All I know is that my traumas likely started back when I was almost too young to remember anything. Likely someone did something to me, just like with what happened to my cousin when her uncle and grandfather couldn't keep their filthy hands off her body and those of other young girls like her.

It may very well have been that I grew up basically from the age of five with the knowledge and expectation that people are horrible monsters, who will always seek to take advantage of you. It would explain why I have seemingly always felt so apprehensive of others since the age of six. Even though I have been consciously trying to change this since I found out about being intersex in 2005 - pushing myself to return to that extroverted personality that I had as a child - along the way I come across the same traumas which pushed me into becoming introverted in the first place.


All I can hope for at this point is that I can at least win the eviction case so that I do not have to deal with that any more. I feel my life is complicated enough already at this point without others making it more difficult simply because they're greedy and care not about their fellow humans.


Maya

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Who'll catch me when I fall?

Last Friday I noticed that after a meeting at work, my right arm had begun hurting quite a lot, along with numbness and strong discomfort in the entirety of my body's right side. Including the right side of my face. Even though I had been dealing with numbness and pain in my right leg and arm in some form for the past months (and years in a milder form), this was a disconcerting new development.

I didn't tell anyone about this issue, just went back to my place and took one, then another ibuprofen (800 mg total). After about half an hour the pain had decreased significantly and with an hour I was almost feeling normal again. Before the pain started decreasing, I feared that it might worsen to the point where I'd collapse and find myself in the ER again.


The numbness and pain in my body's right side just keeps increasing. The past months far quicker than before, progressing from just the numbness in the leg for a few hours and occasional pain in my right arm to a full week of an unusable leg and currently near-constant numbness and pain in the entire right side of my body.

On Tuesday I had a neurologist appointment for this issue, after my GP reserved an emergency slot for me. I now have an MRI scan scheduled of my head and neck region (tenth MRI scan, yay), to rule out any possible issues in that area. The neurologist does however think that something like endometriosis is more likely as cause, considering the cyclic nature of the symptoms. My hope now lies with this intersex clinic with which my psychotherapist and myself have been trying to get into contact with for the past months now, without much success.

Maybe the MRI scan will show something, but most likely not. Meanwhile I'm taking ibuprofen like candy as it's the only thing which actually seems to do anything about the symptoms. Exercise seems to make the symptoms worse, but sometimes lying in bed as well, which makes it hard to find an approach which always works. I have started again on the anti-conception pill in the hope that if it's indeed hormonal, it will reduce the symptoms. I should know soon whether this theory is correct.

Meanwhile it practically feels as if my body is splitting into two halves, with the right side slowly shutting itself down.


I have to wonder what the impact of excessive stress on this all is, as I'm still facing getting evicted out of this apartment despite not having done anything wrong. Except maybe not complain enough, apparently. The thought that there are people out there who quite literally would be fine with me dying on the spot (which would be cheaper than an eviction), and that there's no home for me out there is more than one can humanly bear.

What'll happen when everything goes wrong? I already know that if I am forced to find another apartment, or even pay a large sum of money, it'll destabilise me emotionally in ways which are more than just frightening. There'd be a real chance of me committing suicide. I know from experience that all it takes is to have access to an easy and acceptable method.

After months of excessive stress I don't really care that much about whether I survive or not. Between getting evicted, my body slowly failing and the intersex clinic between completely unhelpful so far, I don't have anything to live for. Not really.


I love my work and my hobbies, but it cannot stand against the incredible pain of being alive if all it means getting punished over and over again. Punished for being born intersex. Punished for following the rules. Punished for being an abject failure.

I expect to be evicted. I expect my body to fail me probably this year, rendering me a cripple or killing me. I don't expect there to be any help. I do not have the energy to fight to survive any more. I cannot deal with an eviction. I'd just give up. Live on the streets until I die. Because giving into fatalism is the only thing which I can do, along with punishing this horrible body of mine by hurting it for hurting me.

I need others to give me hope again. To make me see that life isn't only about suffering and death. That this body of mine is okay. That there's nothing wrong with me. That I do not have to fear landlords randomly kicking me out of rundown apartments for daring to complain about issues. That I do have a future.


I want to believe, but I cannot. All that I know, all that I understand, and all that I long for is this incredible sense of peace which I felt during those moments before I tried to commit suicide. I wish I hadn't failed. I so wish it all had ended already, six years ago. I regret failing at that more than anything. Next time I'll succeed at committing suicide. I promise.

