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Shayna

Emotionally safe place?

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Shayna

I have been a member here since April 2007, which is when I was first diagnosed. There have been times in the last year on this forum where discussions have become heated, tempers flared, but things would settle back down again, and the energy of the forum would once again have a friendly and welcome feeling.

There have also been people who have brought their displaced anger to the forum and "stirred the pot" attacking others for their views and opinions.

I have to say that in the last couple of months there seems to be an air of hostility here that has changed the energy of the forum. I, personally, haven't come around or posted for a little while because, for me, it hasn't felt like an emotionally safe place lately. This is just my view of it and my little rant.

One of my biggest concerns is that new people will avoid posting for fear of a negative response.

This is supposed to be a safe place for people to share their ideas, thoughts and feelings, in dealing with a virus that makes most of us feel extremely vulnerable.

I think we can all agree that apon discovering we have this virus, it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under us. This is the place where people from all walks of life, and all areas of the world, should be able to come for support and information, and feel safe doing so.

I have learned so much from this forum. I can now confindently take care of my health with hsv and keep outbreaks at bay, which is a huge gift. I have also been learning a lot from those here who have sucessful relationships. I was just begining to feel that (maybe, just maybe) I would re-enter the dating world. So, having learned so much here already, I still feel that I have more to learn.

I am wondering how you all feel regarding the energy of the forum?

Does it feel like a safe place to share your thoughts and emotions?

Do you feel that proper forum guidlines are in place to keep it a fair and supportive environment?

If you were to change, or add one thing, what would it be?

If you have read this far, Thank you for your time and responses!!!

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marriedwchildren

Shayna, I agree with you I am new only 4 months since my diagnosis and I have been on the receiving end of very negative responses, some of them feeling like I was punched in the gut. I am passionate on issues that i will accept and I have responded directly on issues and I want to openly apologize to anyone that i may have offended, believe me that was not my intent. I am here to get comfort and support from a virus that has taken me on a roller coaster ride. I hope that we can get back to respecting others views and opinions without the personal insults, we all came from different cultures, raised with different outlooks and should not feel intimidated. I wish all of you the best in life and want to tell you all without sounding corny, I love ya all in my own way. :D Thanks for listening and take care.

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catiesmom

It does seem to have changed a bit. I come here with half-closed eyes to things i prefer not to get involved in, and i don't like having to censor myself. I think there's a lot of discussion that IS NOT hsv related. While some of that light-hearted "Did you see who won the superbowl" conversation is ok, it's gotten worse lately.

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Shayna

Marriedwithchildren,

Thank you for your response. Yes, you are a passionate woman ;). However, you are mature and articulate that you are being passionate on your view, you are never mean or vindictive. I truly understand how some things you have been on the receiving end of would indeed make you feel like you had been "punched in the gut".

This is what I've been seeing a lot of lately and I feel it's high time for a change! I hope you continue to come and share here and hopefully we can bring things back to where they SHOULD be!

Thank you again!

Catiesmom,

I agree, too, that some topics are a set up for a heated argument, Not a discussion. And I agree that a lot posted lately is not herpes related and inappropriate for this forum. It's one thing to talk about everyday life and living a "normal" life with hsv, it's another to discuss things that trigger an emotional fallout.

We should all be able to come here for emotional support and comfort and safely share what's on our minds.

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Caliope

I've avoided the forum for a while and respond much less than I used to.

I prefer to add something when someone asks questions that I think I can answer in a thoughtful unbiased or un-emotional way.

I don't think it is necessary to take stuff personally or to agree with everyone's opinion nor do I feel the need to force my opinion on others.

I miss the old forum where we were more friendly and supportive but I also have liked the up-beat little discussions about puppies and gardening that pop up from time to time because it is important to remember that life is not all ob's and hsv.

I yearn for gentler more (mentally) positive times.

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MsLucy

I haven't been posting much either, but part of that is because my life has just been really hectic lately. I like to put time and thought into my responses, and I haven't had much of either to spare lately.

