Have you tried talking to them about it? Is it something you all can work on? If not then maybe you should start surrounding yourself with kinder, more compassionate people. Your friends shouldn’t be making you miserable and you have a right to be around people that make you happy, make you feel included and don’t make you feel like the scum of the earth.
About the outbreak, I know it’s a shitty, frustrating feeling but it’ll be over soon. Five years without an expression is really great! Pat on the back for you! Focus on doing things you enjoy and surround yourself with positivity. Having an OB doesn’t mean you have to be miserable.
I’ve made it a point to keep the blog ad-free as the idea of making money off my followers or having it be perceived as such bugs me. That being said, if anyone is interested in placing an ad on their blog, email this lady!
Rudolph the Red Nosed Herpes??
The following is a recent paper I wrote. It is far from perfect and entirely incomplete. The term ‘musings’ in the title suggests this imperfection, but I hope this could be beneficial to some who are interested.
When I was a child I wanted to be a witch. I would collect books on witchcraft from the school library and gather the neighborhood kids in my garage to concoct mysterious elixirs from my mothers cleaning supplies. When I wasn’t busy researching pagan rituals, I dreamt of being a teacher, a thespian, the sixth member of the Spice Girls, or a runaway. As time passed, I began to imagine my future self in more complicated ways. I envisioned the houses I would own and with whom I might live with. I imagined distant vacations and sloppy queer romances. Sometimes I fantasized about life’s tragedies; while driving I might picture myself smashing into the car next to me or, in rare moments of terrifyingly profound silence, I may forcibly allow the ever-impending and paradoxically unimaginable death of my parents to wash over me. Yet, never did I ever imagine I would contract genital herpes.
Getting ‘sick’ or becoming ‘infected’ was never a plot point in the stories I told myself about what it meant to be a good person with a fulfilling life; the ever evolving hologram of my projected future self was, despite all knowledge of unavoidable loss and pain, able-bodied. In the films I saw and in the books I read, the people who ‘contracted’ a ‘disease’ or experienced ‘chronic illness’ were people in complex situations or in geographical locations too far away for my imagination to reach towards. A virus like herpes, one that doesn’t kill or devour a body but takes up residence in your dorsal root ganglia and inexplicably enacts its will upon your genitals as if it were some phantom of previous sex and shameful desires, were never spoken of, written down, or gestured towards as possible. Even in sex education classes, of which one poor soul of a high school teacher imparted such limited knowledge upon a classroom of ears that were never listening, genital herpes was like an extraterrestrial; on another planet and in another realm the body becomes one with a virus, but never ever here and never ever now.
Yet most of us who were living with the condition seemed to suffer similarly, submerged in that same horrific naturalized hum, the siren song of immorality, of filth, and of impurity. Painfully buzzing within both the individual and collective herpes consciousness, I began to wonder who wrote this song and who kept letting it be sung. What instruments were creating these violent sounds, what orchestra and which conductor was forcing us all to re-imagine our subjectivity in these limiting, withering, and restrictive ways?
I suppose I have humbly attempted to articulate a new cosmology for the dis-eased body with alternative approaches to writing about my condition. I refuse to consider myself a person who is ‘infected’, ‘contagious’, and a ‘risk’ to intimately be with. I refuse to identify with tropes of ‘impurity’ and ‘immorality’. I refuse to consider the physicality of this condition an ‘outbreak’ and I absolutely categorically refuse to imagine myself as someone who doesn’t deserve love and sexual pleasure. In making these refusals, I do not deny that I have a virus that can be passed on to other bodies. In recognizing this fact and understanding the importance of consent, each person I am intimate with is always told about my condition. However, even in expressing the fact that I have genital herpes, I never allow myself to speak about the condition in a way that invokes an image of weakness or of disgust. In imagining myself as a hybrid, as a body cohabitated with billions of other microbes, I feel less inclined to listen to the hum of herpes stigma and even less inclined to sing along. Sex becomes a radical act of self-care and human/non-human intimacy. Speech becomes a reworking of words so often used against me to create sentences for me.
Holy crap. Just…holy crap.
This whole paper is poignant, beautifully written, and it resonated so much that it made me cry. I’m going to print that out and tape it up somewhere. Maybe keep it in my wallet. Thank you for sharing this, Laura, you’re an amazing writer.
But kisses are nice, so there’s that.
Read the post I just reblogged. You’ll be okay, even if it feels like the world is ending and you’re drowning in a glass of water. It’ll be okay.
And it’s incredible. I’m so humbled. Whenever I feel lonely because of my HSV, I think of how many people have reached out by following, asking questions and by commenting, and how many strong, incredible people I’ve met because of this blog (DXGlitter!). It just makes my heart blow up. And then I don’t feel so lonely anymore.
I appreciate every one of you and I thank you all for helping turn this diagnosis that I once was sure had ruined my life into the most enlightening journey I’ve ever been on.
HSV can lie dormant for years. Most people (80%+) that have it don’t know they do. If your boyfriend can’t be supportive and loving, and automatically thinks you cheated on him then you’re better off without him.