Broken Vagina



This is a four part series celebrating Self Care September. This is post two of four you can read post one here.


As I mention in post one. Each year in September I’ve had a ritual to reboot after the summer. However, for the past seven years I’ve made a very good habit to not go off track during the summer with my wellness goals due to my emotional binge eating disorder relapse in 2013. In order to stay in recovery I live a strict lifestyle around my wellness plan. After sharing this with clients and students of the self care and wellness lifestyle within the GuttyGirl Lifestyle it kind of became a ritual that many people could relate too. Therefore, each September is dedicated to jump starting all newbies wellness plan. So, if you are new to self care or eating healthy or wellness in general and wanting to start your emotional healing journey please join us this month to jumpstart your wellness goals. I will write about whole life detox in a four part series so stay tune for the next three post in this series. Each series will help you get started in each area.


The thing is self care means many different things as you may define it in a different way than me or someone else. It’s very personal and unique depending on your lifestyle and wellness goals. It includes asking questions like are you getting enough sleep, setting realistic goals, journaling your thoughts, creating a monthly budget, spending time with those you love, setting boundaries and balance in business, your home life and other relationships, monitoring self-talk, starting your day with prayer/meditating and reading inspiring literature before stating your day in something I like to call tag sessions time alone with God? But in my case my self care ritual started with women nutrition health and wellness for a very private issues I will boldly share with you today. Yet, another damn shame story for me to work through, process, and heal from.


Here we go!


My wellness began not because I was diagnosed with a binge eating disorder but because I had a broken vagina. Let me explain.

After becoming a trucker wife as you know I was mom shamed during the same season. If you haven’t read my “shame story” please go back and read it here. Everyone was saying “Oh gosh! You’re pregnant again.” And other degrading comments about my life choices as a mom. What they didn’t know was that I just happen to become pregnant during the times my husband was able to come home from off the road as an over the road truck driver.



And the shocking part was that I was diagnosed with vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal atrophy is inflammation, dryness, and thinning of the vaginal walls. The condition is also known as atrophic vaginitis. There are many forms of treatment for vaginal atrophy. The thing is this happens to most women later in life during menopause not in their twenties. According to an article I read on HealthCentral.com “Menopause is caused by declining estrogen production by the ovaries,” says Oz Harmanli, M.D., chief of urogynecology & reconstructive pelvic surgery and professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. And that, in turn, leads to vaginal atrophy for a large number of women. That’s because the drop in the hormone has a variety of impacts, including “thinning of the vaginal lining, lowering fluid production by vaginal cells in response to sexual arousal, and decreasing cervical and other genitourinary glandular mucus production,” Dr. Harmanli says.”

But my doctor told me my struggle with the condition being so young had to do with my low estrogen levels and the lack of sex I was having. “As estrogen levels begin to drop, some women begin to experience symptoms of vaginal atrophy,” Dr. Harmanli says.





The truth is, I got married on March 2, 2002 and got pregnant on my honeymoon. I gave birth to my first daughter on December 11th and when she turn six months old I found out I was pregnant again with my second daughter. I was only having sex once a month or once every two months depending on when my over the road truck driving husband came home. Therefore, no sex, breast-feeding just a little (I say just a little because each time I only produced milk for three months than nothing, it just completely stopped. This happened with all four pregnancies.) My hormones was all over the place but mostly low.







According to Health Central, “Women who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding may experience VA while their hormones shift postpartum. “This, again, we think is related to lower levels of circulating estrogen,” says Caroline Mitchell, M.D., director of the Vulvovaginal Disorders Program at the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, since “postpartum and breastfeeding is a time of really high progesterone and lower estrogen.” Symptoms often resolve as the body returns to its normal hormonal level after the fourth trimester and weaning from breastfeeding.”



