October 2, 2006, vulvodynia settled its mystery upon my loins. My vulva really didn't like it and has been whining about it ever since.
Until [some future date], when [something awesome happened!] and I found myself with a born-again, carefree coochie.
I think it was four years ago that I started blogging, right around the time of my (our?) anniversary, and at the time another blogger had had vulvodynia for six years. Six years! I thought. That is insanity. There is no way this is going to last SIX YEARS.
Those first few years, my vulvodynia was always going away. Because of this new idea or doctor or treatment. Or toilet paper or laundry detergent or herbal tea or diaper cream.
Or it would go away after I had learned this lesson. No? What about this lesson? No? What about this lesson??
Or it would go away by quiet absolution. Because pain in that place? Clearly I am a bad person.
At some point towards the end of year 3, the emotional strain came to a head. I survived, and shortly after, I hunted down someone to have sex with. "Just to see." Then I started seeing Catfish. Two and a half years later, I dropped him. It wasn't working anymore. But that relationship rescued me from my vulvodynia.
So, looking back, my advice to the newbies: seek a medical solution, but believe me when I say the pain isn't your #1 opponent. The emotional toll is. Maybe you can't have pain-free sex. I can't. It hurt every time I had sex with Catfish, and every time before him since October 2006. If the pain is too much for you, don't have sex.
But don't let the pain keep you from being in a relationship. You can seek every spiritual salvation out there. You can meditate and pray and worship the sun and visit the Loch Ness Monster. But nothing, NOTHING can replace having meaningful relationships with other people.
Don't be a goddamn hero.
These days, well---
Once in a while my pain means
I'll die lonely and childless.
Once in a while it means I'm too different to connect with other people.
Once in a while, I think about how it hurts every time I pee
and I feel like Medusa.
Once in a while
I can't handle this moment.
But almost all the time,
I'm going to find something that helps.
I'm going to find a doctor who knows what's wrong.
That doctor will be able to treat me.
Maybe there's no treatment that will cure me, but there's something that will help.
I will have pain-free hours
maybe weeks & months
And I do believe that my pain CAN go away,
that it's possible.
But even if it sticks around until I die,
I am so much more amazing than I ever would have been without my pain.
I am better and better
and after a time away,
I have a self to give to other people now
and she is better