Rape Trauma and Vaginismus

rape_t479

I have been waiting to heal from my hysterectomy before beginning EMDR therapy again for my rape traumas. I have been putting it off because I know it’s going to be difficult work. It feels scary and dark. There are big chunks I don’t remember and EMDR will take be there to retrieve the fragments of my memory and emotions. Like it did to retrieve the abuse from my grandmother.

I have endured these horrible traumas early on in life and then spent a lifetime burying them with alcohol and drugs. From being a young teen into my early twenties, I was often sexually assaulted and raped. There is a large history of abuse that I have to visit.

Despite my fear, I recognize how necessary it is to heal. slide_32

I want a healthy life, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually. These traumas need healing in order to get to where I want to be.

slide1

I shared in my post Preparing for Surgery, that I had I come to the awareness of my vagina clenching as I read about the vaginal hysterectomy. I made the connection that I have often clenched when threatened, whether it was a pap smear exam or making love.

I googled ‘psychological trauma to the vagina’ and found vaginismus.

Vaginismus is a disorder that occurs when the muscles around the outer third of the vagina contract involuntarily when vaginal penetration is attempted during sexual intercourse.

There’s not always a reason for vaginismus. The condition has been linked to past sexual abuse or trauma, past painful intercourse, and emotional factors. 

I have clenched so tightly it feels like I am bruised. It is very painful and I surmise it is associated with the trauma of being raped and forcefully entered on more than one occasion. I believe it is why I have recovered a little more slowly with my hysterectomy and the ablation I had last year.

If my body is holding that much trauma still, I can only imagine where else those memories lurk.

Healing is hard work but so worth it to get to the other side,

survivor-teal

Healing with Hay House

nourish20your20mind20body20soul-1461116281

Today is my 6 week surgiversary. I’ve been discouraged and fighting depression. I am not healing as quickly as I would like; but, I know it could be worse, and I’m grateful it isn’t.

With even slight increased activity, my vagina pain returns and I am extremely fatigued.

I spoke with the doctor’s office this morning and they reassured me it is all normal.

During my downtime I have been watching inspirational videos from the Hay House 2016 Summit. They have released free videos and audio lessons for the past three weeks and will for one more week.

I have been healing with the great teachers, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and Esther Hicks.

It has been such a wonderful help in keeping me from depression.

I wanted to share some links with you all, and hopefully they will bring healing to you too!

Here are the videos I have watched so far:

The Shiftwith Dr. Wayne Dyer:

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/the-shift

You Can Heal Your Lifewith Loise Hay:

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/you-can-heal-your-life

Who is Asking, Who am I, with Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra:

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/who-is-asking-who-am-i

Wishes Fulfilled with Dr. Wayne Dyer:

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/wishes-fulfilled

Great Expectations, The Law of Attraction in Action, with Esther Hicks:

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/great-expectations-the-law-of-attraction-in-action

Here is a link to the main page of the Hay House Summit 2016, where you can download a free ebook and have access to 25 videos and audio lessons each week:

https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/learn

Enjoy ❤

Post-op Update

tired

It’s been a little over four weeks since my complete hysterectomy. I am finally seeing the finish line, even if I have to crawl at a snail pace to get there, I am hopeful.

I have been returning to my daily activities slowly.

My third week was my first without anyone staying with me to help. I found that just cooking a meal and scooping the cat box had me wiped out. Then I’d cry because I couldn’t do more. Not sure sometimes if it’s depression or menopause. I have had several hot flashes and I’m crying a lot. Then laughing and crying in the same spell, kind of manic.

menopausal dwarfs

The rest of my third week, I assigned myself only two chores per day so to not overwhelm myself. I returned to driving too which was surprisingly exhausting. At the end of the week, I suddenly felt like I was punched in the stomach and I had severe pain for a few days. I took pills and took it easy.

My fourth week was a lot better. I could do just a little more each day. I returned to therapy. I made it to my appointment at the pain institute for my neck. They ordered a MRI. and asked me to get cleared for physical therapy from my surgeon. They also said I’d need a steroid shot. I haven’t really processed any of it; because I am just focusing on healing from this right now.

I celebrated my fourth week surgiversary by taking a nice bath and gently wiggling into a pair of jeans. Getting into them was a challenge due to swelly belly. Yup, it’s a thing. The term “swelly belly” (Latin term: Swellibellicus) is a HysterSisters word that refers to post-op swelling of the abdomen. It is caused by trauma to the abdominal tissues, gasses used during surgery, and/or fluids collecting in the tissues due to trauma during surgery. The jeans only lasted an hour as I was very uncomfortable; but, it felt good to be out of the sweatpants.

swelly belly.jpg

HysterSisters is a great website. If you can’t guess by the title. It is a community of women who have been through or are going to have a hysterectomy. It’s been very supportive just to know I am not alone. It also has a ton of information.

These past few weeks my pain severity has lessened.  I am still very sore and being careful as to not pull anything as there is still much healing going on inside. The past two days were my first pain pill free days. It feels good to get to this point.

wohoo.png

I came across my discharge paperwork while puttering the other day. I finally read it. I read about my procedure and cringed, as it explained that my uterus was dissected into pieces and pulled through my several incisions. I cried again.

surgery info.jpg

What a trauma my body has been through. I feel really emotional about it. Not just the surgery; but, the years of pain before it. The realization that my body was sick and needed love and healing. I have been doing some soul searching and sacred womb work, which I will share in another post.