So that I may finally find peace.


Maya

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Why a home is more important than a body

At the age of almost two years old, I first lost my home. On Good Friday the farm house in which I was born burned to the ground, leaving nothing but ash mingled with the bones of the cattle who didn't manage to escape. The following years I lived with my family in a trailer while the new house was being constructed. Two years later this was completed and we moved into the new house as the trailer was removed.

This house I lived in until 2003, until my father wanted to divorce my mother so that he could marry the woman he had been cheating with for months. He also managed to pester my mother out of the house, leaving me and my younger brother with the choice of whom we wanted to stay with. Both of us went with our mother, moving into a small house in the nearby city.

While living at this house, I for the first time felt what it means to lose one's home. Within months, my father and his new wife had redecorated and changed the house in which I had been raised so that I could no longer recognise it. My father also disowned me and my younger brother, so that there was no way back for us any more. He might as well have burned the place to the ground.


After this we moved to the other side of the country, then I moved to Canada for a short while, ended up back in the Netherlands, basically couch surfing because I had no place of my own, until ultimately ending up trying to commit suicide. After that failed attempt I stayed at my mother's place for a while, before getting a job and apartment.

Sharing this apartment with a less than emotionally stable person, I suffered months of physical and verbal abuse until I was force to basically run out of the door. When I returned a few months later, all of my belongings were gone, and nobody could do anything.

This led to me living for a while again at my mother's place until I finally moved to Germany, where the first apartment was uninhabitable and the second (current) one sees me currently dealing with an eviction case.


I first started dealing with my intersex condition back in 2005, shortly after moving to the other side of the Netherlands. Not having a body and a home have been central themes for those more than twelve years. Yet I would definitely say that not having a home is the worst, by far.

Even though I do not know exactly what my body is and why I'm having chronic pains, I'm still not fully crippled. I can still work, visit places and have fun with my hobbies. Without a home all of that is at risk. With the constant terror of a pending eviction any motivation or hope on a better life gets drained. There's no quiet, safe place to retire to, as it's a constant concern.

Not having a home definitely causes me far more stress than not having a body. Physical pains can be ignored and despite all of the issues it gives me, my body is still in relatively okay health. Psychological pain cannot be ignored. As minor progress got made over the years on my intersex case, much of the uncertainty got removed. With two weeks I'm seeing a neurologist for the numbness and pains in the limbs on the right side of my body. Physically things will get better, probably.


Yet none of that helps me with getting a home. Even though I have done nothing wrong, depending on how the opposing side plays it, I could still face eviction. As I noticed over the past months, whenever I force myself to find a new apartment or better, it causes an incredible amount of stress and even minor setbacks or irregularities are likely to trigger a suicidal depression. Two weekends spent crying, clawing at my body, thinking of plunging sharp knives into my abdomen or cutting my wrists, etc. is more than enough.

Anyone who feels that I should just 'suck it up' and go through all of that again and maybe truly end up trying to commit suicide again can go get a can of gasoline, pour it over themselves and light a match. Maybe then they'll be able to sympathise with the psychological pain searching for a new home puts me through.


The funny thing is that even though I'd be perfectly fine with being put to death right now instead of facing this drawn out eviction case, I'd still want to continue living and work on becoming happy. I guess I'm just tired of always fighting. Kill me. Let me live. I don't care. Just don't make me suffer any longer.


Maya

Friday, 28 April 2017

Don't call me a liar

The past months have given me ample time to think and reflect on things, including the specific reasons why the eviction case I'm dealing with upsets me so much. It being baseless and an aggressive attack to shut down tenant's rights is pretty bad already, but there's something more. Something far more fundamental. Something about me being a liar.

What's the central theme about the past twelve years that I have struggled to find recognition and help for my intersex condition? Being called a liar. About making up being intersex, having female genitals. Lying about having a period and monthly pains. Lying about worsening chronic pains. Even as the physical evidence kept mounting, the accusations kept coming.

The eviction case is similar: I have identified a problem to the best of my abilities, followed all the rules and then get assaulted regardless, called a liar and a thief, and have my integrity as a person cast into doubt again.

Clearly following the rules is meaningless. Being a nice person only helps others.

The only truth which matters is the one which those who are more powerful can force upon those who are weaker.

