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Sometimes I hate myself (includes my story)

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Hi there.


I'm sure this sort of topic has been discussed on this forum, but I guess I need to vent. (Mods: if you want to put this in "my story" feel free. I'm not sure where to put it.) This is a long post, by the way.


Where do I start? Ok, well, I'm in my upper 30s now. Oh, and female. I was in a long-term monogamous relationship through my 20s to my early 30s. I lost my virginity to that man, and I had dated casually before, so I came out of that relationship being highly inexperienced for a woman in her 30s. I started dating again, met a guy and fell head over heels in love. This guy ends up, after a year and a half, dumping me over the PHONE without any warning, and I find out later he was cheating. I was so severely depressed I became suicidal and had to seek professional help.


Now, to this point, I had insisted upon testing before any intimate contact. After Mr. Cheater, I had waited for an appropriate window period (a year) and gotten tested with a full panel, including HSV-1 and HSV-2, so I was clear.


I still was hurting though. I cried a lot. I then moved for a job to a new city, and I didn't know anyone. I had gained weight as well during my relationship with Mr. Cheater and hadn't shed it. I felt so unattractive. I felt worthless.


I met a man on a guided tour of an art museum. He asked me out afterwards. I was thrilled a man would pay any attention to me, because I felt so ugly and unlovable. I wasn't physically attracted to him, but was generally horny, hungry for touch, so on our first date we made out and fooled around, but no oral sex or intercourse. Second date, I cook him dinner at my place. Call me stupid, but I didn't think that by cooking a guy dinner, this was equivalent to saying, hey, I'm guaranteeing you sex. It so happens I consider cooking an enjoyable hobby and I like to do this for any of my friends. I know when I've been on dates in my early 20s, as well as even in my single period post-LTR, men cooked me dinner at their homes, and we didn't even kiss. There was no contract saying "cook dinner" = "sex." My two prior boyfriends (that was it) had never made assumptions with me before -- when we made love for the first time, it was with clear consent on my part.


Well, you can see where this is going. This guy brought wine. Now, I thought I drank a normal amount that wouldn't generally hit me hard (maybe 2 large glasses?) but this time I got really inebriated.


We start kissing, then it seemed in an instant we were in bed and he was taking my clothes off. He wanted sex. I was dizzy. I felt like I couldn't stop him. He didn't ask me if I wanted it. Then he was on top of me (he's a lot bigger, maybe 6'2" and I'm about 5'1") and then he is pushing into me, with no condom. I just froze. It hurt. He finished and I didn't even know what to say. I asked him about his testing status and he said he was clean. (Pregnancy wasn't much of an issue as I was still on the pill (taking it religiously) and he later claimed he had a vasectomy.)


Anyhow, I felt really weird about the situation, and somehow wanted to make it normal, so what do I do? I went out on a few more dates. I know it was stupid now, but I didn't know how to handle the situation. I asked about condoms, and he insisted he couldn't function with them. One night, I saw a bump at the base of his penis and I asked him about it. He aggressively dismissed me. Then I broke out, but it actually looked to the clinic like a staph infection. Big pimple things. I was scared. He thought later that *I* had given him something, but I had been honest about my damn test results (which included HSV-1 and HSV-2 screenings). I gave him nothing!


This guy reveals a few extra things to me at this point. First, he hadn't been tested for 15 years. I guess it was dumb of me, but in prior instances, if my boyfriend hadn't been tested recently, he disclosed that and got tested. I hadn't met a guy who said "I definitely know I don't have anything" who really DIDN'T know. He was significantly older and I guess in the 70s they didn't worry about this stuff...Anyway, said guy, who told me he was divorced, reveals as well that he is actually not divorced. He said he was separated and in the middle of divorce proceedings. On two levels, I felt this guy had really betrayed my trust, so I dumped him. I had no symptoms, but six months later when I went for my yearly female exam, I got the full STD screening, and, lo and behold, positive for HSV-2.


I've gone to counseling to handle what happened with this guy because the whole situation felt bad. The therapist told me that what I went through was a classic case of date rape, and that it wasn't unusual that I tried to normalize the situation by going out on more dates.


