Give Us a Voice

After much effort, a patient of mine, who is a staunch advocate for other women with vaginismus, was able to tell her story on radio. The broadcast was about relationships. She felt that since vaginismus had such an enormous impact on her life, and her relationship, that her cure of vaginismus was very much a part of her story. The person doing the interview was not interested in this part of her story, kept interrupting her, and quickly ended the interview abruptly. I was listening in and felt saddened that this was such a missed opportunity.

Women with vaginismus are surrounded by a wall of silence.

Women with vaginismus live with this condition in silence. They don’t even speak to their doctors about this, let alone friends and family members. Vaginismus is a condition that doctors and health care professionals know next to nothing about and is a condition that is completely unfamiliar to women who do not have this problem.

Yet when the opportunity came to broadcast a severe problem that affects 1-7 % of the world population, a victorious woman who was willing to go public was cut off at the knees in the very program known for discussing sexual issues. I sent this debacle out to a number of my patients and to women who were in the early inquiring stages. This is the response from one of my patients who has not yet been treated, but her voice resonates.

Dear _______,

I am just a simple woman, but how simple can that be I wonder? I am a simple woman from another part of the world, pretty far I’d say: Romania. I do smile and laugh very often, sometimes I cry, I care, I love, I allow myself to have guilty pleasures like smoking a cigarette from time to time, I work hard, built a career, I am independent, take care of my family the best way I can, I do the cleaning when necessary, I get annoyed when humans don’t seem to be humans anymore, I get my nails done and even get my hair done. I fight to be in the front row, to be a winner, I enjoy victories, I struggle in this tough world, prove myself strong and try not to forget that I am still a woman when I get back home. I am strong but fragile, and only a true woman knows what this means. Only a woman knows exactly how to frame and understand this wonderful universe that we have and this is the exact reason why I am writing to you.

As many other women, I am involved in a relationship. I know that you are the producer of a show for women that is so appreciated and valued. A show that talks about relationships, about their evolution, their course, impact, rise and fall. Here is the story of a simple woman, who of course, was involved in several relationships.

I used to dream a lot especially when I was a teenager. I am still a dreamer actually and I am sure you know how a girl dreams at her first love, at her first dream night with her lover. That special moment that everyone talks about, that moment when everything becomes magical, when love is fulfilled and two bodies and souls become one. Indeed I have met the One. It was love at first sight, just the way I imagined to be the man of my dreams, just like you read in the most beautiful love novels. I was thanking God everyday for living this wonderful experience, I was grateful for living in a few months things that people don’t have to chance to experience in a lifetime. I experienced perfection, because better words for this I can’t find.

Still, during years, I realized that something was wrong, something was wrong because that special moment that everyone talks about wasn’t possible for me, and still not possible for me. How can I describe those moments? My heart was ravaged and split into pieces because I couldn’t make love with the man that I love. A paradox. I didn’t knew what was wrong with me, I didn’t know where to find the source of this. I hated myself for not being able to do something that everybody can do: SEX. Then were 4 years of struggling, finding out what’s wrong, therapy, doctors, therapy and doctors again. Depression, anxiety, stress, nightmare, tears. All I managed to get was a few laughs and no treatment, apparently for everyone it was something in my own head, something that I, the only one on this planet has, inability to have sex. Called myself crazy, called myself in many other ways and blamed for my inability. Until one day, very recently when I discovered that what I have is vaginismus. In my own research after years and years of struggle and despair I found about Dr. Pacik on a TV show. You can’t imagine how that was for me. I will never forget that moment, I just burst into tears and couldn’t stop! I couldn’t believe that what I have has a name, that someone talks about it, that vaginismus is talked about, that I am not the only one who suffers in silence. That was a revelation! There was hope! I would like to describe what that meant for me, but words are just not enough, how much pain and what a relief to find out that someone cares, someone understands this nightmare, that someone finally TALKS ABOUT IT AND OFFERS TREATMENT. There are so many women out there looking for help, just knowing about this means so much to us all who suffer in silence! Having a show on this matter will not only raise awareness but it will make so many women happy, you will give them the chance to become normal, you will give them hope, you will help them so much!

I am looking forward now to be treated by Dr. Pacik who is so involved in this, and takes such good care of us even though we didn’t had the chance to meet him, or be treated by him. I am one of the persons who keeps in touch with Dr. Pacik and he is such support, he is so committed, he is writing to me almost daily and encourages me till the time of the treatment! I want you to know that this is not an appraisal message for Dr. Pacik, it is just about vaginismus, I mentioned Dr. Pacik though because he is a part, a very important part of my story.

I know you are the producer of a radio show. I used to work in radio for two years and I am so aware of the importance of communication, of becoming a voice for women who just need it so badly. Imagine that there are women who don’t even know that this problem has a name! Just like I was! You know what they say, that a couple’s problems start and end in bed. Well I have to tell you that this vaginismus condition crosses all boundaries especially the bedroom walls! How can you have a normal relationship if you cannot even own your OWN vagina? There is so much pain involved, and two much struggle! So please, give us the Voice, empower us to become normal women, give us hope to fight by talking about this! From woman to woman I am sharing you my thoughts, my pain, my struggle and I speak for millions of women out there. I am just a simple woman, but so much want to become a normal one, just like you. And you can help us!

All my good thoughts and friendship,

Name withheld