Today….my heart hurts.
And I am loathe to write that because I have promised myself that this blog would be as positive as possible at all times. But I can’t ignore it any longer today. If I have learned one thing about myself over the past few years, is that the more I acknowledge and confront things through writing, the better I will feel.
So, I’m apologizing in advance for the lack of positivity in today’s post because I just don’t have it in me.
Last night, I had a panic attack. While hubby and were doing homework. While I had a dilator inside me. I don’t really know what went wrong, but I suspect it’s because I allowed myself to move to far, too fast; I didn’t listen to myself.
We had an appointment with our sex therapist yesterday which actually went really well. We spent a lot of time talking about “the plan” – more or less a timeline that I’ve had in my own head, which comfortably details the path to intercourse. Sometimes I forget that these plans are only in my own head, and I forget to verbalize them to hubby.
We also talked about a fear I’ve been having lately. I have pretty much completely avoided any sexual situations with hubby because I’m afraid. I know that my body and my nervous reactions to sex have been changing because of the physio. Things have been loosening up, as I become more comfortable. But my biggest fear is getting into a sexual situation and then having “slippage” of some kind that would involve accidental penetration. While I am confident that I could physically handle it (maybe with a bit of pain), I don’t know that I could emotionally. We’re learning that it’s very important that I have a choice when it comes to my sexuality and sexual encounters.
So, this is why I continue to follow my safe and comfortable path. Because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I don’t want any surprises along the way. I’m fearful that an accidental penetration might result in a major emotional set-back (aka. panic attacks), which, in turn, would result in a physical set-back. So, I continue along my safe path.
Last night, I got home from a yoga class and hubby (being a good and “dedicated to the plan” hubby) had set up our “homework station.” So, even though I was feeling exhausted and emotionally drained from a rather tiring and frustrating yoga class, I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. So, I bounded into homework, asking that we keep it short and sweet – we’d just do number 6 and the blue one and be done with it.
I think that might have been a bad attitude to start with. Number 6 went in ok, but I knew when we were done that I didn’t really want to move on to the blue one. I was tired and not doing it because I wanted to, but because I felt I had to. But I also knew we would be out the next night and likely wouldn’t do homework at all. So I pushed forward. Onto the blue. About an inch or two in, I got a sharp, shooting pain in my vagina.
And it all went downhill from there.
I feel like I lose all semblance of control over my emotions when a panic attack hits. All I am capable of doing is crying. Long, choking, can’t-catch-my-breath crying. I can’t think straight. I can’t rationalize my way out of it. All I can do is succumb to it and hope that my surrender makes it all be over sooner.
I couldn’t look at my dilators. I couldn’t stand the thought of being naked from the waist down. I didn’t even want to acknowledge what hubby and I had just been doing. It was painful and embarrassing and terrifying. I just wanted to curl up into a ball in warm, flannel pj’s and just be held while I cried it out.
I fell asleep and my heart hurt. I woke up this morning and for the briefest instant, I felt fine. And then the ache in my chest set in again, and for the better part of the day, I have pushed it down, refused to talk about it and ignored what happened. I know I need to deal with it. This is the first step.
I have no idea if/how this panic attack will affect our further progress. I just know that it’s weighing on my mind and my body and I need it not to be.
I don’t know how many regular readers I have out there, but if you’ve encountered this post today, please send your happy thoughts my way. Has anyone else had sex-related panic attacks? How have you handled them?