Home / Opinion / Reclaiming My Black Girl Magik: Living and Thriving with HSV2 Part 1

Reclaiming My Black Girl Magik: Living and Thriving with HSV2 Part 1

Living and Thriving with HSV2
Written by: Kiera Thomas (@kaytanaewroteit)

Suspects Name: Herpes Simplex Virus 2 aka HSV aka “That SHIT’ aka “The Virus” aka “The H”

Herpes Simplex Virus 2 aka HSV2 is said to usually effect your genital areas. Now, I have recently found out that although MY HSV2 is STRICTLY genital, some people have it orally, so that alone shows how complicated this virus really is. Oral Herpes is usually found in or around the mouth, cold sores are the biggest giveaway.

Both can be extremely painful, embarrassing and A LOT to handle. BUT I PROMISE YOU, YOU CAN HANDLE IT QUEEN (KING).

I was diagnosed with HSV2 when I was twenty three years old. I remember the day vividly, I even remember the night before it happened. That was a terrible night. I’d been up arguing with “he whom shall remain nameless” for a few hours, tears streaming down my cheeks because I really couldn’t understand why he did the things he did. Little did I know that next day, my life would be changed forever. After finally calming down, I was able to get some rest.

The next morning when I woke up, everything seemed normal. My nephews cried loud and right on time, like they did every morning. I got out the bed and walked to the bathroom to relieve myself and take care of my hygiene. When I sat on the toilet and started peeing, I was hit with a stinging pain. I jumped off the toilet, I couldn’t even finish using it, that’s how painful it was.

Now at the time, I was in school to be a medical assistant and we had JUST gone over STD/STI’s so when I felt that pain, I knew almost immediately what it was. Did I want to believe? HELL NO! I remember I called my best friend at the time to tell her what was happening and she assured me that nothing was wrong, it was just a hair bump.

If you got it, I’ll buy you Denny’s… your favorite meal from there.”

We laughed about it for a minute, I had to calm myself down, even though in my gut I knew the real. I rushed to the emergency room because I didn’t feel like going through the motions for an appointment in the overcrowded clinic. I sat in the waiting room, looking around, mentally preparing myself for the worst. It took the doctor all of ten seconds to diagnose me and when she did, she made it seem like no big deal.

“Oh it’s way more common than you think.”

I remember I looked at her real crazy and I wanted to say “WTF that mean to me though?” but I didn’t. I couldn’t say anything. In that moment I was numb, scared, disgusted, confused and more than anything I was pissed. I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m innocent because I am not. I’ve been “around the block” and what not but I protected myself. I trusted “he whom shall remain nameless” more than anything because when we met, he showed me a shoebox full of STD results and they were all negative. For everything EXCEPT HERPES.

Back then, I didn’t know that the doctor wouldn’t test you for HSV2 unless you had an outbreak. I walked home from the emergency room that day. I cried almost every step of the way, I felt so nasty. I didn’t want nobody looking at me, I didn’t want to talk to nobody, and I was literally a mess.

But I knew I had to tell him.

Disclosure & Support

“I have HERPES.”

I sat in my home for a few hours, crying and finding comfort in only my best friends and my family. I didn’t want anybody else to know, I really felt terrible. As terrible as I felt, I was more pissed than anything. I trusted him. I didn’t care about all the rumors I heard about him being “an Eastside
ratchet
,” because I just knew that he was a man of his word. CLEAN.

When I finally contacted him, it was through text. My adrenaline went into the overdrive the moment he replied and said that he, “got tested
last month and didn’t have anything.”

I WENT OFF.

My fingers type a million words per minute, I had so much to say because even though I was just as much to blame, his denial sent me over. He decided to pull up on me later on that evening. I was scared to go to his car, even more afraid to sit down in his front seat when he pulled up. Until I looked over at him and saw the tears building up in his eyes. After the first one slipped, the levee broke.

All you could hear were apologies. Lots and lots of apologies but none of that shit was making me feel any better. My life was over, or so I thought. I knew that having this virus was going to life changing.

I was afraid of what the future held for me. After he cried all he could cry, he left me with promises of being there and helping me through this situation since it was the both of ours. He lied.