Tomorrow is another post op appointment. I will probably be cleared for lifting more than a gallon of milk and vacuuming, and hopefully physical therapy and some yoga.

I am very sore, tired and menopausal; but, my life is slowly and surely returning to me. ❤

healing image

 

HysterSisters: http://www.hystersisters.com/

My Rollercoaster Recovery

recovery

It’s been a very long two weeks since my hysterectomy. Recovery has felt like a roller coaster. Moving through an array of pains, emotionally and physically.

After my surgery, my doctor came to tell me that I had had several spots of endometriosis and she cleaned them all out. My uterus and ovaries were sent to pathology. Because my surgery took a while, I lost a bit of blood but I wasn’t anemic. They kept me on iv fluids and kick ass pain meds for the rest of the day and night. I was released the next day.

The first few days, I felt remarkably better than I expected to. Last year, when I had my ablation, I was in bed for a week, flat on my back, unconscious. I was pleasantly surprised that this time I could sit up for a few hours and not feel sick or exhausted. My pain was managed pretty well, thanks to pain pills and anti-inflammatories. I walked around a little without too much discomfort. Walking is encouraged to avoid blood clots.

The third day, I felt sad, like my body was mourning. I expected this and began the grieving process before my surgery. Beginning last year, I had processed that I was letting go of my ‘womanhood.’ However, this sadness felt like it was coming from my other organs, missing their counterparts, like an estranged sibling. I tried to meditate and comfort my body reminding myself that this was for the health of my body as a whole. I also did some sacred womb meditation.

The fourth day I got a call from my doctor with the test results on my uterus and ovaries. Besides the ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, I had endometriosis in my uterus and an overgrown endometrial lining with precancerous cells.  Needless to say I was relieved I had made this decision. It helped to be validated and I felt quite emotional.

I am also experiencing menopause because of the loss of my ovaries. I have an estrogen patch; but I still have had some hot flashes, mood swings and depression.

The fifth day, I was exhausted. My pain increased. It was hard to pee& an ongoing war with constipation developed. The next few days I was not feeling as good as I did on the first few.

The eighth day was my birthday! I was in pain and felt nauseous; but, I had no birthday depression!!!! I visited with family and friends, and though it was challenging, I felt loving and grateful. I made the huge mistake of having four glasses of wine.

The ninth day I spent puking up my birthday wine. I was terrified I was going to tear my insides! The whole day I was sick and in bed.

This second week, I almost feel worse than last week! I feel terribly sore, like I am all bruised, which I am on the outside, I must be on the inside too. My right kidney feels like I’ve been punched. My vagina hurts like hell. It feels like someone kicked me in the crotch. My incisions hurt. I even have phantom ovary pains.

In the middle of my second week I only had a few pain pills left and my post op appointment isn’t until Tuesday, almost a week away. I called the doctor’s office for a refill and some concerns of a possible urinary infection. They asked me to come in and see the nurse practitioner. Thankfully, my best friend is staying with me to help out and he drove me; because I am not supposed to drive for at least two weeks. I went in, gave a urine sample, had a pelvic exam and my incisions checked. This was a lot more than I was feeling up to and/or expected. After all that, I did not have a urinary infection; but, because of my constipation, (at least that’s what she said) she didn’t want to refill my oxycodone/tyenol medication (similar to a percocet). Instead, she gave me a script for Tramadol. A pill I’ve never been on. After dropping it at the pharmacy to be filled,  I googled it and it had 4 different interaction warnings with meds I was already on. I was scared and called the office venting. After being on hold for what felt like an eternity, they returned to tell me that they couldn’t find any interaction and they called the pharmacy. The pharmacist couldn’t find anything. The office called me back and said I had to print out the info I found and bring it in to the pharmacy and if the pharmacist still had a problem to call them back!!! By this time, I’m feeling very strained. I am upset that they just couldn’t keep me on what was working. They say it’s because of constipation; but, in my mind, I wonder if it’s because of the high addiction rate. There are so many people that abuse these meds, and I understand the medical staff for being cautious; but, I am a woman who is a week and a half into her recovery from a hysterectomy. I am sincerely in fucking pain! Excuse the curse. After trying get my prehistoric printer to work, I sat and cried. I called the office about to let them witness my meltdown, but I was put on hold. I hung up. I asked my friend to drive me to the pharmacist and I pulled up the info on my phone to show the pharmacist. When I got there, the pharmacist kindly assisted me in looking up the info. The interactions were mild, so it was concluded that this pill would be safe to take. My anxiety calmed.

hell

Yesterday morning,  I took the tramadol in place of the other med. An hour goes by, still in pain. Took some ibuprofen. Still in pain. Smoked some herb. Pain is dulled. A few hours later, in pain again, more ibuprofen, a couple of puffs. I had to wait six hours before taking another tramadol. Six hours later, I was curled up on my bed, in infant position and in tears with the pain coming from my vagina. I held myself and let the tears go. Some were from pain, some were emotional. I took a friggin oxycodone/tyenol to relieve myself.

Feeling wiped out, in pain, emotional. I took some melatonin and did some journaling before bed.

The next few days will hopefully bring more healing. I have enough of my old pain pills to take one per day until my post op appointment. I will continue meditation on healing sacred womb space. I will remain calm as possible and know that with every tear and every pain, there is an opportunity to know and understand myself better.  I will trust the process.

Thanks for letting me share 🙂

sharing