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Disappointed after herpes diagnosis. Trying to find hope.

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I guess I don't really know where to begin... I am a 21 year old college student from Minnesota.


I was diagnosed with HSV-2 two weeks ago after mistakenly having a rebound after splitting with a serious girlfriend. The girl did not exhibit any symptoms and did not know she had it (which seems ironic after reading statistics that 70% of people who transmit herpes don't actually know they have it). Unlike her, I developed symptoms. Thankfully they were relatively mild but the entire week while I waited for official screening results was terrifying. Since my diagnosis, I have forgiven her and do not hold a grudge on her. She has been supportive and caring throughout this whole ordeal...


However, having to tell my parents and sister what all had happened was the most terrifying thing I have ever had to do. We are all in a good place right now but I can't help but feel so guilty and disgusted with myself. Sure I'm disappointed that I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life, but even more so I just don't want this to affect the ones I love... I thought I was going to marry my ex and now with my recent diagnosis, I feel as if the odds are stacked against me and I will never amount to the man of any girls dreams. I don't want to be looked upon as a burden or treated like a leper due to my herpes...


Any advice or stories to inspire hope in over coming this feeling?


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Hey Tallboy and welcome!


(Happy July 4 — quite fitting to celebrate independence today ... Independence from disappointment!)


Yep, 80% of people who have herpes don't know they have it. That's why having the herpes talk can actually be a huge source of education for all the people who have no idea that herpes is actually out there and how it can spread. 20% of people who have herpes will never develop actual herpes outbreaks (but can still spread herpes via asymptomatic viral shedding). The rest of the people who get outbreaks tend to have such mild cases that they think it's just an itch, ingrown hair or the like.


I'm so glad you have forgiven her for this. I see so many people mired in grudges and anger. It only ends up hurting us more over the long term to hold those kinds of grudges, especially about something that we can't change. So awesome that you've gotten to that point of acceptance and now you're reaching out to get support. Everything is moving along just as scheduled. ;)


The questions I have for you are these: Why do you feel guilty and disgusted specifically? What thoughts and beliefs go along with those feelings inside? And what exactly will you have to deal with for the rest of your life? Yes, herpes. But what about herpes are you believing will persist for the rest of your life?


It's super powerful for you to get clear with yourself on what your fears are specifically about so that you can allay those fears together — so you can let them go and live your life fully NOW ... without fears of the future holding you back from fully experiencing your life now. The thing about these kinds of fears is that they tend to be like a vague, stinky mist that's hovering around that you can't grab hold of. When you can clarify what these fears are, then you can see that they're just your mind trying to make sense of things in quite a backwards way. You are the gatekeeper on what kinds of thoughts and beliefs you let in your mind. Make sure you're being fair to yourself about which of those you really want to let in. It's up to you.


Thought experiment: If you were a bouncer to your own epic party, and you had full control over who was let into your party and who stayed out, who would you let in? What kinds of people and what kinds of attitudes would they have? It's no different when it comes to the thoughts you think. Are they creating the party (otherwise known as "life") that you want? Work on building that muscle of bouncing those thoughts and beliefs that somehow found themselves inside your mind.


Here's a blog article I wrote on this:



... And you ask for inspiring stories? Oh man, you got TONS of them to choose from! Here are a few great places to start:




  • 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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Hello friend!


So everything Adrial said is oh so true ... right now you are buying into the stigma that prevails when someone mentions Herpes - but as someone who has lived with this for 35+ years, I'll tell you that it truly is a nuisance skin condition in a really inconvenient place. I know that sounds crazy to you right now but in the end that's what it boils down to.


I've seen over 30 Success Stories on here since January - only a handful of "bad" outcomes (most of whom will tell you later that H did them a favor because they realized they were not a great match, or the person was not who they believed they were.... ) I tell people that H is a great Wingman - as Adrial mentioned about being the ultimate Bouncer of the thoughts in your head, H is the ultimate Bouncer when it comes to the people in your life. If they truly love you they will not even bat an eye when you tell them. I'm 100% "out" and I'll tell you that people actually thank me for being open (many of whom will confide that they have H but are not willing to be out about it) because it's proving to them and others that we are NOT lepers and that there is a LOT of mis-information out there...


Check out those success stories ... they can help you to see that there are plenty of people who are with H- partners and who are enjoying the best relationship of their life....



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Thank you Adrial and WCSDancer2010, I am already realizing how much of a blessing this site is!


Adrial, Ive taken some time to think about the questions you had for me regarding my fears and here is what I've come up with...


Q: Why do you feel guilty and disgusted specifically?

A: The reasons I feel guilty and disgusted are primarily due to the way I was raised and how I reacted to my recent breakup with a serious girlfriend. After having a rough breakup, I was foolish enough to stray away from my moral center and have a rebound with the girl who ultimately gave me HSV2. Up until this time, I have never had sexual relations with someone unless I was dating them. Now that I have contracted HSV2 I have been continually working to regain my self worth and not to let one mistake hinder the rest of my life.


Q:What thoughts and beliefs go along with those feelings inside?

A: Mainly, my Christian beliefs go along side with those feelings. It was disappointing for me that it took contracting herpes to realize how arrogant I had become in thinking things like this couldn't/ wouldn't ever happen to me. In addition, I was raised in a Christian home so having to tell my parents about the consequences of my careless actions was difficult. Amazingly, they have supported me from the moment I disclosed to them.


Q: And what exactly will you have to deal with for the rest of your life?

A: I suppose the thing I am most afraid about having to deal with for the rest of my life is worrying that I could transmit the virus to someone who I love. I can cope in having to "carry the H burden" but I never want to impose that onto someone else (i.e. my wife someday because I would love to start a family).


P.S. WCSDancer2010, thank you for the link to that success story!!


Much love to you all!

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I feel the same. When I see a guy I really like, I feel like dating him would be inapropriate. I have tried the websites but I didn't like the small amount of people that were available on them because I lived in a smaller town. I even moved to a bigger city to meet more people in my area who have h. Ironically, I met someone who is h- who liked me anyway. Many guys I dated accepted it except for one. You can find the same.

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