Ergo, I'm a liar and deserve all the misery which comes my way.


Maya

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The meaning of life when on death row

Imagine: there are two worlds, two realities. One is accessed via the internet-connected laptop you have, offering you contact with millions of people, access to a near-infinite amount of information and glimpses of a hope-filled and bright future. The other reality is the one you find yourself in whenever you aren't engrossed in the former world inside your laptop.

The former world fills you with hope and joy. The latter is the bleak reality of death row.


For years now I have had recurrent dreams in which I am walking through a crowd of people, all apparently gathered for a party or similar. They are busily talking with each other, all engrossed in whichever topic they're talking about. I do not talk with anyone, or even try to talk with anyone. Throughout this, I know with absolute certainty that come tomorrow, I will be executed, ergo why would I bother?

In these dreams, every time that I begin to feel interested in something around me, the feeling is immediately crushed by the bitterness of the futility of it all. Tomorrow I will die. None of what I do right now matters. Yet nobody around me can even begin to understand what I am going through. If they were interested at all, which none of them appear to be. I feel like I'm already dead and just wandering through the world of the living as a ghost.


I think that for me it all started around the time that I finished high school and before my parents divorced. That was the point where I began to fully lose any concept of 'self', or more specifically of what it meant to have a body. After being forced to move out of the house in which I had grown up, I fell back into myself, neglecting my body beyond the most basic needs to feed and clean it.

During the last year of high school I had finally found out one reason why I wasn't like the people around me, when a giftedness study at a Dutch university showed me to be both a 100% visual learner and highly gifted individual. Unfortunately this knowledge didn't come with associated help with how to deal with it, nor did it tell me what I needed know about what my body is.


For some reason it feels as though back when I still thought that I had a male body I had more freedom. Ever since I found out about my body being hermaphroditic have things gone from bad to worse. Yet I had to find out. I had to know. I did not expect to be punished for this. I did not expect that it would result in me suffering horrible psychological trauma, rape, beatings and getting locked up for crimes I did not commit.

That day in early 2005 when I first travelled to the gender team at the VUmc hospital in Amsterdam feels like the day when I got arrested and locked up for the crime of having been born like this. Over the course of the following years I went through countless appeals and medical examinations, all in the hope to overturn these charges of being transgender, crazy, etc.

Yet none of it seems to have changed anything. None of it matters. The medical evidence is still deemed contradictory, despite my body clearly not being male, what with a primarily female phenotype and natural female hormone levels and even a monthly cycle. It's all irrelevant. I'm still not getting help, nor will I ever be released from death row.


Dealing with the current eviction court case and the bleak prospects of finding a home only serve to reinforce what I already knew years ago: innocent or not, I will be executed. Soon the extra time I had for appeals and help will run out and I will cease to exist.

As a result I also know that none of what I might want matters, nor do any of my plans and hope for the future matter. Why would I work on any projects, or be really invested in work or getting money back from taxes, or feel remotely interested in pointless things like vacations, relationships and the like?

It all feels exactly like those dreams. The world around me goes on, but before long my existence will be snuffed out.

And none of this will matter.


Maya

Saturday, 15 April 2017

When you no longer care whether you live or die

Last week's eviction hearing was as hateful as expected, with the opposing side feeling eager to see me vanish and self-congratulating on doing such a good job at being absolutely miserable examples of human beings. In this I am up against one of the biggest real-estate companies in the area. They maintain their claim that the rent reduction was only for three months (not true), and that there are currently no remaining issues in the apartment. Which is also a blatant lie.

Naturally I got offered the chance to accept a humiliating surrender, pay up thousands of Euros, including the costs for their and my own lawyer. I will keep fighting, however, if only for the small chance on justice being served. I did absolutely nothing wrong, after all, and being forced to move will likely cause me to die.


Before the whole eviction thing started, my condition could be described as 'stable bad'. With thoughts of suicide being quite rare and still easy to contain. At this point my condition is not stable at all and my thoughts keep dipping into dark, suicidal thoughts every few minutes or so. Even just writing this, and having to accept this truth just caused me to lose self-control, scratch at my neck with my fingernails and hurt this body for being the cause of it all. Then start crying for everything about life just hurting.

Even though I have my psychotherapist backing me in that I cannot possibly be forced to leave the premises, the stress is still there, along with the realisation that I'm once again confronted by 'people' who couldn't care less or would even rejoice if I were to commit suicide. So long as I vanish out of their miserable lives. It's no different from those countless doctors and psychologists I faced over the past years.

