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  • Herpes Support Forum
    • General herpes discussion
    • Just found out I have herpes
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    • The herpes talk: disclosing
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  1. Hello, Everyone ❤️ Today was a really rough day. I had a nervous breakdown and just really hit a low. I vented everything to my mom, and explained my OCD, herpes fears, and feelings of guilt and shame around having my herpes. My mom was kind and understanding. It is really awkward to talk to your mom about herpes, especially when they are strict. I told her that I constantly feel afraid I will give my family herpes by sharing food, doing laundry, even touching objects, even though the science says that is not how it works. Honestly, the times when we feel like we will be harshly judged and should keep quiet are actually the times when we NEED to talk and actually won't be judged. The people who really love us will be understanding. I told my mom that I was afraid she would judge me or be disappointed in me, but she wasn't. She said, "You trusted someone and they ended up giving this to you, and that isn't your fault." And she is so right. She told me I'm not dirty or less of a person, and this really really meant so much to me. Please know that disclosing your HSV to someone close to you who is kind and accepting can help release SO much pressure and secrets, and I feel so much more free and able to heal. My feelings of guilt and shame disappeared and I gained a comforting resource, my mom, to help me through my journey. ❤️🍀🌼☀️ Yay for kind understanding humans! I love my mama bear 🐻❤️!!!
  2. Hello! I am new to this group and I am looking for support and advice. When I was 13-16, I was in a relationship where I was frequently sexually assaulted. He would coerce me into having sex with him with threats of self-inflicted harm. He told his parents we were having sex and they supported it. I was young and was upset with myself for being uncomfortable - if it was okay with everyone else why was I so upset? I was embarrassed to tell my friends or my parents, so I bit my tongue and they still are unaware to this day. After two and a half years, that relationship ended but it was a lot harder to navigate the world after that. In my junior year of college (six years later) I talked about it for the first time to my favorite professor, and he helped me through therapy and to work through what had happened. I was finally becoming comfortable with who I was physically, and I felt ready to take on the world. A few months later, I was in a new relationship and everything was going smoothly. I told him about what happened in my first relationship and he was very considerate of how I was feeling every step of the way. He was the first person I comfortably had sex with. Within the first two weeks of us being together physically, I tested positive for HSV. Before we were together, I had him get updated STD tests, and we always used protection. I talked to him about it and he was unaware that he had it. We worked through it together, but we broke up a few months later for unrelated reasons. Now that I am alone, I am genuinely coming to terms with all of this for the first time. When I was with my ex we didn't have to worry about passing it because we clearly both had it. Now, I am facing the reality of how this will impact my life and the relationships I may forge. It took me six years to become comfortable in my sexuality, and it feels like that was ripped from my hands. I am having issues being comfortable with myself, let alone other people. I recently have been talking to someone that is everything I could need in a person, and him and I get along very well. I am very anxious to talk to him about it. I feel like it is definitely too soon to bring it up, but I am so tired of having this weight on my chest. This is the kind of conversation I would want to have in person, but due to the recent COVID pandemic that is definitely not an option. I kind of want to rip the bandaid off and tell him about my first relationship and my HSV status, but I am not sure the best way to move forward in doing so. I am not sure how to navigate through all of this, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  3. Hey! So Im currently dating this guy and he seems lovely, we get on so well and i do potentially see it going somewhere HOWEVER I’m so scared to disclose ! I’ve had this nearly 2 years now and I’ve dated but the fear of having to disclose has always pushed me away and almost shut me off so I either back out or seem uninterested 😩 when in reality it’s the fear of rejection stopping me! As a result I haven’t been with anyone since my diagnosis and at 24 I feel like it’s really impacting me and I’m scared that this is it and I'm just going to be alone ! I try and remain positive about it and I know I have a lot of good qualities etc and I’m not my diagnosis but I just struggle to picture myself having a successful disclosure and it’s making me so anxious about my future! so was just hoping people could post some positive disclosing stories or ways to not let the fear of disclosing ruin any potential relationships! ... anything positive in general would be super appreciated! Also what length of time have people waited to disclose ? I was going to see how the third date went then after that tell him if I decide that I do want to progress things! thanks in advance x
