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everything happens to me (long)

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This is so long because i couldnt stop typing. And i thought i should spill everything. Sorry its so long

Imagine what your life would be like if every time you wanted to have sex with a person you had to make a choice between experiencing intense pain, or just not doing it at all. Sounds pretty terrible. Unfortunately, this is reality for some women including me. Its called Vulvodynia, and theres no known cause or cure. A stinging, burning, stabbing pain that lingers even after the job is done. I only noticed pain with intercourse and sometimes when wearing jeans and sitting for too long. Which might explain why I hated wearing jeans when I was young.The first doctor I saw did an exam and told me nothing was wrong with me, that this pain was in my head. This caused me to have a breakdown in her office. I bawled my eyes out for at least forty five minutes, but I couldn’t accept that as an answer. Doctor number two gave me my diagnosis. She also told me I had a perfect looking vagina that could be in a textbook, so how could anything be wrong with it? I remember she gave me some pills but I honestly don’t remember what they were.Needless to say, they weren’t affective.

The third doctor I vaguely remember seeing. I think I just went there on recommendations of the previous doctor I saw. This is where I had the trigger point injections. Terrible idea. It just made the pain worse. By this point, which was about two years in, I tried numerous combinations of creams and pills. I don’t remember everything I took, but some names that I do remember are amitriptyline, nortriptyline, gabapentin, and lidocaine. I also remember taking some estrogen pills but I can’t remember the name. I also tried three different forms of birth control to rule out the possibility of them causing the pain. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time wasn’t exactly a fairytale. He was the only sexual partner I’ve ever had, which made me want to stay with him because I thought no one would want me because of my vulvodynia.

My mother told me a story from when I was three years old. Apparently I said something to her about a sexual act that my grandfather (her father) would do to me. My grandmother was the one who called him out on this, and he responded by throwing her down the basement stairs, going out into the backyard, and putting a bullet in his head. So, we may actually never know if anything ever did happen, but the evidence I can’t deny. Could this be the cause of my pain?

If I really was sexually abused when I was younger, it would explain some things I experienced growing up. The biggest thing that I think was a little odd looking back was my sexual tendencies when I was little. To this day I have never brought this up to anyone. I remember being in elementary school and thinking about sex. Wanting to have it. I felt urges like I feel today as an adult. I don’t remember ever acting on these urges until I was entering my teen years. The obvious symptom that something was wrong was my depression. I feel like depression and I are best of friends, it’s been with me my whole life. It didn’t start to get bad until I was about thirteen. This is when my sexual urges came back. Which is probably normal for someone in that age group, but when I had the urge to masturbate, I didn’t care where I was I just did it. I would do it probably eight times a day. I even started to watch porn around this time. I felt like I was a freak. Of course I told no one about this. I think this is when I started seeing counselors because I started to hurt myself. The cutting helped me calm down when I started to get really bad anxiety. The sad part is, I had no idea what I was so upset about. I just wasn’t happy.

This probably goes without saying, but my depression got worse when I started having this pain. After I learned about the abuse I finally worked up the courage to end my miserable two year relationship. I wanted to be alone forever.

i have nothing to say about doctor number four because nothing new happened and they just recommended I go see who I go to today, doctor number five. Sometime after moving into my apartment is when I started seeing the next boy, Steve. We worked together for a year and I considered us friends. He was my favorite person there. I never knew how he felt about me until I went to his house for a party. We were about to have sex, and then I stopped him. I have to give the “Sex Hurts Me” speech. That just ended it right there. We ended up having doing it later and it was awful. To my surprise he didn’t want me to leave. I spent almost every day with him up until today. We live together. He’s the only guy I ever really wanted to be intimate with, and he’s the only one who has ever made me feel so supported and secure. I really do love him, but there’s always that fear that I’m going to bring our relationship down because of my pain. For some reason a lot of bad things have happened since we have been together though. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic disorder after I thought I was dying for a good two months and was in and out of the hospital numerous times. I felt physically sick day after day. He stayed with me and helps me through it. Then, I had a pretty nasty car accident that left me with staples in my head and a concussion that left me in bed for a week. I hope that’s the last of it.

Luckily, doctor number five is only 10 minutes away from where I live. It’s an awesome place. I’ve seen two counselors there and there’s a special pelvic pain clinic. This is also the place where my worst fear was brought to life. I was told I only had one option left, one chance left at living a normal pain free life. Surgery. It scared me more than anything any doctor has said so far. It's called a vestibulectomy. In a nutshell they just cut off the painful tissue and move the skin from inside forward to cover it. Sounds painful. I had so many questions but only one I really cared about. Will it make the pain go away? Obviously there’s a chance this might not work either. But what did I have to lose? I never thought this would be my last resort. All I want is to be happy. I can’t watch sex scenes on TV because it makes me upset. I can’t handle hearing my friend’s awesome sex stories. I hate the fact that I can’t satisfy the person I love and that they feel like they’re hurting me every time we partake in something that’s supposed to be a great experience. I do really want to have sex, the urge is there. I masturbate a lot and sometimes I just cry after. I just want a happy life. It feels like that dream is slipping further and further away.

So here I am, twenty one years old now, five days after surgery. They told it went really well and they were able to remove more painful tissue than they originally thought. The first day I felt great, I barley felt anything because they put a nerve block in. Now I’m sore, as to be expected. I already noticed it looks a little different down there. So much for my textbook perfect looking vagina. Bending over is impossible, as well as sitting. Going to the bathroom (both one and two) is quite painful. If I take a Percocet I feel invincible. Steve is being helpful as always. I have put him through so much I don’t understand why he doesn’t kick me out already. So that’s my life completely up to date. It really sucks. Money is always tight. I haven’t been able to look in the mirror and feel good about what I see in a really long time. It feels like everything is getting worse. I don’t know what else to do, where to go for help.

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Welcome to the community. I'm so sorry for everything you have been through. :(

It took a great deal of courage to reach out and talk about what you've been facing with this. This type of physical problem must be so very difficult to cope with. I would imagine it affects you on many levels. I hope counseling has been helpful to you. It's great that you have Steve there to support you. I hope you are able to accept his support and care. I hope too that the surgery was helpful and you will feel less pain. If you are able to, try to be as gentle as you can with yourself. Maybe do some things just for yourself, some things that you enjoy? I wish you peace and healing.

We are here to listen and support you. I'm sorry my response took so long to write. I'm here and listening.

Take gentle care.

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