I was seriously thinking and ruminating hard on what to write about. You see, I just noticed I’ve not been doing any serious writing in years now. Mehnnn, the thing just taya me. Well, I was in one of those my “lost in thoughts” moments yesterday, when 2 people, with my secretary chasing behind them, suddenly badged into my office.
“Ah!!! What is it?!!!” – I don shock o. Infact, if you see the kain speed wei I carry jump commot for my seat ehn. I was just like one aboki mai guard that was suddenly caught sleeping on the job. Ahhh…
“Oh, sorry for startling you Sir. It’s just that my mum…” – an apparently frightened voice….was still trying to make sense of it all when the older lady cut in…
“Shut up, stupid girl, and what do you expect this Doctor, therapy abi wetin you call am to do for you now.”
Ah, na my people sef. Yoruba woman. Chaiii, that accent ehn, one can almost visualize a Yoruba tribal cut on its thickness. LOL. Nawa o. I tried taking control of the situation…
“I would like to hear all about this. Please, have your seat mummy” (dem born you well make you no call elderly woman mummy for Yoruba land? Hehehe)
“No!!! Dokita, ayam not sitting down o. Mio ni wa je ki omo yii ba mi l’oju je (I won’t allow for this child to soil my reputation)”
Eh. All these old women sef, wetin? Which kain day be dis na?
“Ok mummy, what exactly is the problem? Tell me all about it” – I calmly said.
“I’m not the one with a problem o, Olorun maje (God forbid), it is this girl. Just because she married early, she’s starting to think she’s now a woman. Wo, bi omode ba ni aso to agba, ko le ni akisa to agba (see, you may have got experiences as an adult but your inexperiences leave you far behind an elder)”
“Hmmm. That’s true” – nodding in agreement. Trying to help her feel like she found an ally. Hehehe. All na wash o. It was just me trying to calm her down, make she first shut up and talk abeg.
“Thank you my son. See, the thing is, this girl is my first child. She got married last 2 weeks. She is just 25 years old. And, ah, I gave her home training o. Eh. Mo ma gbiyanju (I tried).”
“Eh. Yes ma. Certainly. Certainly” – I said so looking straight at her. Nodding and slowly taking my seat. The old lady also gradually took a seat in front of my desk – she subconsciously mimicked me. LOL. OK. Mama is seated. Her daughter quietly sat behind. First mission accomplished. She continued…
“You see, after I gave birth to this child, our pastor saw a vision and warned me about allowing her to have sex before marriage. Idile ologun lati wa (we come from a family that fights spiritual battles). My enemies were out to get my daughter since they couldn’t get me”
Ah. By now, my head had already started spinning and getting hot from all these stories. Just hit the nail on the head already. This woman, talk na, abi na wetin?
“Doctor. They got her o. They just did”
“En.ehn?” – I remarked. Made her trust I was following. Her daughter sneered in the background.
“Yes o Doctor. You won’t believe this girl had sex o. Yes, she did. She had sex before marriage…”
“But, but mummy”
“Shut up my fren. Ti n ba fi owo osi gba e l’oju wa ro wipe trailer lo kolu e ni (if I deal you a slap with my left hand, you’ll think you’ve just been hit by a trailer)”.
Her daughter sniggered, rolled her eyes and momentarily shuts up. Mama continued…
“See, she confessed to me only yesterday that she had sex in school. Now, two weeks of marriage and her husband hasn’t been able to do anything with her.”
“How ma?” – I asked.
“He can’t penetrate me. My vagina practically just locks up the moment his penis comes close to it.” – Her daughter replied instead.
“Ah. Doctor, you see what I told you? Is that normal? Is that not spiritual? *Lakiriboto niyen (that is Lakiriboto). This girl has ruined me. And why did she bring me here to see you claiming you’re a therapy abi what did she call it again sef. Follow me to Pastor. Let us go and see Pastor”
*lakiriboto is a Yoruba cultural term used to refer to women with the condition described – the condition is often believed to be a sort of spiritual punishment for a sacrilegious act. It is also widely misconstrued that such women do not possess a vaginal pathway*
“Alright mama. I have to agree with you, she needs to see your Pastor. This is serious. I mean, there isn’t a mother that won’t feel hurt. So sorry ma. Let me just hear her side of this story so you both can get going to Pastor’s place as soon as possible” – this said, still playing the cunning ally. Lol
“Issorait” – she nodded in agreement.
