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    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

7 months in …thank goodness for this forum!

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First of all, thank you for this forum! I’ve got a pretty decent support system, but it’s nice to have a mostly unbiased no judgement area to express ourselves. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

My story is nothing special. I got my initial outbreak in August, went for a blood test and on 8-30-23 got the results that I was positive for HSV2. Naturally, I was devastated. I cried for days. I googled nonstop (BIG MISTAKE). I was curious as to who I could have gotten it from, but frankly didn’t spend a lot of energy on that because it just didn’t matter. They knew they had it and didn’t disclose, or they genuinely didn’t know and therefore couldn’t disclose. I canceled all my dating apps and just did my best to heal myself both physically and emotionally. I only ever had the initial outbreak and nothing else since, and the 2 lesions I got were mild and really not that big of a deal. But the emotional and psychological damage I’m left with…that’s another story.

I told my closest friends, one of which I supported when she was diagnosed with HSV2 years ago. It’s funny thinking back, gosh I hope I was good support for her during that time. Because now that the shoe is on the other foot, it’s amazing how the most innocent and well meaning things said to me can be absolutely soul crushing now that I am the one needing support. Someone said to me recently, “You’re not dirty, and plenty of people would date you knowing that you have HSV2. I know for me personally, I would date someone with HSV2…but I wouldn’t perform fellatio on them though.” The person has no idea how damning that sounds to the recipient who already feels like they’re undatable. But I get it and she’s 100% entitled to how she feels on that topic. I know how I felt before I got “the gift”…and I think I already felt like I didn’t deserve love from anyone due to the damage from my abusive upbringing and etc, that to willingly contract herpes was out of the question. So, I understand where a person would be scared to date me once I disclose. 

So I tried Positive Singles…what a disaster. Online dating before herpes was already letting me down, but herpes-only dating was even worse. I’m not suggesting that every single person there is a rotten individual, but I was shocked at the lengths that some people would go to trying to manipulate me into sex. So, I’ve dropped there too.

All of my friends are supportive of me dating in the non infected population. And while I see my good qualities…I’m scare to death of disclosing! As much as I would love to find a special guy, I was simply to go out with friends last night and just mingle to get my feet wet again. My heart was pounding in my chest and I was almost in tears just thinking about having to disclose this to someone one day…for God’s sake the goal last night was to just get out and mingle! Not pick a guy to marry! I am ER nurse and I literally bring people back from death, yet herpes has me in this chokehold. It’s fucking ridiculous. But just because I know it’s fucking ridiculous doesn’t mean I can snap my fingers and not let it bother me. But I am working on it.

To everyone out there who had the courage to tell their stories here, thank you! There are people like me who read them and it’s helped me to feel more normal. It’s been awesome to read not only the positive stories, but the not so positive ones too, because that’s real and reminds me that rejection is just part of life. I hope to learn more and continue to grow from all this and ultimately help someone else as the stories here have helped me.

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Hey there @Phoenix08! I’m really glad you found this forum, too, and that you shared your story. Your openness and spirit already add so much to our community.

And yeah, it's pretty wild how misunderstood herpes is, especially with those offhand comments about intimacy. But you’re hitting the nail on the head; herpes actually nudges us towards deeper, more authentic connections. It's not about lowering standards but elevating them, ensuring that we’re open and vulnerable with the right people.

Regarding disclosure fears, it’s totally normal. It can feel like our logic ("Wait, isn't this just a simple rash? It's so not a big deal.") and our emotions ("Aaaahhh! I'll never find love again ... EVER!") are at direct odds with each other; it can feel like a civil war between our hearts and heads, duking it out. But remember, vulnerability and honesty are incredibly attractive traits to the kind of people you want in your life. These qualities don't push these people away; they magnetize them. And about that stigma? Shining a light on herpes, talking about it openly and honestly, that’s how we start to dismantle it. Each disclosure is an opportunity to educate and reduce the stigma, proving it’s a small part of who you are, not the defining feature. If anything, your defining features become that you are honest, open, courageous, and all those good qualities that shine during a confident disclosure. 

You’re doing great, and every step forward, even just mingling, is progress. It's exposure therapy, proving to your subconscious mind that you're okay, there's nothing wrong with you, and you're moving forward. Keep embracing your journey, and remember, every story shared here, including yours, helps someone else feel a little less alone. Keep shining!

... and if you haven't already, definitely read the free e-book and handouts to help you with your disclosure perspective. You can download them free here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

And here are a few videos to start with about disclosure, I hope they help!

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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@mr_hopp I have seen that ebook and have been reading articles and watching videos, they’ve been awesome! 

A bit of an update, my luck ran out and I’m having an outbreak. Granted it’s only one blister, but I jumped on the Valtrex anyway. It’s not that bad physically, and probably because of my chronic pain, I had not symptoms beforehand. Kinda frustrated about that. But I don’t get auras before migraines either, so…🤷‍♀️ I’m still researching treatment options to find what will ultimately work best for me, for now I only take Valtrex when having an outbreak. 

On a good note, I worked up the courage to go out for a short while tonight. Saw some friends out, and it was nice to notice being checked out by some people at the bar/restaurant. I just talked with my friends and then headed back home since I’ve got work all this weekend, but it was nice to feel attractive to the opposite sex for a bit. 😁

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