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Herpes Statistics State ...


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"Black women had the highest rate of infection at 48 percent and women were nearly twice likely as men to be infected, according to an analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." I'm part of that "percentage".

 

First I want to say that my story is not one that I am ashamed of or maybe some have even heard but I'm alive and I have decided that I should finally say something, after being diagnosed 6 years ago, I have been in denial since...and I still am, but I know there is a purpose under the sun for everything.

 

My name is Faith and I have HSV2. This is my story ...

 

I contracted herpes from a horrible sexual assault (in which I still blame myself for to this day BUT I'm better now than I was then), and of course it was devastating, not only to be assaulted but to have this life-long reminder of it is just as painful enough. At the time I was so depressed because 3 years before,I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes & that revelation took me downhill immediately. I trusted ANYONE who would give me the time of day. In doing so I did not pay attention to the "signs" that this guy was showing me...

 

BUT that story is not why I am here. I am here because there may be someone out there LIKE ME that is ashamed and afraid to say anything to anyone because of the stigma of it all. I don't have the confidence that I should have, and I often feel tainted and unworthy of any "good" relationship, so I just decided to abstain from sex as much as possible, and honestly it's really not a big change. I have a sickening fear of "infecting" someone or even being assaulted again. My culture is not as open to discussing such things with open arms and understanding.

 

There is a rampant AIDS epidemic and it just so happens that African-American women are the highest in that category too. I'm definitely grateful that I do not have AIDS and maybe herpes has saved me from that. I feel as if I'm just a walking statistic, labeled without even knowing just because of my ethnicity. What GOD (hope I didn't offend anyone) has purposed for my life will come to pass. I have two chronic conditions along with HSV2, so I fight these things daily BUT friends, I'm still here, FIGHTING because it took everything in my being to even log onto this website without looking over my shoulder (even though I am home alone).

 

Please read this and don't feel sorry or pity for me — or for yourself — there are so many things that are to be explored. Don't miss your destiny. Keep loving and living. ♥

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This is absolutely beautiful, Faith. You have so much courage and strength that I wish I could harness it and take a daily dose of it myself. Your story is an example of how resilient we (women in general) can be in such abusive situations and that we should always keep fighting and press on. I don't mean to offend, but you admitting to two other chronic illnesses has made me grateful that I only have HSV2. It must be hard, but I like to think that we aren't given more than what we can handle.

 

We are ALL afraid of telling any one. My two best friends have no idea and these are girls I've grown up with for the past 15 years. I should want to seek their support and I know they would never judge me, but I feel that the less people that know - the better.

 

You must understand that you aren't the virus. You aren't dirty, you aren't unwanted, and it doesn't make you who you are. You have a choice to not become the stigma and right now it sounds like it has consumed you. Especially since someone has treated you as though you are all of the above by abusing you (which really pisses me off that men can still do that and get away with it, its like we live in the stone ages). You are so damn strong and I can only hope that you find more strength to realize how beautiful and valuable you are to the world.

 

Remember that every one deserves to be loved. Thanks for sharing, love!

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ScornedVillager,

Thank you so much, I was reading your response and the waterworks were on! :) I totally agree with you that the less people know the better-I just have this gnawing feeling of being treated "differently" because of it. Only a few people even know that I have diabetes or MG, let alone HSV2. I have this notion that I have to protect myself no matter what and I have been critically judged & made fun of because of that, I'm pretty sure that they would have a field day with this development.

 

Thank you for telling me that I am not dirty or unwanted. I have felt this way for so long & it seems as if it will not go away. I used to ask "why are these things happening to me?" But I don't do that anymore. I really want to find the strength that I know I have, but I always find myself retreating. I'm extremely afraid of dating because I truly feel that they would eventually reject me because of it. I do get lonely a lot and it may get worse as I age, I just want to be "accepted" not because of my ailments but because of my character, but judgment on others is so rampant, even if you are suffering, everyone has an opinion on what you should've/could've done to "save" yourself. Genetics handed me two lifelong ailments and now I have this one, so yes I do feel unwanted but I'm really working on that part. Again THANK YOU SO MUCH for your response, you have no idea how much it helps me.

