I want to issue a warning about this post. I am going to be very open and honest about the pain in my life and about how that pain, both mental and physical, followed me into the bedroom.
For years and years I lived with chronic pain. I had headaches about 5 times a week. My shoulder muscles hurt constantly. I learned to operate while in pain a long time ago. I popped ibuprofen like candy. Many times the ibuprofen wouldn’t touch the headaches. I was taking 800 mg and it wasn’t doing anything. I had a sock filled with rice and I’d heat that up and put it on my head and lay in a darkened room whenever the pain got to be too much.
Most times, I just sucked it up because if I wasn’t up doing my job, things didn’t get done. I say I have a very high pain tolerance and always thought that is what got me through. Now, however, I’m thinking I developed the high pain tolerance because not only was pain a way of life for me but also, I had no choice. If I hadn’t learned to live with the pain, I think I would’ve been pretty much bedridden.
I’d talked to doctors over the years about the headaches. A few of them wanted me to have an MRI. I would look at our insurance and depending on where he worked and what insurance we had, an MRI would’ve cost between $700-$1,000. We couldn’t afford that and even if we could, I could never see spending that much money on myself when I was operating just fine. Looking back now, I wasn’t “just fine.” I missed out on so much of my life because of pain. Even when I’d go to bed and wait for the ibuprofen and heat to help, I’d be in there for about an hour, then I’d have a headache hangover to contend with afterward.
I had pain in the bedroom too. It started four weeks after Serenity was born, as I’ve talked about already here. When she was 18 months old, the pain improved significantly, but it was still painful a few times a month. After having Liam, I just adamantly refused to have sex with Bubba until I had my post-partum check-up.
At that point I think I was suffering from a mild case of post-partum depression and turned into myself a lot and frankly, didn’t care what Bubba wanted. I was taking care of two children all by myself while he worked really long hours. I also purposely scheduled my post-partum appointment not at the standard six weeks, I waited until Liam was eight weeks old to see the doctor.
The pain during sex was horrible. It felt as if I was being torn apart, both inside and out. It felt like all of my organs were being rearranged and that my entire abdomen was on fire. Since I’d had stitches with Serenity and had not been allowed to heal properly, my perineum always felt like it was on fire. Bubba would use lots of artificial lube, but it didn’t do much to help the pain. It was agony for the most part.
Again, pain during sex was just a way of life. I got used to it. A few times over the years, I tried to tell Bubba that what he was doing hurt. A couple of times, we would try different positions but it would continue to hurt and I’d tell him. He would stop, get dressed, slam out of the bedroom, and watch television. He never offered me comfort or snuggles. He would just get angry and leave the room.
I would get dressed and go to sleep, dejected, feeling as if I wasn’t a person – just a piece of meat. It was so dehumanizing. Eventually, I stopped telling Bubba when sex was painful. Again, I chose the lesser of two evils. Deal with the pain for the 10 or so minutes or have him angry and punishing me for days.
I learned to be quiet and I found a way to cope with it…..