The previous weekend I was away with my colleagues on a company-sponsored trip to the nearby Schwarzwald. On the way to the hotel with the bus I couldn't help but stare sadly out of the window, seeing countless houses, realising that everyone is apparently living in an apartment, with each house split up. Realising that apparently I'm so broken that I cannot be like others here and just accept living together in a shared house with others, ignoring noise, stress and frustrations.

It's why I know that Germany is the wrong country for me.

All I need at this point is for me to lose the eviction case to convince me that there's no point for me to continue living. I have spent the years since my last suicide attempt in 2011 trying to convince myself that life can be worth living, but this situation and the hatred which I must suffer from doctors, psychologists, landlords and others for merely existing is just too much.

I tried. I did my best. It's okay for me to just give up now. It's not my fault that there's no place for me in this world.

I want to believe it's not all my fault.

Is it?


The next months will find me dealing with neurologists, for the worsening loss of sensation in the right side of my body, travelling to another clinic for an appointment with another specialist and probably start more intensive psychotherapy from a second mental health professional. This is already far too much to deal with. I honestly cannot deal with anything more.

I'll have to survive somehow. Because others feel I must not die.

I no longer feel that way.


Maya

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The eviction hearing, or: Let's try this 'justice' thing again

Tomorrow just after noon the eviction hearing against me will start. The case in summary is that there were many larger and smaller issues with the apartment right from the beginning. A rent reduction was agreed upon. Not all of the original issues have been fixed: of the noisy heating the conclusion was that it 'would be too expensive too fix'. For the rusty water I would just have to run the water more often. The holes around the windows have been largely ignored.

This should be the easiest eviction hearing ever, with everything so clear-cut. Yet I have had to struggle through months of suicidal thoughts, the certainty that everything was going to end on this day, that I was basically being led to my execution. Even now I can feel the tenseness in my shoulders and tinges of sharp pain in my neck warning me that I'm one wrong move away from another pinched nerve and hours of agony.

Perhaps one reason is that my experience with 'justice' has been rather disappointing so far. From a case against the doctors who falsely diagnosed me originally as being transgender yet refused to do any examinations, even after the first German MRI report showing me to be intersex, to a claim against my insurance company for refusing to cover certain expenses because I am intersex and not transgender, even if the impact is sometimes the exact same.

And basically so on and on. Not very confidence inspiring, all together.


What do I hope for? That I won't have to pay a cent extra and get all the time and maybe help which I need to find a better place to move into. What do I expect I get? A short deadline to leave the premises of mere months and having to pay thousands of Euros. Why the latter when it is such a clear-cut case? Because justice is dead. That's why.

Tomorrow I should see the first signs of which way it will move towards. If the outstanding issues have to be examined it would still take months before a decision has been reached. I hope it'll be over soon, even if I will just have to accept whatever gets decided for me. I just hope that it won't be so negative that it will trigger more suicidal depressions. I still don't want to die, but justice is blind, after all.


Maya

Sciatica, or: welcome to another personal hell

Today while at work I had my right leg suddenly go numb again. It's the same thing as the previous times, basically: the leg turning wooden, being unable to move it voluntarily and only being able to wobble around on said leg as if it's a prosthetic limb, pretty much. Sensation is reduced to a numbness, with occasional sharp pains and tingling.

Earlier someone on Twitter recognised the symptoms as I described them and asked me whether it could be sciatica [1]. Unsurprisingly it's a good match. Essentially it occurs when the root of the lower lumbar and/or lumbosacral spine become irritated. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including pregnancy [2].

This diagnosis also gives an explanation for the pain in my hips, which is how this all started, about 5 years ago now. Back then it was mostly the pain in my hip, with occasional pain in my right leg. Over time this has become worse, to the point where there are now days when I simply cannot walk properly, and am in pain the entire time.

Another constant which I have noticed over the past months is that whenever I have these sciatica symptoms, I also experience pain in the lower abdominal and vaginal area, including the at times excruciating pain during a toilet visit. This is all indicative of there being something in the lower abdomen which is irritated, swollen, inflamed, or a combination thereof.