  4. Here is my story. I had contracted herpes (HSVII/genital) in 2012 from a partner who *claims* he didn't know. I was naturally devastated, but luckily had been on road trip with said partner, and honestly being away from home distracted me from the bizarreness of it all, at least temporarily. I could be distracted with all the adventures that we had planned for the trip. And surprisingly this partner was totally not freaked out by this new diagnosis, let alone current symptoms/outbreak. Over the years I had managed to disclose successfully to a handful of different partners. Most of them came around and we had full-fledged relationships, ending for other reasons, but mostly on good/decent terms. However, in September of 2018 I had met this one guy and failed to disclose to him. He was everything (I thought) I wanted and thus I was greatly ashamed & intimidated about disclosing. Then, what I will call "the perfect storm" happened and I failed to disclose before sex. I'll skip the details about that here. But I do have another post where I got into trouble with him being angry from having told him after the fact. Fast forward to about 6 months later. I had been working hard, and even enrolled in courses to propel my career, just hoping to redeem myself and help build greater self-confidence in order to prevent the weakness I had experience previously. Having started to feel stronger and better about myself, I put myself out on a dating website. I had so much interest and quickly met a great guy that I started to build a connection with. I thought I would have the courage to tell someone within the first few dates, but it started getting close to six dates, and I was growing increasingly anxious. After I had made the terrible mistake with the previous guy, I was sure I would have the confidence to tell just about anyone, but that seemed to have faded, and I struggled all over again with shame and (lack of) self-confidence. One night we had a miscommunication that upset me, and he was so apologetic and sincere, that it became clear to me that this man was dedicated, so I thought F-it! If he's so dedicated there's one quick way to be sure. Also, in the weeks leading up to this, I had run it through my head that I could approach with the mentality/attitude that *he* needs to be okay with this if we are going to progress. And by that I meant it's *his* responsibility to be cool with this (not mine). I finally got myself to a point where I don't feel like I need to take full responsibility for someone accepting something about me that I cannot change and that I didn't really get the decision to. I no longer need to take responsibility for whether someone else can make a reasonable rational decision based on facts, and that me already knowing, sharing/disclosing, and protecting myself (& my partner) is a lot LESS riskier than had he continued dating so many other people, many of which could have it and not know it or not be able/willing to disclose in advance properly. So that night I texted him to get his butt over to my place and that we needed to have a talk. He hurried over and was scared that he had done something wrong. I quickly reassured him that wasn't the case. We walked over to a cute little suspension bridge in my neighborhood, where we could have privacy from neighbors, and then I managed to cough up the news like hairball (awkwardly). He immediately stopped me and told me that even though he hasn't dated many people, it wasn't the first time he had a relationship with someone who had this. He barely let me finish and then hugged me and reassured me. Then we continued walking the neighborhood and he took that as an opportunity to bring a few other important topics to the table, nothing related to this site. I felt amazing, redeemed & relieved, and finally proud of myself. I hope this lil story helps at least one person. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Oh, and no judgements from me if you are struggling or fail to disclose. I'm here to do my best to educate & encourage so you don't continue making these mistakes.
  5. Hi, This is a rather long and convoluted story so I'll try to simplify it as much as possible. In December of last year I was dating a girl and we were proceeding to have unprotected oral and vaginal sex throughout our relationship, however at the start of February we decided to part ways, our last sexual contact was the end of January. I then had no sexual contact with anyone else until I started having some difficulty whilst peeing, not stinging just uncomfortable about 5 weeks after our last sexual contact. I decided to visit my local GUM clinic and was tested for the normal panel of STD's, in the week whilst I was waiting for the results I started to notice a small spot on my chin which I thought looked like a coldsore. Having never had one before, I began to panic that what I was experiencing genitally could also be herpes so made an emergency appointment with my GP. She said she was unsure if it was a coldsore or not, but even if it was, the best course of action would be to start me on a course of Acyclovir to which I did. The small spot on my chin disappeared within four days or so and nothing appeared on my penis (I forgot to mention that the difficulty peeing subsided before I started taking Acyclovir) and my results for all other STD's came back negative. Everything was fine, until about a couple of months later when I noticed a red spot forming on the foreskin of my penis. This began on a Friday and the local GUM clinics only operate Mon-Fri in the UK, again I panicked and ordered a home swab test from a private clinic that would PCR test for herpes. I completed this on the Saturday and sent it away and visited my local GUM clinic on the Monday. The Dr told me she thought it looked like a blocked pore (I thought it had healed over by then) and said I was worrying myself into a complete panic about having herpes when clinically I hadn't really presented any symptoms of