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Reeling from negative response

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I was diagnosed with HSV2 in 2008 and after years feeling unlovable and dirty and worthless (yay outdated and false stigma!!) , I’ve reached the point of acceptance and it does impact my daily life anymore.  However, I was on a Facebook group chat the other day and the question was posed “would you date someone with herpes?”.  

After reading thru the comments, I was absolutely floored that people were so uneducated about this virus.  I was fully prepared for the negativity but some of the outdated and pure false information got me upset that people were making decisions based on false information. So, I explained some of the facts…how it’s common, there are two types, you can not have any symptoms for years so most don’t know they have it, it’s not included in the standard std testing, that the stigma is often worse than actually having it, the % of people that have it, etc.  I didn’t go into my personal details, just the main facts that I wanted people to know so they could make an informed decision. I thought it might be helpful to some people as it was clear that people had wrong information.  

The backlash that I got was overwhelming and I had several people personally attack me calling me dirty, a whore, disgusting, saying they they would pray for my vagina, laughing at the statement I made when I said the stigma was worse than the virus itself.  I just ended up responding with a general statement of how I was just trying to provide some information about the virus by providing medical facts from reputable medical sites.  I was at a loss for words to say anything else.  

But honestly, I’ve been reeling for days about how it made me feel.  Has anyone experienced something like this?  How did you respond?  I’m shocked about how upsetting this was to me when I don’t even know these people and will never meet them in person. It took me so long to accept myself and have the courage to even talk about it.

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First, yay for overcoming stigma and loving yourself! That is amazing and you deserve to be happy and respected ❤️

I am so so so happy that you voiced the TRUTH! Even though many of the people reacted in a completely inappropriate, disgusting, and disrespectful fashion, you spoke the truth and presented facts that debunk the stigmas. It all starts with voicing that. So, thank you  ❤️ Please know that you did nothing wrong, in fact, you did the right thing! 

I am SO sorry that they attacked you in such a terrible way. That shows who THEY are, not who we, people with HSV, are. Sadly, Facebook is a platform that seems to cause a lot more harm than good, and it's really disturbing how people can spew such harmful words and mockery with such ease. I mean... what the heck is wrong with people?  These are people you don't even know, and they think they have the right to make assumptions and judge you and others. That is just not okay. That is part of the problem. We can choose to either be part of the problem or part of the solution, every day with every choice we make. 

I have had some experiences where people made jokes about HSV when I was in the room but they didn't know I have HSV, which is awkward and hurts my feelings. This all goes to show we need WAY more comprehensive sexual and health education in our schools, and people need to be kinder to each other. Socially constructed stereotypes and assumptions about HSV are not okay, and just as they are created by society, they can be changed by society, too, by education, advocating the truth, and starting conversations about the silenced topic of HSV. 

Don;t let the haters get you down. You are a warrior! ❤️ 

Sending prayers and happy energy your way! 🌈




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  • 1 month later...

I have to tell you something. All of these people say this now, and think nothing about it, but wait until the day they get it. Then they will look back and think wow.. karma really striked here. That’s how I felt. See, even myself when I was a young child and heard about it in class, I was repulsed and thought — wow I would not want to live if I got this, it is the worst thing ever. I judged people who had it because the classmates laughed about it. 
When I got it 14 years ago at the age of 17, I thought my life was over. I’ve been suicidal over it many times. Even not too long ago an outbreak led me to log on this forum and post about suicidal thoughts because of it. 
Im just recovering from two outbreaks in a row, some of the worst ones I’ve had since I got diagnosed. But I feel more open and accepting about it than I ever have. 
People can judge if they want, be misinformed if they want, and they will be. But one day they will be humbled by something. If it isn’t this, it’ll be something else. Everyone has to learn compassion someday. And a lot of times, it actually takes getting it to start to accept it in the first place. Sad but true. If I hadn’t gotten it, maybe I would be just as cruel, I can’t say. It all stems from fear. I still wish I didn’t have this but I am a better person now. 

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Hi @ellemmell (previously effe ☀️

I am so happy that you are alive ❤️ The world needs you and is so blessed to have you here!! 🌍☀️💛🦋

I completely understand what you mean. Part of the human experience is growing, and growing can be painful sometimes. However, I think of it like this... the smallest of plants and flowers can grow through the smallest crack in concrete. Even when we feel pressure and pain, we can grow through what we go through ☘️ 🌱, and it makes us even stronger! Plus, it gives us the ability to empathize with others and lift them up. Truly beautiful! 

I don't think you got HSV because you were once repulsed by it. You didn't attract this to yourself. Things happen, and while we cannot control so many of these things, we CAN control how we choose to respond to them. And so wonderfully, you have responded to your diagnosis by growing and thriving and now helping others! Thank you for your kindness and support. You are living proof that fear, self-hate, and sadness can be overcome by the power of radical self-acceptance, self-love, and healing! 💛☀️

Sending blessings your way! 💛🦋

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Thanks @Flowerteacher55 , I appreciate that and also find you very inspiring! 
I like that and agree, grow through what we go through. And we always do. 

I didn’t necessarily get it because I was repulsed by it, but I also didn’t really understand the harm judgement can cause in regards to this until I got it. Even though I didn’t want this, my experience gave me new perspective and a lot more compassion and maturity in regards to these topics now. I mean to say that some people might judge, but one day they’ll be judged for something they can’t control too. So now I try to think differently before I judge someone for something they can’t control and how it might make them feel. And yes you are right, pain can make us more empathetic because we understand more in depth someone’s pain. 

I have tried so hard to grow and overcome the feelings of shame, self-hatred, suicidal thoughts. After 14 years I am finally making some progress. To anyone reading this — don’t give up. The universe is waiting for you to accept and love yourself. 

I actually have an outbreak right now. But you know what I’m going to love myself regardless. I’ve never said that before in my life and never thought I would. But I have to fight for what I deserve. I can’t let this skin rash destroy my self worth and my life anymore. 

Blessings 🖤

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