I have already contacted my GP about this and hope that I can get some kind of diagnosis now of the underlying cause for these symptoms. Most likely it's due to my period, the associated hormonal changes and my unique physiology as a hermaphrodite. Most worrying about it is that the symptoms are becoming more severe, which warrants immediate medical attention. Hopefully that will work out for once, and I won't be still writing about it in ten years, while crippled and bed-bound, or something.

Can my life please get boring yet? :(


Maya


[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/basics/definition/con-20026478
[2] http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-symptoms

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Just a terrified child

Just a few days until the eviction hearing. I'd be a liar if I said that it hadn't been the thing that's been most on my mind for the past months. I'd be an even worse liar if I insisted that it doesn't make me feel depressed, suicidal and want to cry and curl up in absolute misery.

I don't know what this 'adult' thing is that others keep talking about. At times like these I realise that it has nothing to do with me. I'm just a child, who just wants to play all day: learning more languages, playing games, soldering and programming projects and exploring the universe. Everything that is fun.

I don't know what these Adults want from me, with their Adult things. They're just big, scary, looming dark figures who keep yelling at me, demanding that I do things, or not do things, yet I never really understand why it's all such a big deal to them. They should learn to have fun instead.

Hopefully they'll leave me alone again soon.

There's still so much fun to be had.


Maya

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Living in terror of being killed

The past months at work have been absolutely great and fun. With a bit of a slowdown in projects for customers, I have had plenty of opportunity to work with a couple of colleagues on an internal 'Internet of Targets' (IoT) project originally aimed at measuring temperature and humidity using basic sensors and ESP8266 WiFi-enabled micro-controller boards.

Meanwhile the project has grown a bit, from the initial setup to a system of nodes which communicate via the MQTT protocol, receive firmware updates via Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and obtain their configuration and settings from a central command and control (C&C) server. In addition we stuck a couple of nodes on the coffee machines in the office in order to read out coffee use statistics.

The coming time we'll be refining this system. The past days I have mostly spent on building out the C&C side, making the server more configurable and full-featured and adding a GUI to monitor and control nodes. There are also plans to further automate and control the coffee machines and LED lighting. Last week I wrote a blog post about it on the company blog [1].

I like how this project gives me every chance and motivation to further develop my embedded C++ skills, as well as my electronics and soldering skills. There at the office is the perfect environment for me to develop myself further as I feel comfortable, safe and motivated. Quite in contrast with what's supposed to be my home.


I have let over two weeks worth of paid vacation days from last year lapse this month, simply because I did not want to be stuck at 'home'. I much preferred it to be at work, doing something I like and from which I can learn, to show off at a big event for one of our customers. Every day I loathe or feel terrified of having to head 'home'.

The noises, the rundown parts and the terrible memories make the apartment a place where I go to because it's where my belongings are and have not found anything else yet. I'm terrified of checking the mailbox because it may contain more horrible letters. I had to turn off the speaker on the doorbell because having the delivery guy spam all apartments would freak me out each time.

Meanwhile the hearing in the eviction case draws near. Just a few days to go. Then I have to face the accusation of withholding rent without cause, despite it having been agreed upon right from the beginning without any reason provided why it would have changed. Yet it likely means having to face the accusation of not doing enough to find something better.

If I hate this apartment so much, then why am I still living in it? Cue flashbacks of me spending an entire weekend crying, trying to distract myself with a video and games and cooking while resisting the urge to just use the knife to cut up this worthless body of mine and get it all over with because it hurts so incredibly much inside. Basically how I respond to a disappointing viewing of a new place. Happened twice in the last few months so far. I'm not eager to try that again.

A lot depends on whether the court can understand and accept that a) I did do nothing wrong, and b) I'm not staying in this place because it's in any way a voluntary choice, but for the stupid reality of finding something else being practically impossible.

Talking to others about either renting or buying a place - be it an apartment or house - the response is invariably that it's the wrong choice and even if I picked the 'right' choice, it's still going to be incredibly hard and I just have to keep trying and trying and trying until I get lucky.

Did I mention yet the effect searching for a home has on me, especially the disappointments? 'Stable bad' is what I called my current condition.


Add to this that for the past weeks the normal monthly pains have been ramped up with a severe pain in my right leg as if the bone has been fractured (pretty sure it's not) and a general sensation of pain and numbness in the entire right side of my body. Probably psychosomatic. Oh, and I'll soon be dealing with that new intersex specialist, I think, which would mean digging through my entire medical file, confront many traumas and likely having to undergo multiple medical examinations, whilst travelling around Germany.

