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Savannah1981

1st time disclosing and feeling ashamed

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I was diagnosed with GHSV1 a year and a half ago via oral sex. My boyfriend at the time knew he had it and didn't tell me. He and I broke up in March and I just recently started dating again. I met a guy about a month ago and had been talking everyday, went out on a few dates. Last night, unexpectedly things moved a little faster than I had planned for and I had to disclose to him my hsv status. I was so flustered that I wasn't able to communicate how I had planned because I was caught completely off guard. I managed to get out transmission rates and all the precautions I take (daily valtrex, lysine). He was very nice about it, asked a few questions but mainly he just felt sorry for me. He thanked me for having the courage to tell him and that he really liked me as a friend. 

Today I am just feeling so ashamed, I knew this day would come and I would have to face rejection. I know there is nothing I can do about it but I feel just as bad as the day I was diagnosed.  The shame, the loneliness and the fear are all back. It feels as if I'm starting this rollercoaster all over again. My question is, does this ever get easier? Does the shame ever go away? I feel like I am going to be alone forever but I don't think I can go through having to disclose again, especially if this is what it's like every time. 

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I understand your feelings completely. Don’t feel ashamed. If it weren’t for the stigma attached to it, there would be no shame.  Thanks a lot media 😂

I’ve had HSV2 for 26 years and contracted it from my husband who didn’t know he had it. Anyways, he has since passed away and dating in itself is awkward to me but now to have to make this disclosure just adds more stress to it.  I did start dating a guy and when I disclosed, he was accepting of it for 2 months then out of nowhere, I was totally blindsided by him when one day he said he had a hang up about it and that’s how it ended. So now, dating has gone by the wayside for me because now I have a lot of trust issues.  Is the next guy going to do the same thing?  I lost my best friend and never imagined my life going down this road.  So as for now, the single life is where I stand because rejection is hard.  I’ve read success stories and even have 3 very good friends with HSV and have found great relationships, so it is possible but I don’t take rejection well.  It’s funny, because all 3 friends weren’t rejected and have been with their husbands for 5-15 years now so happiness can be found.  I guess if they don’t see you for who you are, rather than a virus, they aren’t worth your time. 

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I don’t know about being friends. I’m really struggling with this myself. On one hand, the man/woman didn’t do anything wrong if they decide not to continue the relationship (if it’s done respectfully) so a friendship may be a nice thing that comes out it. On the other hand they rejected me purely because of HSV and it’s going to hurt to watch that person date someone else. I’m leaning towards not being friends as it’s just a painful reminder of rejection. 

Regarding shame, it’s hard, but try to get over it. It’s nothing to be shameful about. Think about it, millions of people did the same thing you did, you just were unlucky. There’s a lot of things worse in life to be worried about.

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I can totally identify with what you’re going through. I haven’t dated much in the past 5 years for fear of having to disclose when things got to a certain point. 

I finally decided I would try online dating. I had been talking with a new guy for a month, day in and day out, we went on a few dates which went very well. He was clearly very into me, messaging me good morning each day, calling me “cutie”, just really sweet. I was really into him as well. Then I decided to disclose to him I was hsv2 positive and he ran for the hills.  Completely ghosted me.  

It’s evident he was not emotionally available and that is not what I am looking for however it’s hard to know that if I didn’t have this, we would still be dating. I try to remind myself that everything happens for a reason and he’s just not the right one or apparently even the person I had thought. However it’s a tough pill to swallow to go from being so desirable to someone to being absolutely revolting. That’s what I hate about having this. The rejection totally sucks.

Then when I work up the nerve to start dating again, I’m already anticipating the rejection or the up in the air of not knowing how they will react.  Am I going to waste another month or two getting to know someone before they straight up reject me?  I know it’s not the best way to look at it and I try and keep positive but it’s just the reality of the situation.

I wish I did not have this. I know it doesn’t define me however it does to a lot of people and that totally sucks. I don’t feel like a victim it’s just tough to deal with sometimes.

I build my confidence up time and time again and keep getting rejected. I’m human, I can only take so much before I want to just throw in the towel. Sometimes I think I just have to accept the fact that I’m just going to be alone for the rest of my life. If you get burned by a stove you don’t keep putting your hand on the stove. That’s how I feel about dating lately. I keep getting burned and I don’t want to get burned anymore.

