Hi lucy21 – I’m so sorry to hear about the experience you had at the doctor! Doctors’ appointments involving gynecological exams, even external ones, can be one of the hardest things to handle for someone with vaginismus since it’s such a sterile, unrelaxing environment – you should NOT feel bad that this was hard for you!
I completely agree with what Heather said in that sometimes you just need a bit of time to recover before starting up again, and at that time it’s best to move super slowly. Focus on just relaxing, slowly touching yourself, and regaining the ground you had before. One advantage I think you have is that you were able to make progress like inserting a finger before – and if you did it before, you know you can do it again! Having that knowledge has been a big source of confidence for me, and I think it could get you back on track again too.
How is it going? Have you recovered from this experience? Let us know if you have any other dilation questions!