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After the Herpes Disclosure. What Happens Now?

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Helloooo everyone! About a month ago I posted my story of disclosure. My first, real disclosure. It was a great experience, and I have been basking in its success for a while now. Read: Ive been in a steamy hot relationship.


The other day it occurred to me that I hadn't been on the forum lately, and I asked myself why not. In the midst of my love induced walking coma I think I have pretended that I am "cured" of my herpes shame and embarrassment. I mean, why shouldn't I be, I met a guy who likes me and accepts me, so everything should be great, right? Ummmm, well, turns out having sex with someone doesn't fix all the little parts of you that may have been scarred in the past. Damn.


Let me be clear- I have come so far in my "shame factor" over herpes. I really feel ok most of the time, truly. But....I have been having self defeating thoughts. I quickly usher them away by saying, "Katie, stop it! you are awesome!". But that doesn't always prevent the negativity from creeping in. Fear is creeping in also. I am afraid he is going to get herpes. Even though I am on acylclovir right now and haven't had any out breaks, I still think about it sometimes while we are being intimate. Its distracting!


I am afraid he is going to tire of me and use herpes as an out. Part of me still feels like herpes is a "CON" on some ones list when they are trying to make an important decision. Have you ever made a pros and cons list about a relationship? I feel like a major CON. Even though I know I have many PROS! WAY more pros than cons. Does a herpes CON trump multiple PROS? OR should I stop seeing herpes as a CON and put it on my PRO list? I mean, its really not that big of a deal- my rational brain knows this. Why is this stigma so damn hard to shake?


Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

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Hey kpeace!


It happens a lot that people come to the forum when they are at their lowest, then they go through the healing process here, learning more and more that at a deep level they are truly worth it, own it, then have a successful disclosure talk ... and then they're ghost! :) And ultimately that's a good thing. (Although, we'd love the support to help all the other new people who need it!) It means you got the support you need and now you get to live your life. Awesome! ;)


Here's an important distinction with the whole herpes talk thing: Someone saying "yes" doesn't MEAN that you're now officially acceptable/cured. It's simply proof toward what you already should be working toward knowing on a deep level ... That you've ALWAYS been enough! Before herpes. After herpes. If you have one leg. If you have red hair, brown hair, green hair. If your big, little. If you're gay or straight. Whatever has happened to you in the past. Whoever you are. You are enough. You are worth it. If people accept or reject you, it doesn't change what you already know about yourself. Listen to this audio I created about rejection. This is huge.



When someone says yes and wants ALL of you, then they are taking a risk. Just like you are taking a risk by being with them. You are taking a risk in opening your heart to someone else with their own past, with their own baggage. And also with all their beauty and awesomeness, too. Relationship is always risky, if not for something physical like herpes, then emotionally for certain. You're both taking a risk together because the risk is worth going deeper into relationship together. In partnership, you are both equally responsible for keeping the herpes-free partner safe. Be careful, but don't be paranoid. The paranoia (read: stress) actually only serves to lower your immune system and heighten the chances of an outbreak. Ironic, huh? Stress is the major herpes trigger. So sure, herpes can be the biggest CON you can possibly imagine. How? Because you believe it to be. It gets bigger and bigger the more and more you focus on how horrible it is. Practice putting it in its place: A simple skin condition that you'd rather not pass to your partner. What if you had a dry skin condition on your hands that has the potential to pass to your partners hands? How is this different? Our own shame around sexuality? Unfortunately, our culture is deeply ashamed of sexuality. It's not the herpes. It's underlining that our belief that sex is inherently dirty. And herpes can be proof that sex is dirty. Or it can just be a skin condition that can be intimately passed.


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This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Hi Adrial!


Thank you for responding. I have always been enough-I have always been enough. I know this. That is going to be my mantra for a while I think!


I knew that once my current love interest and I started being intimate, I wasn't going to be automatically cured from the shame game or the fear game. Honestly, anything could happen right now-I need to be prepared for the possibility of him NOT being ok with herpes someday. I feel like now, the real work has to begin! Because if I am not truly ok with who I am, a situation like that could be truly devastating.


So, the self love work continues. I will watch that podcast on rejection. Thanks bud:)

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