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8 years of silence-a breakthrough- a break up


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Hi everyone,


I'm 21 years old now. When I was 13, I was molested by my 27 year old housekeeper. I kept quiet for a long time because she told me that it had to remain a secret. She made me feel guilty about the experience and also for the feelings I felt for her afterwards. Unfortunately, she also transmitted genital Herpes to me at this time in my life where I hadn't even learned about the risks associated with STD's (I was in middle school). My immediate reaction to my newfound condition was depressingly negative. I cried alone for countless nights. I also felt tremendous responsibility to NEVER transmit Herpes to anyone else, and so I felt scared to talk to girls who I genuinely liked because "Why would such a great girl waste a moment on me now that I'm infected? and I don't want to hurt her or ruin her life like mine has been ruined."


I was too ashamed over the way I was infected and my age that I bottled up my feelings and anxieties and I allowed them to undermine my sense of self-worth over time. Sadly, Herpes controlled most of my high school social decision making, and I missed out on a lot of potentially positive experiences. I remained celibate and when girls expressed interest in me, my anxiety would skyrocket to the point where I couldn't think about anything but herpes and it cut deeply into my schoolwork.


When I started college, I knew that I needed to talk about this experience with a professional and seek out support. I reached out to the only doctor I knew, and he referred me to another psychiatrist closer to my school. After months of psychotherapy with this new doctor, I took a risk and told a girl about my herpes.


To my great relief, she actually said she didn't care, and that we would just use protection, no big deal. She accepted me for my condition, and I felt eternally grateful to her, wanting to shower her in gifts and ready to commit to anything she wanted. But, over time, we began to grow apart, and while I knew it was not right, I clung to it because I was afraid I would never find another girl that would make that choice. She dumped me tonight, and I'm feeling a great deal of mixed emotions.


My anxiety over getting rejected by new women and over having to have "the talk" has returned in full force. I am writing this for guidance from those who have the sense of self-worth to, despite having herpes, take the risk of letting someone go who is not right for them. I think I will strengthen over time, but so many years of silence has taken an emotional toll. I had to take a year off from school because work became impossible to focus on.


Thank you,


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I have no experience about letting a person go after I've had herpes but i can tell you about finding yourself and not equivalenting your self wortg to who you are with or what you make. There's more to you than being a victim whether you've found yourself or not. Go horseback riding go hiking. go to the blackjack tables in a casino and double down on a hard 12. Canoe riding is awesome too. You would be surprised with nature and peace all around you what you will find out there. Do things you like to do. It sounds like you have built up being in a relationship with someone as pure bliss or heaven paradise whatever. You don't have to be romantic with someone. You don't have to be in a relationship with someone to be happy. As a matter of fact herpes or not with this mindset you really won't be happy either way. You're 21. Get out there and find yourself and the things you like. I hate to know things happen like what happened to you as a child but like that famous quote goes, "you are not a victim. you are a survivor." Best of wishes to you.

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"Why would such a great girl waste a moment on me now that I'm infected? and I don't want to hurt her or ruin her life like mine has been ruined."


That broke my heart wide open reading that.


I remember feeling that. Believing that. And it's simply not true. You can't ruin someone's life with the amount of compassion you are showing right now in what you wrote. I don't believe it.


And you know the other thing I'm noticing as I read what you wrote? The tremendous HEART that you have. Anyone who would choose to be celibate to protect others from something that they judge is so horrible is ultimately quite a caring, conscientious person. BUT, ironically enough, exactly what has you holding yourself back like this is EXACTLY what any woman would be able to trust in you deeply. This care to protect someone else from pain. Wanting others to be okay, even to the detriment and loneliness of yourself. Does that make sense?


I see it time and time again in coaching people with herpes. "I don't want to put anyone through the same pain that I'm going through. So I just won't date. I'll have to be okay with being alone." It seems like it's a valiant thing. It seems like it's saving other people from pain, but what it's really protecting people from is your heart. It's ultimately a selfish thing. You are hiding your heart from the kind of people who want you to share it with them.


I'm sorry that happened when you were younger. And it doesn't mean that you get to hold back your heart from the world. The world needs a big, caring heart like yours.


I got news for you, bro. This is not the end; it's the beginning of living more and more whole-hearted. Sharing that big gushy heart with the world.

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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  • 1 month later...

Solomon, your story made me cry. I know how you feel. It is so hard to read other people's stories because of the intense amount of pain I know you are in. I wish you the very best in life and I hope you will stay on this site and let us know how you are doing now. Love, abc123

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It's interesting that you just responded to this thread, abc ... because I just responded to your thread and gave you pretty much the exact same advice:



Interesting how we're naturally drawn to certain threads that other's post, isn't it? It seems that you two are carrying the same pain, the same regret, the same fear. Allow yourself to open to the bigness of your heart and what it's capable of giving. Really look at it. You have so much more to give than a skin rash, I promise you. You holding your heart back from the world out of guilt and shame doesn't serve ... You have that love to give to the world. And it's beautiful. And it's ready for you when you're ready to learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself.

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. 

Helpful resources:

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Your story was very heartbreaking to read, thank you for sharing with us! Lots of warm hugs (its freaking cold where I am!!)


First, you have to get your self respect back or you will make bad decisions. I was also molested and didn't realize how much it had manifested and affected my entire life. This manifestation led to a lot of poor self destructive decisions, which ultimately ended with me getting herpes. I took it as a wake up call. I got herpes not a death sentence. I sought out counseling and have become a much more positive person about life and myself. It took several years of therapy and a horrible 5 year relationship that I stayed in way too long because 1. I unknowingly gave him herpes and how could I leave him knowing I did that I owed it to him to stay 2. He had it and I would probably never meet someone better or accepting of me.


As someone on the other side, you can meet other people. I broke up with him because staying in the relationship meant I was keeping him from someone that would truly make him happy and also that someone that would make me happy. As someone who is currently loving her dating life, I have had a couple good disclosures, but ultimately I broke things off with them because it just wasn't right. The point is this won't change your dating life, it will however help you decide who you are serious about and who your aren't. We are all still learning, so having this forum for support is very helpful.


Chin up, you are in the right place!!! More warm hugs!!

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