It all started when I was younger and had to begin seeing a gynecologist for my Endometriosis. The exams were so painful they brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t say anything, although I’m sure they noticed how my body tensed up at the slightest touch. As I grew older, the pain got worse but I became almost immune to the overall picture. As I started to become more and more interested in guys and my hormones began raging more than ever, I really started to notice it. This extreme pain…a pain so traumatizing that the mere idea of being sexually active literally makes me start to panic. This went on for years without me so much as breathing a word about it to anyone. It was something so embarrassing, so misunderstood… I didn’t even tell my closest friends about it. And forget telling any of my boyfriends how much pain I was in. I was ashamed. I was disappointed. And I was mad…I was so infuriated with my body for not working like it should.
Sex is human nature. It’s something that all species participate in one-way or another. Yet, I’ve never been able to.
For me to describe the pain I have from the muscles inside my vagina or pelvis is to say that it feels as if someone is stabbing me repeatedly with a steel rod. My body internally screams from the pain and folds more deeply inward making it nearly impossible to wear jeans some days.
It took 7 years and 8 different doctors for someone to finally explain to me that what my body was experiencing was actually a condition. I have something called Vulvodynia and Pelvic Floor Tension Myalgia.
They can’t tell me why I have this. They can’t tell me if it will ever go away. They can’t even offer up statistics of other women suffering because it is almost never discussed by those affected.
I never thought I would have to worry about my ability to be sexually active. Not at 22, not at 55… not ever. But now it’s constantly in the back of my mind.
Although the rational side of me knows that there are things that I can do…ways that I can get around this…and people that might be able to still consider a relationship with me despite my inabilities… I’m still struggling to accept it.
I find myself becoming unreasonably irritated whenever I catch an episode of Sex & The City. NO ONE CAN DO THAT. IS SHE IN AN ALLEY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I find myself sabotaging almost any non-platonic relationship in my life as a defense mechanism to avoid embarrassment. And I find myself feeling the least feminine that I have ever felt in my entire life.
I now go to physical therapy for my issues 2-3 times a week. It’s painful- both physically and mentally. But I have hope that someday I will be able to have pain-free sex. And I have hope that someday I will look in the mirror and realize that I am not defined by these illnesses.
This isn’t something I like talking about. It isn’t something that’s easy to talk about. But I believe it’s something that’s necessary to talk about. This is for all of the women AND men out there that cannot perform the way they are supposed to…
You aren’t broken. You’re just bent. And no matter how alone you might feel…there’s someone else out there that’s just as bent.
You’re worth just as much love and care as anyone else.