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What I feel vs what I know

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I want so much to feel the reality of what so many of you say is the best thing that ever happened to you.  I'm just not there yet, I guess, and struggle to see that ever being my reality.


I am 43 yrs old, and was a homemaker and homeschooler for almost 20 yrs.  I was faithful to my husband for all those years, but after my marriage fell apart, I moved out and set up another home for my kids and I.  The first man I dated I ended up being intimate with after knowing him for about a month.  He told me he had herpes, but refused to use a condom.  It should have been a red flag warning of his character, but I checked with my local health department instead of listening to my instincts about this man.  I was told by a nurse at the health department that there was a slight chance of transmission, but if he wasn't having an active outbreak the chances would be slim.  I spent two Saturday nights in a row with him, when he told me that he couldn't see us going any further in our relationship because it was hard for him to be with someone who was bigger than a size 2!  I'm an athletic size 6 to 8, but have focused more on my health than on size, as the latter seems too shallow a measure of a whole person.  Needless to say, when I had my first outbreak just one month after my initial exposure, it was hard to deal with all the emotion.  


Until I found your website, I had resigned myself to somehow becoming the next great Mother Theresa type humanitarian, believing that no decent man would want to take the chance with me in the future, but my difficulty is even deeper than that within myself.  I try to imagine feeling genuine love for someone who may not have herpes, and yet is willing to be in relationship with me regardless of the risk of transmission.  I literally cannot imagine myself being intimate with a non-H partner, because I don't ever want to be the reason that someone I love has to go through all that surrounds the virus.  I've only told my doctor and three of my closest friends.  The betrayal of one of those friends has been a difficult offense to forgive, and has been driving me even deeper into a solitude that feels more lonely, more "ruined" than I hardly know what to do with.  


I am not currently dating and have no interest in dating, but am desperate to escape the isolation I guess I have allowed to become the new norm for me.  I struggle to know who to trust and now how to trust.  


Feels like a VERY heavy winter lies ahead...in more ways than one!


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Hi Aerial2013. I am so sorry you are in pain, and I am sorry you had such a negative experience with a less than honorable man. I just wanted to say, you are not ruined. Isolating yourself will not help the pain. I should know, I stayed in my room and ate cheeseburgers and ice cream for the good majority of last year! Needless to say, it didn't make me feel better. You know what did make me feel better? I surrounded myself with good people. I started doing things for me, things that made me feel good and that had nothing to do with men. I had to start believing that I was not ruined, or else, I knew it would be the end of me.


Keep reaching out here on this forum. We have all been where you are, and I am sure we have had similar feelings and fears. The winter does not have to be heavy! Many blessing to you.



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Thank you so much, Katie! I'm trying to be proactive about plugging in with people who have come through this. I think I'll start setting aside some funds for the next opp weekend. Those videos and interviews are helping alot. I suppose what it's stirriing in me more than anything is my life long struggle fearing rejection. It feels like herpes has just sealed the deal for me to be forced to risk rejection in my future every single time I have to reveal. That immediately takes me to the place of choosing to remain single, and that's when the really heavy feelings can overwhelm me. I'm doing some things to embrace, rather than fear, my newly single life in my mid 40's...but I feel lonely, and can't seem to shake that feeling most days. Did you share with a friend(s)? If so, was that sharing a positive experience?

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KATIE BRIGADE TO THE RESCUE!!!! Hahaha I'm Katie too ^_^ and I agree with the lady above that shares this amazing name.


Now you say you want to feel like we do...because we make this seem to be the best thing ever and I feel like you're missing the point a bit. Herpes is most certainly not the best thing to happen to me...far from it...but what it has done is brought out the best in me. This is a place to come to make the best out of a shitty situation...and really it's not even that bad. We think it's bad because for the majority of our lives we've believed a social stigma. Welcome to the land of the well informed my dear!


The things that happen in our lives don't define us...how we react to them and grow does. I chose not to let a rash and some horrible tv jokes bring me down for good and niether should you. What I gather from the people I talk to here and what I've read is that this isn't about glorifying herpes...it's about glorifying our own self worth. We are all here struggling through this journey and came to the realization here that we are bigger than this. I am more than a virus. I am more than a stereotype. I am a strong, independent, kind, outspoken individual and that's what I want people to know me as so that's what I'm gonna be!


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Well said Katie!


Aerial2013- I have told my closest friends and my sisters and most recently my mom(its been about seven years since I contracted H and never told her) about the herpes. It helps, it really does. I also have the intention to go to see someone- yes a therapist, to talk- not only about herpes, but about self love, body acceptance, fear of rejection- issues that were there even before the herpes happened.


