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mcnulty

Moving from Rant & Rave to the Bog of Eternal Stench

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mcnulty

Hello...

I have another outbreak. The scars from the last one were just beginning to heal. The last one lasted maybe three weeks. This one is bad too.

It's been 15 months for me now. Things have not gotten better. They've gotten worse. I had fewer outbreaks during my first six months than during any six-month period since. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that loss, evil, suffering, and death really exist. Bad things...really happen! Good people get in car wrecks and get paralyzed and disfigured...for no reason. There is such a thing as a good life, and such a thing as a bad life, and the difference between the two is largely predicated on a lot of stupid stuff like whether or not you can have sex with the person you love. I am learning this the hard way: if you take someone with a relatively happy life and destroy his sexuality - the most complete expression of all that is healthy & good - with constant painful sores that not only never really go away but promise NEVER really to go away given their beyond-the-pale frequency up to now - anyway, if you change this one little trifling detail of a person's life, happiness turns to sadness, hope for the future turns to despair, and strength turns to weakness. I'm about to go to bed one more time with painful lesions on my genitals...maybe my 25th outbreak in 15 months. Tomorrow morning I will wake up and check my outbreak. Every day of my life from now promises to begin the way every day has begun for the last 15 months: with an attempt to wrap my head around my unthinkable, my laughable, my absurd new reality. It has not "gotten better". My sick penis horrifies me and it is all I can do not to give in to the fantasy of cutting it off and being done with it. I would like to lie down and let myself die. I tried a few months ago...sort of. I stopped eating or moving for five days. That's a long time to lie down on a naked mattress with nothing to eat. Nothing changed. I'm still here, my virus is still here, my penis is still covered in sores, etc. I tried to tell myself that things were somehow improving but that was bullshit. I have turned into one of those pathetic people who has begun to hope for a miracle. I took the chicken pox vaccine a few months ago and really believed it was going to work. For a couple of months it "seemed" like it was working. I remember one day letting my guard down and allowing myself really to imagine what life would be like if this vaccine really worked. I wanted to cry with joy at the idea that I might really be free from this. But the vaccine didn't work. Let me say that round two of herpes hell is worse than round one because now I know that there is no way out.

I think that there are two fantasies that now stand between me and suicide. The first is that somehow my body will (finally) crack the HSV2 code and my outbreaks will go from constant to infrequent, at which point I might *begin* to be able to imagine a sex life, one that is only massively compromised instead of being impossible. The second fantasy is that they will find a cure at some point. I just have to put my head down and live out my ten-year prison sentence. Anyway, this is it. This is all I have to hold on to. In the blink of an eye I have gone from someone who felt more or less alive to someone who can only find the strength to make it through the day by abandoning reality and taking flight into fantasy. I bet this is what prisoners on death row think: "Maybe there'll be an earthquake and I can escape...maybe the governor will pardon me at the last minute...maybe some miracle that I can't even imagine will take place..."

I tell myself that HSV is forcing me to acknowledge the deep existential truth that life is suffering...that HSV is cutting off a regressive form of complacency (sex) in order to push me onwards and upwards toward my destiny, whatever it may be. I tell myself that I now have no choice but to live a Deleuzian nomadic life...no choice but to become someone who doesn't need sex...no choice but to confront my demons...blah blah blah...

You know...fuck that...I just want my body back...

We derive our strength from reality. Only reality keeps us strong. Fantasy makes us weak. For the first time in my life I am faced with a reality that can neither be influenced nor altered nor overcome nor fled. I realize that I have become one more loser who has to summon every drop of courage just to go through the motions for one more day in the off chance that today the miracle really will occur.

So I have a choice: take flight into fantasy (the hope for a miracle) or accept my new reality. How about neither? But there is no neither. In fact, it's not even a choice. Fantasy is out of the question. I have no choice but to accept my new reality...just like Joe Quadriplegic has to accept his. But how can I accept this? Every life-affirming instinct inside me tells me that to accept castration is to abandon life itself.

In his book Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi mentions that everyone who "followed the rules" in the camp died in a matter of weeks. The only people who survived were the ones who fought back in one way or another. He's not talking about noble acts of defiance; he's talking about stealing, cheating, scheming, etc. How can we not extend this principle to life itself? Those who follow the rules die...if not a literal death, then at least a spiritual death while waiting for their literal deaths.

