It hit me yesterday that I don’t think I ever wrote a post on a bike accident I had when I was in 1st grade that probably contributed to my vaginismus on some level.
There are a lot of contributing factors that caused my vaginismus, but I have already talked about those in posts (strict Catholic schools, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault, etc…).
I think the main reason I never brought this incident up was because I kept trying to convince doctors that this was not the sole cause of my vaginismus, as I never had any scar tissue and they were looking for physical signs of trauma when they heard I had pain during sex.
It always irritated me that I had to mention this bike accident to all of the doctors who were looking into why I have pain because, as soon as they heard this story, they clung onto it and assumed that it MUST be the sole cause. However, after they checked for scar tissue, they didn’t find any. Then, they would just shake their heads and say one of two things :
- “Perhaps, this is all in your head and you need to learn relaxation techniques. Sometimes people misconstrue pressure with pain during penetration.”
- “I honestly have no idea what is going on.”
At least the ones that gave me the number 2 answer were honest without being condescending, but it was still really difficult to hear these comments over and over again. I felt like I was getting nowhere with this condition.
The Bike Incident
I always refer to it as “The Bike Incident,” which sounds very dramatic. To be fair, it was incredibly traumatic, especially for a child. If you are squeamish, I would encourage you to not read any further.
My sister and I were playing around on an old metal tricycle of ours in our neighborhood. Honestly, it was just two kids being silly and goofing off. We were big enough to ride bikes, but we thought it would be funny to take turns riding the tricycle around the block.
My sister got on and I pushed her, so that she could get some momentum going. She was able to stop the tricycle with her feet and not have any problems.
Then, it was my turn.
When I got on the tricycle and she pushed me down the small decline, it went faster than I was expecting it to. It all happened very quickly that I barely remember it.
I remember trying to slow the tricycle down with my feet and my feet sliding against the sidewalk until they started to burn. Then, I remember the tricycle abruptly stopping and my body flipping over with the bike. I remember seeing the handlebars as I was going upside down, but it was very fast paced that I couldn’t tell you how I managed to get injured the way that I did.
When I stood up, my body was sore but my vagina hurt really bad. Keep in mind, I was too young to have a period at this time, so I couldn’t understand why my pants were feeling wet and sticky. Something wasn’t right. I was in a bit of shock after being jolted and because of the amount of pain that I was in, but I remember my sister and I getting on our actual bikes to bike back home. Probably one of the worst ideas in my condition, but we didn’t know the extent of my injury. She didn’t even know I hurt myself down there.
The whole way home, I was shaking and couldn’t stay on the bike because it was too painful. I ended up walking the rest of the way, and even that was excruciating.
As soon as I got into the house, I remember rushing to the bathroom and noticing blood. Lots of blood. Then I went into some real shock.
I was shaking and crying because I didn’t understand what was happening to me. All I knew was that I was in serious pain and bleeding out of my vagina.
My mom ran into the bathroom, just as shocked as I was, and tried to sit me down to breathe. I couldn’t sit because it hurt too bad and, through my sobs, I screamed, “NO! No, I can’t! It hurts!”
I vaguely remember my surroundings, but sounds were muffled. I’m pretty sure my sister was standing in the doorway very concerned. I’m guessing she was telling my mom what happened. I definitely couldn’t tell her, or if I did, I don’t remember.
My mom told me to try to use the bathroom to get the toxins out.
Holy hell. That was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.
I tried to pee just a little bit and clenched it back in screaming. Not like a normal, “Omg that hurts,” type of scream but the blood curdling scream you hear when someone is being tortured.
I remember seeing my dad leave the house and it wasn’t until I got older that my mom said he had to force himself to leave because he was getting extremely worried and upset, since the screams were so bad. He felt helpless because he couldn’t help me, and I was clearly in so much pain.
My mom told me that I needed to try to use the restroom and I remember shaking my head and crying, screaming that I can’t do it. I remember getting off of the toilet and looking down to see blood everywhere before I left.
When my mom took me to the doctor immediately, they told me I gave myself a self-episiotomy with a rusty screw from the tricycle. She told my mom that all they could do was give me antibiotics in the form of cream to use internally and externally. She said that because I was so young and that the area was too delicate that they didn’t want to stitch down there. It would only cause more harm than good, and she was convinced that it would heal on it’s own given time. She also told my mom that I needed to use the restroom and not keep holding it in because I needed to let the toxins out.
I remember when I heard that I began to silently panic.
I don’t recall how long this injury lasted, but it was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. My mom would have to force me to use the restroom because I didn’t want to do it. She would literally have to hold my legs, so that I couldn’t get up because, if I had it my way, I just would never go pee and that would have caused even MORE problems. I remember her hands on my upper thighs as my legs were shaking uncontrollably. About 30% was due to nerves and 70% was from pure searing pain.
Whenever I would pee, I would just pee blood.
My mom kneeling in front of me, holding onto my legs, while I screamed in agony as I peed blood became our routine for I don’t know how long.
During this period, I remember going to a birthday party and all of the parents being there, chatting and watching us kids playing. I was having a great time. It was the first time in awhile that I felt pretty good. Then, I suddenly had to use the restroom.
I remember my mom and I locking eyes and she knew exactly what I was thinking and feeling. She excused herself from the conversation with the other parents and pulled me aside to ask if I had to use the restroom. I nodded and told her I couldn’t do it here.
I had to leave the party early just to go home to sit on the toilet, peeing blood with the worst burning pain ever.
I still remember how it felt. It’s one of those pains that is so severe your body doesn’t forget the feeling. The burning wasn’t just in my vagina, but it reverberated throughout my entire body, causing me to shake and sweat uncontrollably. My hands and fingertips would begin to tingle, as my body went into shock every single time I used the restroom.
So, that’s my story about how I gave myself a self-episiotomy that did contribute to my vaginismus in some way.
I think because the pain was so intense, my mind and body held onto that feeling even years later. Today, my body is still afraid of pain down there because of what I experienced during this accident, causing my PC muscles to tense. That’s my best guess anyways, as there is no scar tissue to be found. Trust me, over a handful of doctors and my husband, who is in the medical field, have looked.