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  1. Excellent work Adrial. This should help so many people. Now just to make sure people find it. I'm doing what I can to direct people here whenever I possible. Thank you
  2. LC, I'm sorry that you had to experience that. It's never easy to be left hanging, not really knowing, and instead having an imagination that takes off on what was, and perhaps also on what could have been. You should find strength in that the path you have chosen with disclosure is one of integrity. That integrity is something that will serve you well. Disclosures get easier with time, and perspective. There is wealth of positive information on this site. As has already been pointed out you won't know unless you try. Putting yourself out there, while difficult, can also be freeing. When we become more accepting of ourselves it allows others the chance to accept us as well. H can sometimes be a filter for us, because if something as small as that causes them to run, what else would have shaken them? I want someone whose strength of character, and ability to be caring and understanding is at least as good as mine. H sometimes helps me identify them. :) CBK Always be positive
  3. Hey Nick, Kristin has a great idea there. Build a positive list of all that you have to offer (I'm sure it's more than H). Making lists like that has helped me with other things in the past, it just takes some effort and time to get the focus to be more positive. There may also be things you can offer that others will help you identify, and like Lelani said, it's a process. Reach out for support as often as you need, and even sometimes when you don't. I've found that just being on this forum and trying to help others has made a huge difference in my attitude. Judith also brings up an interesting topic. We often times limit ourselves by taking the choice away from others. By not giving them a chance to show us who they are we believe that this is how we maintain control in a vulnerable situation. What we're really doing is feeling guilty about possibly passing H on to others. They are adults, and when we are honest they have the ability to make their own choice. We wouldn't feel guilty for their other life choices, why should we on this one. The only thing I like to do is make sure they understand their choice. That ability to be vulnerable on that level with another person is where we can find our center of power and confidence. Remember, whatever seeds you choose to plant in your own mind will determine where you go from here. Plant positive seeds and they will take you where you want to go. :) CBK
  4. Hi divastated, It is good to hear that you have regained your self confidence. That confidence will definitely be helpful. Having H affects everyone slightly differently, but it is certainly not what pop culture would have us believe. While we have it, H does not own us nor does it define us. I have now accepted it as the opportunity to be more discerning about who I allow into my life. If they can't handle a minor skin condition how will they deal with major life issues? This is where it concerns me to see you write that he is "sorry he can't have sex with you." It hurts to be honest, but you'll need a partner who has a better perspective on this and is capable of being supportive of you in a time of need. Also, as an adult if he accepted that explanation from a doctor I question whether he's as concerned with facts as you are. I also wouldn't expect any doctors offices to have a strong understanding of H. There is a handbook available on the Westover Heights Clinic website under a link for herpes on their main page. H is a crafty thing. Since you've not had a recognized episode it isn't possible to say for certain that what you have is a genital or oral infection. The blood test just tells which type. It used to be thought that 1 was oral and 2 was genital, but we now understand they are interchangeable. Though a type 2 oral infection is said to have fewer recurrences than if it were genital. It is possible to get type 2 orally after oral sex even when there are no symptoms. That is how I ended up with 2 on top of 1, when she disclosed after the fact. But I have to stress that it is not that common. Asymptomatic shedding of the virus is not constant, and it's not something you can necessarily recognize. With that said, I am back out dating using a mainstream non-H dating site. I'm having fun, and I know that I don't have to disclose to a woman just because we met. There is time to see if there's any connection first. And there are plenty of people out there who won't care. Also, this forum is a great resource with many positive people willing to help. :) CBK
  5. @ Steve, While there is a chance that you could have contracted something in such a small window it is not as likely as you might think. Asymptomatic shedding does happen but it's not all the time, and there's no reliable way to tell if someone is shedding. I would get tested just to check and be sure, then maybe test again a little further on. In the mean time I would probably abstain from sex until you know what your status is because you wouldn't want to unknowingly pass it on yourself if in fact you did pick it up. @ Shy, Welcome to what I feel is the best forum for herpes on the internet. Your situation is unenviable, but as you said you have been insistent on the use of protection (though even condoms are not 100%), and your partner refused. At that point it is on them and a consequence of their own decision as I see it. The only thing I would ask is why could you not stop mid-act if the use of protection was refused? There are two sides to this because you are protecting your partner as much as yourself. Personally I would feel bad, but I would not feel guilty after providing a full disclosure. After all we are able to make rational decisions for ourselves right? Ultimately for each of us here who does end up in a relationship with a partner who is H- we all run the risk of passing it to them. There are measures we can take to reduce the chances of that happening, but in the end nothing is 100%. This is why H can be an opportunity to help us be more discerning in who we choose to be with. The partner who loves us for the person we are is what we look for and H does not define who we are as people. I hope that some of this was helpful... :) CBK
