my story….

This post is on a very sensitive matter dealing with sex.  possible triggers for those who have been raped, molested.  if you have young children who are not ready for these sensitive topics please either have them leave the room or wait to read later.  comments are of course encouraged but please be kind-comments will stay at my discretion.  if you would like to say something but don’t want to in the comment section your are more than welcome to email me at jessica(dot)raye(dot)hall(@) gmail (dot) com. 

my marriage ended because of it and i don’t date because of it.  i know that at some point if i do date someone that it will get serious and then we will have to have a conversation, one that i haven’t been ready for.  one i don’t know how to speak about- the deep conversation about why i got divorced.  its a hard and complicated conversation to have, its painful and brings everything back to me.  when i think of it or talk about it everything rushes back to me and there i am on our honeymoon, first year anniversary, our third and then the restaurant.  and there he tells me without telling me and my fear/nightmare has come to life.  my husband left me because we couldn’t have children (i couldn’t have children), because i couldn’t have sex.

because of all of this i wonder if someone could really love me still, if i would be worth it.  to wait it out with all of the work and just hope that it will be able to happen.  so i blow off the advances, then get upset at myself because i want to date and don’t and then i get upset at him because he left me, me to deal with all of it:  in this position.  i was safe before.  but i’m not as angry as i once was.  i have done good doing all the hard work that is needed.  digging into my past and healing what has needed to be healed and forgiving the past, my heart, my body.

one act that can happen as a child to you can have such a lasting effect.  it can morph your attitude and personality, how you view yourself, your relationships and the world around you.  it can make you forget and leave you feeling years later hopeless and alone.  as a child i was molested, i was rather little and in a way to survive my mind had blocked it from me.  since i never discussed it any further after it came out it was never brought up again (well until after i was separated).  what myself or anyone else knew was that it had left an impression on my psyche. how i viewed my body, the self-hatred, the lack of focus, distrust of men, depression, lack of a sexual drive and a negative view of sex.

when i married i was afraid of how it would hurt- i was told it would be painful and uncomfortable. so i went into with more fear and hesitation along with the excitement, nervousness with it being my first time.  on our wedding night we got to the hotel, both nervous and anticipating what was to come.  we put our bags down, talked and then i went into the bathroom undressed and put on my wedding night lingerie and walked out.  with it being both of our first times we took it slow, we worked up to everything and then the moment.  he tried and my body tensed and then went into a bit of a shock, so we stopped and this would happen through out the night.  i had been told that this was a possibility of happening.  that sometimes those who have never had sex and then all of a sudden do have a bit of an adjustment.  we discussed it and would just keep trying.  though the frustration and the let down of it would linger. the shame and guilt i felt for not being able to do something so natural and expected caused a whole new self loathing in me.  we tried several more times on our honeymoon and then at some point just gave up and decided we would try more at home.  we thought it would make me more at ease and comfortable.  for the first several months we tried and nothing happened.  i tried making goals for myself, by six months and then our first anniversary.

my fear of him leaving me came early on.  i had failed at was was supposed to be this basic and most natural human act. and i was afraid he would leave me for that.  i had a hard time letting myself enjoy anything that had to do with sex. i pushed away many advances and anything that could possibly lead to sex.  because i knew the outcome, we would be let down, my body would shut down and we would lie there in silent both frustrated and angry.  so after awhile we stopped trying for actual intercourse, and didn’t discuss the ginormous elephant that was suffocating us.  we found eventually what worked for us and navigated around it, for awhile.

babies, children were brought up early on in our relationship. we both wanted them and were excited to have them at some point in time.  before we married we had discussed that i had wanted to wait five years to start having children.  my logic was that we would be older and more mature and stable within our relationship. he would be done with school, have a steady job and income and health insurance.  by three years we had had that, we had toyed around with the idea and so on our third year anniversary we decided that we would start trying for a baby.  we were both ready and felt it was time.  so we tried even more to have intercourse and i became obsessed with everything baby.  i craved and desired to be pregnant and to have a baby.  i researched everything: birthing, nursing, hospital vs. home, midwives, doulas, diapers-cloth, throw away, in-between, how to puree baby food, names and the proper diet i should be on before, during and after.  but when nothing happened i became disappointed and then angry and a way for me to survive the devastation of possibly never barring my own children i told myself the biggest lie i have ever told myself and everyone else – that i didn’t want children, that i would be okay with out them. that was the beginning of the end for us.  by this time i was at my heaviest, i withdrew from my husband, my faith dwindled and my hatred of my body took a new height. i became lonely and depressed, my attempts at perfection failed and anxiety reached a new level.

