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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by AllisonCarter, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. AllisonCarter

    AllisonCarter New Member

    Hello everyone,
    I have been on the site for a while mainly observing, and I thought I would share my story. I am 24 years old and have been battling vulvodynia for around 8 months. My symptoms started after I suffered a bad bacterial infection, which cleared up quite quickly but pain lingered. At that time I was in an emotionally abusive relationship which I believe contributed to my pain. Over the last 8 months I have been to several gynos and have been tested for everything under the sun, and everything comes back negative, except that sometimes the vaginal swabs show I don’t have a lot of lactobacillus, despite me taking probiotics for a long time.

    During the 8month time span, I have tried so many things to heal myself, from yoga to loosen up my pelvic floor, estrogen therapy, boric acid suppositories, different moisturizers, with everything providing short term relief.

    I joined Curable about two months ago, and I love the podcasts, I really resonate with everything the Doctors say. I have also read John Sarno’s books, and I really do believe my pain is TMS but I find myself often believing something is wrong with me. Now my pain is a lot better that it used to be, but I suffer now from what I believe is skin sensitivity as I cant wear tight clothing as they cause me a lot of discomfort. I would really appreciate it if some of you ladies that have overcome Vulvodynia to share your thoughts and experiences. Did you also suffer from skin sensitivity and/or dry skin? I am currently moisturizing with vaseline, but I dont know If I should just stop everything as putting things on it may signal my brain that something is wrong.. but at the same time I notice my skin cracks if I dont put anything on it!

    I’m really desperate, and I often cry and wish I could be the way I used to be 8 months ago.

    Thank you for reading!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Everything you describe is classic TMS. You want to really shift focus away from the physical and the body part and various "treatments" like lotions and potions, because all that does is reinforce those neural pathways. Our body's default state is one of wellness. There is nothing you need to be doing in that area of the body because it has it's own built in mechanisms that keep ph levels etc at an equilibrium. Vaseline is just going to create topical problems because it's occlusive and irritating imo. You could try Replens temporarily to feel more comfortable (and hence comforted), but the goal is to stop focusing on these things and lose the fear about being somehow "damaged" or "not normal". Those are simply false beliefs that stem from your emotions and trauma from the abusive relationship. Your brain is using these symptoms as a way to protect you form the ptsd and other scary feelings of rage and sadness and feelings of low self esteem. That is what needs to be addressed. The truth is there is nothing wrong with you or your body. What you are experiencing is super common and reversible. The message that needs to be sent to your brain right now is one of safety. Keep reminding yourself you are safe and that toxic relationship is in your past. You deserve to be happy and feel safe from now on.
    backhand and AllisonCarter like this.
  3. AllisonCarter

    AllisonCarter New Member

    @miffybunny thank you so much for your reply! The problem I have is with the external part, the vulva skin, which seems to be extremely sensitive and easily irritated! I do believe in TMS and everything you said, its just that whenever I see some redness on the vulva skin, sometimes I get these paper cuts or small erosions then I get convinced that something is wrong..
  4. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sometimes our perceptions of things that are quite normal become distorted due to fear and worry. This preoccupation you have is actually a distraction strategy of the TMS. Use unscented Dove soap and Replens a couple of times and then call it a day. Stop monitoring and checking and analyzing because it's just feeding the tms strategy. Our brains create ALL sensations. I myself have had swelling, slow changes, temperature changes, rashes and all manner or bizarre symptoms but my brain and focus was still creating it. What you "see" is merely an interpretation based on fear, not necessarily reality. What you have to realize and believe is that you are totally normal and there is no scary physical process actually happening. All infections and injuries heal. Any chronic pain after that is coming from the brain. I would urge you to stop checking down there and focusing on it. Shift focus to the psychological. Cotton underwear and Dove soap and you will be good to go in the physical department lol. Trust me on this one! It always comes back to our lives ad the beliefs we have about ourselves and our life. It's never about the body. Everything you describe is simply anxiety somatized...anxiety expressed through the body and preoccupation with physical things. It is also symbolic in your case because it's tied in with self image, sexuality and feelings of danger or being vulnerable. The infection was simply a trigger that your brain latched on to. If you think about it, it's quite normal that your anxiety would be manifesting in this way.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
    tmstraveler likes this.
  5. AllisonCarter

    AllisonCarter New Member

    @miffybunny thank you so much for your helpful words, you have no idea how much they calmed me down, I appreciate it very much!
    Also, thank you for your tips. I did have eczema as a child, and do have sensitive skin in general, which may be a contributing factor for my vulva sensitivity! As of right now, I just wash with warm water ( I wash the area daily, sometimes I think maybe washing too often may irritate the skin). I have also seen a dermatologist that ruled out any skin conditions like Lichen Sclerosis etc, so thats comforting! I hope I will one day be pain free, sending virtual hugs, and thanks again!
    miffybunny likes this.

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