I realise that I share a lot of personal information on this blog, and that it’s quite easy to track me down and find me in ‘real life’ (and not just the social media world). This is perhaps a massive boo-boo on my part. I should, after all, be more savvy about security and so on…but the purpose of this blog was not only to offload some ramblings in my head, but to make people aware of often unspoken medical conditions. It is still classed as a bit of a social taboo to discuss your sex life, issues surrounding your vagina or penis, and your sexual health in general; quite often people keep quiet and suffer for years and years without seeking help or talking to someone about it. I’ve been there, and it took me so long to get help that I’ve genuinely forgotten how many years: 7? 8? I don’t know. I grew up in a house where menstration was never discussed, sex was a no-no, physical affection was null and void, and my parents displayed a ‘holier than thou’ persona (completely hypocritically I should add). It was stifing and crippling, and it left me unable to verbalise my issues for many, many years. I credit my husband with teaching me how to open up. He had the patience and understanding to realise that I wasn’t a cold, stone-hearted cow – quite the opposite…but I was too afraid to show him my emotions/thoughts/feelings, because for years they had been viewed as weaknesses.
Stop crying, you fucking baby.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
When I first started sharing my posts about vaginismus, LS, and VVS, I did so with a medical disclaimer. I didn’t want to offend anyone or have them think I was ‘disgusting’. With hindsight, I don’t know why I did this; there’s nothing ‘disgusting’ with sharing information, procedures, symptoms and ways to get help. I didn’t ask for these conditions, and so why should I be ashamed? My posts came in fits and starts. 2/3 a month and then nothing for months – I didn’t want to bombard people, or have them think I was playing the victim. I was so paranoid with being viewed as a drama queen that I kept my cancer secret – even from my husband – until I received the news that it was treatable. It was so paradoxical to my nature to be quiet that I was lost. Family and friends mean the world to me. I felt like a liar and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again.
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing a lot more information on these subjects (along with my IVF journey and usual ramblings). I do so because it helps. It helps me, and given the messages and emails I’ve received both publically and privately, I know that it has helped other people get the help and treatment they deserve. I’ve been asked today by someone: ‘but why do you want people to know?’ and that’s a good question. For all the reasons above. Infertility is painful and historically, it’s private and spoken about in hushed tones. There are support networks out there and the internet is a fabulous place for connecting with people who are going through the same trials as you. If I make one friend from these blog posts who feels they can talk to me about their problems – then that’s mission accomplished**.
If the treatment isn’t sucessful, then I’m not going to be blame my talking about it. I’m not superstitious and I’d rather have the support of friends and family if I’m grieving than to do so in private.
Sure I waffle, sure I add in what appears to be inconsequential crap and I make a joke of some of the procedures I’ve had done, who wouldn’t? Humour helps me heal and helps me deflect. I’ve been the butt of jokes, had nicknames and received a Secret Santa gift consisting of a needle and thread and called a ‘fanny repair kit’…and all you can do sometimes is go with the flow, because to sit back and take it all in can be overwhelming, cruel, and deeply upsetting.
I suffer with anxiety, and I even as I write this I’m strangely torn: to write this blog post highlights yet again me and my problems, and I know it would be so much simpler to just stay quiet and wade on with the stiff British upper lip. That isn’t me though. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I love to help and share.
** today I’ve been told in confidence of a friend going through IVF too, I have them in my thoughts and hope it all goes well.
Sharing and talking might not be your ‘cup of tea’, and you may disagree with it, but it works for me.