A Letter To Newly-Diagnosed Me

Hello me,

I know life feels crazy right now, and you are totally overwhelmed with trying to understand what is wrong with your body.

You feel like no one understands and the loneliness is overpowering. The sexual difficulty feels so difficult to talk about and you don’t even have the words to describe it. What’s worse, your marriage feels like it’s doomed from the start when sex isn’t working right away, and no help seems available.

I know life feels dark right now.

You’ve been to the doctor and they advised you to try practicing penetration with your finger. The thought of it both angers and repulse you. ‘If I can do that I would have no problem with sex’ you think!

You were hoping it was some sort of physical abnormality that a simple day surgery would take care of and then you’d be off to have a great sex life. You went to visit an older lady from church who hinted at whether she’d be holding your honeymoon baby in a few months’ time and you grimace inside with the lonely pain, unable to tell her the truth.

Once again, you keep the secret and shame to yourself.

I know life feels suffocating right now.

You and your husband don’t have your own place yet to feel fully safe to keep trying sex. Work is stressful with risk of redundancy and living with parents is getting difficult. The daily grind.

Where is this wonderful sex that is promised in marriage? Resentment simmers below the surface as you try to pray.

God, why is this happening? Wasn’t I a good girl to wait until marriage? Where is this good gift that is meant to be one-flesh? Is this some cosmic punishment?

I know life will get better for you.

Because I have been there and truly walked every step of the way. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that, through the process of overcoming vaginismus, you will grow so much as a person! You will grow to accept the sovereignty of God so much more – trusting in God’s grace rather than your own legalistic tendencies.

You will come to explore your sexuality so much more than had the penis just slipped in effortlessly on honeymoon (the thought of that!).

You have taken courage with both hands and have managed to use tampons – albeit at the ripe age of 32! You have come to know, and love your own body, as well as come to recognise and heal from many traumatic experiences.

You have come to meet many other vaginismus warriors from all walks of life, through Facebook groups and online forums.

You have become so much more resilient through consistent dilating practice and facing set-backs. You have become a compassionate being both to others and yourself – the perfectionistic tendencies and tight grip on control are slowly going…

You will become a lot happier and accepting of yourself.

And I trust that life will continue to improve. Because I have hope.

I look towards that one day when I speak about vaginismus no longer in the present tense.

I trust that I will experience one flesh with my husband and that God-designed joining of our bodies will be wonderful.

I believe this will be a part of my body in an evolving sense, that my experience will be woven into just an aspect of my story and not all of it – after all – I am MORE THAN vaginismus and vaginismus doesn’t define me.

It doesn’t define you either!

Keep going, one step at a time.

I love you.

– Future me (C.G).

P.S. I invite you to read more about my journey on my blog More Than Vaginismus!