  6. Thank you so much Brenda. This is just another example of why I joined this community. To find a place where I can be open about my experiences and feel comfortable and safe doing so means a great deal to me. This is what a supportive community is supposed to be, and it is that way because of the people we have here. It was an interesting and good experience after being out of practice for so long. Admittedly I went into the band-aid approach through one portion, but I did try to make it a discussion. Though I will need more practice at getting a good back and forth conversation to be how this goes. In this experience I realized how important it can be to get the other person talking, because no one likes to sit and have what amounts to a confession with another person looking at you intently. Creating the back and forth conversation takes some of the pressure off, and will help to bring out the other persons misunderstandings if any to allow for more discussion. I already find myself gearing up for the next one, which will be a ways off, but I know it's out there. Until then I know I have the best support community on my side, and that makes all the difference. Thanks again to everyone, :) CBK
  7. No problem Bobby, positive stories definitely help ease the issues that come with the condition. Finding inspiration when dealing something that carries the social stigma of H is very useful, because it can help to put it in perspective. We've all heard the horror stories, but they aren't the entire truth. What I think of is my experience working in retail stores. The customer who has a terrible experience is going to tell everyone they come in to contact with, while the one that has a good experience will not tell nearly as many people. We're human we like to complain. We are easier to spark into action through bad experiences than positive ones. When I as younger I was willing to put up with a lot more BS than I am now. In fact now if I even get a hint of some sort of game being played while dating I send them packing. I deserve better, and so do you. Let H be the filter that it can be. My dating experience recently, and I will admit to being more conservative than a lot of people out there, has been generally positive. I've been using a non-H dating site and the matches have been ok. Similar to being out in public people can, and do, say anything to attract interest. I find that with the communication tools with online dating I have an easier way to find inconsistencies. Lets face it, we're guys, do we remember everything we're told? uh, no. The online format keeps a record, both of the communication and what they put in their profile. I've been on some dates, both good and bad. So far I've had only one disclosure and it went well. What I'm discovering is that H is providing me a filter before the disclosure. This is because I am now far more aware of behaviors that allow me to tell if this is a caring woman or just someone looking for a good time or just dating so they're not bored and they don't want to pay for their own entertainment (Yes I've run into a couple like that). I've told several women so far that I'm not into the dating carousel. I've also told others that I have been interested in that I'm not looking to jump right into a physical relationship, there are other things that have to be figured out first. While going through this communication I watch their responses. If I don't feel comfortable enough to disclose the dating ends, and I move on. If I am not comfortable about telling them about a skin condition what else would have caused us problems down the road? I've been taking it easy dating casually yes, but when I am interested I come right out and say it. Just because I do that does not mean that I must disclose in the same breath. Take it easy and have fun. :) CBK Edit: The other difference now is that I am not going to chase. Now certainly there is some fun in a playful back and forth, but when they do things that feel like a "test" or some other ridiculous joke I decide that's enough.
  8. Alright, here I am a little more than 24 hours on and the story has changed. Seems I've been put in that in between area. Not a friend, but also not quite a romantic interest, either a fall-back or someone to go out with when no better options are available. We do have one date scheduled for Wednesday, and tentatively next Saturday. However, I now see that there is not going to be anything here. Her communication in previous messages and in her profile indicate she's looking for a relationship, and she has sent plenty of compliments my way. This would appear to indicate interest. In her most recent email she let me know that she wants to keep seeing me, but because of past experience she wants to date around. She also explained her past experiences, and I get the impression that she is not even ready for a relationship. This means that Wednesday will be my time to extend an offer of friendship (I do have one friend from a previous match on a dating site so I know it can happen), but that's all it will be. I deserve better than to be relegated to stand-by while she waits to see if something better is around the corner, which is a behavior of online dating I mentioned during our last date. I do wonder if the fact that I am not done with college has anything to do with this. If it does, that's too bad. Once finished it's not like I'll be a completely different person. If someone cannot accept me now, I will not settle for them later. Of course it could be my H status or it ... well, it could be any number of things. For me it's a matter of self respect, and waiting on someone else to decide whether I'm good enough isn't what I deserve, nor is it something I'm willing to accept. After how open, honest, and up front I've been with her I expected better communication coming back. Since I'm not emotionally invested there really isn't any hurt here, just disappointment. My daughter told me that she was sorry it turned out this way, but that there are plenty of women out there, and definitely one that will be right for me. lol, gotta love my kid. So, now I'll just pick back up where I left off and get back out there, and now I've had some good practice.
