Ever since I got my period around age 13, I knew I was different. Tampons were just a disappointment every time I tried. I would get flustered to the point where I would feel light-headed just from attempts to insert them. I would even try inserting them sideways so that they wouldn’t actually go inside me. I wanted to believe that after intercourse, they would go in easier. I thought that my vagina was just abnormally small or tight.
Years later, at 19 years old, all my friends in college were sexually active. I was always scared of sex. I was afraid that it would hurt because of the whole idea of “breaking the hymen” and bleeding. People would always talk about their experiences, and I would stay silent. I felt completely awkward. People always asked how many people I had been with. I was okay with being a virgin because I was raised not to have sex until I was in love, but not necessarily to wait until marriage. However, this stigma attached to it because I knew there was a problem with me, but I never actually thought that intercourse would be impossible. I just knew that I was terrified of it.
A year into college, I started a relationship. He tried to put a finger in, which was very painful. Sex would not work. I would tell him to get off me and then do everything other than penetration. This went on for 6 months of our relationship before I began to seriously think about my problem and how or if I could ever fix it.
I Googled my problem plenty of times but ended up exiting because I didn’t want to accept the fact that I needed help. I tried telling myself that if I really loved him, I would let him inside me. This led to more disappointment and tears when it wouldn’t work. My boyfriend was completely understanding and patient. He never pressured me at all, but I was not happy with myself. I kept thinking to myself, “If one of my friends can have sex with over 40 men, why can’t I do it with someone I really love?”
Later on, I found the TLC episode that featured vaginismus with Drs. Ross and Ditza. Everything pointed back to my problem. This was when I knew I had vaginismus. It gave me a little hope that someone had been cured out there, even if the office was in another state than mine.
In July 2015, my parents took me to a Brian Wilson concert. Around this time, all I was thinking about was my problem. I was crying every day. I would call my boyfriend for comfort, and he would tell me to be patient with myself. I knew I needed help from the Women’s Therapy Center (WTC), but I was so embarrassed to tell my parents that I needed to drive over 2 hours to seek help for something that is so simple for every other girl.
At the concert, I went to the bathroom with my mom and told her that I might need to see a specialist for my problem. She knew about it already, because I had told her that I could not have a gynecologist exam. She told me she thought that I just needed to relax. I was so frustrated hearing this so many times. I have tried drinking, smoking, and taking anxiety pills before sex. Nothing worked. The only way I could be more relaxed as if I was dead! I started crying at the concert.. in front of people. I am NOT someone who cries in front of anyone, and I rarely cry at all. My parents tried to comfort me and told me they would look into bringing me to WTC, but I still didn’t feel better. I felt shame and sadness. I felt like a burden. I remember my dad telling me, “Jenni, to every problem, there is a solution.” There was a small glimmer of hope.
The days leading up to my first session were filled with anxiety. I was so confident that I was going to be the one case that they couldn’t cure. I was so scared of spacers. I could not even think of using them. Once I got to WTC and met the doctors, I felt better. Each session got easier. I had a couple of sessions each week. I began to realize that my anatomy is not abnormal. I was not just tight. My anxiety became easier to cope with each week.
In August of 2015, I was finally cured a few weeks earlier than we had thought. I was so proud of myself. Having intercourse for the first time was something that made me feel normal. I almost couldn’t believe it.
I cannot thank the ladies of WTC enough for all their patience, guidance, and constant support. To this day, they are still just a text message away. They played a huge part in my life. At 20 years old, I am cured, thanks to Dr. Ross, Dr. Lauren, Dr. Ditza, and especially my parents. I am so grateful that I have been cured and have a healthy life ahead of me.
If you are thinking about going to the WTC, GO! Do not let anxiety consume you. Take control of your body and mind. You will feel amazing when you see that light at the end of the tunnel.
– Jenni ♥