I am 37 years old and have just been released from the shackles of a lifelong illness for which I had no name until a few years ago.
At 15, I tried to use a tampon; like my best friend, I failed on the first attempt. Unlike my best friend, I continued to fail for another 22 years. At 17, I tried to have sex. Again, I felt “too tight,” like my best friend said she did too. Again, she quickly got past it. I never did. Too embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t entering womanhood like everyone else, I lied, played along during ‘girl talk’, and fabricated an image of myself that even I started to buy into. I got very good at lying to everyone including myself. “Next time,” I figured, “it will work.” I hadn’t met the right guy, wasn’t in the right frame of mind, etc. I drank more and more alcohol, hoping I would go numb enough to be able to have sex. I couldn’t.
The excuses piled up, and I suffered one broken relationship after another. I never told any of the guys what was wrong with me, even after I figured out, on my own, that I had vaginismus. The words were impossible to find, in part because saying it would make it real. I kept hoping the problem would magically disappear, that I was somehow imagining it. I resented my body, hated it for trapping me, betraying me, working against me instead of with me. I hated myself for not having the strength to just get over it, to “relax” as the doctors told me.
The first gynecologists I visited made me feel ridiculous. None of them diagnosed me with vaginismus. One of them laughed at me. I finally found a compassionate physician, but it was I who told him what I had, not the other way around. And even he seemed to think I could get over it by learning to relax. He sent me home with anti-anxiety pills and dilators, and needless to say, this proved useless.
I tried everything: psychotherapy, tapes, relaxation techniques, vaginismus chat groups. It just seemed to get worse, if that was possible. Every time I tried to insert anything, I would experience a severe panic attack, with the sweats, the shakes, and I would almost blackout. I never even got close to succeeding. I discovered the Women’s Therapy Center online but did not believe it would work for me. I read the testimonials and concluded that none of the women who were cured could have suffered from the same thing as me. I resigned myself to the reality of things: that I would always have this problem, that it was incurable, that my case was so severe it could never be “penetrated,” so to speak… I cried one long, last time about this last year. It was the culmination of two decades of crying. The shame, the anger, the embarrassment, the loneliness, the alienation, all seemed to explode inside me.
When I gave up hope is when I finally took the step I needed to take. With nothing left to lose, I reminded myself of the Zen saying, “Leap and the net shall appear.” I leaped, and, amazingly, the net appeared in the form of Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross.
I enrolled in the 2-week program. The first days were so hard for me. My “demons” kept trying to take over my body and co-opt the process. Drs. Ditza and Ross would not let them. Every time the demons came, they angrily made them leave. I was not strong enough to fight the demons myself yet, because these demons had become a part of who I was. There is comfort in what is familiar, even when the familiar is awful. I was deeply grateful to Ditza and Ross for fighting them for me, frightening as it was.
After just two days, I was strong enough to fend off the demons by myself. I simply could not believe it. By the end of the first week, I no longer saw my fears as demons at all; I saw them as silly little children who think they know best and want to run the show, and who have to be smiled at and be reminded of who is in charge: me! The real, healthy, me!
I made great progress every day and went from being sure I would be their first failure, to being a rapid success. I left the program cured.
You will be amazed at what your body can do, at how quickly it adjusts to a new reality, and at how ready your mind and body are to make this shift. Once you get to “the other side,” you will never regress. Trust yourself, trust your body, and trust Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross. I did and ended up giving myself the greatest gift I could have received in this lifetime*.
* Results may vary from person to person