Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tampered Medication

12.16.06--I've had a sick headache now for two complete days, caused by tampered medication.  Because the hospitalization and psychotropic drugs of October and November left so much cerebrospinal fluid in my brain, Dr. Huaman wrote out another prescription for Diamox.  I took it for two days and it really helped.  I could hear the buzzing subside in my head and I wasn't suffering so much from the chronic daily headaches that have really been draining my energy.  Then I stupidly left my fanny pack in the house while I went out, and I knew as soon as I looked that the drugs had been tampered with.  They had that shiny glossy look instead of their normal matte finish.  Still, I went ahead and took one.  Immediately the buzzing in my head became so loud I could not stand it, and I came down with the headaches that have become unfortunately familiar to me since I was put on psychotropic drugs.  Because I am so desperate to get this cerebrospinal fluid in my brain down to normal levels, I went to the pharmacy and paid a full, uninsured price for another prescription, even though it had the same glossy finish that told me it was tampered with.  But I want so much to get rid of these chronic headaches and avoid surgery.  This time the medication made me violently ill immediately.  I think it was designed to do that  I think I am just being harassed by the very same people who have made my life sheer hell for years in some kind of perverse, inhumane belief that this will lead to healing.  It just leads to suffering and the full resolve that I will never more have anything to do with the entitity behind it.  I know that it is the Roman Catholic Church members and Opus Dei who are doing the dirty work (I saw the man in the pharmacy who I believe was ultimately responsible for the tampered medication--he must have brought the tampered bottle), though I suspect there may be another party involved behind the scenes, but I think that while the government psychs were behind the psychotropic drugs, they don't cause suffering just for the sake of suffering.  Only the sick, ideological Christians do that. 

 Someone IM'ed me anonymously the other day, "Always Respect Others."  I wasn't sure what they were talking about--perhaps my profile at Titacarmen in which I make it clear that I don't want anything to do with anyone of the Spiritual Life Institute or Paul DeBlassie.  But if it was one of TPTB that IM'ed me--how dare they?  They talk about respect and yet throw me in jail on bogus charges where I encounter abuse nearly daily for six months from an incompetent, corrupt correctional system, they fire me from jobs, they force feed me drugs, including psychotropic drugs that have left my brain and body battered and permanently damaged, they violate every civil right guaranteed me by the Constitution, and they want me to show respect?  I think I've shown great Christian forbearance, so much so that I'm angry with myself for not taking more appropriate revenge.  I'm tired of being violated and I will push back, and I have a long memory, and I will get satisfaction (if only assurance from the Lord that S/He will mete out the justice--and the Lord does).

     In the meantime I have to struggle through these sick headaches.  I start training for a job Monday, and I hope that I didn't make a big mistake, because I am very unhealthy right now and if the headaches are too bad or I am doped up via the workplace, I will be in big trouble.  I will have to quit and will have lost my unemployment.  The only thing I am praying for is the grace and strength to perserve for three months, which is how long the job lasts.  Three months, God.  Help me to survive the muscle spasms (caused by the damned psychotropic drugs I took) and daily headaches for just three months--that is all I ask and pray...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Intersexed Part IIA

Intersexed: Part II

I am writing this on November 30th, and have not been feeling well, and still don’t.  I have researched it on the Web and I think the 30 day shot of Haldol is responsible.  It is responsible for the constant headaches and lethargy, the chronic and painful rigidity of my upper back and neck which makes it hard to even sit at the computer, and even the resurgence of my asthma and allergies (I read that Haldol even causes bronchial spasms).  It has been years since I have needed a daily inhaler like I do now.  Today is the 30th day, so I am trying to force myself to write, despite the pain in my shoulders and neck.  Given my bodily oversensitivity to drugs, I expect to be impacted by the Haldol for yet another 30 days, if not more.

     When I was given Haldol in the emergency room it caused a severe case of akathisia.  It took everything I had not to run out, and I wasn’t fully oriented to reality by that time, so they had to give me an immediate benzodiazapene sedative (can’t remember which one, but the benzo family works really well with my system).   I can honestly say that I have never felt such terror in my life, and I have lived a high risk life, and worked with assaultive inmates in a maximum security prison (big badass dudes threatening to kill me inches from my face), and so what did the doctors do---give me a 30 day shot of the poison on my last day in the hospital.  More and more I am convinced that the majority of doctors don’t even realize the gravity of the complications they create when they prescribe medication, nor do I think a significant number of them care.  I know whoever was responsible for ordering that shot doesn’t.  What happened at the hospital should have been enough contraindication.  One of these days I am going to write of the veritable drug-induced hell that I went through at the psychiatric hospital, but the pain is still too raw.  I need to get some distance before I can write of that..  So I am going to write of another difficult topic—coming to terms with with my intersexuality or hermaphroditism.

     I think I have successfully come to terms with it.  I say that because now I can read a book on it, whereas before, I couldn’t even read about it.  The book is Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex.  It is a pretty clinical historical book, but even so the first time I picked it up, I found it too much to look at.  It didn’t help that the book is full of pictures that that I find distasteful, no matter how “objectively”presented.  But the pictures, and the book itself, reminds me really of how lucky I am.  For my genitalia is unambiguous and uncomplicated by striking deviance or deformity, unlike a lot of my intersexed brothers and sisters. 

     I didn’t feel lucky when my intuition first informed me the day after, in the twilight zone between sleeping and waking.  I was angry, and even moreso because I feel so isolated and alone when I deal with traumatic events, whereas most people are at least allowed a support network.  To this day, no doctor has even come forward with the truth, even though the revelation has been spread to the most casual of acquaintances, and yes, I pick it up immediately.  Nor didit help that I was catching really negative vibes from my neighbors, but I think now, that my neighbors were misinformed by someone,and that they thought that I was transgendered---a man who chose an operation to become a woman rather than a born hermaphrodite.  This negativity from others came on top of my own negative reaction, once the initial shock and disbelief had worn off.  I strongly identified myself as a woman and did not want to think of myself as a man who had been born in, and with a woman’s body.  But whatever my shortcomings, I am always ruthlessly honest with myself, and all the little lifelong clues started adding up.  So then I became angry because I didn’t know who or what I really was---there’s a word, “hermaphrodite”, but really there is very little substance to that term,  just a lot of shocking images that I don’t identify with at all.  While I don’t believe that my vocation is to define my unusual state,  I do have to come to terms with it.  This is hard when I can only speculate what my exact condition is.  I think it is Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, but if so how did I get such a well-developed uterus and ovaries?  I wish I had a medical doctor to explain this to me.  The only other option is some kind of chimerical or mosaic condition—xxyy, where I am really the result of two fused zygotes.  I think though, that I am an AIS male, even if I do have a perfectly normal uterus and ovaries.  First of all, I have the body type---smooth-skinned, long limbed, rounded hips and breasts. I have very powerful musculature—more male than female.  I’ve always been more dismayed than bemused by how easily I “buff out” without even trying.  I am atypically short rather than tall, but that clearly is the result of genetics.  I think that whatever precipating developmental factor in the womb caused my autism also caused the AIS.

      Psychologically, I also seem to be more male than female.  My dreams especially are helpful in this regard because they are “objective” evidence of what is going on at the psychic level.  Last night I dreamed of Kim.  I learned a long time ago that Kim represents my feminine self—especially in regard to emotional expressiveness--which I strive to be and have, but which just doesn’t come naturally.  Poor Kim.  She had to carry all the femininity in the family, including her older “sister’s”.   In the dream I was under attack by a tiger but could barely escape it, even when I shot it, but while I ran inside and locked the door, Kim was out there with it, and the tiger did not bother her at all, which stunned me.  She ended up knocking on the door and I opened up to let her in.  I’m not sure which emotion I am trying hard to suppress.  My primary emotion right now is loneliness, and sadness at being alone and unemployed, and I admit it.  But I no longer am sad or distressed because of my intersexed condition. 

Intersexed: Part IIB

   Part II-B (read immediately after Part II-A

At first I was very distressed because of my intersexed condition.  In addition to picking up the negative vibes from others, I had to ask myself if somehow I had sinned in the womb.  Now, I know for those with no religious sensibilities, this is difficult to comprehend.  But for me, everything revolves around the Will of God, and my cooperation with, or rebellion from it.  The psalm that I have read the most times is Psalm 139 (always trying to come to terms with the restrictive limits placed on me because of my female gender) which emphasizes how God knows us, even in the womb.  So God had to create my embryonic sex as male, so I had to ask myself, “did I purposely reject my God-given male sex in the womb?”  Everything I know about the natural order of fetal development and God’s grace requiring free will tells me that there is no way a fetus can sin. (Of course, if I believed in reincarnation there would be a possibility of  negative karma carried over from another lifetime, but that is too big of a leap against my worldview…)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

