I had been on and off with this guy most of my time in college. I met him my freshman year, and ended things with him right before the start of my junior year. Well, little did I know that he was going to stick with me for much longer.. He was the only person I had slept with in that years time, and I had been fully tested right at the beginning of our relationship. I was good, everything came back negative. I still got tested frequently throughout our relationship, and always came back negative, but I also never felt worried because he was the only person I was being exposed to. Well, towards the end of our relationship he evidently slept with someone else and didn't tell me. Boom, now I have herpes. Because he was dishonest and either did not know about his status or just didn't care to disclose it to me. I was absolutely devastated. This felt like the end of everything for me. I was so mad at him for doing this to me, I was so mad at myself for trusting him, I was just so mad at the world. Why me? I had slept with multiple people before him and never got anything, and as soon as I meet him and exclusively slept with him for such a long time NOW I catch something??? It just didn't make any sense to me. It didn't fit the narrative that myself and so many others have put on people that have STD's. That was the other thing, I never personally fit the narrative for someone to have an STD either. I was just some very unlucky girl who trusted the wrong person. It wasn't fair. It still isn't fair. After I was diagnosed, I immediately blocked him on everything because I had absolutely no desire to ever speak to him ever again. It has been exactly one year since my diagnosis, and I still have not spoken to him. I still have a lot of hate in my heart for him and what he did to me. I want to let it all go, but I just don't know how to. Part of me feels like I should allow room for discussion between us just so I could maybe get some answers from him. Another part of me has an anxiety attack every time I see him or even hear the mention of his name. This has been a very hard year for me. At the beginning, I felt very disgusted with myself and literally felt like a prisoner in my own body. Then, I became very suicidal as I felt I was not worthy of love or life anymore. Now I mostly feel okay about my herpes because I know enough about it to realize that having herpes isn't the end of the world. The hardest part today is just having this massive secret that nobody knows. The only people that know about my status are my parents, one of my brothers, and my doctor(s). I don't want anybody to know. I am so terrified that if people find out they will not look at me the same. Whenever I am around people and the conversation of herpes pops up I automatically tense up and feel as if I could vomit. Not because I am disgusted with myself anymore, but because I am so scared of what people will think of me if they ever found out. I am not scared of many things, but the idea of ever disclosing my status to anyone absolutely petrifies me. In my head, I know that herpes is not as big a deal as people often make it out to be, but I also know that not everyone thinks that way. I was once that person that looked down on people with STD's. If I was once the judger, how am I to ever convince them not to judge me? I'm currently starting my senior year of college, and I just want to get over this and move on positively with my life. My herpes isn't going away anytime soon, so I might as well get comfortable with it. I have dreams of meeting my husband and starting a family, but I know that is not possible with the mindset I have right now. I want to learn how to manage my secret, or better yet tell the world about my secret. There is something so freeing about the idea of just blurting out "I have herpes!" to the world. If I put it out there, then no one can use it against me. I will be in control. I do not feel in control right now. I feel stuck. I want to educate people when they crack herpes jokes in front of me, I want to confidently pursue men without feeling guilty of my status, I just want to conquer my herpes rather than let herpes conquer me. I literally just want to be able to say the word "herpes" out loud. You think I'm joking, but I physically cannot push that six letter word out of my mouth without giving myself a mini pep talk in my head to calm my anxiety, or have my stomach drop as I begin to mouth it out. I just want to own who I am, and not feel ashamed anymore.