in the early years of my PGAD, before i was on any type of medication, there seemed to be certain things that would trigger the sensations, like if i got stressed or upset, or got in an argument with my husband; watching any intimate scene --even kissing-- in a movie or on tv, and riding in a car could also bring them on, as well as someone, even a friend, talking about sex. yet, during those same years, i could just be cooking, going for a walk, painting, food shopping, having a fun time with a friend at lunch, or sitting in church, and my PGAD would flare up.
during those years, a behavioral therapist had me journal each time my symptoms came on, to see if, perhaps, i was having thoughts that i was not consciously acknowledging that might be triggering the PGAD. and i tried, i really did, because i wanted nothing more than to get better, so i kept a journal for about 3 months, and sometimes there WERE thoughts i realized i was having while folding laundry, like, "I'm not a good mother", and the sensations would begin, but other times, there were no negative thoughts at all, in fact i could be in a good mood, having positive, hopeful thoughts, and the PGAD would flare up.
when Paxil was helping me, the triggers of stress, arguments or getting upset with my husband actually diminished, but i would still change the channel or look away during intimate scenes on tv, just to be careful. those scenes are, after all, created to arouse the viewer, and i still avoid them.
someone recently asked me how i was able to masturbate when i had a child to take care of, and this is the answer to that question: taking care of my PGAD was difficult those first few years after he was born. i would "take care" of it when he was napping, and at night after he fell asleep. sometimes i'd have to drop him off w/ my husband's aunt, who knew about my situation and was very understanding, and i'd do it then. but by the time he was 2, and i had been into 2 different psych wards --which were the most awful experiences of my life and will write about another time-- my husband and i decided to put our son in a day care 5 days a week so i could take care of my PGAD. thankfully he really liked his day care, so i didn't feel like a bad mom for putting him in a day care so i could relieve myself when needed. thankfully, by the time he was 3 i was prescribed Paxil, and i would only have to relieve myself about once a week, so on those nights, my son would sleep in bed w/ my husband and i had a cot in my son's room to relieve myself, and after i had taken care of it, i'd just sleep in the cot.
then when my son was 5, about to turn 6, we moved from Florida to South Carolina, and kept the same routine, and then when he was about 7 and no longer wanted to sleep in bed with dad --and my husband was kind of tired of it too-- tho thankfully it was a super king size bed, so there was plenty of room-- we made our small office into my own bedroom, and i actually began sleeping in there every night.
before the first 20/20 show i was in aired, they had a clip of it, a preview i suppose, on-line, and w/out really thinking, we let our son watch it with us. he already knew Mommy had a problem "down there" that sometimes made me cry, or stay in bed all day, or why on some days we didn't do home school or other activities, and also why our vacation times were limited to 5 or less days. we just called it "Mommy's problem" and i told him it was like a bad feeling of having to pee that sometimes wouldn't go away. he was 10 years old when he saw the 20/20 clip and there i was, saying "i have to masturbate in order to relieve the sensations", and he exclaimed "ew, that's gross Mom!!!" and he ran out of the room and started himself a bath. about 10 minutes later he called me into the bathroom, and he said, "I'm sorry i said that Mom. i am also sorry you have to do that because of your problem. i want you to know that i love you more today than i ever have."
my son, at age 10, with a truly compassionate heart for his Mom. i was moved to tears, and thinking about it now, i am teary eyed again. his heart is still as compassionate, but now that he's a teenager, we don't talk about "Mommy's problem" except that he mentioned to me, about 6 months ago, that he noticed how i have become more depressed over the past couple of years, and he asked me why, and i just said, "My 'problem' has been getting worse because my medications have stopped working." and he responded, "i'm sorry. that sucks. but you'll get better. just pray, ya' know?" and he gave me a big hug. he still asks me weekly how i am doing, if i am feeling okay. in the past few months, during times when he has unfortunately seen me breakdown crying during a panic attack, he has come over and hugged me and kissed my cheek, saying, "it's gonna be okay, Mom." God, i love my big, little boy.
i do hope things are going to be okay, for my sake, but especially for my son and husband's sake. God, dear God, please make things change. please make them okay again.