I've done everything I could think of to "fight back". In the 15 months since I caught this I've blown all my money on treatment after treatment. I've tried to make deep changes in my core personality. I've taken every supplement that can be found on the internet. I've had to talk myself off the ledge who knows how many times. I've let lots of friendships die and killed others because I am no longer someone you would want to be around. I bet I'm even starting to bore you people! But what am I supposed to do? What else is there to write? Where else am I supposed to write it? And who gives a damn anyway? Nothing matters if you're castrated. Loss is REAL. What a scandal...did everyone but me know this already? Was I the last to find out? I want to go up to people on the street and tell them: "Hey...did you know that loss is REAL? That death is REAL? These things actually exist!"

How do you fight something like this? The enemy has no face...in a certain sense, the enemy is me. To accept this is to accept that I am not a man but a eunuch; to fight back is impossible. I see no third way.

I can't believe that this is my life. Let me repeat myself one more time: I can't believe that this nightmare is my life.

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victor

This is an extremely well written post, mcnulty! Man, I am so, so sorry your outbreaks have been getting in the way of having a somewhat normal sex life, and I hope this is only temporary. Your post is real; it's not this "everything is going to be alright" sh!t like many on here will say, instead, it's raw emotions that many with this virus probably feel. You didn't deserve to get herpes, and unfortunately, there's no going back now, but I can't bullsh!t you and say that herpes will have a little impact on your life because in reality, it's a serious condition more mentally than physically for most. Your OBs should become less frequent within time, and it's strange that they've been so frequent. Are you on antivirals? For the most part, supplements are garbage in regards to treating herpes except for zinc, and I recommend you try it. Please don't kill yourself over herpes, man. Close to 20% of the population has HSV-2, and I'm sure that you won't have an issue finding a partner. You ask, "How do you fight something like this?" Well, what I do is target my aggression towards the virus because the virus doesn't want me to succeed, so I work around the clock to avoid having something else taken from me. Herpes sucks, man, but at least it's not HIV. If you take a look a Magic Johnson, he didn't sit around on his ass contemplating suicide when he was diagnosed with HIV, in fact, he woke up the next morning on a mission to better educate those on the disease. Sure, having HIV prevented him from doing some things he loved strongly (he was forced into early retirement), but it didn't break him. I will comment more on this tomorrow since I'm about to pass out, but I wanted you to know that I hear you. Some people are dealt shitty hands in life, and why in the hell God does this is beyond my understanding.

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victor

Herpes isn't a death sentence in the sense that it's not something you're gonna die from, but it can definitely alter your life. Unfortunately, herpes is a life sentence since once a person gets it, it is with them for life. Your outbreak frequency is rather unusual, and I hope that it gets better for you. Hopefully, you can find the right antivirals that work for you, so your outbreaks can be reduced. Herpes is by no means desirable to have, but you're not a loser since you probably contracted this virus without knowing your partner had it. I feel your pain, man. I understand that you feel trapped and that there is no way out of herpes until there's a cure, which could take quite a while. I don't suggest killing yourself over this even though it's shitty, instead, I suggest you find other things you enjoy that herpes cannot take away from you (making money, focusing on yourself). You can still have a family, sex life, and everything else with herpes, but the reality is that in most instances, it will be difficult to find an accepting partner unless they're HSV positive as well. Herpes is a nightmare, man, but so is life in general. People can have so many other things happen to them, and it's all about how they react to them.

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sen

McNulty,

Have you thought about going to Moscow and trying Vitaherpavac combined with Panavir as Paulaner did months back? - You are already in Europe, the treatment is not that expensive as I've read. The Clinic that Paulaner went takes care of foreigners in Moscow. I'm not sure if the vaccine is a complete solution but it was developed to work agains hsv2. There are some good reading in here under the Russian Vaccine thread. If you could, try getting an Immunogram in Paris so you could find out at what level your immune response is. The Russians usually have you test that before the administer the vaccine treatment .

Have you ever took the flu vaccine? - Did you responf well to it? - If so, then your immune system is fine, in other words you are able to create antibodies.

