I've been a lurker on these forums for a long time, and had to share my story with you. The stories you all have shared have helped me so much.
2 years ago I was diagnosed with HSV2- I had recently found out that my boyfriend had been cheating on me with several people, having unprotected sex. I was devastated, I had just moved from the east to west coast, and had no support system. I stayed with an abusive partner for 6 months after being diagnosed out of fear of being unable to find anyone else. I got up the courage to leave him, and met a wonderful guy. 6 months into that relationship, I got another devastating blow, I had an abnormal pap smear and tested positive for high risk HPV. After a month of fear that I had cancer, I got a biopsy and was told the changes to my cervix were not that advanced, and I would just need to get pap smears every 6 months for the next couple years with the hope that it clears, if it doesn't there's a minor surgery I can get. I was so glad I didn't have cancer, didn't have to get surgery, wasn't losing my fertility. and my boyfriend was incredibly supportive through the whole thing.
Later, that boyfriend and I ended up parting ways- not because of the HPV or HSV, but for other, regular old compatibility reasons. I was sad the relationship ended, and in a lot of ways had accepted that dating was probably not on the table for a few years until I had cleared the HPV- I couldn't see someone wanting to take both of those risks. I decided to take the time off from dating to enrich my life, got very into swing dancing, picked up a freelance project that I find very fulfilling, and started doing some therapy. But, life happens when you least expect. I met another wonderful guy through dance- We were hanging out a lot, I enjoyed his company and could tell he was interested, but I didn't want to get too close.I felt like as soon as I told him, he would pull away. We went for a walk in a park one day and he reached to hold my hand, and I decided to disclose. He might balk and run, but hey, there was the chance that he wouldn't. I ran through the statistics and risks with him, and he said "Ok, thanks for telling me. that stuff doesn't bother me that much" and kissed me.
I was giddy, but worried that maybe he didn't understand everything- I had run through things with him, but maybe I had sugarcoated too much. I sent him links to the h opportunity sheets and a fact sheet about HPV, and he responded with:
"Ok thanks! dinner?"
(after declining because of work)
"Ok cool, I'm gonna read this stuff, TTYL"
(10 minutes later)
"I trust you a lot and know you wouldn't risk my health so I that's why I haven't felt like I needed to ask many questions, but thanks for sharing all this with me. It's good information that I should know so I can support you the best I can too.Work hard! I'll see you tomorrow"
I went into the bathroom and cried. The message was so sweet and simple, and said so much. The relationship is still early days, who knows what will happen with us, but that message made me feel so human, like this wasn't the biggest part of me. And while having this double diagnoses has caused me a lot of pain, a lot of good has come from it- I met a wonderful person who I spent a year with, I took time to focus on myself and what makes me happy, and through that, was able to find another wonderful person. I don't know that I would be doing these things or have met those people if it weren't for the HPV/HSV.
Disclosure is so scary, I know, as someone who is 2 for 1. It can feel like its not worth it, but man, when it goes well.... there's no feeling like it. And you'll never know unless you put yourself out there.
Also, maybe TMI, but the sex was great ;)
Thanks again to everyone on these forums, reading your stories gave me so much courage. <3 <3 <3