There are days when I feel like it is impossible to move forward. There are days when I am sure no one will ever love me fully, like I deserve to be. There are days when I'm not sure I could really love myself. But there are also days of intense clarity, days of knowing that I am going to be ok, and that I am awesome! You will have those moments too! It will get better, and soon this herpes thing wont feel so overwhelming. You are amazing and beautiful with a ton to offer to the world. Don't close yourself in because of a stupid cold sore. Keep talking to friends, be honest. Honesty is your greatest ally- it can open up a world of love you didn't know existed. I truly believe that, and I believe in you Aerial2013. Its going to be ok:)

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I am sorry to hear about your discloser with a friend who decided not to be supportive. Do not let that discourage you from talking to friends/family about it. I love what kpeace says above "Honesty is your greatest ally-it can open up a world of love you didn't know existed." It's so important to keep smiling, loving yourself and moving forward. You are still the beautiful, smart, funny, loving and so much more women you were before all of this. I sometimes forget that I have HSV2, I love those spurts, but I do have my days. I have disclosed to two partners since I found out and neither have rejected me. You will get there, I know it!

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I am trying to process this curve ball that is bringing me to a "Well, DUH" moment! Of COURSE I'm more than the sum of my "parts" (wow, that was bad, heh) :-). I feel blessed to find this website and blessed to be exposed to the truth instead of the stigma. Thank you all. I'm thinking I may just find that Adrial was right when he said something like H can be the catalyst for finally dealing with the self loathing and fears that were there all along.

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I feel the same way you do. Right now I'm trying to focus on ghe positives like well at least I'm not dying from this. I can still go canoeing and swimming and live healthy. I don't see myself meeting a guy that would date me with this. I remember how i was before I got this. I was the one making jokes and wisecracks about herpes. And i most certainly wouldn't dream of ever even sleeping with someone with herpes even if they had been honest about it. I would have been quiet about it but wouldn't have slept with them. I've always been a jokester but somewhat judgmental. maybe this is payback for all those times i was a judgmental jackass. I don't know but i know i feel exactly how you feel too.

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Well, Peach...I took a the advice of a friend and have spent the weekend checking out a separate "std friendly" dating site. I'm not technically looking to "date" because for me, to be really healthy in future relationships I know that I must be healthy on my own for a while, really getting to know myself. BUT, i have made it clear I am only looking for a penpal, and just this weekend, met someone in another state who is perfectly content to have a fellow "penpal" and have no strings or expectations attached. It has truly been an encouraging weekend! I am getting advice from a couple of different sources, and trying to make the wisest choice for myself, never violating the personal boundaries I have set for now in my journey. It's only been a few days since reaching out on this site, and I am already feeling a sense of hope I didn't imagine could be possible. Just believing there's a CHANCE that the stigma isn't where the story of H ends, renews the life already within me!

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And btw...I reject the notion that God, Karma, or anything else one might label it could be so cruel as to issue a sort of punishment known as H. I am choosing to embrace the reality that sometimes s#%t just happens, and the person I want to become as a result of it is actually up to me. I am choosing for today to remain positive that this is merely where another part of my lifes journey begins....no need for an funeral yet! Hang in there with me, Peach!

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Lol I'm trying to hang with the positivity. I'm ok for the most part and try to remind myself there are worser things to have than genital herpes. But i don't know about with you but i just go through this back and forth of being ok then crying than being so angry and wanting to cut the genitalia off of the man that did this to me back to crying again. I hate that you had one if your friends turn on you. its that very reason i havnt told anyone. But I'm gonna keep trying to hang with it and be positive even if its just by a hangnail lol. and it was good to meet you on here Ariel.

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Good to meet you too, Peach! I do go back and forth! LOL! Tomorrow, I may just be blubbering all over the place! But for tonight, a friend has made me laugh, my homemade Sangrias have helped me unwind, and I'm thankful to meet YOU! Oh, and don't go cutting off any genitalia! In the words of Gandalf, "Don't be so quick to dish out death and judgement, for we do not know what part ______may yet play.". Cliche I know, but holding onto the anger will only hurt US! Goodnight my new friend!

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Sweeny Todd? Now THERE's an interesting flick! :[ LOL! We could get some good ideas though, couldn't we?

I had to go to the Dr yet again today. I have a FANTASTIC Dr. I've been with for 10 yrs, so when I began last week having some other symptoms, I knew I'd have to get in to see her right away...the man I contracted H from wasn't up front and honest about everything, so we don't know what else he may have covered up or conveniently "forgotten" to mention! Hell, by the time this is all said and done, I may be hanging out on every site that covers every 3 letter acronym we ever hoped to avoid, huh?! What I know is that the stigma is always the hardship socially, what I feel is "stupid", "dirty", and somehow "unclean" with slim chances of ever dating outside of an H+ pool. So what I know vs what I feel can vary wildly even within the same day"


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