Guest Post: Amanda's Story
My name is Amanda and I have primary vaginismus. The post you’re about to read is something I shared on my Facebook page a couple years ago. I have been married for 10 years and we were constantly asked why we didn’t have kids. When you have a condition that involves a very personal part of you, it can be embarrassing to talk about. This was a way for me to punch fear in the face, squash the shame, and also reach out to educate my friends and family and encourage any who may be feeling the same way I had. Please follow along with me on Instagram (my username is @hoorayitsamanda) or on Tumblr (http://amandamcnair.tumblr.com)! I don’t just talk and share about vaginismus, but I’d love to hear your story and answer any questions.
On to the post…
P.S. I feel like I should issue a fair warning clause or a “whoa-wait-this-is-going-to-get-personal” warning to anyone that reads this. So...there it is. You’ve been informed, carry on.
I have a condition called vaginismus. Yes, if you stare at the word long enough, you will have a good idea of where this is about to go. After you’ve done that, please Google the word if you would like further explanation. But, in layman’s terms, it is a condition that causes the vaginal wall muscles to spasm any time anything is attempting to be inserted. If you wear contacts, think about the first 50 times you had to put them in and take them out. If it’s less than 50, I guess I’m just really bad at it. ;-) For you non-contact wearers, just try to touch your eye. Instinctively, your eyes will shut on you because your eyelids know they need to protect your vision. Unfortunately, the motive behind why vaginal wall muscles would spasm is not clear and is different for all women. While noble of them to try and protect me, it actually does more harm than good.
Here’s your second warning―personal story time…
I officially entered “womanhood” in the 6th grade when I was of the ripe old age of 11. I had already watched the awkward video in 4th grade - you know the one that you hold the hand of your best friend through because it’s going to be cringe-inducing? (Just me? Cool.) Anyway, no dramatic story or tragic tale or embarrassments - just an awkward girl hitting an awkward time of her life. But one thing that wasn’t so “normal” (or it was, I don’t know, I didn’t really talk about it with anyone) was that I couldn’t wear a tampon. Even those really tiny ones that are so small they don’t even come with an outer casing (is that what they’re called?). And while I thought that was unusual, I just dealt with it and moved on like the champ of life I am.
Until I got married…
Pardon my French, but it sucks. Vaginismus sucks. I make bullet pointed lists with the best of them so, humor me for a moment as I show you my skills…
Figuring out you have vaginismus right after you’re married is pretty awful
Being a virgin when you get married is rad and I’m all for that, so don’t mistake what I just said
Having proper sex education though, that’s a different story and something I think needs to stop being danced around with teenagers, especially in Christian circles
Being married to someone who is patient and caring and supportive made a big difference for me
Having friends I could confide in, even though they didn’t understand my specific struggle, mattered
Vaginismus makes you feel broken and alone
How do you tell your friends your vagina isn’t working how you thought it should be
I was very fortunate to have caring friends who listened to me and it was because of my best friend that I learned about this condition in the first place
How do you explain it to your family?? Especially when they want grandkids and nieces and nephews and cousins
(my family didn’t know for 7 years)
Vaginismus makes you angry
At yourself, your feelings, your body, God (oh yes, I’ve been there and I will probably be back)
Vaginismus makes you feel worthless
And it’s a lie, but it’s so darn convincing, it’s easy to believe
Vaginismus delays desires
And this is why my story is going to have to be multiple posts
I set out to be authentic and vulnerable when I decided to write all of this out and I will follow through on that intent
There is so much on my heart and my mind that I want to share but I think this is a good place to pause and take a breath. I’m nervous to hit “Post” below and even more nervous because I will be sharing this on my social media accounts. I know that this can be a taboo subject and there could be those in my life that may not approve of my sharing. But I promised myself and God that I would not allow what I’ve been through to be hindrance and a source of bitterness, but a help to other ladies out there suffering alone and in silence.
If you or someone you know of someone that suffers from vaginismus or something that sounds like it, you’re not alone, you’re not broken and you’re loved.
Hi! My name is Amanda! By day I’m in Human Resources and by night, I’m a wedding photographer with my husband. We will have been married 10 years this year and have two wonderful cats and a sweet dog named Watson. I’m a total foodie and a self-proclaimed coffee snob. I love making new friends and talking about the deep, hard issues of life and the hope that my Jesus provides.