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How to heal??


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This month makes a year since I’ve contracted herpes and I knew it would be difficult, but not like this. Two days this month are the most gut wrenching for me; the day I woke up in so much pain that I couldn’t sit up straight, and the day that I was correctly diagnosed with the virus that caused me that nearly unbearable pain. A year later I still have so many emotions that weren’t properly dealt with that I’ve started to have anxiety attacks. I told myself it’d be easier to deal with if I didn’t think about it.. but ironically enough herpes has been the topic of conversation multiple times this month, amongst people that mean a lot to me (who are unaware I have this virus), in nothing but negative light. Someone who knows I have the virus, and witnessed the depression I went through firsthand was also present during the these conversations. Though no negative comment was made by them, no comment in the defense of people who have the virus was made either. This has caused me to spiral. I always try and defend people who need to be defended. This person is the most important person in my life. Someone I have never let ANYONE disrespect.. but in the time to defend me.. and others who did not sign up for herpes... nothing. After witnessing the distress my diagnosis caused me for months.. they said nothing. In a moment where I felt as though I couldn’t defend myself, they had nothing for me either. Just silence. Silence that felt like a nonverbal agreement that somehow we aren’t lovable. That we don’t deserve companionship from another person because of something that a lot of us had no idea we were setting ourselves up for. If this person wasn’t my mother I don’t think I would care. How could you know the pain that the stigma around herpes has caused me and not say anything? After years of defending any and every one of her questionable decisions, when will it be my turn to be defended in moments where I’m being wrongfully shamed? This set me back. I need help and now I really don’t know who to turn to because it’s clear to me that unless it is you, it could never be you to some people. I have only a handful of people who know I have herpes and at this point I hate talking to any of them about it. All of them at some point have TOLD me I did something wrong. I am human and I make mistakes, and sleeping with the person from whom I contracted hsv from wasn’t a mistake. It was a choice I made that backfired. But because it backfired with something incurable now I’m damaged goods that don’t deserve to be genuinely loved? I was doing so good mentally before this month. I feel there’s this unspoken barrier between me and my mom now, that she may not even know is there, but I damn sure do. I know that this isn’t a situation that has a set answer.. or maybe even a good answer. I just feel safe here and I needed to get this off my chest. Maybe therapy is my best bet since my support group hasn’t been the most supportive after all. 

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@IJWFB I'm glad to know you feel safe here. To unload what must feel like a heavy weight. I'm so damn PROUD of you for sharing your heart like this. It's a huge step. I see you. I feel you. 

And here's the key: You get to shift how you're looking at this situation to help unburden yourself. Your perception here is everything, especially during such an identity shift that the past year has brought on for you.

First, allow yourself to feel on a deep core level that your mom still loves the shit outta you. Always has, always will. (She's a mom, for gosh sake! It's part of her makeup. She can't not love you.) She's just going through her own stuff with your news. She's doing the best she can with what tools and awareness she does have. Perhaps her side does involve some judgment, but ultimately deep down, it's tapping into her own fear, too. Fear to talk with you and support you around something that she might associate with her own shame and self-judgment. Fear that her daughter is somehow tarnished now (stigmatized BS). Fear that her daughter's life is ruined (more BS). Etcetera, etcetera. Bottom line is it's all based in fear. F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. But remember, you don't have to get pulled into your own fear spirals. 

Who knows what it is specifically that is holding her back from being present with you since she's not talking about it. But you can be darn sure that the biggest test here is how you choose to feel about yourself, even through your experience of not being supported in the ways you wish you would have been.

This is your moment to show up for you. (Speaking of, have you read/heard my blog post on Self Love? It may resonate with you.) How do you feel about you? Do you actually feel unlovable? Do you truly feel like damaged goods? What other people say hurts us because we believe it first; their words only bring up our own self-judgment ... that's what hurts the most. 

So take this time as a golden opportunity to re-parent yourself, to be your own best friend (I know, it sounds corny, but it's sooo good). Hold a compassionate space for your hurting heart ... and even compassion for your mom and others not being able to show up for you through your tough time. This is a test ... it's only a test. 😉 

And consider this: You may be more emotionally evolved than your mother. That's a distinct possibility (not a knock on her, just a truism with how evolution works on a good day). And this may be too much for her to handle right now, so she can't show up for you amidst her own overwhelm. Know that this might be all she is capable of right now. And have compassion for that, too. She loves you. She's just not showing up with the way you need to be loved right now because of her own stuff. 

Sometimes the biggest growth opportunities show up as some of the shittiest feelings ... Shitty feels that are asking for us to grow beyond who we thought we were. 

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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