It's easy to just think that the entire problem with my life is this body, as it's being stupid, all intersex and such, and it makes me require finding a home, which doesn't exist, just like how there is no medical help to be found for this stupid intersex body. It makes one think that punishing this body, even killing it is an acceptable way to solve the problem, or at least take out my frustration in the form of punching, cutting and otherwise hurting it.

It also makes me hate and distrust people around me. All people want is to hurt me. Ignore me. Abuse me. Profit off me. And whatever the hell it is that doctors want from me. To die, maybe. It feels like some kind of sick psychological experiment that I was born into.


I wish that I could have an actual home. Being a place I'd love to return to without feeling as if I'm headed towards my own execution. I want to feel safe. Not persecuted, hunted and scorned. Yet the past months I have had to honestly question whether such a thing is realistic; whether it's at all possible to get something better than this rundown place within the next years. Part of me just wants to give up on Germany. Move to a place that's less densely populated, somewhere where I may find a home more easily. Somewhere where people aren't making me feel as if I have to die.

Another part of me realises that things cannot possibly that bad, that it's quite unlikely that people are actively trying to kill me. Not directly at all. Ignore my PTSD and push me until something snaps again and I attempt to commit suicide again, sure. I guess that's my main fear with next week's hearing.


I do love it when people seem certain about things. Over the past twelve years I have learned that nothing is certain. I never was a boy despite it supposedly having been a 'fact'. Doctors rarely help people, despite what I learned about them. And so on. What are life's certainties? Just science and technology. The moment you add people to the mix is where things get ugly and unpredictable.

I don't know what I can do with my life to make me feel better. I feel as if I'm completely dependent on others with the medical stuff. Ditto with finding a home. Yet also that both are basically pointless as things simply won't get any better. And I don't know why.


Maybe this is all that I deserve? I really did try for the past twelve years to make things work, but it just didn't.


Just watch me being forced to find a new place within half a year or so or get kicked out of this horrible apartment to live my days out on the streets. That'd really be a fitting ending to a completely screwed up life which exemplifies why it doesn't pay to 'do things the right way'.

Just... meh.


Maya


[1] https://blog.synyx.de/2017/03/visualising-sensors-and-coffee-machines-with-esp8266-mqtt-influxdb-and-grafana/

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Trauma is meaningless in real life

The first person I knew who had suffered a traumatic event of which I was aware was a cousin. She was about one year older than me, but she has been dead for quite a few years now. It wasn't the fact that she decided to take her own life which angers my mother, myself and a few others. It was the attitude of those around her and that of the (justice) system which disgusted and angered us to no end.

This cousin, first as a young girl, was repeatedly sexually abused by her uncle and grandfather. Not just her alone, but also many other girls became their victims. Her mother, as well as other family members were basically aware of what was going on, or had strong suspicions. When it all came to light, the family as a whole covered for this uncle and grandfather.

Fast-forward a few years, and my cousin was still trying to cope with all of these horrible experiences, even as her own family treated her as an outcast and her mother refused to support her in the matter. Although it went through the Dutch justice system as a criminal case, the prosecution ended up making a few technical errors which resulted in the case getting thrown out. This left my cousin and all of the other girls who had become a victim without legal recourse.

I do not know what happened to any of the other girls, due to privacy regulations pertaining criminal cases, yet it makes one wonder how many more of them found themselves without proper support in dealing with this horrible violation which they suffered as a child. How many of them decided that, just like my cousin, life was not worth living any more. Not with such memories and such a complete lack of trust in society and fellow human beings.


My own mother was physically abused as a child, by her older brother. Her parents and older sister never interfered. Ultimately she was taken out of her home by the child protection service and raised by family. To this day she deals with the traumatic impact this left on her. To learn to trust and forgive. To not expect the worst from one's fellow human beings. She has had to learn about just how deeply hidden this traumatic impact can be.


Over the past years I have encountered many people who suffered such traumatic events. From rape, to being locked up and used as a sex slave, to physical and psychological abuse. To the horrible violations of one's bodily integrity suffered by intersex individuals. Each of them are events which essentially destroy something inside one's psyche which simply cannot be replaced or restored. Call it simple naivety or innocence. Call it trust or faith in others.

