Monday Share – Lets talk about sex.

I’ve brought up my difficulties with sexual intimacy–particularly penetrative intercourse–here before. But I haven’t talked about it in quite some time, because quite frankly I haven’t had any interest in sex in a very long time.

But I read this BuzzFeed Article What It’s Like To Date When You Can’t Have Sex the other day, after it came up on my Facebook feed, and it made me want to speak on the topic again.

I related to the article so much. And not that I’ve really dated with my conditions (did I ever mention Mr. Liar was my first, and only, boyfriend?) but the feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, and fear resonated with me. I know those feelings. I’ve struggled with them, as has been seen in early posts here. And I’ve slowly come to terms with them.

Mr. Liar and I have had penetrative intercourse once in the past year. That’s once since we’ve been married. It was about six months after my surgery, and thus about six months after our wedding. And while it didn’t hurt nearly as bad (I didn’t cry!) as before the surgery I still wouldn’t describe it as all that pleasurable or pleasant for me. (I suspect I have vulvodynia as well as my other conditions). Now, we do have other intimate relations, but generally as far as sexual contact goes, it is almost always something I do for Mr. Liar (whether that is me bringing him to orgasm, or him attempting to bring me to orgasm–something he really enjoys doing, but doesn’t happen often), because I just don’t find it all that enjoyable. After years of excruciating pain and hormone “killing” medications, I have almost no interest in sex. I hardly ever get aroused, I don’t find orgasms all that great (I mean, at most they’re ok) and I have tons of visceral negative memories that come rushing up–even if Mr. Liar has never pushed me or been anything other than amazing and supportive. In all honesty, I would much rather have a nice shoulder or foot massage. And recently I have come to terms with that and made it clear to Mr. Liar, which I think has helped us both. It has helped us with a sense of balance and reciprocation–because I love making Mr. Liar feel good, and he loves making me feel good, and now we can both do that in a way that isn’t just about sex. It is still intimacy. And it is wholly relieving.

That isn’t to say that I don’t still have the occasional fears regarding sex or penetrative intercourse, like: trying to conceive one day and what that might entail. But it is incredible knowing I am loved for who I am, and what I can give, not what social media has made me think needs to be a part of my relationship.

 

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Rough Morning’s Positive Thoughts

I’m having a rough morning. To try to jog me out of it, I’m going to list some positives for today:

  1. I got out of bed.
  2. I got dressed today. And Mr. Liar said I look nice today – even though I didn’t put any effort into it.
  3. I took my doxycycline, even though I really, really, really didn’t want to.
  4. I ate something with my doxycycline, even though I really, really didn’t want to.
  5. I made lunches for today, even though I didn’t want to think about food at all.
  6. I went in to work.
  7. I am trying to think positive and not get swallowed up by negativity right now.

It might be a small list, and inconsequential things to many people, but it’s a lot for me right now.

Sleepy Left Brain

Friday was my neuropsychological appointment. It lasted just over an hour. I did a series of standardized tests with the graduate assistant while the Dr. looked over my MRI and records. Then they switched, and the graduate assistant scored my tests while the Dr. asked me questions and did something really similar to a neuro exam. I followed his finger with my eyes, and do a series of things with my eyes closed – keep my arms out straight in front of me, wiggle the finger he touched, identify which direction a sound was coming from, shrug my shoulders, and touch the body part he called out (my left shoulder, right knee, that sort of thing.)

The standardized testing came back that I have very high scores in language and spatial reasoning. …Which, as a graduate student I would hope I did. Basically, those tests told us nothing because my ability is still above that of the average population- so for a norm-referenced test- where your score is determined based on your ability compared to everyone elses- I look great. Even though I feel my performance is far less than it used to be.

It was also a little disappointing, because the standardized tests were all lower-order cognitive functioning, which I have had some problems with (the word switching, and forgetting, especially), but isn’t my primary concern. The difficulties that have been getting in the way of my graduate work have all been higher-order (synthesizing, problem solving, that stuff). Since none of the tests covered that, we can’t really speak to it. Although I do expect that the results would have be similar to the ones I got – that my abilities are still high. They just aren’t as high as I expect of myself – as they used to be, and as I feel like I need them to be.

What was more interesting of the day, was that the Dr noticed my eyes were more dilated than they should be for the lighting, and that my left eyelid was drooping. He had me look at his pen way to the left periphery for a long time – trying to check if the graduate student could confirm what he was seeing. He actually was really impressed at how long I could hold my gaze that way, and said that meant I had really strong eye muscles; but they did conclude that my eyelid was droopy on that side, if only by a millimeter. We have no idea why though.

He also told me I have a “vortex” in my MRI. He explained that it isn’t anything bad, just an interesting quirk. The brain isn’t exactly symmetrical; for most people, the front right lobe and back left lobe are slightly bigger than their counterparts. My brain is the opposite – the back right lobe and front left lobes are bigger. He didn’t imply that this had any affect though – just that it was interesting.

What he did say was, to his best guess from what my symptoms are, I have a “sleepy” left brain. I have no clue what that means, but at least its something.