Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Owning Vaginismus

**THIS HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY DRAFTS FOR ONE WHOLE MONTH!!! OOPS!**

As I mentioned very briefly in my last post, I have been busy busy, working alongside a fellow vaginismus lady to throw together a bunch of ideas and work on some top secret vaginismus business...  Although, it's probably not hard to guess what we're talking about.  You all know the problems women with vaginismus face, and the obstacles that we have to navigate. You all know the shame, the embarrassment, the loneliness... Well, jump on board our revolution train! Enough is enough!

Lately, I feel that my mentality and feelings towards vaginismus have totally shifted.  I no longer feel shame.  I no longer feel like burying my head in the sand.  Instead, I feel like shouting about it from rooftops, and reaching out to even more people with the condition, or people who just don't understand the condition.

I am no longer forcing myself to go into a room and sit through a painful dilating session.  If I feel like it, I'll do it.  But I'm not feeling guilty for not doing it. Because it's my body. My vagina.

One of the shifts I have felt is an OWNERSHIP of this condition, and of my own body.  For so long I have been doing what I have felt I should do (eg. what books, internet, doctors, therapists, other people on internet forums have suggested that I do.)  But, I'm now listening to my own body and brain, and doing what feels right.  Because, contrary to popular belief (ie. the internet), there is not a one size fits all approach to dealing with vaginismus.  You can't force yourself through dilators.  You can't force yourself to be ready to face up to it.  You have to do it in your own time. Or not at all.  It's your body, your life.  Own it.

I have also accepted that I might never get over vaginismus.  I would like to think that one day I can have pain free sex, but I think it'll always be part of me.  How could it not be? It has defined so much of my life.  So, while I may be having penetrative sex one day, I think it'll always be a big deal.  I think I might always need to take a moment, to relax, to focus.  And I'm OK with that. Since I have admitted that to myself, the pressure has melted away.

So, what has changed?  Why have I suddenly become more focussed on myself in the now, rather than myself in the future?  Well... it's easy.  Through the blog, I have emailed lots of women with vaginismus, but recently I have connected with another vaginismus lady who has quickly become a friend. Although we have never met, we are in contact on an almost daily basis. We have each others phone numbers. We're friends on facebook.  We chat about other things, not just vaginismus.  Turns out we have lots more in common than our anxious vaginas.  We have been planning great things that we hope will work, and will help fellow vaginismus ladies.  It's really exciting.  But for me, the other exciting thing, is that vaginismus has just become a normal part of my daily conversations.  To be in contact in this way with another woman with the condition has been life-changing- because we're just normal women. Having a chat. Yes, we happen to have vaginismus. But there's no shame. It's not our fault.  It's just part of who we are.

I have said before how important I feel it is to connect with other women with vaginismus.  But I believe it even more now.  You can try all the treatment in the world, and do well, but that doesn't take away the feeling of sheer loneliness.  Find a woman who understands how you feel. It's important.

So, yes, I still have vaginismus.  That's not going anywhere soon.

But, for the first time ever, I feel in control of it.  And, I feel positive about the future. Own it, ladies.  We have it, it's awful, but it's ours.  We can hide under a rock, or we can accept it and find our own ways to deal with it.

One day, I really hope that vaginismus is no longer the big dirty secret that is is at the moment.  I'm planning to do my bit to change that.

heyvaginismus@gmail.com

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