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Just a quick update. Unfortunately, I sense that my neighbor is still trying to avoid me and is not comfortable interacting with me. Of course, this makes me feel even worse, even more rejected and misunderstood. I don’t really know if or how I will ever be able to explain my vaginismus to him, or whether it’s even worth trying — because I’m afraid he will say something even more hurtful if I bring up our unfortunate experience together.

The most important thing for me is to find a way to heal the hurt I’m feeling, and part of that I’m pretty sure means knowing that he has at least heard my perspective (even if he is unable to offer empathy or unable to fully understand my feelings). But that’s a tough thing to achieve with the current “cold war” going on between us. I’ve done a lot of work talking this through with friends, writing down my feelings and sample scripts for what I might say to him, rethinking over and over how best to approach him (waffling from being mostly factual in explaining vaginismus without addressing my feelings at first just to open the conversation: “I’m sorry things didn’t end well between us. I think it would help if I told you what was going on for me so that maybe you’ll understand me better” — to saying something kind of vague and yes, sort of angry too: “I’m still stunned and feeling awful about what happened. It’s not easy for me to talk about, but I can’t help it when my body shuts down like that. And I don’t know what else I can say or do at this point. I’d like to break the uncomfortable tension between us, but I can’t do it if you won’t talk to me.”

He’s my next door neighbor, so I am constantly reminded of the devastating incident, to the point that I spend a lot of time now looking for a new home so that I can move away. I wish this wasn’t the case, but the experience hurt me so deeply, made me feel such a sense of rejection, that I don’t know how much longer I can live next door to him and remain sane. I should mention that he was the first person I’ve been intimate with in 18 years, and I trusted him as a friend and neighbor, never imagining that I wouldn’t have fun regardless of what happened. And that I’ve never had a negative sexual experience before (even when vaginismus prevented penetration and even during a 3-year casual/no emotions/no affection type affair).

I know I’ve lost perspective now after 2 months of feeling so upset and awful. Do you think bringing it up with him is just going to make me seem desperate and lead to more hurt for me? Maybe “closure” can only come from within myself. Or does the “hidden”/unspoken condition of vaginismus make this situation different? Because I sense that he’s terribly embarrassed and/or hurt by his erectile dysfunction and is reacting so negatively because of that, never guessing that I might be feeling something similar and that vaginismus meant that he didn’t have much of a chance that night if penetration was his goal. Or should I just wait and see what happens. He might not be ready (if ever) to discuss that night and might not be able to see past his own feelings to acknowledge mine. I might just be a terrible reminder of his own sense of failure and shame. And no matter how much I try to talk about it (or even just to smooth things over without talking about it), this tension may not be resolved in the near future (if ever). Thoughts?