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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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? :(



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.