To tell you the truth, your posts have been a source of reflection about life, life interrupted.. And that's what hsv represents to myself at this point, an interruption of all that was taken for granted somehow. Hope you feel better.

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Velvet Thong

McNulty, for reasons not entirely unbeknownst to myself, I am intrigued by that cognitive dissonance thing you've got going on.

I don't want you to feel that I'm trying to 'figure you out'. It's just that.. some things don't add up, and I think I need more information, or anything I write is likely to be irrelevant. Or annoying. I also get that you may just be venting and don't really want to go into anything in detail, or that you want to set limits regarding what you share publicly.

In other posts, you've mentioned a woman you are in love with, and recently you wrote that she had been hospitalized for a suicide attempt. You also briefly described various events within your family that sound pretty chaotic, and not something that can just be glossed over. And in addition, you wrote about losing your best

friend to suicide when you were 23.

So I'm thinking you already did know something about loss.

You have mentioned being in psychoanalysis, and seeing a psychiatrist/dermatologist, as well as checking out various possibilities regarding the treatment of herpes.

But there is this overwhelming sense that you are extremely isolated, and it occurs to me that probably much of what you're taking in seems to be causing you to withdraw further. I don't know if this is part of the process, or part of your individual process, but in your writing, it sounds like something critical is occurring. It sounds like an emergency situation.

I'll try to ask some questions and address a few things that occurto me. If anything jumps out at you, feel free to respond.

About loss.. those who have experienced the kinds that change them forever in certain ways sometimes feel that they are no longer like The Happy People or that they no longer fit anywhere, and may be resentful, or may actually remember what it was like before loss, such that they know those who are still happy and whole enough to enjoy life by rights should enjoy it. You are not stupid or unaware for not really feeling what you knew intellectually before, because it wasn't relevant enough to you personally. Who would ever have the courage to live if they came out of the gate having to constantly be aware of the reality of everyone's losses? How realistic is it for anyone to be aware and sensitive to everyone's issues before they've even had to deal with their own? Would that be life-affirming?

Did you actually like your friends, the friendships you either let die or killed off? Do you miss anyone? Were they interested in discussing in depth the inevitability of a 'Deleuzian nomadic life'? And.. as for your family.. In that other thread, you mentioned a whole lot of stuff that seems pretty non-standard to me, about evil, suicidal and homicidal impulses, awkwardness, etc, not to mention the friend who committed suicide.. I mean, wtf? you just let those things drop, as if herpes is the only issue in your world or is the only thing that has affected you profoundly?

Mainly, your post would seem to be about sex.

What would be worse: if the love of your life gets herpes, or kills herself?

You recently mentioned that the woman who is the closest thing youhave to 'the love of your life' was in the hospital due to a suicide attempt. For me, this brings up a lot of questions. Why did sheattempt suicide? Did it have anything to do with your diseased penis? Does she want to have sex with you and your diseased penis? Do you refuse to do this?

You said the woman you love is amoral and unethical. Those words mean vastly different things to different people. Do you think you would understand her better or even feel closer to her if you were to break your rules? If she witnessed you doing that, do you think she would feel closer to you? You have also said she has that 'spark of divinity', and I am pretty sure in the past you implied that for love, she would be someone who would face something like herpes.

Now, does this also somehow relate to all that stuff about 'stealing, cheating, scheming' so as not to have a spiritual death? That if youmake the decision to infect her, you will feel like you are betrayingyour original values, but Choosing Life?

It's not like you'd be some 17th century syphilitic libertine continuing to fuck everything that moves, caring nothing for who you were infecting, or what would become of them, or would it? Is it about wanting to have random sex and not tell people they might get

infected? It is worth thinking about, right? You know that your case is rare and that in all likelihood, the person would end up with mild or zero outbreaks. Why should you deny yourself sex? You will (spiritually) die (or perhaps even eventually kill yourself) if you don't get it, but these people might not even know there's anything wrong with them.

OK, I realize all of that is going off on a tangent because I do not have access to relevant info, er, and I might have misunderstood various things. Apologies if it was useless speculation.