it. I received the swab test results and they came back negative for both types. Not satisfied with this outcome, I decided to have blood testing done. My IGG at 3 months, 6 months and 8 months post exposure have all come back negative for both types of herpes however I know that herpes is generally not a straight forward diagnosis in that the blood test is generally accurate for HSV2 but misses up to 30% of new HSV1 infections. And what complicates it further is that I'm likely to have little to no outbreaks for genital HSV1 but can still pass on the virus so there is nothing that I can really do about my situation but sit and wait for something to show up. For the past 9 months I've been inspecting my genitals like crazy in the shower for any signs but nothing turns up, but I'm also scared that my symptoms are so mild that I completely miss them. I thought I could complete a Western Blot with Terri Warren, but my financial situation as a student in the UK just makes that impossible at the moment. What complicates my sit and wait situation further is that I've been dating a girl for the past two months who I'm completely enamoured by, and we've been getting so close that I know that sex is on the horizon. She's 22, I'm 23 and she told me that she's still a virgin and expressed an interest in having sex with me. I'm completely terrified by the thought of dating this girl and then 7 months down the line she contracts genital herpes, especially with the knowledge that I know of my situation. Having to tell her this whole story that I'm writing now would just make me feel like I've been lying to her the whole time. I would hate for her first sexual experiences with anyone to end in contracting genital herpes. I've spoken with my GP, a student councillor at my university and also the Herpes virus org here in the UK. They've all given me a very straight forward answer in that it's a harmless virus, I've not been diagnosed therefore there is no reason for me to disclose to any partners about my situation. However, from all the herpes literature I've read I know that Dr's tend to downplay herpes therefore I'm unsure as morally what's the correct thing to do. I want to be completely honest, but I'm terrified that she will reject me but on the other hand I almost agree with the Dr's in that I haven't been diagnosed but I'm unsure if that's me just wanting to believe what I want to hear. I agree that Herpes is a harmless virus after all of the stories I've read on the internet, however I would never want to take someone's decision away from them. Admittedly, what's caused me the most angst about this whole story at the moment is the uncertainty of whether If I do have it and if I'd pass it onto this girl. If we do decide to have sex, I of course will use a condom but if the relationship progresses further, she may be want to use the pill instead of condom. I guess I was really just looking for some advice from real people on my situation and what I should do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I just don't know what to do.
  6. I just got diagnosed with my primary hsv2 ob in my throat. I’ve been bawling my eyes out thinking how no one would ever love me and that surely the guy I was seeing was going to stop wanting contact. It’s been a very casual relationship and he’s always used condoms vaginally but not orally. I was pondering ways to tell him but preparing for the worst, in my depression went on a a dating site for positive tested people and found him on it. An old profile with no pictures, but some identifying facts on there that make me certain it’s him. I’m at a loss for words and have no idea what to do about this situation, I still haven’t told him I know but now I don’t know what to say.
  7. So I have fairly recently been diagnosed with genital HSV-1, I got symptoms after a casual sexual partner performed oral sex on me so I am assuming that’s where it came from but that’s not necessarily true or important. It took me a while to be diagnosed as I went to the doctor assuming (and hoping) it was folliculitis, she told me it did not look like herpes, however after a couple of days it became VERY painful and I could barely sleep or walk without tears, due to work I couldn’t get to a clinic to find out, however I think I knew inside the whole time it was, so after a lot of tears I came to terms with it, and googled EVERYTHING I could on the topic. I finally got an appointment and received treatment and results and here I am- since then I have had one casual partner who I did not disclose to as I have read genital - genital hsv1 is not commonly transmitted (is this a myth?) and I ensured we used a condom, I also (possibly unnecessarily) started taking suppressive antivirals to try and prevent transmission as much as possible. I have had a few casual sexual partners, some by my choice and some I assumed it was more, so I am using this as a wake up call to try and weed out the less nice men shall we say, I decided I didn’t need a relationship or sex and should focus on myself, however this great guy came along and we got on well- I disclosed to him and it went a lot better than I thought as I am fairly young (20) so him being 21 I could possibly “ruin” his sex life for the whole future (stigma) but we continued seeing each other. I understand that’s a lot of information I kinda wanted to get it all out and ask - how likely is it that I will transmit to a partner, does anyone have experience? Being young and enjoying sex I would like to have as much information as possible, bearing in mind I am using condoms and antivirals, and has anyone been in a similar situation and have any advice for me? (Young and diagnosed)
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