For years I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Not one of the dozens of doctors that I visited had ever used the word vaginismus. I was never able to use a tampon or have a gynecological exam without anesthesia. I dated casually but always men that seemed to be emotionally unavailable, I found that it was easier to avoid sex if we only went out on a few dates. I would convince myself from time to time that I was not meant to have a partner in life…everyone has a problem and this was mine.
But in April of 2000 things changed. I met Michael, a man who I couldn’t possibly walk away from, and I fell in love. I no longer wanted to hide from my problem but instead challenge it. I thought that as we progressed as a couple my anxiety would subside and sex would come naturally. But as months passed and there was no change, our relationship became more and more strained.
One of my co-workers was there to see my daily transformation from completely overjoyed to distraught and sad. I opened up to her one day and explained, as best I could, what was happening. It’s such a humiliating thing to tell someone, especially in our society where sex is so prevalent. I always felt like I was the only woman on the planet with this issue and everyone else was enjoying a normal sex life. She was compassionate and incredibly confident that I would get past it. She suggested that I needed to do more physical work on my own rather than just reading books and talking about my problem every week with a therapist. I knew she was right but my attempts at penetration of any kind brought me pain and disappointment. I gave up, feeling overwhelmed and hopeless.
Eventually, I stopped therapy altogether and Michael and I broke up just a week later. I kept myself busy with my day to day activities, anything at all just as long as it didn’t remind me of my problem.
Then one night, a few weeks later, I came home and there was an envelope in my mailbox. Inside was a note from my co-worker that said, “I hope this info. will make all the difference in the world”. I read, for the first time in my life, about myself in someone else’s words…
I called the Women’s Therapy Center that week and now, only two and a half months later, I’m cured.
I’ve found new confidence in myself and I feel like the woman that was underneath this burden for so many years has finally come to the surface. My goal now is to feel good again on my own terms and rid my mind of what someone else expects of me.
I can’t imagine what I would have done through all of this without my friends and family to lean on. There’s no way of knowing how many more years I would have spent with my feelings of frustration and inadequacy had I not reached out. I’m proud that I had the courage to open up to the people who share my life.
I’m immeasurably grateful for Ross and Ditza who have given me my body and my spirit back.
And I’m forever thankful for my friend who sent me that letter which turned out to be the answer to my prayers*.
* Results may vary from person to person