I will continue to work and focus on myself and maybe at some point the right guy will come along but I’m putting myself on the bench for awhile to try and come back from another rejection.

I suppose it’s all in your attitude and how you feel about yourself and the situation and how you relay it but it’s very hard to not feel like a total piece of crap when you keep getting thrown away for a freaking skin rash. My life is great in all areas of my life...aside from having to disclose this information when dating. It’s the only thing in my life that is stalled and not progressing.

At this point I’m venting, I don’t have the answers but I figured I’d at least start finding other people who are going through the same things and maybe get some help for myself because it’s clear what I’m doing isn’t working. 

Thanks for listening and reading. 

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DNC84 thank you for the reassurance that I am not the only one struggling with this. I am not new to heartbreak but that was before I was diagnosed with hsv. Being rejected solely because of this is heartbreak on a whole new level. 

I like your idea of working on myself at this point but I also want a partner to share life with. It's so frustrating but I guess it's something that I will have to get used to. 

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Don't give up! When I was first diagnosed, I had been on one date with one guy, and told him within about 15 minutes of finding out. He rejected me. Then he came around and I rejected him.

Then I met someone else a few months later. We spent a couple weeks texting and talking on the phone before we met up in person. On our first actual date, I disclosed to him and he accepted me 100%. We've been together for nearly 7 months now and going very strong.

Don't let one rejection stop you from finding someone great! If I had let that first *sshole stop me from putting myself out there, I never would have met my boyfriend and I would be missing out on so much happiness.

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Savannah1981 I agree it’s definitely something I need to get used to for sure. It’s not going away and I have to try and have a better mindset about it. Herpes in the big scheme of things is so minuscule. I have to try and not let it define me because aside from having this skin condition (which is all it is!!) I have so many good qualities and attributes that I’m sure the right guy someday will appreciate and look past the hsv. I think for us it’s just a matter of having to suck it up, not be so ashamed and fearful and be confident in ourselves as this is just a teeny tiny piece of who we are. 

As im sure you can tell, today I feel better about things. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions but I think self focus and trying to be and feel the best you can is the healthiest route to go. It’s way easier said than done and I have my ups and downs with it all the time. I feel bad about my situation and the rejection but I try not to let it sit there for too long.  It’s best not to worry about things out of my control and I cannot control how people are going to react to it but I can choose how I decide to deal with it and I need to just better adopt the idea that if I’m rejected over something this stupid then that person was not the right one for me anyhow. Like I said yesterday- I was totally feeling sorry for myself and having a pity party but today is a new day and I’m choosing to try and have a better outlook. I think what’s best (for me anyways) is to have the “zero F****” attitude. Lol. I am who I am take it or leave it but always know it is their loss if they choose to not get to know me over something so trivial. And I say trivial because as I’m sure most people can attest to on here, having herpes is basically a non issue in our lives other than when it comes to dating and having to disclose the information and wait for the judgement process to begin. 

Best of luck to you and I hope you find peace and happiness as you are not defined by a freaking cold sore. Lol I mean how ridiculous right!?

I have hope the right guy will come along for both of us when the time is right and it is the right guy 🙂

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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I can relate to the rollercoaster of emotion - I feel like I've had a million ups and downs within the past couple of weeks alone. I'm in the stage with this guy right now where I really like him, and he knows I have herpes, but I'm not sure what's going to happen next. He reacted kindly but who knows what that really means? And as much as I wish I had it in me to remain friends with him if he decided he didn't want to "risk it" with dating me, I don't know if I could. 

At the same time, I've been doing a lot to work on myself too and am excited to start a new chapter. I've started getting into yoga and have become much more interested in nutrition lately, which is leading me to only good things - making my body stronger and healthier. It's like having this one thing - just a skin condition - has made me realize everything that I take for granted every single day. No matter our levels of abilities, our bodies are incredible and they do amazing things for us. 

So I guess this guy is sort of secondary. Whatever happens with him is whatever happens. I can't let it change the path I'm on. I'm grappling with the fact that I'm essentially asking someone to accept me when I haven't even fully accepted myself, and maybe that's the bigger problem here.

I'm trying to be better about listening to myself, both mind and body. And as I'm reading these messages and typing this, what both are seeming to tell me is that maybe I should work a little more on loving myself before I put my energy into someone else.

Thank you for helping me get to that realization.

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