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How can I feel normal and accepted again?

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I found out 3 weeks ago I have genital HSV1. I got it from my one and only one night stand the week before and that one time changed my whole life. I told the person he gave it to me and he of course denied it, but my doctors and I believe it must be him and he is lying to protect his reputation. I am freshly 22 years old, I don't sleep around.


I feel I am dealing with this life changing event in the most positive way I can. The outbreak is almost gone, I am no longer in pain, and I haven't cried over this new circumstance for 2 weeks. I have accepted that I have this inconvenient skin condition, but the only thing that is bothering me is the social stigma and ignorance about this disease.


I told my family and 1 best friend who I 100% trust and know won't tell.


I feel I no longer fit into the bar scene anymore so I should give up drinking. This is something I don't want to do because I am a young, single woman and love to go out with friends and meet guys, but I feel drinking leads to poor decisions, and the wrong type of guys. So I feel I don't belong anymore.

Not that I was ever "promiscuous", but I feel I can't go out for crazy, fun nights anymore.

It was devastating for me to contract this disease so I would never want to give it to someone else. So if I were to ever have a sexual relationship again it would have to be in monogamy and I would tell him before. This scares me because I haven't been in a relationship in 4 years and I feel most guys I tell would leave. My friend told me that she disagreed, she just thinks I need to change my type of guy and go for the "nice ones". Which I agree with and want to have when I'm ready to settle down. However, I liked being single, but now I feel I can't enjoy the single life anymore, and every person I'll want to enter a sexual relationship with I have to tell. And I don't want to tell the world I have this disease so I can't enter that type of relationship anymore.


Has anyone else felt this way and moved past it? I like reading other peoples stories and experiences because it helps me cope with my own experience. The only people I have talked to are people who don't have HSV, so I would like some insight with a person who has gone through or is going through the same experience as me.


I know it's possible to live a normal life with this, but I'm having trouble giving myself that kick to make me feel I can life a normal social life.

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First - Welcome! Glad you found your way here :)


So - I'm an old fart and it's been a loong time since I was in the young party scene but I am single and I've had a great life. I'm a swing dancer and I'm always out dancing...and yes, alcohol is involved. The trick is to know your limits ... something that young people often are not good at monitoring. So perhaps you can get a "Designated Drinking Buddy" to tell you when it's time to stop ;)


Yes - "One night stands" will be a little more complicated... but it doesn't sound like you are into that. So I'm not sure what the problem is as far as "extracurricular activities" are concerned. The HSV1 is on your genitals, not your mouth so you can make out all you want. If the other person gets "cold sores" then you don't have to worry about them getting it because they have antibodies to it. And you can certainly just go out and have fun...again, if you are concerned about making poor decisions, have a buddy to help you keep your head clear.


And actually, Herpes can act as your Wing Man. Your friend is right - maybe it's time for you to start to be pickier on your choice of partners. And H will help you to figure out if a potential partner is actually worthy of knowing something about you that you don't share with everyone. I wrote a blog on just this - maybe it will help you to see things differently:




As for the guy - if you had oral sex, there's a really good chance that is how you got it and he may have no clue that he has the virus or may not know that cold sores are HSV1. AND, it's possible that you got it elsewhere and just didn't show it until now. And you may never know for sure. And BTW, I got it on my FIRST sexual encounter... Life, and Herpes, doesn't care if you have 1 partner or 100, when it gets the opportunity to take up residence in a new host, it loves you no matter what your history has been :p


There are TONS of great disclosure stories on here...I'll but a few links below for you so you can see that it's very possible to find love with H - even with a H- partner ;)




http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2445/my-success-story simplyme24

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2495/a-coming-out-story- DanieM

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2544/disclosure silentstandoff

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/1644/having-the-herpes-talk-with-a-new-partner Daisy

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2689/first-time-disclosing-herpes-and-very-very-nervous paleogardenerkika

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2789/about-to-have-the-herpes-talk Empowered 74

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2833/this-was-a-first kitcattat

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2892/first-disclosing-talk-with-a-new-guy-so-relieved Figuringthisout



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Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.

I really admire all that you do for everyone coping and getting used to this change. I hope someone just as kind as you are was able to help you get through your difficult time of adapting to this as well.


I guess I am more upset that I feel I can't ever have anything casual as an option again. But, maybe that isn't such a bad thing. I guess now if I have to pick, I would rather have a loving supportive man who is accepting of me and understanding of my condition, than a ton of casual guys who don't care about me at all.


I guess I feel more upset because there is a guy in my life whom our whole entire relationship was always casual and I know that will never change, but I always kind of develop a crush on him when I see him. And I recently just saw him and I know I have to discontinue our old relationship. He isn't a person I'd trust with my secret, I know he wouldn't see past it because he has no emotional feelings for me, and so it isn't a person I should allow myself to have feelings for.


Growing up and changing my taste to mature gentlemen seems just as hard as adapting to this condition! It shouldn't be that way lol! At least I know that that must change for me to able to disclose this to a future boyfriend.

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I'm past my "party scene" (but only by a few years, I'm not much older than you) but I know what you're feeling. Feels like you can't be fun anymore. I've been fighting with myself over this too, and it's a really depressing thought sometimes. I've come to the conclusion that I can, and will, still have a fun social life. It just won't have the option to include the random sex part. At first that made me sad, but then I realized it's not my thing anyway. It's not the random sex I'll miss, it's just not having the option of having it that makes me feel sad. I think us feeling like we can't be as social or have as much fun now is part of us buying into the idea that we are suppose to go out, get extremely drunk, and go home with the guy who buys us drinks all night while telling us how good we look or how much of a "connection" they have with us. (...yeah, some guy staring at my boobs all night is an excellent way to feel chemistry....) You'll learn that you'll have just as much fun as you did before, probably even more.


