In my last, pre-vacation, post I proposed the idea of starting a private Facebook group or other online forum. I want this website to be about building a positive, supportive community rather than being a platform for a single voice, and I figured that was the best way to go about making that change. I invited you to contact me if you were interested.
None of you responded.
Is there perhaps some other direction you would like to see this website take? Another way to build community here? Would you like to contribute posts, be an editor for a section, help with web design...?
When I started this blog I wanted it to be what wasn't there for me ten years ago - a place with quality information and education as well as a vibrant, hopeful, community. I wanted to know that I wasn't alone, to connect with other women as well as resources to help me get better.
I figured that I would learn from my readers about how specifically to do that as I went along. But y'all have been pretty quiet. I'd love to be able to do more and make more for all of you, but I don't know what that is without your input.
So I humbly ask, what would your ideal v pain support website look like? What do you want to see here? How can I reach you and make this relevant?
I have tons of ideas about what I could do, and lots of information to share, but unfortunately I lack the technical skills to make many of those happen any time soon. For instance, my current host Squarespace makes it very easy to build a site but doesn't provide a robust way to save it; missing this foundation, I don't want to put tons of effort into work (such as learning how to make and upload quality audio or visual interviews, or finding a way to accept payments so I can pay a third party to host a forum) that I could then lose.
In order to execute many of my ideas, I would need some kind of financial support, either by turning this into a business or non-profit. But I can't do any of that without knowing who it is I serve and what they need.
In short, this website has TONS of potential, but it ain't gonna get nowhere without a little love from you, ma cherie.
So holler at me and let me know how to make this thing work - I want to hear first and foremost what you want and need from the website. Interviews with researchers? Doctors? Complementary care providers? Articles about the biology of pain, spirituality, family life, how to have a sex life? Articles about anatomy and research? Dealing with insurers? There are so many directions this could take!
I would also like to hear what skills and talents you can lend to make your vision happen. Would you like to get paid to build this community, as an employee or freelancer for a business or non-profit? Do you know anything about building a movement around a taboo topic, accounting, web design, writing, research? Could you, would you, be a mentor or advisor or board member? If we can dream it we can do it.
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As it stands, there are a lot of us suffering in isolation. If we can find a way to connect to each other and make our stories and voices heard, we can create change not only in our own lives but also within the medical profession and society at large.
I would like to live to see the day when v pain is as commonly discussed and researched as breast cancer. Once upon a time that too was a squeamish topic mostly avoided, and think of how much worse our lives would be if that had never changed.
All over the world women are stepping out and discussing and making change in so many deeply painful areas that used to be shrouded in silence: domestic violence, miscarriage, infertility, addiction, abuse, rape, sexual harassment.
V pain is yet another frontier in which we are being called to teach the world and ourselves how to respect and value female bodies and experiences.
So take a few minutes to think and dream about the support and knowledge you wish you had, and to reflect on the skills and bravery that you already possess, and tell me what you come up with. I look forward to hearing it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!