     My other big fear was that I had struggled and prevailed against a fraternal twin and the resulting legacy was AIS (or for that matter mosaical xxyy chromosomes).  This was why I pushed so hard to have a CT scan done of my abdomen.  I wanted to know if there was anything else in there that wasn’t supposed to be there—like the remnants of another embryo/fetus.  But even though nobody tells me anything, my intuition would have letmeknown, and it did not tell me anything, so whatever happened was developmental.  So now my belief is that I am just as God wanted me to be, a third human estate—intersexed.  And because God willed and created it, it is good—not a deformity, tragedy, or even personal sin.  God wanted me to be a hermaphrodite, God wanted me to be autistic, and I accept myself fully just as God made me.

      If there is any sin involved, it is in the rigid dualism of traditional thinking that insists on inflexible binary sex roles when the reality is much different, and I am living physiological proof!  But formed as I am by my culture, and having spent years trying to conform to the hateful, ultra-rigid sex role dichotomy mandated by the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, I experienced a psychological shakeup as I realized the mind-boggling extent of my difference.  After all, for years, I had insisted that while masculine/feminine roles were much more fluid and androgynous than the traditionalists admitted, I never realized the extent of the intrinsic proof that I carry within my own body.  I had to wonder “am I a man or am I a woman?” and then realize that I was neither—I was truly an androgyne, which made me doubt the authenticity of every “feminine” role I had consciously undertaken, which for me is a larger number than the feminine roles that I do unconsciously.

    Doubting my authenticity led to a mini-psychological crisis, so I turned to the writing of my all-time favorite psych—Scott Peck.  I don’t have his best books.  I gave Colleen The Road Less Travelled, and the last time I saw it, the book was in tatters from her multiple rereadings of it.  I think that book is part of the reason why she now is an RN insteadof a underemployed, dysfunctional alcoholic.  I also loaned out People of the Lie, another incredible book that reveals Peck’s profound and true grasp of the dynamics of evil.  For all his medical and psychiatric training, Peck knows that there are evil spirits.  He has led Christian exorcisms.  I wish, for my intellect’s sake, that he would have been able to place the theology more clearly in a definitive psychological framework, but true evil, like grace, originates from the spiritual realm, and thus eludes easy rational explanation.  So I picked up the book I did have: A World Waiting to be Born: Civility Rediscovered.  Immersing myself in the thought and words of a deep and truthful thinker always orients me back to Truth and Self, even though the subject matter may not be apropos.  Sometimes though, fate intervenes and the seemingly ill-suited subject material becomes exactly what the doctor ordered.  That is what happened to me.