I do agree, though, that there's a different atmospshere on the forum recently, and that's a factor in my silence. I joined about a year ago, and since then there have been changes, but that may just be cyclimatic. Everything changes, you know.

It would be nice if there was less conflict and hostility. I know how easy it is to get carried away, though, about something you feel passionately about, and the next thing you know, a discussion has turned into a battle of wills. I've gotten involved in a couple of them myself, regretably.

Maybe we could all just try to keep in mind that everyone is different, and not everyone is going to share our feelings and views about things. That doesn't make them stupid, and it doesn't detract from what we believe. There's room for everyone if we just practice a little self control and mutual respect.

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chevyMisty

I realize I am part of the problem and I don't mean to be. I have been very outspoken since college and I still have issues with getting my thoughts into words the right way. I try to be mature about things but my emotions get out of control. especially in the last five months. I do try but I am also borderline bi-polar which makes things harder for me. If you all want...i can just...disappear. I am sorry if I have "offended" any of you.

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Shayna

Chevymisty, No one wants you to leave. That was not the point of this thread at all.

My intention of this thread was to check in with everyone and feel the pulse of other forum members?

Hopefully we can all raise the consciousness of the forum and bring it back to being a true support forum!!

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Shayna

Caliope and writercll, You are such valuable resources of support and information to this forum. Please (grabbing your ankles here) don't goooooooooooo anywhere!!!!!

As I mentioned to a friend here, let's grab the smudge and clear the air.

Hell, I'd even attend a drumming circle if it would clear the energy.

I think it's possible to bring back those gentler, more positive times. Especially if we practice self control and mutual respect.

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bluefrog

I first found this forum and was diagnosed with hsv 1 and 2 (both genitally) in May 2007. The forum was hopping, it was comforting, it was full of information and very little, if any negative posts. I also sensed a change, months back, I guess in the fall timeframe, where the hostility was quite severe. I backed off, because I was down enough and didnt need more negativity especially where I came for support.

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Brookie

I agree with Caliope. I only tend to reply to someone reaching out these days in fear of being kicked down or belittled - been there already and felt like an entire year of my life was taken from me. I am suing the individual who gave me this disease and won't bring it up for discussion because of the negative replies I see others receive -

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catiesmom

That's such a shame, Brookie, cause i think other people could really use that kind of information.

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helied2me

I've been trying to come up with the words to reply to this thread but it's difficult for me because I have a limited vocabulary and cannot communicate as easily or eloquently as writercll, Caliope, Claudia, Catiesmom, Shayna, Lifeislife and many others here.

I joined in October of 2007 (fall of last year) because I was scared to death in what a herpes diagnosis would mean to my survival because of my situation. Yes, there were some responses that made me feel worse than I already did but I understand that there are so many different personalities, levels of tolerance and misunderstandings in the written word and I could get past that. For the most part, everyone here has been extremely supportive and understanding which is why I am still here in the physical sense today and for that I am very grateful.

I still post here because I know what it feels like to be faced with the possibility of contracting this virus and the fear it invokes in some of us and it really is reassuring when some responds with compassion and understanding. I have received that from so many of you and I still look forward to reading your responses whether it is to me or another member. Writercll and Lifeislife have a great sense of humor and it really lightens up the mood around here.

I too have been guilty of a kneejerk response and wish I hadn't done it but I also understand that when people have accepted this it is hard at times to be sweet and patient because, hell, we all just have bad days sometimes and just don't feel like being so damned compassionate.

So I really don't know what else to say except I wish I would get a diagnosis for something and hopefully it isn't for HSV but if it is, it is, and I hope you'll all still be here if I do.

Thanks for listening if you got this far.

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Shayna

Helied2me,

I have found your posts to be incredibly informative and compassionate...as well as articulate!

I, too, love the humor some of these guys bring to the board! It feels good to have a laugh over this on occasion...it sure beats the alternative, eh!