  9. Today (yesterday, I work nights) I had my second date in less than a week with a woman I met on a dating site. The first date was excellent. The conversation was good and we both enjoyed ourselves. In fact it was during that first date that she suggested a second one. When we spoke about what day we could see each other again she mentioned either Saturday or the following Wednesday, and quickly followed up by saying she wasn't sure she could wait that long. I was caught off guard by how well this date went based on the past dates with online matches. So in preparation for the second date, I started gathering all the information for disclosure. Yeah it was only the second date, but based on the first, and our conversations on the phone I felt it was necessary to take care of it early. As I had told her being open and honest is very important to me in practice, not just as a nice idea. What I really wanted to avoid was waiting too long to the point where it felt like I was trying to make sure she was emotionally invested, which impacts judgement when making decisions. The moment came, I asked her to meet just a bit before our movie started because I had something I wanted to discuss with her. Even before getting there my heart was racing. When she arrived we sat in my car to minimize distractions. As I went around my car to get in the driver's side I became aware of some negative thoughts creeping in ever so slightly. I slowed my walk around and thought to myself to be confident because I was prepared for this no matter the outcome. I began by reiterating how important openness and honesty are to me and that I respected her. Shortly after I mentioned my cold sores she chimed in saying that she had type 1 and had frequent cold sores as well. I was partially relived but knew that my story wasn't over yet. After explaining the situation where my ex girlfriend waited until after we we're intimate to disclose, and that soon after I was diagnosed with type 2 orally as well, she seemed ok with it. She did not express any concern whatsoever. This was such a relief and I hugged her. She thanked me for being so upfront with her and told me that being that way made me special. We then went on to our date, and over the course of several hours (movie and dinner) planned out the next two dates. I cannot really express how happy I was with the result of this talk, and I find myself looking forward to future dates with a wonderful woman. It has been far too long since I've been this excited about seeing someone, and it feels incredible. Where it goes from here, I do not yet know, but I do know that this opportunity was a direct result of being who I am. I also must thank everyone here for their contributions to the forum. Without this positive environment I would have found the going little tougher. :) CBK
  10. Hi Bobby, Thank you for sharing your story. I bet it does feel good to get that off your chest. Sometimes the best place to start the road to normalcy is by venting. Just make sure that you don't stop there, and that's where a site like this can come in. Aside from information on the condition itself, there are plenty of people here who are in the same boat and... they are willing to help. First I have to ask. Have you had a type specific blood test performed? If not, go do that as soon as you can. There is a lot of misinformation about H and the old wisdom regarding it has proven to be almost entirely false. First get armed with information. The Westover Heights clinic provides a great handbook (link under H on their main page), and they do update it when new information is available. There's also the free disclosure E-book here (usually in the right column on the page) which is also great resource. Seeking out supportive and positive environments is an excellent move and in my experience there is none better than this site. I was a member of another site, but the majority of its members held on to grudges, expressed anger regularly, and often times posted simply to correct others on statistics instead of being truly supportive. While this condition can take a toll emotionally, psychologically, and physically it is not the end of the world. There are definitely worse things out there. I can understand how you might want to be critical of yourself, but be careful that you aren't overly critical. We all make mistakes, no exceptions. Rejection can be a difficult thing to deal with, but being honest and maintaining your integrity is more important than pride. Remember they aren't rejecting you, they are rejecting H, and it's likely they don't have full understanding of the condition. I know it's taken me a long time to figure things out. Keeping it in perspective is something that is a constant work in progress. There will always be times when the negative thoughts start to creep in, but we can choose to push them back out. We need to take those negative thoughts and self-doubt and replace them with positive and supportive thoughts. H does not define who you are. You are still who you were before, and while it may be difficult to see at times, it can even make you a better person. For me H has forced me to take a better look at anyone I consider dating. I am no longer willing to put up with the garbage and games some women (yes I know some men do too) play while dating. It has made me more comfortable with letting a woman go after the first date or even