For me, my body never returned to normal. I became pregnant with my son and had a major breakdown due to suicidal thoughts and high stress I didn’t understand how to deal with. This was a very stressful time for me due to all the change. I had just bought a house and moved to Atlanta. I got married and had a baby all in the same year. Then had another baby and mom shaming began on top of becoming a trucker wife trying to balance college, an infant, a one year old, the household, and a long distance marriage all while being four hours away from friends and family. I had no support or me time. No one understood what I was going through as a trucker wife. People kept saying you need to move back to Florida. Go home so you can have some help. But what was I suppose to do, move back to receive help from my mom who was a highway patrol officer with a demanding high stress job and schedule that required different shifts. All while never seeing my husband due to he worked over the road and his stops always started and ended in Atlanta, never Florida. I pretty much would need to get a divorce because we were already struggling with long distance marriage. I already felt like I was married but living like a single parent. It was hard enough seeing him every few months. I wasn’t going to risk my marriage by never seeing him. At least if I lived in the hub of the trucking world “Atlanta” he could come home for a couple of hours and we could see him then. No one understood this. Therefore, like everything in my life I did as a loner-wife. You can check different stories I posted during the early times when I created my blog at lonerwife@blogspot.com, which inspired me to begin my career in marriage and family counseling and life coaching for trucking wives.

But soon after, I became pregnant with my son I was on a verge of breakdown. On top of dealing with a broken vagina that made me cringe every time I tried to be intimate with my husband. All the stress and anxiety I was going through is an overstatement. Then I started to have panic attacks whenever my husband left to go over the road. The separation anxiety was cause by a deep hidden wound of abandonment and childhood emotional neglect that cause me to escape with food and develop my emotional binge eating disorder. My escaping with food did so much damage to my body and digestive system. I already had problems prior and had to have anal fissure surgery but all the sugar I consumed cause me to develop Candida. Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida. So as you can see I was a hot mess.



In addition to all of this I had to move back to Florida because we lost our home and one of our cars- again you can read the full shame here. When my son was six months old I found out I was pregnant again with my daughter, our fourth child. By that time I was use to all of the mom shaming so I had isolated myself from a lot of folks just to feel less pressure of not being good enough for them. I end up having to leave my three kids with my mom something I vowed I would never do because that is exactly what she had done to me which cause my abandonment wound at age five when she left me to live with my great grandmother to pursue her career in law enforcement.


But I needed to work at the time so I enrolled them in Headstart and I did what I had to do and took a job in Montgomery Alabama as a front office receptionist at a children dentist office where my best friend worked as a dental hygienist. It was tough leaving them but I drove the three hours home every weekend. But first, I had to high tail an extra hour to Panama City for my Gyn appointment before going back an hour to my mom house to spend time with my children. So think five hours straight of driving after working five hours because we got off early on Fridays. I was four months pregnant at the time and exhausted. This behavior lead me to spending a day in the hospital because I fainted at work when I was seven months. Luckily, I didn’t land on my stomach a dental assistant caught me as I was going down. I was taking medical charts back to the hygienist and down I went. I woke up in the break room with my best friend praying over me and anointing my head with oil. I didn’t even know what had happen. So I went to the hospital to see if everything was okay and they kept me overnight. They said I was exhausted, dehydrated and my blood pressure was up. And yes, I was all alone again. Scared and living life as a loner-wife.™ Regardless, of how alone I was I did this routine every week until I gave birth exhausted and all. Self care was not a part of my daily routine back then, even though my spiritual teacher was warning me to slow down. She did my tarot cards each month and gave me spiritual guidance while training me in the healing arts of herbalism and hoodoo spiritual practices because I was interested in herbs and learning the art of rootwork. But I didn’t listen to her about reducing the stress and taking care of myself. I was just focus on supporting others like I always did and getting money saved to get back to Atlanta to be closer to the trucker hub to see my husband. We had planned to get a house in Montgomery since I was finally working because it was very hard to get a job when I did start to look in Atlanta without knowing anyone you are pretty much fucked. But moving didn’t fall through on his end. More stress I was dealing with the trucking lifestyle!


Health Central says, “While not the source of the condition, tension in your life can intensify vaginal pain. “If you're having a bad day, everything feels worse,” says Dr. Mitchell. But, while high-stress times may heighten symptoms, it’s important to remember that the pain is real—and not your fault for being stressed. “The message I try very hard not to give people is that this is all in your head—it’s not.”


