The Courage to be Vulnerable
Almost two years ago I shared the most intimate part of myself online. For years I was scared to write about it, and when I did share it online it wasn’t even on my own blog.
5 years I was diagnosed with vaginismus, a condition in which the vaginal muscles involuntarily or persistently contract which makes any kind of vaginal penetration painful or impossible. It’s hard to put into words how vaginismus has affected my life. It’s left me feeling hopeless, confused, disappointed, and isolated. When women would talk about their sex life, I immediately wanted to run away and hide. My closest friends knew about my pain, but I had never met one person who struggled with the same issue. I still feel like this some days. It’s CONSTANTLY on my mind, and affects many decisions I make such as what clothes I wear and activities I participate in. Thankfully sex is possible...hello three kids, but it’s a constant struggle.
My personal blog, Jesse Coulter, covers topics including fashion, home decor, motherhood, and more. I pride myself on being open to my readers and followers, but sharing such an intimate piece of my life was tough. I was terrified my current and future employers would judge me on this article if I posted it. I wanted to share my story, but I was scared. I needed to get it out. I needed to find someone who felt the same way I did. I joined Austin Moms Blog and wrote posts strictly about parenting/motherhood, and I decided to share my story there. It was like my own secret way of sharing, but not going all out...if that makes sense?
The response was insane. I received email after email for the next few months from women all over the country who struggled with pelvic floor issues. Most of them said they had only ever told their significant other, and they silently lived with the pain. They poured out their souls to me, and shared some of their most intimate stories. I felt honored to be trusted and I was able to truly say “I know how you feel.” A girl from Austin reached out to me and we actually met up for dinner one night to talk. She found the courage to share her story and is now making a documentary about pelvic floor pain! (You can find the Tightly Wound Documentary here.)
I’m so happy women are starting to speak up. For years gynecologist after gynecologist had no idea what I was talking about when I shared my symptoms. It was extremely frustrating to leave the doctor with no answers. I hope sharing my story brings light to this issue and women’s health in general.
What I’ve learned from all of this is that being vulnerable is KEY. Key to finding yourself, key to loving others, key to building positive relationships and key to loving life. I hope you find inspiration in my story to be vulnerable and share the scary things. The people that truly love and support you will be the ones standing by your side when it's all said and done.
You can find my original post from Austin Moms Blog here. I also did a podcast about it on the Jess Lively Show here. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!