a few short years later we sat at a table in the upstairs of a local restaurant on a sunday night.  we had just finished dinner and were closing on our chocolate cake we were sharing.  he was quiet all night, he looked drained.  i thought it was due to work, school and military training from the last couple of weeks.  we had both been busy and hadn’t seen much of each other. but then he started talking and at first i couldn’t process what he was saying.  he told me he couldn’t go on with what we were doing, he wanted children and i didn’t.  we had grown apart and i i was different from our early years.  he didn’t think he loved me anymore.  and i sat there dumbfounded and in shock and in this out of body feeling.  i see him and me and the other patrons around us. i try to listen to hear him and i try to hold back the tears so no one notices that my world is falling apart around me and i see him talking and crying. and there i am feeling suspended in the air and the world rushing around me as i am still. i see it, feel it and remember it.

and as i think of all of that and the possibility of dating and relationships i hold back, because i don’t want to go through that pain all over again.  to fall in love again and to have to learn to sleep alone again.  and i am afraid of having that conversation with someone and then them leaving me and not being worth anything to them.  but hear i am sharing with the world now because i wonder if i would have known what had happened to me that things might be different now.  i would of had the support, he would of had the support, we both would of had the support we needed.  i wouldn’t of thought i was crazy for my thoughts and emotions.  we could of gotten the help we needed at the start and had a good explanation of what was happening and why it was happening- we would of had a name for it.  we could have gotten it taken care of.

our society and culture shames discussion on sex, those topics that are important to have.  we disregard anything that is different from the norm and told to just buck up.  and so here i am opening up the discussion to talk about this, to share my own experience so that any women or man going through something similar will know they are not alone. that there is help that you can get and that you know you are not crazy.  i understand the pain and confusion you feel.

….and i do this for me.

*if you and your partner are having a difficult time having intercourse, penetration please know that you are not alone. Please also know that you can get help and it can be fixed. You can do a number of things contact a good OBGYN who knows what Vaginismus is, then contact a Sex Therapist. You can also check out this website on Vaginismus.  And talked to your parent(s) or possible close relative who would know if there was any possibility of molestation, rape  done to you.

with love,

jess

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13 thoughts on “my story….

  1. You radiate strength and compassion to those in your presence. I’m thankful for my experience sharing a classroom with you and excited about a future friendship. Thank you for sharing your story, it resonates with me in many ways and am sure it will also help others. You are enough. You are so worth loving.

    • Hayley, Thank you for your time to comment and to read. I am so glad that I have gotten to meet you in class and to hear from you as well. It is time as women that we start empowering one another and letting each other know that we aren’t alone. I am glad that this has helped you as well. And I look forward to many years of friendships with you as well.

  2. Jess! This really hit home for me..and I want you to know how brave you are for making this post on such a topic that most don’t speak of. It speaks volumes. I want you to know that you’re loved and appreciated and I am always here for you!

  3. Oh Jess –

    I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Bringing your story out into the open takes so much inner strength – and it will help you heal. There is so much love around you; in fact, there is love all around each and every one of us – all we have to do is reach for it.

    Healing from any form of abuse is a long process with many frustrations and breakthroughs – ups and downs that we are brought through by the loving hand of God. He can rewrite your history, and give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3) – He can, and He will. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Feel free to call or message me anytime you might feel lonely, I’m always here for you. = )

  4. Jessica. Sorry. I wasn’t sure of all that went on with your marriage, and the ending of it. I feel for you though. I haven’t been on a date since my marriage ended, 18 years ago, because of some of what you went through. Hopefully sometime, you & i can talk. I still think of you alot, and miss your company, here. My prayers of comfort, and peace, are with you. You know, i’m still out here, and are here, if you EVER need to vent, or get away.

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