The following days turned into weeks and I had to beg and literally cry for him to give me the time of day. The first few days he was present but after that he must’ve realized that he wasn’t going to actually have an outbreak so he was free to move on with his life. He did just that.

So while I tried to find myself after the whole heartbreak herpes ordeal, I came in contact with a few other people. I told one of my close females friends about the virus, in confidence. I didn’t know she would later tell a friend that would tell the world.

So, imagine my surprise when one day as I’m scrolling down Twitter, I receive a tweet stating that I have herpes and my friend told her other friends. My entire life STOPPED all over again. It felt exactly like the moment I was diagnosed.

If I could’ve hidden, I would’ve, but you can’t hide from what’s going to be accessible for ever. I was mentally and emotionally distraught because I was afraid of the backlash. I thought my previously lovers would catch wind and try to kill me for not telling them.

I was really spooked but I made it through that situation. It took a few days to calm down but I was able to ignore it for the most part. But imagine my surprise when it happened all over again a few years later.

The second time I was exposed online it was by yet another person I thought was my friend. I had never been intimate with this man, so one would wonder why he even did such an evil thing. And to be completely honest, he still doesn’t know why he did it, or at least that’s what he said when he came into my job unknowingly a few years ago. I didn’t have too much to say to him because before he exposed me, we were really close.

We played with the idea of being together but things never worked out but I never had any bad feelings towards him, clearly couldn’t say the same about him.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, I was relaxing waiting to get up for a job interview I had scheduled and I received a text. It was from my little cousin and included was a screen shot. “KIERA THOMAS IS FROM COMPTON IS IN HOUSTON POPPING THAT HOT HERPES PUSSY.”

If I could’ve found my voice, I would’ve screamed. I panicked, this WAS NOT happening to me again. I really couldn’t believe it. I tried to contact him and to my surprise he was actually pissed at me. For what? I still do not know but now I don’t care to know. As you can see, disclosure goes both ways. I’ve disclosed to some people and it made them respect me more. But I have also disclosed to others that have made me feel lower than ever.

The stigma of this virus is so real people. It hurts. It actually hurts more than the actual virus.

I remember recently I disclosed to a guy that has been trying to be with me for years and he acted as if he was okay with it. But one day he showed his true colors.

“So a nigga gone have to $&*$ you through the hole in
my boxers to be safe huh?”

I don’t know why he thought that was something cool to say but it was really a turn off. It’s hard enough disclosing so to disclose and be told something like that, as a joke, as if I am now a joke because of the virus, it’s just distasteful.

There are a million ways to disclose and YES, disclosing is very important. It’s super scary but imagine not being given the option? It would hurt you even more, I know from experience.

However, there are certain ways you can make it easier on yourself. Ease into the conversation or if you’re a creative like me, write a story about it and let some read it and see their reaction. I actually wrote a novel and mimicked a character after me. A few people caught it but many still haven’t but that was my first step of publicly disclosing.

I chose to go public because I refuse to have this hanging over my head
any longer.

January 2018 is when I did a live interview on IG LIVE with @COLLEGEDAZEMEDIA about living with herpes. I was sooooo scared but the response was amazing. So many people sent me well wishes and praising my confidence but what they didn’t know was that I was scared shitless and they were the ones to rebuild my confidence.

And THAT is how I began reclaiming my MAGIK.

My support system is also why I’ve been able to be public with this. If I didn’t have the friends and family I have, I would most definitely be depressed. A few of my friends didn’t find out until I did the live interview and they were so surprised. A few of them even apologized because they may have said something mean about herpes in the past and never knew it hurt me. That happened a lot. Especially when Usher came out with it. Oh they had all the jokes and I was unable to sit back and be quiet, so I tried to speak up without coming out but that didn’t last long.

If I have to put myself at the forefront of this battle with this stigma then I will, every single time.

Just so someone else will be able to come out or just live comfortably in their skin. I am also a part of a pretty AWESOME organization, H.A.N.D.S. These people make sure I always feel beautiful and more than HERPES.

About slausongirl

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism.

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