“Ok then. Speak up ma’am. Tell me about your own side of the story – and what’s your name by the way?”
“My name is Sade. Just as my mum said, I’m 25 and newly wedded”
“Ok. Sade. I would listen to you. Go on”
“Indeed, my mum tried her best raising me right and she also always warned me about sex. Infact, she frightened me about it almost all my life but somehow, I got raped by my first boyfriend in school”
“Oh dear, so sorry” – I felt pity for her.
“Shioorr” – mama retorted.
“Mama, haba, I understand how you feel, but please just let her speak, she’ll soon be done”.
She gave a side eyed look, mumbled something, smirked and went quiet. Sade continued.
“My first boyfriend raped me twice. It was really really painful both times. I couldn’t stand being in a relationship with such a person anymore. With the help of my friends, we broke up. Sir, those were the only two times I’ve had sex.”
“Yes, I had several relationships after then, but I couldn’t just bring myself to have sex anymore. My mother’s words always echoed in my mind and my only 2 experience with sex never helped either. Consequently, all my other exes left ‘coz of it. They could not stand being in sexless relationships”
“Alright” – scribbled down certain observations.
“This was till my husband came along. We dated for 2 years, he promised never to touch me till our wedding night and he kept to his words. But….but….but now I’m failing him”
Sade struggling momentarily to fight the tears, couldn’t, they came rushing down like rain droplets. And but for Sade’s sobbing, the room had suddenly gone quiet at this time.
“I’m so so so very sorry dear” – I handed her a clean handkerchief. *Have a box load of it since I get this reaction often*
“Thank you Sir. I’m sorry we badged into your office like that. I just had to come after a friend recommended you but mama won’t allow me” – she tried maintaining a presence of mind.
“Sorry o Doctor.” – mama also apologized, apparently feeling sober now. One could tell she’d never heard that side of Sade’s story before.
“It’s alright ma, I understand”
Back to Sade now…
“I’ll have to ask you a few questions, though I also should let you know that what you’re experiencing right now isn’t unheard of in the medical world, you’re not alone in this and I’ll be by you every step of the way”
“Really? It isn’t strange? Wow, mama, did you hear that?” Her countenance suddenly brightened up.
Mama looked bewildered. Sade continued..
“Thank you Sir. Thank you so much. So, yes, I’m ready to answer all your questions. All” – in better spirits now.
“Good, when did you first start noticing this strange thing your vagina does, I mean the voluntary tightening?”
“Ok. I’m not sure when but I know there was a time in school – way back before I first had sex, a friend of mine gifted me a set of tampons upon returning from the UK. I used one of them, it got stuck in my vagina and became very very painful to remove, it was almost like the muscles tightened up against it”
“Before you had sex? Woah. Ok. What about other objects, how does it feel whenever other objects come close?”
“Hmmm. Same reaction. Even my husband’s fingers. One minute we’re kissing and engaging in foreplay, I get wet. He takes his fingers down there and the next minute, I’m feeling pains from the tightness”
“Oh. You actually get wet. Good. I have a suspicion and if I’m right, you can be treated”
“I can be treated”
“Yes, you can if I’m right. Which is the reason why I’ll refer you to a gynaecologist friend of mine for full evaluation. Don’t make any more attempt at sex for now, it’ll only compound things further. Return here after the evaluation for therapy – which will cover your self esteem, perception, your…” – scribbling down my observations.
“But Doctor, what’s your suspicion?” – mama suddenly cuts in.
*Vaginismus is usually linked to ANXIETY and FEAR of having sex – owing to religious or cultural beliefs for instance, or perhaps, history of sexual/ emotional abuse or stress. Other medical problems like infections can also cause painful intercourse. So it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of pain during sex.*
Sade has since visited the Gynaecologist. No, mama never returned to the Pastor. Would be seeing them by Monday.
Health is wealth, Perfect is boring, to be human is beautiful.