I may have suffered some kind of abuse as a child as well, though at this point I only have the observations of others and my own curious changes in behaviour as a child to go on there. I definitely did suffer rape, physical and psychological abuse at a later age, however. I still do not trust any other person to put their hands on me without my explicit permission, and I expect others by default to be unreliable and only capable of betrayal. It's impossible to think otherwise.


What I have sadly noticed by others and myself is that regardless of the traumas we have suffered, society couldn't care less. In general we are still expected to carry on as if nothing has happened. My cousin never got acceptance or help, but was expected to go on with her life, even as the court case dragged on and was ultimately thrown out. My mother tried to ignore what had happened to herself and put on a brave, friendly face to the outside world, until it all came back to her when my father betrayed her with another woman and divorced her.

Every time the same story for everyone I meet with such a story. It's one reason why I do not like talking with intersex and transgender people, because there's too much trauma and pain in their lives. Worst is when they cannot see it themselves yet, yet suffer the consequences all the same.


Currently, this insistence by one's environment to conveniently ignore and misunderstand trauma and its impact is a major topic for me again. Not just by being forced to keep asking uncooperative and ignorant doctors for help with my intersex condition - because the only alternative is suicide - but also by ignoring my inability to do anything but to strive for emotional stability.

Even as I try to make it clear that no, I cannot do things like 'searching for a new place to live', for the very simple reason that it makes me feel suicidally depressed and makes me want to hurt and ultimately murder myself. Yet even when I bluntly say this, others will just smile and inform me that I'll 'just have to keep trying'. I guess I can try walking again on a broken leg if others insist it can carry the weight. It's so frustrating and depressing.

To a traumatised person there's nothing worse than for people to ignore their pain and worse. If 'doing the very thing that carries a high risk of suicide' is regarded as acceptable, then it's society that's simply Hell itself for people like us. It's why I still do not blame my cousin for taking her own life. She is free of the pain and of this Hell called 'humanity' which'll never provide a home to people like us. In a sense I envy her because she succeeded where I so far failed.


I am well aware of the fact that most people do not actively wish me to die. Yet it's their ignorance and wrongful expectations and assumptions which are likely to drive me to suicide in the end, just as it did for my cousin and many others. Just like it does for far too many every single day.

Maybe it's just a kind of Darwinism. Us traumatised individuals are the weak links in society after all. Maybe that's why the rest are so unforgiving. Just like the weak individuals in a herd, it's better to cast off these weak, sacrificing them to the predators to make the herd stronger.

To be human is supposed to be about love and empathy, but that's more of a dream. Humans are despite everything still mostly beasts at heart, after all. It's kill or be killed. Those who get traumatised are merely the walking dead, because they failed to get properly killed in the first place.

Humans are disgusting and despicable.

Most of them.

It would be easier if one knew which ones to trust.


Maya

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Amnesia, false memories and a horrible secret

For the past weeks I have been experiencing flashbacks of past events, places and similar more and more frequently. As noted in earlier posts, it seems that whichever memory blocks existed before seem to be fading. So far the memories I have regained access to are centred around my teenage years, as well as the last years of the pre-teen years.

These flashbacks are pretty intense, causing me to briefly blank out, as a flood of primarily strong visual impressions threaten to overwhelm me.

Earlier today more than just a few memories came flooding back. This time it took me straight into some of my earliest memories, yet also back to a point with the strongest block. The impressions I can recall from that part of my youth are vague and fragmented, but carry a strong sense of... wrongness.

Yet as I try to push further into these memories, I find myself unable to. I can feel that there's something more there, but I cannot get a hold on these memories. All it leaves me with is a sense of pain, of tragedy and suffering. From talking with my mother I know that she isn't aware of anything that may have happened, but she did ask me whether something did happen to me as a child. Maybe someone knows. Maybe I do know, but just cannot recall it yet.


What's treacherous about amnesia is that your mind keeps making up memories based on shreds of information. Now that I'm remembering more and more coherent memories these false memories are becoming very apparent. Some are even in third-person perspective, which is frankly absurd. The sensation is the difference between looking at a stack of photographs, some burned almost to ash and others mostly intact or just charred. One gets the general impression of what is in the photograph, but it's a far cry from actually having those memories.

After such a massive number of memories surging back to me, I find myself quite disoriented. It will take time to reintegrate these memories, I guess. I'm also feeling somewhat afraid of what I may discover when - or if - these still blocked memories of my early childhood come back to me. Whether it's truly something traumatic that I experienced. Maybe related to the sexual abuse which my cousin suffered for years at the hands of her uncle and grandfather. Maybe something else. I don't know.