cutting a first date short. It has forced me to listen to the voice inside that had been stifled for so long, the one that lets me know what's truly not for me. Yes happiness is out there for you, and just like before H it still takes some work, but I wouldn't go so far to say that it's any more work than before. Try with small things to improve your outlook. I went and joined a cycling club so I could be surrounded with people that like what I liked in an environment where that's all it was about. I also started expanding the classes I took at school, the first non-necessary class I took was Tai Chi. Another exercise that has worked for me was to write all the words I associated with this condition when speaking about it, and find more positive or at least neutral words to replace them. This has perhaps had the biggest impact for me. Taking positive deliberate actions like these may help you to find something you've lost, and allow you to get back to where you were before H. And any time you need support or just a sympathetic keyboard we're all here. :) CBK
  11. I just finished reading all this, that is crazy. It stands as an example of just how powerful the impact of the stigma of this condition is for some. That is really unfortunate on multiple fronts, and I'm sorry you had such an experience. It seems the tactic of now you have it and no one else will want you is more common than I thought. Anyone reading this needs to know...there are plenty of men and women who are more than willing to look past a skin condition. And they realize that it doesn't make you damaged or dirty. Those who think that way simply are letting you know they lack compassion and understanding, and probably wouldn't make good partners because of that shortcoming. :) CBK
  12. Yes it's all about the character building. I've begun to wonder how much character is enough. I also now wonder what face I made when my ex girlfriend disclosed to me after the fact. I suppose it was one of wondering about how this would change things. Though in the end no matter the expression we won't know the response until the conversation is over. I know that doesn't make it easier, but I try to draw strength from the knowledge I'm doing what is right by everyone. One of my plans now is to come up with some type of affirmation, a little self directed pep-talk that I can focus on each day. Maybe that'll help too. :) CBK
  13. My first episode with HSV2 oral resulted in a few small sores at the same time. They showed up roughly four days after symptoms including one of the worst headaches I've ever had (comparable to migraines), general flu-like symptoms with aching that was focused at the top of my neck, and a low grade fever. Those symptoms lasted 5-7 days and overlapped the onset of the sores. I do feel lucky to have contacted it orally due to the low recurrence rate, but it did cause more frequent cold sores for a short time, and they were more painful than they had been in many years. My ex, who had GHSV2, averaged 2 episodes per year, and she usually called off work for at least 2 days while it was active. It was very uncomfortable for her, but she wouldn't get a prescription for anything so I think it was worse than it needed to be. What she told me about her primary episode was that it lasted for over 2 weeks and was extremely painful. Unfortunately her doctor was not knowledgeable and was not sympathetic. She also didn't seek any other help, and didn't research the virus. Perhaps the worst part was the emotional and psychological impact at a time when she was alone with no one to help support her. With a supportive doctor you're on a good path. And you've also found this site early, and what I've learned in my short time here is that help and support in a positive manner is always available. Being positive, for me, is one of the biggest things I can do to help myself. This gets better with time and perspective. :) CBK
  14. I might have some insight on this. I am also a former EMT, and while those without the training have the idea that it was some ridiculously difficult deep medical training, it really isn't. I used to think the same before I was certified. Though there are different levels all the way up to paramedics. Each level entails more skills and knowledge, but STDs really don't enter the equation. If I were in a similar situation I wouldn't assume that it would mean they know any more or less than the average person. The two of you have chemistry and that counts for a lot. Leverage that chemistry with a light hearted approach and it'll be just fine. You know the information and I have confidence that you'll do well. And he is lucky. Btw, the worst part of EMT certification for me was the role playing practical skills testing. There's a time limit and I completed all tasks well under time. That meant sitting there with a guy in character and two others staring at me from behind clipboards who aren't allowed to speak... awkward. :) CBK
  15. I'm happy that it turned out good. And I agree with Adrial and Lelani, you are an excellent writer, I am jealous. I wish I shared your talent for writing, would have made those college English courses easier, lol. There is no shame in who we are, it is only in our internal perception of what we think others see. Your display of courage is one we can all take strength from. Great post! :) CBK
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