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You're so very welcome! This is the place to come if you need an outlet or if you're feeling particularly down - we all have our moments of strengths and weakness. Don't be afraid to private message me if you feel the need to. We're all here to support.

 

I know how you feel about being treated "differently." My best friend has a 16-month old who is an absolute joy. I haven't told my friend that I have it, even though I confide in her with everything. She is a nurse, so I know she would never judge me or treat me differently and she knows as much as I do about the virus and I'm sure she wouldn't keep the baby from me. But like you said, she would think DIFFERENTLY, not particularly negatively, about me. That thought would always be in the back of her mind once she knows. I just make sure I'm super clean around the kid, even though I've become a chronic hand washer any way.

 

I can't believe someone would make fun of you for a genetic disease! You know what isn't genetic? Being a jerk. It's quite curable, actually, and to think that some jerk would criticize you for something you were born with boggles my mind.

 

There is NOTHING you could have done differently and you shouldn't blame your self to the point of shame. I, personally, was a bit promiscuous in my late teens to early 20s, I could go around blaming myself (because, really, it IS my fault for not limiting my partners to people that I loved), but I don't want to project that energy because it lingers and it just makes things worse.

 

You obviously know that you are a great person. You want to be accepted for your character, therefore you know that your character is worth accepting.

 

The only person I pity is the man out there that is missing out on you because you're afraid of letting him in. I'm not saying you should trust everyone, especially after your experiences I wouldn't want to trust either, just don't shut out happiness and companionship. HSV2 seems to weed out the jerks from the people worth being with. If he is not willing to take the risk it means that he is not with you for that amazing character of yours. It brings forth people's true personalities. If he dips out, it means he had a long term agenda that didn't involve you in the first place. And who needs that? Definitely not someone who has been through what you have.

 

Again, you are welcome! I suggest reading other people's posts, that way you know you aren't alone. It helps me a lot. :)

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Faith, I am touched how you have turned your wound into a way for you to love yourself more deeply. It's a process, yes. But it sounds like it's a process that you are moving through with compassion and giving yourself space to heal. And I beg you not to blame yourself. Yeah, you trusted anyone who'd give you the time of day and didn't pay attention to the signs ... that doesn't make you wrong; that had you learn something about this world, other people, and yourself. That lesson, as much as it sucks to consider, is invaluable. In any situation like that, if we had the choice, of course we would choose to not have to go through it. But once we do, then what have we learned? What is the gold we are taking from surviving from tragedy? Out of every tragedy MUST come good. You aren't dead. You are ALIVE. And healing toward a more pure and strong version of yourself. Trust me, what seem like setbacks are only tests to bring you to a more and more beautiful place.

 

This reminds me … Have you heard the story of the butterfly in the cocoon? Well here it is anyway. ;)

 

One day, a man was walking through the forest. He saw a cocoon hanging from a branch, wriggling and moving. He stopped to watch. As the cocoon moved more and more, a small crack formed where the head of a new butterfly just began to emerge. The butterfly seemed to be struggling so much that the man decided to help it by opening up the crack even further. The butterfly easily emerged from its cocoon and tried to spread its wings … it couldn't. It eventually died. You see, the man didn't know something very important about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The struggle that the transformed caterpillar must endure to emerge from its cocoon brings blood and nutrients to its newly formed wings. The struggle is what makes it able to spread its wings to become the butterfly. Beautiful metaphor, huh?

 

So the things in our life that have us struggle, that push ourselves in ways we didn't think we could handle, make us stronger and more fulfilled people. Without struggle, we would be weak, still stuck in our cocoons. And this isn't just a hokey rose-colored glasses nonsense metaphor. It happens all over the place in life! All you need is to believe that really, truly, everything happens for a reason. (Easy enough, right?) ;) If you look at the stories in your own life in a new way, the impact those stories have on you change, too. You move out of spending a lot of energy identifying with a disempowering story and move into being empowered, filled up with life-affirming energy. It sounds like that's what you're doing, Faith. And it inspires me. Thank you for being a shining example of how struggle can transform us to be an even bigger version of who we already are.

 

In fact, this inspires me to write a new blog post. Thanks for that! :) Big hug!

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content 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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