I agree none of it was all in my head, I was really struggling and didn’t understand how to cope. So my message for you.


IF YOU HAVE vaginal atrophy (VA) the common symptoms you can experience are—pain during sex, itchy genitals, a burning sensation in your vagina, dry vagina, thinning vagina walls, sometimes the walls or entrance may split during sex due to thinning and urinary tract infections. My doctor told me that the vagina can shrink, which can cause dryness, burning and itching, but it also changes in shape, especially if you’re not using it because of painful intercourse. Or in my case being a loyal trucker wife. Therefore, when I did have sex the minuscule tears that happen from this process in the vagina was the cause of the bleeding I was experiencing after sex. It was not heavy bleeding it was light but the small tears hurt like hell and took days to heal. Lucky for me my husband was gone 90% of the time so my body was able to heal without the pressure of having sex immediately after a tear. During my healing journey my spiritual teacher told me what herbs to use to help with healing.


This is what I did.


I drunk herbal teas, took baths with herbs, I used sex toys to keep my vagina open and producing lubrication and consume adaptogens to reduce stress, balance hormones through my diet, and relive anxiety. One herb was ashwagandha which I consumed in a 600mg dosage. I drunk chamomile tea to help relax me and reduce stress and anxiety. I also drunk it right before having sex with my husband to relax me and my vagina muscle that would tense up out of fear of splitting when my husband entered me. The purpose of using sex toys while he was gone was to prevent that feeling and the tearing from happening. I would put lavender leaves in my bath to calm my nerves and I made a lavender base massage oil for massage before sex as foreplay. I made a womb healing playlist for sex as music calms me. Lavender is use to help calm the nerves and alleviate anxiety. It can be use as a tea, aromatherapy oil, massage oil, adding the oil or flowers to baths or spray mist just to calm you down when sprayed on pillows, sheets, or in the air I sprayed that a lot. You can order my aromatherapy products here.

All of these things became part of my self care ritual for healing and recovering from vaginal atrophy. I know this is a lot of personal information. But I believe sharing is caring. So when I teach I teach in great details. I wish I had details like this when I was going through my shame story, when my vaginal was broken, and when I went through my dark night of the soul experience. But people weren’t as open and vulnerable as they are today. They hide their struggles and pain from the world and put up a mask to act like everything in their lives was perfect. But perfect doesn’t exist. We are all fucked up. I’ve embraced that it’s okay to not be okay. Yes, I had a broken vagina. But now it is healed. Hopefully my stories of shame can help someone else heal or at least bring clarity to what they are going through. There is no shame in that. I believe women should support each other in times of distress and embarrassing moments like these, not suppress anxiety and shame.


So there you have it article two of four of Self Care September. This month one exercise I want you to do is really focus on women’s nutrition, health and wellness. If you are having problems with your vagina, breast, anything please go see a doctor. Make sure you are doing monthly breast exams. Understand what your period blood means, any odor, different color of blood, excess cramps, anything not normal get it checked out. Start a nutrition plan strictly for vagina health you get my plan here. Learn how to properly heal your womb with charka healing many of us who struggle with mental and emotional wounds need to focus on womb care as the emotions relates to the 2nd sacral charka. Eat primarily for charka health. If you can afford a spa day experience a vagina steam with herbs. I hope my broken vagina story help someone.


How do you practice women’s health and wellness, please share your wellness ritual with us?


Until next time,


Life Love You and So Do I!

Nikki

xoxo

To order GuttyGirl Wellness Box Self Care Ritual subscriptions click here to learn more.


Resources


Beth Shapouri Health writer at Health Central, 9 Causes of Vaginal Atrophy

https://www.healthcentral.com/slideshow/causes-vaginal-atrophy?ap=2016&epik=dj0yJnU9U0pJanM2bmRTUXphN05rcnllM0pidGhBUERiUm9vd08mcD0wJm49WmF4dFcxaEFZeENBRy1SWUtFUmIxUSZ0PUFBQUFBR01TQUlV


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