   Peck wrote of the need for a restoration of civility in society and relationships.  That was an opportune subject for me because I was agonizing over all the times that I had played the feminine role because civility required it.  Was I a phony since it really wasn’t natural but just a role I consciously adopted?  I especially wondered about allowing myself to be used as an anima catcher of projection by men.  Women project too, but I can accept their projections much more readily.  I don’t know if this is because my primordial psyche is male, or if it is because generally, women are less likely to be so psychologically needy and greedy as men (single men, including celibates and “players” are the worst).  In anycase, I’m always aware of how much willed effort it takes on my part to respond to a man who is projecting heavily onto me.  As a youthful woman I really resented it, and would close off completely.  But as I began to read Jungian psychology, I realized that this was a vital function performed by women on behalf of men.  Peck would say that cooperating with it (within boundary limitations, of course) is civil.  As I became more aware of the civil actions performed by men on behalf of women—providing escorts late at night from the library, holding open doors, and even, on occasion, “coming to the rescue” of women (as happened to me when I was 20 and was attacked by three rottweilers as a pack)—I recognized the need to reciprocate.  So I began to allow anima projections onto me.  But I have never felt entirely comfortable was with that.  So aware of the startling difference of my true sex as hermaphrodite, I started to ask myself, "How inauthentic have I been?" and now that I know, "how can I continue to be so inauthentic by cooperating with these anima projections?"  
    But right while I'm reading Scott Peck's book on the urgent need for a revival of civility in social relationships, I took a bus ride on Central Avenue, the most crowded bus line, right through the heart of the poorest and most predatory part of town.  I was in one of my "observing humanity" moods, and was suffering from pain in my lower back and leg, so I sat down to see what civility might transpire on a packed bus with no seats available.  A young man carrying a toddler got on, and I was gratified to observe another man give up his seat for him.  At the next stop an older woman got on, but a seat was available by then and she took it.  She was clearly a Christian, but it was not the large, antique-looking metal cross that gave her away.  It was the Holy Spirit that animated her, giving her the vigor and alertness of a much younger woman.  At the next stop, a middle-aged man loaded down with bags and a large box got on.  The older Christian woman stood up, giving up her seat.  To his credit, the man demurred, saying, "I don't want to take your seat."  The woman insisted, saying, "It doesn't bother me to stand, and you are carrying much more than me."  So the man gratefully accepted the seat, arranging all his packages and a woman who looked over sixty, but stood as erect and strong as if she were thirty, stood up.  This is civility in reality, not role enactment, and thus it is even more meritorious. Contrast this with an experience related by Henri Nouwen which happened while he was in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rome.  He was wearing a Roman collar, and when a heavily pregnant woman boarded the bus, he gave her his seat-the civil thing to do.  Another cassocked priest was on board the bus, and Nouwen reports that the Italian priest was furious with him, glaring at him hatefully for giving up his seat to a pregnant woman.  The Italian priest was stuck in his role in which he is "too good" to give up a seat.  These Central Avenue bus riders were not acting out societal roles---with a twentysomething man carrying a preschooler onto a bus, and an older woman giving up her seat to a younger man.  Thank God the United States is not a society of rigid roles and expectations, but civility is just as important, though based on necessity, rather than role expectance.  
    I suppose now that I could justify being emotionally stingy and refuse to accept to play the role of anima to men anymore, since after all, that is not part of my innate psychological makeup.  But I agree with Peck.  There is a crying need for civility and I prefer to be civil, and that means that I extend myself to help others in any way that I can, even if it does not come naturally or feel particularly fulfilling.  I cannot blame a man for projecting onto me (though I can expect them to be mature about it), since after all my gender is clearly female.  After 44 years of living as a woman, I prefer that my gender be female.  As a young child or adolescent, I think I would have preferred to be male, but I have learned to be a woman and accept a woman's role, and while it still doesn't come completely naturally, that is who I prefer to be.  At first I thought about changing my gender because I felt like a freak, and was angry that while the most casual of acquaintances seemed to know the truth, nobody told me anything (and on top of that I was allmessed up on the psychotropic drugs that I was being force-fed).  Then I went through a crisis with my body image.  One day while I was working out in the gym, I looked in the mirror and despaired at my broad shoulders and deep, wide chest that quite clearly was never meant to sport my widely spaced, pop-out boobs.  I realized that I felt more comfortable carrying my body like a man, but while it “felt right,” in the mirror it looked all wrong. It was confusing. So like a gawky teenager dealing with gender identity issues again, I struggled with whether to do what felt right or what looked right.  In the end, practicality won out. My options are to accept my body as it is, or have a complete hysterectomy, undergo expensive and protracted surgeries and become a 5 feet tall man with pear shaped hips and peach fuzz on my face.  I'd look ridiculous.  Not to mention I'd have a tiny little construct of a penis that probably couldn't even pleasure the woman I love, or me, for that matter!  No, thank you.  I have to accept myself as I am, and as a woman there are certain role expectations, and while I believe they are fluid and flexible, they still are important, and I have to acknowledge and endure them. Sometimes they cause me mild psychic discomfort (at the thought that I am being a phony) or great pain and suffering (as when I wished to be a priest in the Roman Catholic tradition), but acknowledging and overcoming guilt and pain is what has made me the sensitive and gifted person that I am, and so I praise God for I am wonderfully made!!!!


Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Continuing to Feel Under the Weather

12.06.08--I have been working on the second part of my entry regarding my intersexed condition, but I find myself stymied by low energy, limited ability to concentrate, and constant headaches.  I feel a lot like I did when I was on short-term disability from the lithium when I suffered from so much fatigue and inability to do much of anything except watch TV.  Detoxing from these drugs with which my brain has been traumatized, is a process.  It's not going to happen just because "30 days are up".  In a way I am glad that I am unemployed, because I don't have the energy level now to work eight hours a day.  I wish I could read or work out or ride a bike, but the body and brain just wants rest...I am able to play a little bit of music.  That is how I get into the Christmas season, so things could be worse.