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    No Sex = No Empathy = No Sex
    kenna_the_mouse posted:
    I just wrote this long letter to my husband. I'm not sure what to do with it. I'm not sure what to do about any of it. I'm completely lost.

    Dear E,

    I'm writing this as a letter because I want to make sure that I remember all of the things from my doctor's appointment.

    First, Dr. S agreed that ablation was probably not the way to go. She told me that when pain is the primary concern, ablation is not what she would normally recommend, but instead to remove the uterus once childbearing was over. When I asked her if I should stick with Dr. B, she was hesitant to answer, but I pinned her down to say that I should talk to him and ask him why he made the recommendation, that there might have been some thinking on his part that decreasing flow might decrease pain. Ablation is typically for women with excessive blood flow, but some women's pain is associated with the heavy flow and can be helped by it. She doesn't believe that it would help me though because we've tried so many things to try to decrease/eliminate the period and it hasn't helped the pain. She had one further recommendation: go back on the mini-pill. Talk to Dr. Z about testing to see if there has been any significant change on/off of it to ease his concerns, but the medications I'm on should be enough to combat any problems it can cause because it's so small a dose.

    Second, pain: she gave me a prescription for estrogen cream that within 8 wks should help thicken up the surface skin of the vulva/vagina area. She gave me a recommendation for a lubricant available online. I purchased a lubricant yesterday that has an applicator which may help things.

    Third, psychological: we agreed that this is a downward spiral/cycle situation. The pain is largely caused by lubrication problems, but the experience of pain makes lubrication a problem. It makes desire a problem. She said my medications are likely a hindrance, but that there is not much that can be done to change them. She said that the Wellbutrin is known to be less likely to cause libido problems, but that the Prozac is a likely culprit, and that it can make it difficult to achieve orgasm. She is concerned that because there are so many elements to the problem, there is not much more that she can do to help me with libido, and gave me 2 names of sex therapists.

    Finally, there is what's been going on with me for the last few weeks. I was very excited by the possibilities that the suggestion of [my erotica alter-ego> can do for us. But first we were busy I guess, then I was sick, then I was in pain. When I experience pain, I quickly feel that everything is hopeless. Hopelessness is a huge problem for me. It grows so quickly and strongly and takes over everything, and pain is the biggest/quickest trigger.

    We never talked about that morning we went to the gym and I was crying. I know that I upset you and you closed off from me when I followed up to that with trying to get you to empathize with me. I get that. How or why it happened does not change the fact that it happened and it's still causing problems 2 weeks later.

    kenna_the_mouse responded:

    What happened was this: I was in pain and I was feeling hopeless. When you rebuffed me, I became so much more hopeless. I hit my hand in the shower and started crying again. Then I told myself to stop and put it behind me and move on. And so I did. It got better. We had the meeting with [couple's therapist> later that week, didn't we? I remember the beginning of that week going really well.

    But as soon as I started feeling sick and then again when it turned to pain, I felt I couldn't come to you with that. I couldn't talk to you about it. At first I thought it was because of that morning, but it was quickly reinforced and overshadowed by the way you seemed to close off from me again. You stepped up and took over like a champ. But there was almost no eye contact, almost no directly speaking to me, no touching me, no asking me about what was going on for 2-3 days. I believe it was food poisoning from the dumpling place that ruined Sunday and most of Monday, and then on Tuesday I woke up with that pain that travels from my lower back/hip to my leg and I could barely walk. But you didn't ask me about any of it, and I didn't tell you about any of it because you didn't ask.

    So on Tuesday when I got into the shower I realized I was feeling better enough to think about something else, so it was finally time to think about [alter-ego> and what we could do with her. Finally I gave up because every time I tried, I just started crying.

    We downward spiraled once again, so quickly, and so low, I don't know how to come back. You were upset about sex and what I said, but your response to that completely shut down any intimacy we had that could be built on to work on that. We are repeatedly psychologically damaging each other. The thing you need the most is physical intimacy, the thing I need the most is empathy, your need shuts down your ability to give me what you need which shuts down my ability to give you what you need. And on and on and on.

    And I don't know what to do about any of it any more. I'm in pain most of the time, which brings me down. That brings on the hopelessness and depression. Which brings on your closing off from me. Which leads me to feeling desperate about finding anything to help. Which leads me to the conclusion that most of my pain problems can only be solved by surgery. Which neither of us know how we could survive dealing with the recovery time. Which leads to more hopelessness. Which makes me desperate to talk to someone. Which leads me to once again realize that I have no one to talk to about any of this except for you and [therapist>. I don't see her for weeks again now, you are so far away that I don't know how to talk to you about even trivial things, and there is no one else and every time I try to find someone else it ends in failure. More hopelessness. I curve in on myself in a mental ball.

    I know that you are not my therapist or my savior. I know that you don't have super powers. I know that all of this effects you quite similarly, making you less and less capable of dealing as well. I know that all of this puts more weight on you. Talking about it puts more weight on you. Seeing me on the couch puts more weight on you.

    It seems more and more that what we need from each other the most is just gone. The only way to stop is for one of us to miraculously dig up some spectacular reserve to feed the other and then hope that it's enough to halt the spiral and start us heading upwards again. But which one of us has that in us? How do we find it if it's there?
    rohvannyn replied to kenna_the_mouse's response:
    I'd say give it to him. It's thoughtful, makes sense, and would hopefully offer some clarity. The only thing I might add is a heartfelt thanks to him for what he has alraedy done for him. Even if it is not much, a little thanks goes a long way, doesn't it?

    I hear that you are in pain and having a lot of trouble right now. I sincerely hope you find a way to at least improve your situation and find a little peace. Sometimes a trouble shared is a trouble halved, but I totally understand not wanting to add to his burden. Still, real understanding usually helps.

    'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
    dfromspencer replied to kenna_the_mouse's response:
    Wow, i can tell a fellow pain sufferer when i hear one!!! I feel for you, i really do! I would offer that this mild pain reliever doesn't work very well? Have you tried any narcotic meds, such as morphine? If it helps you live a half way decent life, WHY NOT? There are others, one of which may be just right for you?

    Plus, there are combinations of each, which might also work well for you? Talk to your doctor, see what she has to say on this topic? I wish only a pain free existence for you, something i will never have for the rest of my life! I deal with it day by day, some days are better than others, but i will never be rid of pain, except in death?!

    Your hubby, needs to be bopped upside the head! Having such an uncaring hubby must be awful? Perhaps he needs to experience ongoing pain, to really see what it is you have to deal with? He may never get it? He is not being a very good hubby to you, and that is a shame?!

    I hope you find some way to deal with this pain, and still maintain your sanity!!! I wish you well!

    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to kenna_the_mouse's response:
    Maybe it would help if you shared with us why you are hesitant to give this to your husband. Also, many people bring up in couple therapy what they feel they can't bring up outside of it -- maybe that is a good route for you?

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