I hope for you too, that you get a diagnosis soon and someone finally figure out what's going on for you. It would be great if it is something other than hsv...but you have so much knowledge of the virus at this point, you'll be fine if that is what it turns out to be.

It is a huge blow to all of us when faced with a life sentence of hsv. I'm not comparing it to "it could be worse" scenario's. HSV by itself sucks, period. And I will always remember first coming here and feeling that deer in the headlight feeling.

I would have been crushed if when I first came here someone was mean or rude to me!! My emotions were way too fragile.

Maybe the forum is like a body of it's own and it has a lesion on it's ass now and then? :???:

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MsLucy

Helied2me... I think you're quite eloquent, and I enjoy reading your posts. You haven't even been diagnosed with herpes, and I'd wager a bet that you know more about the technical ins and outs of it than I ever will. I've learned a lot from you. As for the mean responses you've gotten in the past, well... I was one of them, and I still feel bad about that. You were a sweetheart, though, and forgave me. That says a lot about you.

And AngeloftheAir, I love your passion! There aren't many people I know who are so committed in their search for answers. Okay, so you get a little intense sometimes, but you have so much to offer, and your contributions are so valuable. It would be such a loss if you left.

Caliope.. you're the goddess of wisdom as far as I'm concerned. I bow to you.

Shayna... If anyone can make someone who's feeling like pond scum feel like part of the human race again, it's you. You emit good vibrations like radio waves.

Catiesmom, Bluefrog, Brookie, tothefuture... all of you contribute in a special way that's individual to each of you, and it's every bit as valuable as gold to those who come here looking for support and answers.

What I'm trying to say, and having trouble getting it out, is that ALL of us here play an important role in our own ways. Everyone who takes the time and puts forth the effort to help others here has different gifts that, when put together as a whole, make up a pretty damn fine group. We're all connected, not only by a herpes, but emotionally as well. We share the same burdens, the same triumphs, and the same hope. We're like any large family... diverse and opinionated, but connected. And as family, we should look out for one another. If we can just remember that, no one would have to feel unsafe, or intimidated, or rejected.

Oh, and AngeloftheAir... I recommend Johnny Whitehorse, Totemic Flute Chants CD. One of my favorites when I'm trying to pull my head together. ;)

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Shayna

Writercll,

You are an amazing person and very generous with your compliments. Thank you!

We all do have something to contrbute to this forum...and we are like a large family. However in real life we get to choose which of whom we care to spend time with. ;)

You have a kind and giving heart, that is for sure!

I will look up the artist you mentioned, Johnny Whitehorse. Angeloftheair was merely making an attempt to mock me from a previous post of mine :roll:, he wasn't really interested in alternative music for himself, But I am.

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helied2me

You weren't mean writer, some people are just raised to not tolerate whiners! I'm actually turned off by the type myself but I grew up with 5 sisters so you get used to it.

Thanks to you and Shayna for the kind words, I swear, if you're not making me laugh, you're making me cry!

Just had to say this Shayna, it's funny you have a cat for your avitar, I have a cat named Shaina Kara which means beautiful friend. You are all Shaina Kara's in my eyes.

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Shayna
You weren't mean writer, some people are just raised to not tolerate whiners! I'm actually turned off by the type myself but I grew up with 5 sisters so you get used to it.

Thanks to you and Shayna for the kind words, I swear, if you're not making me laugh, you're making me cry!

Just had to say this Shayna, it's funny you have a cat for your avitar, I have a cat named Shaina Kara which means beautiful friend. You are all Shaina Kara's in my eyes.

helied2me,

That was so sweet of you to say we are all Shaina Kara's in your eyes.

I'm curious about Shaina Kara, What language is that translation from? It's such a perfect pet name!!

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helied2me

Well, I've said before that I don't have a higher education so I really couldn't answer that, I just put the two names together from 'The Best Baby Name Book in the World'. LOL

I just googled it and spelled your way or mine is Yiddish and Kara is Gaelic.

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