• cocodensmore

Character Speaks for Itself

October 25, 2021


So, after my diagnosis, I immediately got on Facebook and joined about a hundred herpes support groups. OH MY GOD. These are the common themes:


1. I hate the person that infected me.


2. My life is over.


3. No one will ever want me again.


4. I’ve been rejected because I have herpes and I can’t take any more rejection.


5. I can’t find anyone that wants to date me.


6. Herpes is the worst thing IN THE WORLD.


OMFG, I can’t tell you how SICK I am of hearing this bullshit. People are so quick to judge, and they judge themselves most harshly. It's heartbreaking.


Maybe it's because so many of these folks are so much younger than me. It's easy to forget, at the age of 58, how long it took and how hard I worked to build up my self-esteem and learn to love and accept myself.


But Jesus Christ on a bike. Can we get real here?


HERPES IS NOT TERMINAL!!!

HERPES IS NOT TERMINAL!!!

HERPES IS NOT TERMINAL!!!

HERPES IS NOT TERMINAL!!!

HERPES IS NOT TERMINAL!!!


So here are my thoughts, which I never spare you from:


Q: Does herpes change who you are as a person? A: No.


Q: Do other people, like billions of people, have herpes? A: Yes.


Q: Do you have to disclose you have herpes to a potential partner or sex partner? A: Mixed opinions. Google it and make the decision that is right and best for YOU.


Q: Are there a multitude of ways you can lessen the chance of transmission to your partner? A: Yes.


Q: Would someone that loves you stop loving you because you had herpes? A: No. And if he did, good fucking riddance.


Q: Would someone that developed an interest in you want to end the relationship when he found out you had herpes? A: Maybe. And if he did, good fucking riddance.


Q: Does getting herpes mean you’re a slut? A: What’s your definition of a “slut”?


Q: Does getting herpes mean you haven’t lived the right kind of life? A: What’s your definition of “the right kind of life”?


Q: Does herpes mean you’re going to hell? A: No. But then, I don’t believe in hell.


Q: Does God love you less or think less of you because you have herpes? A: No.


Q: Does God even care if you have herpes? A: No.


Q: Did you deserve to get herpes? A: Does anyone deserve to get any infectious disease? Or does it just happen?


Q: Does getting herpes mean you were careless? A: You may choose to fram it that way. Maybe you didn't always use a condom. But there is no 100% failsafe way to avoid contracting any STI. Condoms reduce the risk of transmission dramatically, but to assume you are to blame or brought this on yourself by not consistently using condoms is a mistaken mindset. The degree of self blame you engage in is entirely within your control.


Q: Will herpes ruin your life? A: If you let it. You have total control over that.


Q: Will herpes make it so you’ll never have sex again? A: Only if that’s what you want.


Q: Will herpes change your life? A: Yes. But you have total control over to what degree.


Q: Will herpes add complexity to our life? A: Yes. But you have total control over to what degree.


Q: You have a recent diagnosis and it’s HUGE. Will it always be HUGE? A: Unlikely. But you have total control over that.


Q: What defines you as a person – having herpes or having good character? A: Character speaks for itself.




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