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EssieL

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  1. Ever since I got my diagnosis, I have been afraid for people to find out that I have herpes. I was afraid of their judgment. I was afraid that they might talk about me behind my back. I had so many fears that people wouldn't want to sit too close or they'd be afraid to use the bathroom at my house. So, I've mostly only told partners and a few trusted friends. But now, I think I'm just getting tired of keeping it a secret- because I'm giving herpes far more power than it deserves. So, a few weeks ago, I finally told my immediate family. I said it as casually as I could, didn't make a big fuss,
  2. I totally know how you feel!! I was talking to some friends about something similar the other day. It's like I'm happy for all of my friends who are getting married, starting families, etc. But all I think to myself as I'm congratulating them is "I'll never have that." So, I throw all of my energy into my career, because that's the one thing I feel like I can control. But somehow, having herpes has shattered my already fragile self-confidence; so I doubt my hard work and convince myself that I'm never going to be at the same level as anyone else. Having herpes only plays a small part in it fro
  3. Aw, thanks Nigella & Dilemmagirl :)
  4. Four years ago today, I was diagnosed with herpes. It's weird, because it feels like I was diagnosed a decade ago. For better or worse, herpes has become so ingrained in my life, that it's hard to think back to a time when I didn't have it. It's just a part of me now. Today, I've been reflecting on what I've learned and how I've changed; and I thought I would share some things. So, here it goes... Sometimes, herpes was just an excuse... For a long time, I blamed herpes as the reason I didn't get out there and date people. I would basically ask myself "Why would I voluntarily put myself
  5. EssieL

    x

    Wow, I feel as if I just looked into a mirror! While I've never thought of having "herpes" before finding out I had HSV, I realized some time ago that herpes wasn't the real thing holding me back from a relationship. It was all of the other things about myself that I felt needed fixing. Self-acceptance is so very important, and in its own weird, beautiful, scary way, having herpes can help one realize that. Thank you for your post.
  6. Hi mithrandir! Thank you for opening up about your story and being so honest. Disclosing takes a lot of courage, and I'm happy that you felt comfortable enough to share so much with all of us on this forum. Also, I want to applaud you for seeking help when you noticed symptoms of H. Believe it or not, a lot of people will avoid going to the doctor, even when they have outbreaks. As for disclosing to girls that you sleep with, I would say that this is a really important step, and one that you should take if you want to lessen the chances of passing herpes on. Believe me, I know it c
  7. ugh! I love the Mindy Project, so this breaks my heart a little :( I really wish there was a way to write the people behind these shows and movies that make fun of herpes and tell them that they're only contributing to the stigma... Harlow, I think you're totally right about what would happen if jokes about HIV/AIDS were being made. Unfortunately, if herpes organizations jumped on these issues, they'd become a laughing stock. It's ridiculous really.
  8. funlovngrl, I can definitely see your point there, and you might be onto something. Making a more public revelation could deliver the message that you have nothing to be ashamed of and also that H isn't a big deal. I don't see anything wrong with that ;) As far as manipulating the outcome is concerned, maybe it could be considered that- but I don't think of it in that way. I look at it as matching the intensity of the disclosure process with that of your condition. Why not make the disclosure process seem less scary? After all, herpes isn't that scary once you learn more about it..
  9. Hi Leslie! I personally prefer an intimate setting. For one, it allows me to control the environment better. I don't have to worry about strangers interrupting or the person I'm talking to getting distracted. Furthermore, I value privacy to a heavy extent when I'm talking about issues such as these. I don't like the idea of an open area where just anyone could walk up. Granted, there are some neutral places where that would be less likely to happen (e.g., somewhere out in nature); but on the whole, I find the privacy of one's home to be best. Some of the advantages you mentioned of
  10. Thanks, Adrial! I think you're right about people attempting to feel better about themselves. It's strange to me that anyone with an STD would pass judgment about another STD. They all get spread the same way!
  11. I agree with Lively about being comfortable near home. That way, if things were to go south (though hopefully they won't!!!), you wouldn't have to deal with a long drive home. That to me, is one of the hardest things. I can see the pros and cons of disclosing over the phone. The nice part is that if things were to not go well, nobody wasted a trip to find that out. The downside, however, is that there is more room for misinterpretation on either end. For example, you might feel like he is rejecting you when in reality, he's just thinking...I have disclosed both ways and have found no rea
  12. So, lately I've noticed an interesting phenomenon among my friends with HPV. A couple of them seem to judge herpes more harshly because their HPV has "gone away" and herpes can't do that. Now, we all know herpes isn't a big deal and that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but placing that argument aside...is it true that once HPV "clears," that's it? There's no chance of giving someone that same strain of HPV a few years down the road? Should people who had HPV a few years ago still disclose after a normal pap reading? Now, I know this is more of an HPV question than a herpes
  13. Thank you so much, parky!! Stories like yours give me hope :)
  14. LiveNLearn- I have sooo been at that point where you wanna scream "well, you know what?!? I have herpes!" Of course, I never do, mostly because it's none of their damn business :P Like many others have said, it really is an ignorance thing. Thankfully for me, the profession I chose enables me to talk about sex and STIs quite regularly; so when given the opportunity, I educate people. I usually only make this effort, though, when my audience seems mature enough to listen and take it to heart. The one issue that I have run into, though, is feeling like people will figure me out if I let th
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