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Gratitude, panic (and herpes disclosure success!)


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Hi, everyone. First, I have boundless kudos for the wonderful person who launched this site. This place is a treasure and something I wish existed 18 years ago, when I acquired HSV2 from my live-in boyfriend (then husband, now former husband and father of my kids). Thank you, Dale, for creating and nurturing this vibrant resource.

 

So, yes, I've had this skin condition for nearly 20 years. I knew my ex had it. I didn't see it as cataclysmic in his life. I also didn't think we would break up. I knew chances were good that with time I would acquire it. I would inspect him before sex, yeah, but I wasn't hysterical about it.

 

And yes, the first outbreak wasn't fun. I felt sick, it was painful, but it didn't last long.

 

Today I rarely have outbreaks. I don't often take suppresive meds. When I'm in a relationship, I do. I have never transmitted to anyone (or least know of a transmission ). I always disclose.

 

And lately, I have been rejected. By people who weren't right for me, I know, but to whom I was drawn at the time. I have been single for three-and-a-half years but dating occasionally. Again, I always disclose. I realize that I have communicated great shame during each disclosure.

 

I hate saying the word "herpes." It sounds embarrassing and looks ugly when written.

 

It looks like I'm going to be saying it soon. Disclosure time's a-comin'. It will probably happen this weekend. I really like this person and he seems to really like me. We will see. I am taking it slowly, not forecasting, just staying present in the communication. I am returning to this website -- and the awesome ebook -- daily. I am looking forward to the weekend -- I truly enjoy getting to know this person, and from his actions it's clear that my feelings are reciprocal. But I'm also starting to panic.

 

I am in my mid-forties, a happy and healthy person, outbreaks a few times a year, and nary an abnormal pap smear to my name.

 

Speaking of which, don't get me started on the hypocrisy surrounding HPV in our society.

 

Sorry for the length of this message. I've been wanting to discuss these issues for a while with people in the know. And as I mentioned, disclosure time approaches. And I am scared.

 

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I love your message and could have written it myself...I understand how you feel and am sending you huge vibes for this weekend.

 

I'm 51 I have only had HSV2 for about 9 months, from a special man who I took the risk with. I have had HPV for 28 years (it only recurred with my firs H OB, from my ex husband (and I know exactly what you mean about the hypocrisy around that!).

 

I know what its like to be happy and healthy...and have the H's...they are really, on the scale of things, just a small part of my life... until I have to disclose. I just try and remember people with all sorts of illnesses and conditions go through the same thing when they want to be intimate with someone so we aren't alone with these feelings, it just happens to be because of H and not something else.

 

I was talking to a guy the other day who doesn't date because he's really short, been rejected and got hurt and now is too scared to ask a woman out...he can't unshort himself just like we can't unH ourselves. He's gorgeous and I would so date him ..but he won't take that risk of getting hurt again. Take that risk of telling your man. You took the risk, I took the risk and there are others like us who see past H.

 

If he's truly right for you it will all go well, if he isn't H may save you alot of pain down the track. Stay present, trust all is going perfectly even if you can't see it. Big hug and let us know how it goes. x

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Leilani, thank you so much. So often you hear about people who got H by surprise. I don't often hear about those, like you and I, who got it during a committed relationship, with full recognition of the condition and the belief that this stupid thing wasn't so terrible. That our love for the person was greater than the reality of the cold sore.

 

The last person who rejected me -- we had sex once, and he was nervous and distracted throughout -- just couldn't understand how I could knowingly enter into a relationship with someone with this condition. How I could ever run the risk of getting something so awful. He saw it in contamination terms. The second he removed the condom he ran to the sink in his bedroom and used soap and a washcloth all over his thighs and groin. And did he ever scrub.

 

He liked me so much, he said, that he was willing to enter into a celibate relationship with me.

 

Of course I see all the factors now that made the person wrong for me. So yes, it's good that H was involved. This was eight months ago.

 

Leilani, thanks again.

 

Rothkogirl

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OMG what a man....would even be celebate with you...I say thank God for H! I had to laugh about his race to the bathroom and frantic scrubbing...too funny! Pity you didn't have a scrubbing brush handy to offer him!

