Aunt Vadge: I’m still grieving from my vulvectomy 14 years later

Hi Aunt Vadge, 

I had a vulvectomy when I was 19 years old. I am 33 now and find myself still grieving. What should I do?

Yours,
Grieving
USA

Dear Grieving,

A vulvectomy is certainly a huge physical and emotional event, and one that would no doubt cause a substantial amount of grief. Your body will never look or feel the way it used to. Learning to live with grief, and your changed body, is a process. You can never have your old vulva back, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with grief for the rest of your life – that’s not the trade-off here. The middle ground is finding a place of acceptance.

A psychologist who specialises in grief may be able to help you figure out how to move forward out of your grief. You can find psychologists online (for skype or phone consultations), or in person in your town or city. I suggest finding someone who specifically suits your needs, and it may not be the first person you meet – don’t let that deter you! Finding the right person to help you is like finding a pair of shoes that fit. Once you find that person, you will thrive in that relationship, but you may have to try on a few.

You can move on from your grief with the right help, so make an appointment as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. By emailing us, you have already started that process, so keep going!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge