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A 'coming out' story.


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First off I want to mention that I came across this site not too long ago and perused around the comments and discussions and was overwhelmed with the amount of love and support and generosity that is flowing here. Such a safe haven for what can be a tricky and confusing new chapter in H+ lives.

 

I've had HSV2 for about a year and half now. I contracted it after I broke up with my ex of 3 years. Vulnerable and lonely one drunken night, I slept with a friend of mine (who was completely in the dark about Herpes-as most people are) and 2 weeks later I had my first OB; went to my doctors and got the results. I cried, felt sorry for myself, felt even more alone, cried some more and eventually accepted and began loving myself again. I did some online dating with other H+ people, because that was the most comfortable way for me to get back in the game. I met some nice guys through the site who I am still friends with, but felt a nagging feeling that I was limiting my dating options and being the stubborn person that I am, I never like letting anything dictate what I can and cant do ;)

 

This past summer, I had been working at a gallery and spent a lot of time with a man that was essentially my boss. We were friendly with each other and occasionally flirted, but I put the brakes on for a lot of reasons. #1 reason being I had Herpes, #2 reason he was in a superior position at a place where I worked. So, I chalked it up to fun flirtation that wouldn't lead anywhere. A few weeks ago, he got a job at another museum and immediately asked me out. I agreed and spent the weeks leading up to our date in constant anxiety, because I knew I might have to tell him. I scripted out what I wanted to say and anticipated every reaction under the sun he might have.

 

Eventually, we had this amazing date, lasting almost 10 hours of talking, eating, drinking, and laughing. He explained that he had wanted to ask me out for months but wanted to keep those professional boundaries and how excited he was that that boundary wasn't there anymore. I felt that this was my cue. I explained to him how much I liked him, and that if this was going to go anywhere at all, I wanted to be upfront and honest with him and that I had herpes. He asked lots of questions and I let him take his time to understand my answers. He stayed over that night and we did not get intimate, but he reiterated how much he likes me and understands what comes with liking me and wants to continue to see me. He joked (since he's about 8 years older than me) that not much can surprise him in his old age.

 

Relief. Giddiness. Confidence. Surprise. Happiness. His supportive response made the first time telling someone about my H+ story feel like a breeze. Any lingering feelings of shame and guilt over my 'dirty secret' washed away.

 

What we have is still very new, and I'm excited to see where it goes, but more importantly I feel good about myself. I entered into something I wasn't sure I would be ready for and came out on the other side, unscathed. Down the line, it could work out wonderfully, or it could not, but I'm not concerned with those things, just with the fact that I took control of Herpes and didn't let it take control of me.

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DanieM

 

First - Welcome to the Forum...you sound like you have your head in the right place about our Herpes friend..... that stubbornness is a good thing in our situation!

 

And so happy for you. You sound like you have a good man there and like you said, whatever happens, happens. But good for you for not letting Herpes get in the way of the possibility of love :)

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Herpes as a wing-[wo]man (that's the feminist in me emerging ;) ) is a perfect way to describe it! It brings a clarity to sex and relationships that I wasn't seeing before. Whether it's about casual sex or committed relationships, or even friendships-conversation is key. And having H is a great way to weed out the people that are worth your time and care. I've spent a lot of energy in the past in all types of relationships with people that were never very good for me. And now I got H on my side, helping surround myself with people who matter.

I'm still slowly, gradually 'coming out' with it so to speak (only select friends know), but that first big step was for ME to be ok with it. And once I was, it was like a door was being help wide open for me. Herpes went from being a storm cloud to the silver lining I needed to I feel more empowered about love, sex, and relationships.

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Well I don't know if you have seen my story but I came "out" completely a few months back and I've been amazed at how little it really affected my relationships...but maybe I'm just good at picking my friends...LOL

 

And I've got full disclosure notes on all my online dating profiles now...AND it's not slowing down the number of guys who are contacting me :)

 

I'm coming to more and more of a feeling that 90% of the stigma is in our heads..and the last 10% would disappear if there was a more open dialog .....

 

I just wrote a blog about our Herpes Wing man here:

http://herpeslife.com/using-herpes-as-your-wing-man/#/vanilla/discussion/embed/?vanilla_discussion_id=0

 

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Ah, you're so right! I just read through your post about disclosing on online dating profiles and LOVE the wing-man post on the blog. Both super inspiring!

 

And you're on point about the stigma in our heads. I know I had a stigma about it prior to when I first was diagnosed, which is what made it so hard for me in the beginning. But once, I got my facts straight, and learned to look at things more clearly, I wasn't nearly as big of a blow as I thought it was.

 

Thanks for all your bravery, words of wisdom and compassion! It's so comforting to see such supportive, smart, wonderful people on here. :)

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You women are gorgeous! I haven't been on here for a while...found someone special and movedto another part of the country...getting into two new jobs over that time and dealing with an injury that's required a lot of rehab. Not complaining one bit...there hasn't been time to dwell on having my two H's, too busy living and creating a new life.

 

I met him online and disclosed the first time we met. I had dated before that and no one rejected me..once I was past the 'no one is ever going to want me' phase I realised that if they had rejected me then Herpes was doing me a favour - yep it has been my wing man on a few occasions!

 

I came out to friends and family and now anyone else when the conversation opens up for it. It was hardest telling my adult kids...but its helped them too (my daughters boyfriend was diagnosed with HPV last year and they came to me first for support and information - was pretty special :-) ).

 

It's so nice to meet you both and I agree..there are some pretty ssupportive, smart and wonderful people on here. Wish I could meet you all in person :-).

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@Lelani .. I am about to move to the other side of the country also.. For my boyfriend. He is getting me a ticket, but I have to wait for these Hep C results to come back in.. I asked him about that and asked if he wanted to still be with me if the Hep C came back positive.. (( There is the tiniest chance of spreading Hep C sexually, but there is still a chance.)) and he said "Let me tell you something.. I don't care what you have. I love the person you are and I want to stay by your side no matter what." You know how good that was to hear ?

 

&& for us to have family that support us. Yeah you telling your adult children is big !! I remember when I was 13 my mother told me about her having Herpes also. She told me everything about it.. I kept asking her questions.. She always just told me to be careful. So I grew up knowing about her having herpes. Also it helped me look into other STD's at a young age. So I knew who to go to when I found out.. My mom. (:

 

Nice to meet you. ((:

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Victoria he's a keeper :-) so happy for you :-) :-) :-)!

 

And how wonderful to have your mum for support like that...I am so pleased I was able help my kids. I think we all need to be honest with our kids about life, about who we are.

 

Adrial I am happy to be back, I've missed it too and you. Actually haven't really left..been chatting with a few people privately over that time...it's been awesome to give support and love to them :-) xx

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