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Rejection and shame

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Hi everyone, 

I'm a 36 year old woman and a little over a year ago, i contracted HSV2 on both my genitals AND my mouth from a one- time sexual encounter with someone i didn't even like that much, but i was busy, it had been a long time for me since i had broken up with a boyfriend, i wanted comfort, and he was there. 100%, biggest mistake and regret of my entire life. Since then I have had aggressive, constant outbreaks, a new one about every 10 days. I'm a grad student, so life isn't exactly stress free, plus i have always had insomnia issues... perfect storm for never ending outbreaks. Thankfully, after a year of exploring different treatments, a combination between 1 gram of valocyclovir and 2 grams of lysine every day, plus daily exercise and a real solid attempt to sleep better, have made it so that i get an outbreak about every 2 months. Even though that's not too bad, i don't exactly want my life to be controlled by trying to prevent outbreaks, and it definitely feels like it is right now. 

Sexually, things have been awful. I have dated since, but 3/3 have not wanted to sleep with me. The last guy i dated i really liked. We were friends for about 4 months and then dated for 3 1/2 months. Even though i was doing my best to control outbreaks, and i educated him on how i was keeping the risk low with suppressants and condoms, he never wanted to do anything besides hand stuff, and things just ended the other day. It was extremely frustrating, i felt rejected, embarrassed, confused, ashamed every time. I know it probably comes down to him not liking me enough to risk it, which is ultimately why things ended (because i realized through various signs that it was imbalanced and i liked him more). I'm feeling a bit hopeless and devastated right now. I've never experienced sexual rejection before. It's a new and horrible thing to feel. 

I'd really like to hear of people who have gone through something like this too. Constant outbreaks particularly, and sexual rejection, and especially, if they have any advice for me about any part of my experience that can make it better. My sister has hsv1 with only 1 outbreak and has NEVER been sexually rejected. Her story was the first one i heard and it has made me feel so, so so much worse because i was expecting it to be like that for me too. My doctor also told me that she's never heard of anyone with so many outbreaks. Please help me feel like less of a freak, less of an untouchable leper, and please help me feel like there's hope, that maybe i might find a partner someday who will still want me. 

Thank you! 


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@ShugAvery This virus can affect us emotionally, mentally and physically. Unfortunately, this virus affects us all differently according to how our immune system responds. Some are asymptomatic and don't even know they are infected and passing this on while others can have frequent outbreaks. I believe women have it worse because of hormone changes and menstrual cycles. 

As far as sexual rejection, I can't really say anything on that as I'm married and I was not on the dating scene while I had HSV. I have HSV1 and so does my wife. I know it is tough to disclose to someone that you are feeling some chemistry with only to be rejected.

You are still the same beautiful intelligent and interesting person that you were before this. You will find someone who has oral HSV1 and they will understand the risk they have of infecting you and vice versa. They will make the informed choice to be with you and it will be a non-issue for you both. Be patient and don't give up. There are more effective treatments on the horizon that will greatly limit HSV's grass on our lives. 

If you go to reddit look up r/sadbe it could be something you might want to try.

Good luck and hang in there.


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