If you´ve been following my blog since the beginning, you´ll have read how I dumped the VUMC genderteam. VUMC was the first genderteam I went to for what they call “diagnostic phase”. It means that you wait for about six months, get assigned a shrink, and you talk to that shrink for about another six months.
The job of the shrink is to get an idea of who you are, what your life looks like, if you have any problems (mentally or otherwise). Based on that they make an assessment of you, in which you either get permission to start hormones, or they reject you and suggest more therapy. I find this entire approach asinine.
After waiting six months I had my first chat. It did not go so well. I was angry at the terrible attitude of their staff (I wrote about that here), their continuous effort to keep misgendering patients, and I had heard lousy information about the shrink that I was assigned. So I quit, and instead, I went to the genderteam in Assen.
At first it went fine. I was much more happy about their staff, although they continuously canceled and moved around appointments. The therapist seemed a bit more open-minded and was easier to talk to. Nevertheless, it turned out that the patronizing situation in which I was held – other people deciding my future for me – was devastating me.
For a while, I tried negotiating with them. I rejected the type of treatment they were giving me and asked that a new plan of treatment be made, which took into account my situation. However, no alternatives were offered. After four very long letters, months of waiting and contacting a patient organisation, I finally got a reply.
They said that I had “closed the door on them” but that they were willing to renegotiate. Their allegations didn´t sit so well with me – I had never closed the door on them, in fact I had send them letter after letter and tried to communicate, only to get a very short reply back that basically said “your demands can´t be met” and offered no solution.
In December 2016, a bizarre misunderstanding further confirmed my feeling that De Vaart were barely invested in my situation. The whole time of ten months, the unspoken message seemed to be “figure it out”, while at the same time demanding that I completely invest myself in their techniques. I decided to quit, again. It´s the circle of no.