I’d been contemplating starting a blog for awhile now. At least a year and a half, in some form or another. In March 2016 I had a surgery for my vulvodynia. Up until then, I had kept my condition very private. I considered it in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” category of topics. Possibly in the “don’t ever ask and don’t ever tell” category. Not even my siblings or parents knew. But as I began informing people that I would be having surgery (to be honest, mostly in case I died from the anesthetic- oh, anxiety), I realized how easy it was for me to talk about. I’ve never been a super private person. Ask my husband, I leave the bathroom door open. Yet it surprised me at how easy it was to tell my close friends and family what we were going through.
Of course, the initial “Hey, I need to take a couple weeks off of __insert activity here__ because I am having a surgery.” “Oh, I am so sorry– what is it for?” “My vagina.” always came as a shock to people. I’d like to say I had more ladylike tact than to phrase it like that… but I probably didn’t. In fact, I am pretty sure I referred to it as “my vagina surgery” on the reg. I got my symptoms and medical journey (up to that point) down to an elevator pitch, because the only thing more uncomfortable than hearing about your neighbor or sister’s… um, privates… is getting more details than you bargained for.
The more people I told, the more I wished I had something to point them to about the realities of Vulvodynia. Something that wasn’t a bullet-point list on WebMD. Hence, the idea of a blog was born. Granted, it has taken me well over a year to actually begin writing the content down. And many more months to get the courage to actually post. I have been mentally planning and preparing… but something was holding me back. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be that open with everyone.
I went back and forth on whether or not the blog would be anonymous. I talk really openly about my condition with people I know personally, but I was worried about the ramifications of putting my life… my sex life… our sex life… on the Internet. I am slightly (okay… more than slightly) embarrassed by the idea of past boyfriends and church friends coming across this blog. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t. But as my dad reminded me, how could I possibly expect to empower women to be open about vulvodynia if I wasn’t willing to put myself out there first. thanks dad.
So here I am. Being vulnerable. Being honest and raw with you, the Internet.
I honestly have no idea what will become of this blog. Ideally, over time, we would begin an open dialogue and find more funding for research on vaginal conditions. I want women to feel empowered that they can have a healthy sex life without constant worry about being in pain. I want men to be informed of vaginal pain so they can be more considerate and communicative with their partner. But more than anything, I want to find peace that even if I am never cured… it will be okay.