Monday, February 15, 2010

My vagina is killing my dreams

When I was a freshman in college, a former Peace Corps volunteer came to one of my classes and told us about her experience volunteering. Ever since then I have wanted to join the Peace Corps. I knew it was a big decision and I did a lot of thinking about it. I also wanted my husband to go with me, so we waited until we got married to talk about applying. Seven years after that first inspiration, my desire to go was even stronger, and we finally took the first steps in applying to the Peace Corps.

We applied in November 2008 and everything was looking great. Our interview went really well and finally in March we heard back that we had been accepted and we even knew what part of the world we would be going to. We were told that we would be leaving in March 2010. I was going to teach English and my husband was going to do something with business. Of course, being "accepted" to the Peace Corps does not mean that you are going to go. Then come the medical and legal evaluations. At the time that I filled out the medical evaluation (which is incredibly in depth and takes about a month) I was actually in remission with my vagina problem (well to be honest, I was more in denial than in remission, but on paper, I was in remission) so my medical part was fine. It took forever, but finally in August we heard back from medical that there were a few things missing. Okay, we went in search of these things. In the meantime, though, we started to really think about my vaginal issues. We started seeing the psychologist and I started going back to the physical therapist because my problem had never really been solved the first time. We were both stressing and worrying about the Peace Corps and our time limit in getting this vagina problem solved, but neither of us said anything for a long time. I think we were both afraid that saying it would make it real and that we would have to make some hard decisions.

Well we finally had to face reality. This problem does not care about my time constraints. This problem does not care that I want to live in another country for 2 years. We finally had to decide that we just could not do the Peace Corps right now because we have got to solve this vagina problem first. It was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to deal with. I know that it's the right decision because I certainly don't want my problem to get worse in a country with limited health care, and I know that for our relationship it is a priority to fix this problem. But I am heartbroken. I have been dreaming about the Peace Corps for 8 years and now my dream is over. The time was now. There is no other time. It's not like we can wait a few years and apply again. In a few years we want to have kids, we want to have a house. The time is now. And it's ruined.

I just can't believe that with all the problems my vagina has caused: pain, no sex, no desire to have sex, low self-esteem, frustration, stress - that it still hasn't stopped. Now it's the reason that I cannot fulfill one of my lifetime dreams. I am so devastated and I don't know if I will ever get over it.

My husband and I talk about perhaps still moving to another country once this problem is fixed, and without the constraints of the Peace Corps. We could have kids and still live in another country. But it's not the same. I wanted the developing country experience. I wanted to learn about how people live in poorer countries. I wanted to help people. And even if we did move to another country at some point, it would not be the Peace Corps experience. My husband says that it seems like I don't even want to do that anymore, and I'm not sure I do. It's like my dream has been ruined and there's no way to get it back. Plus, I guess I'm afraid to get my hopes up again. I mean, what if we decide that in 2 years we're going to move to Switzerland? What if in 2 years I'm still struggling with this problem and it's still not a good time to go? I do not want to deal with this heartbreak again.


Anonymous said...

hey here,

as a vv sufferer for many, many years who waited for her life to start when the problem was fixed, i really urge you to live your life and dreams in spite of it. it's even more heartbreaking when you realize that vv ruined your life and you can't get it back!

the girl with pain "down there" said...

I will be sure to live other dreams, but it's just too unrealitstic to go into the Peace Corps when I require weekly medical attention for my problem. Thank you for the encouraging words. You are right. I shouldn't keep waiting before I start fulfilling my dreams.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you about the peace corps but don't NOT go to Switzerland in 2 years because you are still coping with vv. There are doctors there and you will get treatment and relief.

I don't have enough room here to tell you my story.But I just don't want see any women suffering from vv or any problem down there to go through what I am going through realize that vv ruined my life because I was waiting for it to go away so I can start my life.

the girl with pain "down there" said...

Thank you. You're right. I will not let this problem ruin my life. I hope that now that you have perspective on your own situation that you are at least living it up now even though you may have missed some opportunities in the past.

Anonymous said...

you can also learn about how people live and help people without living their full time! I have two friends who use all their vacation each year to take weeklong trips to help people in various places, like Haiti, New Orleans, India, and Rwanda - they are helping people and learning a lot about the whole world - just not full time! ;-) you can find a compromise! remember to stay positive.