You're adjusting right now, and you need to go through the motions before you can really accept this "life change". Part of that process will be mourning the parts of your old life that now need to change. You can still be young and crazy... you'll just have to be a little more careful about it. Honestly, it's not such a bad thing either. Random sex with people you don't know, or where there aren't real feelings involved in is really overrated. You'll be more careful about who you can trust and who you will open not only your emotions to, but your body as well.

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@Sparklepony ... So well put! I have to say, I guess I really AM an old fart because I just don't get what any self respecting woman gets out of being ogled at and hit on by a bunch of drunk guys at a bar.... never mind having drunk sex with them that I may or may not remember much of and realizing in the morning what an asshole he is :p




You sound like a really smart girl to me. I get it, you want to do what you want to do .. but, having that "freedom" is what got you here. Your first one night stand. (Like I said, I feel you there, I got it with my first ever sexual experience...talk about NOT FAIR! :/ ) But many other girls have those one night stands and come home with AIDS or a Baby or get beaten up. Or all 3. Maybe, just maybe, H saved you from a much worse fate. Who knows?


I guess I feel more upset because there is a guy in my life whom our whole entire relationship was always casual and I know that will never change, but I always kind of develop a crush on him when I see him. And I recently just saw him and I know I have to discontinue our old relationship. He isn't a person I'd trust with my secret, I know he wouldn't see past it because he has no emotional feelings for me, and so it isn't a person I should allow myself to have feelings for.


You see, this is the thing - we women love the idea of "having sex like a man" but the act of sex releases a hormone called Oxytocin. It's the Luuuuuuuve Hormone ... so when we have sex, even with a stranger or someone we know won't love us back, we can't help but have *some* sort of feelings for him. Very very few women can stay completely detached through sex. Nine times out of ten if anyone gets hurt in those situations its the woman. AND, if the birth control fails, it's the woman who is left "holding the baby". Young women do their darndest to ignore these facts and many learn them the hard way.




Just to show you that a FWB relationship isn't an impossibility, I had a male friend who saw me on Positive Singles approach me (he has Herpes too) to see if I wanted to have a FWB relationship. I didn't (both because *I* just can't get into that and I definitely wouldn't want to with him :p ). You *may* run into someone who will reveal to you that they have H too and you never know where that may go. Just PLEASE be careful if you do. H is a great wake-up call that we need to respect ourselves enough to say no until *we* are satisfied that the guy is being honest with us about his status.




When that man comes along who loves and respects you with your H, you will wonder why you waited so long to allow him in. In the meantime, you can have more than enough fun ... you just have to get out of your head about what it looks like. ;)



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Alright, Herry's back and feeling like simplifying things tonight. Life really is simple; stop making it complex. You'll feel a lot better instantly.


How can you feel normal? It's simple. Are you breathing? Yes, obviously. Are you human? Yes. Are you susceptible to diseases and injuries like we all are? Yes.


There. You're normal. It really is that simple.

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I <3 you Herry!


We humans DO love to complicate things, don't we? If this happened to an animal, they'd just keep doing what they do. We have to give everything *meaning* and make up a story to prove it and we seem to thing everything in our past is going to cloud out future...when in reality, it's back in the past...we just have to stop pulling it back into the present... ;)

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No, Sparklepony. I disagree because it's much deeper than that. Women like to take a simple equation, say, like 2+2 and turn it into a complex physics equation that looks more like something you'd see on Einstein's drawing board. Then they turn the lights off, put a blindfold on you, let a tiger loose in the room, and dare you to solve it before you become dinner.


In fact, females are the sole reason I lost my hair. I had beautiful blonde hair once. I did not start losing it until I started dating. Ergo, my hair loss is directly related to my personal interactions with females and the complexities of trying to understand them.


If I were gay, I would still have a head of hair that would make David Haselhoff cry.

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My friends... it's no better inside the mind of a man. He may not process things in the way that many women do, but it's just as complex. Imagine trying to live where you keep things in their little rooms ... each entirely separate (even tho they may be related). There are a LOT of dark hallways between those rooms.... where the demons called "Not good enough", "Not Strong enough", and all their cousins run amok ....


Men are WAAAAY more frail than we women are ... and they are SCARED SHITLESS that we will figure it out. I teach dance and I find that the way men and women approach the learning experience is (in general) very different.


The men want to get it "right" ASAP because they either don't want to look stupid, or they fear they will be boring to their partners. Many will take privates or not leave the "safe" environment of the group lesson (ie, not go to a dance) until they feel they are "good enough" to be seen and to dance with someone else. Their fear of being outed as "not perfect" can cripple a lot of them and I find I have to work FAR harder with guys because their egos are sooo frail! Many will drop out before they give themselves the chance to break through and get to the point where they are decent social dancers because they can't deal with not "looking good/getting it right".


Women, on the other hand, blame themselves for EVERYTHING that doesn't work, even if it's at least partially due to a bad lead. So they will apologize throughout the whole song for EVERY step they take wrong and leave the floor convinced that they SUCK. But they will get out there and take every workshop, and take tons of private lessons, go to the dances and dance every dance, and STILL think they suck when they take a wrong step. And they progress faster because they sooo much want to "do well" that they try to fix everything and take the blame for everything until they start to be able to discern when the error was them and when it was the lead. They get sooo good that they can make up for a "bad lead"...because we women are fixers and healers. And in the end that isn't a good thing because many leads continue to lead badly because the women get sooo good at making up for their weak spots that they don't even know they could do better...


Like I said, HUMANS make life complicated. Each sex does it in their own way...but we ALL do it... I promise ;)

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