All that I remember at this point is that there's something horrible waiting for me. Something which made me feel upset and turned me quiet when I was only about six years old. Something which has affected me as an individual for most of my life now, even if I did not consciously realise it.

Maybe I do not want to ever remember it.


Maya

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Absolute terror and looking for an escape

Last Monday I was sitting at the a table in the local hackerspace, just having fetched and consumed dinner along with a couple of others. Suddenly I felt a tingling sensation in my right leg which rapidly got worse. Within minutes the leg had gone fully numb except for occasional surges of pain in the appendage. For the next hours I had to wait and hope that I'd get the sensation back in the leg before I could cycle home.

Last night I got woken up because my right arm was tingling and hurting. After a couple of minutes the pain lessened and I was able to fall asleep again. For the past days I can feel a numbness and mild discomfort in both my right leg and arm. To say that this is disconcerting would be an understatement.


For the past twelve years, it's been made very clear to me that do not know what I am talking about. All pains I merely imagine. Everything that I think my body is, is false.

It hasn't just been with medical things, either. Working my last job in the Netherlands was unpleasant and traumatising, along with the horror that was sharing an apartment with someone who did absolutely not have my well-being in mind and which ultimately led to me losing all of my belongings. It's not been easy to keep believing that things could get better.

Meanwhile I have a good job at a great employer, yet to get there hasn't been easy, either. Medically some progress has been made, but it looks like I still have many years - if not decades - ahead of me to get anything like a resolution. Anything beyond this... just no. Forget it.


Whenever I try to think of my future, or merely try thinking of heading to the run-down apartment I currently live in, my mind practically blanks out in fear. When thinking of contacting a real-estate agent to get started on finding that house to buy, there's about 1-3% of my mind which feels up to it, with the rest again blanking out in complete terror.

Most of my days are filled with the struggle against that general sensation of terror, accompanied by brief or longer periods where I find myself thinking about suicide.


When people then tell me to think about how great it would be to have a house of my own, and that I should look at real-estate websites for homes for sale, they are completely missing the point. Such things are guaranteed to make me feel that terror because of all the uncertainties and crushing disappointments which come naturally with such things. It's a sensation which I can resist for a short while (minutes, maybe), but beyond that it will invoke a suicidal depression because of it having drained my energy and with it the resistance against such thoughts.

In short, I can't do this.


I can maybe work up the energy to contact a real-estate agent and pray that this will suffice. I would also have to get a loan together, which would also be very emotionally taxing, but very likely less so than dealing with landlords and kin. Being confronted with my actual monetary worth (or lack thereof), is depressing, but at least I wouldn't be judged by anyone as a person.

Yet none of this will be easy. I'm not sure anyone here comes even close to understanding any of this. How would I even be able to explain any of this to someone else? Between being intersex, gifted, hyper-sensitive, ambidextrous and severely traumatised, I don't really feel like I am inhabiting the same universe as others. It would definitely explain why others keep expecting me to be able to do all the things which they can do.


I have a traumatic disorder. I cannot function in daily life the way others easily can. My traumatic experiences colour the world around me in a bleak and horrifying way most of the time. I cannot bring myself to trust people. Not yet. Not at this point. Not after everything that they have done to me. It frustrates me so incredibly that people will listen to me talk about all of this, then smile, nod and just tell me 'good luck', as if none of what I experienced and suffered was relevant, or real.

The chronic pains I suffer are real. The traumatic disorders are real. I can choose to ignore both, but doing so will not help me in any way. Other people ignoring both is not helpful, or right. Both have to be acknowledged and handled appropriately. Anything else will just increase my suffering.


Maybe I'm just misunderstanding this all, though. After all these years of not knowing what my body is, or who or what I am, and having multiple psychologists and kin judge me as being delusional, it could be me who is the problem.

I just want an escape out of this literal madness that I still find myself trapped in. Something has to make sense at some point. Probably. I hope so.


I have no clue who or what I am. Whether up is up or actually down. Maybe left is right and right left. The sky is blood-red, not blue. Everything can be true. It's all relative. Maybe everyone is wrong. Maybe this is all just in my mind. Maybe this is what it feels like to go crazy. Just an endless nightmare.


Maya