STD Stigma

Ohhhh this could come back to bite me, then again so could a lot of stuff so here it goes. Now I’m writing this for 2 reasons.

  1. To hopefully offer some comfort to anyone who has experienced something similar
  2. Because I’m very aware that people use the fact I had an std as a way to be unkind about me and I’d quite like to take that bit of power back ( I mean come on I drive a Nissan Juke that’s worse surely)

I had an STD once, let’s start there, I had chlamydia, not going into the details of people involved in that because quite frankly that’s not very fair and they’re pretty irrelevant to the purpose of writing this.

So when I found out I had an std it was the end of the world, it got to the point I wanted to rip my own skin off, I felt dirty and gross and ashamed mainly, it felt awful and I was so embarrassed. At no point for the first few months of this ordeal did the health implications really cross my mind, it was just the shame, then once the health implications started playing on my mind, well, it was like 6 bombs going off every 5 minutes 24 hours a day it was awful.

The stigma around STD’s does not help, being condemned and shamed for having them, it’s a large contributor to why I reacted the way I did when I found out I had one. The paranoia of it is horrible because it’s not just the paranoia of having one or potentially having one and what that may mean, it’s the fear of what people will think of you, not only when you have it but in the future when you admit to having had one and the pressure to admit it, can you see where the brain gets all fuzzy now.

It took quite a long while for me to get over the shame of it all, I am not quite there yet but I’m a lot better that I was. Just reading up on the statistics of STDs made me feel slightly better because I wasn’t alone, meeting someone that openly admitted to having the same STD 7 times ( not encouraging that) made me feel better and just generally laughing and making light of it made me feel better.

STD’s really aren’t a joke they aren’t something to be flippant about and honestly I never was, but I caught one, it was dealt with and it’s now in the past, these are just ways I cope with that and own it really.

A lot of people may read this, see the reaction I have had and wonder why this is necessary, well, again, this is my method of coping and it works.

Worst bit of it all…. I’ve been telling people I had the clap…. Turns out the clap is Gonorrhea and I’ve not had that.

I have linked some helpful sites down below for anyone that may need the read!

https://www.everydayhealth.com/stds/how-reduce-shame-stigma-when-you-have-std/

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-annual-data-tables

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/sexual-health/#:~:text=If%20you%20would%20like%20to,to%208pm%2C%20Monday%20to%20Friday.

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