When I was seven or eight years old, I felt very disconnected from my friends and family. I noticed that I had a different way of thinking that just did not go with the norms and culture around me. My mom once called me “the rebellion who will bring shame to her.”
So every night I cried myself to sleep, and the only way that I could find comfort was by imagining that the Blessed Mother was holding me and brushing my hair with her fingers. She was always my role model and my comforter, even in the season of my life where I was angry with God and stopped going to church for two years. I later learned I had a spiritual depression.
Mother Mary was the one stable thing I could count on.
Desperation in Early Days of Marriage
In 2019 I married my best friend. I always wanted a big family and our plan was to get pregnant right away. But that was not the case. The reality was that I had a psychological condition (caused by all the negative things my culture told me about sex) that caused my muscles to voluntarily spasm at the very thought of sexual intimacy. At the time, this made the idea of having a baby very far-fetched. There is no medicine for it. My options were psychotherapy and pelvic floor exercises. Nothing worked.
Turning to My Mother, Again
If I have learned anything from my thirty-two years on earth, it is that my mother, Mama Mary, always has my back. Always. As any one of her lost, stressed children would do, I turned to her. I walked to the living room and told my husband, “We are praying the novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots and will ask Mary to cure my vaginismus.”
I remember pulling up the novena on my phone in both Arabic and English. I am not sure why, but I wanted to pray it in both languages. I prayed with such certainly in my heart that I will conceive this month. My husband was so afraid that if I did not get pregnant it would take a toll on me. He kept saying that I should not get my hopes up. But that only made me pray it harder.
I planned to pray the novena so that it would end on my ovulation day. I closed my eyes and said: “I believe that you are capable of curing me, Lord, with the intercession of your Blessed Mother.”
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It was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, two weeks after my ovulation day. I bought an early pregnancy test and ordered a cute onesie to use for the baby announcement. I went to take a shower and took the pregnancy test, even though the science says it was perhaps too early to get an accurate result. It was positive. I wrapped myself in a towel and went to the bedroom to tell my husband. I was crying so hard I could not get the words out of my mouth. He saw the pregnancy test in my hand and, because I was crying, he thought that it was another negative one.
He looked at me and said, “I am sorry sweetheart. That is why I did not want you to get your hopes up.”
“No, it is positive,” I shouted. “Look, there are two lines.”
You are Not Alone
I later learned from a friend who has the same condition that a priest told her that vaginismus could be a spiritual issue and advised her to pray a spiritual warfare prayer. It makes sense! Who would be better to kick the devil’s behind than Mary?
If you are reading this right now and suffering from vaginismus, I want you to know you are not alone sister! And this condition does not make you any less of a woman or a bad wife. There are steps that you can take to handle it, both on the spiritual and physical side:
- Pray a novena
- Pray a spiritual warfare prayer every night
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Go to therapy
Regardless of what you do remember you are created in his beautiful perfect image. And as He promised, He will always have you in the palm of His hands.
Written by Dana Sawaked. You can find out more about her here.