The Vestibulitis Diary – Part 7: Hysteria

4 Days Before Surgery

Vestibulitis Diaries, part 7-  Hysteria

The women who suffer from VVS but have no diagnosis are stuck in tough position.

For the longest time I just felt like there was something wrong, but I was not always comfortable saying “no, not tonight”. Part of the reason was that I would take a month off intimacy here and there trying to see if I had just injured myself and the tissues needed to heal. Curiosity and hope would drive me to see if I had healed at the end of the month and it would be like throwing myself repeatedly at a wall hoping that a door would appear. I would smack in to it and take another month off. The concept of not healing would be one that took many failed attempts to sink in.

I tried self-diagnosis after self-diagnosis. The one mentioned in this picture is that of Hysteria. You read enough “information” on-line and you can convince yourself of anything. All tests have come back negative, the urological scope was clear, the paps were lovely (I was, ironically, so very healthy in all other ways), and you find that your boyfriend hurts you during sex. Maybe it is all in your head, the voices online suggest.

We nearly broke up New Years of 2005, 3 months into the disorder. We had a fight while spending the weekend together, a scheduling mishap, a simple thing all in all. We kept away from each other for a while, but when it was time to cuddle our tempers had settled. We began to make out and then make love. Then the agony began, and the little voice asked me whether or not I hated him since my body was reacting so badly to his touch.

I had gone from being half asleep to fully awake in a panic attack. He lives in an isolated area and I wasn’t sure how bad the pain could get, whether or not I needed to go to the ER when it began to flare. I walked around crying for hours, going to bathroom with burning urination, and back to rolling around in bed. Around three or four I finally fell asleep, we woke and parted.

Later I wrote him an e-mail on the edge of a break up. I wrote that I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. I couldn’t be the one always hurting for our choices. I needed time apart, time to heal, time to stop hating sleeping with him. He was still trying to wrap his head around the pain as well, he agreed to the time off, and when we met up a month or so later he apologized for hurting me and told me how much he loved me, that he would still be my boyfriend even if he could never touch me again.

It was enough to keep me working through things with him. What is hard about the VVS is that it really does destroy relationships. The Hysterical Woman has no other thing to blame other than herself and her relationships. It’s in her head, it’s her overreacting body, it’s his fault for being a man, etc. I fought against that battle and won, but I am beginning to see how many battles are lost when the warriors are pushed to exhaustion.


Next: Saying Goodbye

This is the story of Arashi, visual artist, writer and sex-positive vestibulitis patient and her surgical choice to heal her condition.

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