Hi Silverfoil – I am so sorry to hear about all the pain and abuse you’ve been through. It’s totally natural that you’d be feeling this disconnect with your body. I’ve had periods of feeling this way just because of vaginismus and feeling a lot of shame around my feelings of failure as a woman in the past so I know how hard it can be.

It’s great that you’re in therapy and working on the relationship you have to your body. I think part of the keystone in what you’ve said is “Even just touching myself either feels annoying or painful” – it sounds like you have a lot of trauma to unlearn and it’s possible you’re putting too much pressure on yourself to move quickly back to a healthy place. You spent years learning to completely disconnect from your body and returning to it again likely won’t happen overnight. Orgasms are partly dependent, I think, on being comfortable and present (and are also hard for even women without trauma to achieve!) so maybe focusing on trying to have an orgasm is putting a lot of pressure on yourself that’s counterproductive to your healing.

I recommend stepping back and trying to rediscover how your body works from the ground up. Try touching yourself without a goal of orgasm but just to see what feels gentle, what feels exciting, what makes you comfortable and what makes you tense. Those of us here who have gone through vaginismus treatment will know that it takes longer than you wish it would but you can still see progress when you look for it.

Another thing you might find valuable is http://www.omgyes.com – it’s a series of videos and courses that explore female pleasure that are supported by science and research, and they taught me a lot about how to touch and experience my own pleasure, so something like that might be useful to you too.

Be gentle with your heart and acknowledge the hard work you’ve already done – you are on the path!