The Intersex Connection
Written by Chloe on Friday, November 28, 2008
It may appear that being a hermaphrodite (intersexed) is entirely unrelated to BIID. My psychotherapist has pointed out that psychology is complicated, and almost everything is connected with almost everything else. He and I have discussed my intersex-BIID connections at great length. After all, intersex psychology is one of his specialties. We found four distinct ways in which being a hermaphrodite has substantially affected the development of my BIID.
I’ll address the four intersex-BIID connections chronologically. The first of these is the association of paralysis with femininity. This applies to both myself and other women. I have already covered this in "My Aunt", so I’ll leave it at that.
My intersex crisis at age seven not only created the association between paralysis and femininity, but also seemed to precipitate other things. I started to wet the bed. This was not a deliberate act. I had already stopped doing this at a normal age, but then it kept up from seven until around thirteen. I remember having the feeling that I was "supposed" to be incontinent, and that I was very comfortable with that. I think this somehow originated with the intersex crisis, because of the timing of it, but I can’t rule out that it came directly from BIID.
At age seven I began to hate my genitalia. I wanted to have nothing at all between my legs. That didn’t seem realistic though, so I thought it would be good to have no feeling there instead.
When I was young I thought that paraplegia simply involved paralysis and lack of feeling in the legs. I was pretty happy with that idea. It seemed right. At some point in childhood (I am unable to figure out an age) I found out that paraplegia could also result in incontinence and lack of feeling in the genitalia. I was absolutely ecstatic about this discovery. Connection number two was made. Paraplegia seemed to be tailor made for everything I needed!
I have had four major intersex crises. The first one at age seven was on finding out about being a hermaphrodite. The second one was at age thirteen due to the lack of puberty. The third one was when my boyfriend of eighteen months left me when I was twenty four. He was always a gentleman to me, and never complained about the impossibility of vaginal intercourse. He didn’t really give a reason for leaving, but I always assumed that was why. I was very upset about having such screwed up genitalia, and gave a lot of thought to having things surgically fixed. However, I decided against it and stopped dating men when I was twenty five. I have only dated women since then as it seemed emotionally easier on me.
The fourth intersex crisis started in January 2002. I started reading a book on intersex conditions. I wasn’t even half way through the table of contents before I began crying uncontrollably for an hour or so. After some psychotherapy I understood that I had come to the end of the road of being able to tolerate feeling like a circus freak any more. I had my genitalia surgically fixed so that it is now unambiguously female. I was, and am, ecstatic about this. End of intersex problems!!
The third connection with BIID is simply that from age thirteen until 2002, I was preoccupied with trying to deal with being a hermaphrodite. Consequently, although BIID was constantly present throughout this time period, for the most part it took second place in my mind to the intersex issues. The result is that I am now facing up to BIID at an older age than many of you, and at an older age than had it not for being a hermaphrodite.
There is a corollary going back to connection number two. One might reasonably imagine that, now having genitalia that I like and no longer have hatred for, the desire for lack of genital sensation would disappear. This did not happen at all. In fact I knew this ahead of time. It crossed my mind many times to ask the surgeon to cut a few nerves while he was down there. I didn’t dare to ask though, in case he might think I was nuts and refuse to do the surgery. He did mention that one of the possible risks of the surgery was lack of genital sensation. No such luck!!
The fourth BIID connection also relates to surgery. I was seeing a psychotherapist prior to my genital surgery. I told her that I was scared about it. She asked me what I had done previously in my life, when I was scared about something that I knew I had to do. I told her that I just went ahead and did it anyway. This is how I feel about paraplegia. I AM scared about becoming paraplegic, but that’s not going to stop me. I am confident that it is the way I am supposed to be.
The only thing I regret about my genital surgery is that I didn’t have it done when I had thought about it decades earlier. I am not going to make the same mistake with paraplegia. I am not going to wait for twenty years. I shall make it happen… or…
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