 

I have a FWB who I care about a lot and he accepts me...we were having a thing before H and I stopped seeing him before I met my giver. Well my lovely FWB doesn't see the drama...its me who is overly careful. After sex we always shower...together...and its a nice ritual we have. He lets me wash him and it feels like a gift from me to him to help protect him...and he loves how relaxed and intimate that time is!

 

Would i change to going back to 'carefree' sex? Sometimes I wish I could and miss it...actually right now I miss sex totally with being alone. But I am off out dirty dancing tonight with a hot 30 year old...and a couple of cute 20 somethings so I'll be damn sexy, say thankyou very much and go home without any drama! Thank god for dirty dancing I say lol!

 

All the best for this weekend.x

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Had a fabulous second date last night. It is rare for me to have such good chemistry with a new person, so it is such a pleasure. Tomorrow we get together again. We're attending a movie screening in the evening. I think we will be getting together beforehand. My plan is to have the talk in that time period before the event. Am planning to reread the ebook tonight. There is a level of depth to the guy and a sweet level of intensity in our mutual attraction. He said point blank that he is crazy about me. Trying to stay calm. Remembering the potential-deal breaker conversations other people have: I have cancer/a mastectomy/colostomy bag/multiple sclerosis/criminal record/bankruptcy filing/special needs child who will never live independently.

 

Looking at the above scenarios, it is clear to me at least that the rejection is based on the condition and not the individual. Then why, in the case of H, is it so difficult to separate the condition from the self?

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Good luck! I am sending the biggest best vibes for tomorrow! The e-book is great and it's how I disclose...and I have to say I haven't had a bad experience with that yet.

 

I so know what you mean about separating the condition from the self when so many other scenarios have WAY bigger impact on day to day life with someone. I didn't run away when my herpes-giver disclosed to me...but then I had disclosed I had HPV too...I have had an STI my whole adult life so its been something I have had to deal with seems like forever. I was so relieved to find someone had something too!

 

I think it is the lack of education, lack of talking openly about it and the reality that if you get it it is there forever and you have to deal with the consequences forever..like telling someone you have it. Maybe its dealing with having to be truly honest and vulnerable that is then the fear?

 

He's crazy about you...then if he is the right one he'll work through herpes.

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It went very well! The ebook from this site truly helped. As did your support, Leilani. It was scary, taking this new, non-shameful approach. But he is fine with it, did not cringe, did not reject me. He actually seemed relieved that the important thing I had to tell him was herpes and not some kind of disturbing drama.

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I'm so HAPPY for you and PROUD that you felt the fear and did it anyway. Yet another shining example of him seeing you for who you are and not what you have. Beautiful. Here's to your new relationship ... :)

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • 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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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been slammed with work, so haven't posted as I have wished to lately. But I have been certainly thinking of my recent disclosure experience. The whole issue evokes so much, is such a prompt to so many themes in life. The website makes this point beautifully.

 

I mean, it's not like I never before disclosed. What WAS new was the way in which I did it. An entirely new approach. It is scary as hell but the process of preparing myself led to a lot of growth.

 

I have much more to say about all of this.

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You are so so welcome..I am sure I will be in the same place sometime and I know you would do the same for me. Each disclosure is different and each time you are in different place emotionally...but the bottom line is acting with integrity so you know you have been the best person you can be no matter what the outcome. And I love this forum because we can support each other to do that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have recently been diagnosed with HSV2. I have talked to friends about it, and disclosed the information to them, but have yet to tell a new partner. My moods have been very up and down, and I have recently sunk into a depression.

 

I am inspired after reading this forum though. I met a guy, and we have only hung out once before, but we chat often. We have plans to hang out again, and I feel that there is a chance that this could go further. I am afraid and dreading the 'talk' with him.

I have read the ebook here, and I found it to be very helpful, and encouraging. When I feel down, I just re-read it, and remind myself that I am not alone.

 

I am very happy to hear that everything went well after you disclosed . that is great! :) It gives me hope for the time when I have to do the same.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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