One other thing:

If someone loved you, and you loved them, and they wanted you to have sex with them, no matter what the price, would it be actually physically painful for you, or is it about secondary infections, and the impossibility of ever having a moment free of outbreak or infection? and what if someone was willing to take on whatever you've

got? If you keep getting outbreaks, what about the idea that you just say fuck it, and keep having sex when you have them? Is that not another possible way to fend off castration? Will continuing to have sex in spite of outbreaks eventually cause your penis to fall off? Or require amputation?

I have personally seen many photos of beautiful women who have herpes. Is it possible for you to consider having 'life-affirming sex' with some of them? Is that not another alternative to castration, or is it not spontaneous enough, not in keeping with some idea you might have about not compromising? Does it make life and love seem too 'small' to have to narrow in on one group only?

While pursuing such an option, would it really be so bad to also be open to the idea of a 'miracle'? While trying some things out, focusing in on one area or exploring, perhaps you will learn something unexpected. Perhaps like moving from only knowing about loss intellectually to actually feeling it, living it, except, maybe a more life-affirming experience?

It seems to me that one alternative to castration is to try to change your beliefs, or at least challenge them. It actually sounds like you are trying to do this at times, but then backtrack.

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mcnulty

Dr. Velvet Thong,

Happy to have the chance to exchange with you again. I'm not up to the task of responding to you in detail tonight, but know that I appreciate your long & insightful response enormously. You are right that it doesn't all add up. Some of your interpolations are quite accurate. As I said, I'll sit down and respond to this thoroughly soon. McNulty

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Vidhya

Mcnulty, didn't you mention somewhere that a recent bloodtest did not detect any HSV2 antibodies (although that was the original diagnosis around a year ago through a viral culture)? Part of my teenage years were lived with some pretty horrible mycosis all over my genitals and thighes, which I was not treating apropriately (just using moisturizer most of the time). Sometimes I could hardly walk, and when I looked down I could see my open flesh, with the skin destroyed! I suppose if I was an adult obsessed with herpes at the time I would have imagined some pretty bad stuff. Once I found out the right antifungal cream, it was all gone in two days - after months, years of suffering. Could it be some other skin condition that you're not treating adequately? Hard to believe, if you've been to the doctors that often, but keep an open mind, just in case this has nothing to do with HSV, Good luck.

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Acesheart

Hey mcnulty, I agree on the fact that reality is life, the here and now. My life had sucked for so many years, now its good. I do believe we go through situations for reasons we are not to question. I questioned my whole life. Now I see you are still with the mindset that h is all these problems causing all these problems. I sincerely hope things get better and more manageable for you. Acceptance isn't always easy in life or reality, but its certainly necessary. Take care my sweet friend, beautiful words and mind, learn to love life. I live waiting for the next shoe to fall. Ironically, its never h I wait to hurt me, its realities of life. It's humanity. Take care, hugs Ace :)

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fh12

Hi McNulty,

Please review my post in the cure section titled no relapses after 12 months. Have you considered laser treatment? It seems that it may be easier to get in Europe than here in the US.

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Velvet Thong
Dr. Velvet Thong,

Happy to have the chance to exchange with you again. I'm not up to the task of responding to you in detail tonight, but know that I appreciate your long & insightful response enormously. You are right that it doesn't all add up. Some of your interpolations are quite accurate. As I said, I'll sit down and respond to this thoroughly soon. McNulty

McNulty,

As a certain amount of time has elapsed since you said you would sit down and respond thoroughly soon, I wondered if perhaps your response was sarcastic, and/or an example meant to illustrate to me the meaning of cognitive dissonance. Which I suppose I would find amusing.

That said, some of what I was wondering about has been answered in your most recent post. (In the Useless reflections thread)

It's so difficult to be clear.

If I try to isolate a couple of the things you have written here in the bog that I relate to it's that I have experienced that sense of either impossible or massively compromised sexuality, and that despite my efforts I am unable to change my core personality.

I have sought out people who could either tell me that the conclusions I had reached regarding what I had to work with and what I wanted made sense, or who could point out what it was that I wasn't seeing in a language I could hear.

I wasn't successful on either account.

So I can sympathize with how that might feel.

The best I can do sometimes is to hope for unexpected twists and turns.

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