I still hate myself though. I feel like I shouldn't have trusted. Up to that point, I was careful. I should have said no and forced him to get tested and show me the damn paperwork. I should have run away from the moment he insisted no condoms. No matter what, my body is my responsibility and I shouldn't have assumed that somebody was going to be responsible with it, ESPECIALLY not with a guy who did what he did on our second date. It is my fault.


Later, I did have an HSV-negative boyfriend. With him, I disclosed everything in the proper way (you know, before any sex was happening, fully clothed on his couch, gave information about how I had started taking famcyclovir in case things did get intimate, using condoms etc., telling him to take his time to think about it). That man did sleep with me for a few months (quite enthusiastically I might add), but then a few months into the relationship got extremely paranoid, to the point he would say "you don't have an outbreak right now, right?" (I told him from the beginning that I cared very much about him and that if I had the slightest hint something was off, even if I thought it was an ingrown hair, I wouldn't have intercourse...Yet he was freaked out). Mind you, as an additional step, HE was taking Valtrex as a chemical prophylactic (not proven that works, but it probably doesn't hurt). I remember he said one time after we had made love "well, I gotta wash off now. I don't want to catch what you have." He wouldn't perform oral sex on me even though I would use two dental dams and we were both on antiviral therapy and plus it is HSV-2 which isn't easily transmitted to the mouth area. I confronted him about his issues (he has really odd issues about medicine and health in general), and told him that if he was that uncomfortable, I would have to end things. For whatever reason, he relented. Recently, I ended things with him for other reasons, but we were together for nearly a year.


My recently-ended relationship with an HSV-negative person kind of makes me hate myself too. It hurt badly to have him accept me, then "turn" on me -- more than if he had just rejected me from the get go. I am not going to date for a while. I don't want to lie to any man, but I also don't want to be punished for being honest and considerate.


The bottom line is that I really feel this is all my fault, and that's why I hate myself sometimes.


Thank you all for letting me vent.





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Oh wow. I'm so sorry that all happened to you. Your body belongs solely to you, which means that no means no. Only a clear and enthusiastic yes is consent. Do not feel like any of this is your fault. If there is one thing that I've learned as a rape victim myself, it's that you can go through all of the what ifs and I should haves but that doesn't change what happened and that doesn't place any of the blame on yourself. You did what you felt you had to do to survive, and there is zero shame in that.


Now that that's out of the way, your ex seems like a real jerk. Someone who genuinely cares about your health, feelings, and well-being would never say things like he did. I really hope that you can start your healing process. You deserve to heal and be loved by someone who deserves YOU.

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Hello, Welcome, (((HUGS)))... anddddd.... take a DEEP breathe!


First... YOU have done NOTHING wrong except be trusting and naive ... which is actually pretty normal for anyone (especially women) who have been in a long term relationship/marriage from a younger age (I got married at 19 and was married for 20 years ... talk about CHANGE in dating protocols!!! AAACK!) . So *try* to see that. I'm beginning to feel that all women who are coming out of any marriage need to take a Dating 101 course to help us understand how men play the game ...


Sounds like your "giver" was a real gem and very possibly he drugged your wine before date raping you. Sadly this is a VERY common scenario (as many women on here will tell you... you are FAR from alone on here with this scenario :( )


I still hate myself though. I feel like I shouldn't have trusted. Up to that point, I was careful. I should have said no and forced him to get tested and show me the damn paperwork. I should have run away from the moment he insisted no condoms. No matter what, my body is my responsibility and I shouldn't have assumed that somebody was going to be responsible with it, ESPECIALLY not with a guy who did what he did on our second date. It is my fault.


This is very typical thinking of a rape victim. And while yes, you *should* have vetted him a bit better and made him prove his worthiness and intent by making him date you longer (and believe me, I still struggle with that one ... I just get emotionally involved before I get that proof but I'm learning and doing better every day/date!) ... the shoulda, woulda, coulda crap doesn't do you any good AND the bottom line is, the man RAPED you and that is just plain NOT ok..... THAT was SO not your fault friend. so rather than hating yourself (and it sounds like you need more therapy around this) *try* to just see this as a really tough life lesson .... just as a child who has put their hand on a stove and gotten burned even tho she was told that she could get hurt by doing that learns that a stove may hurt her, so we Adults often have to learn things the hard way.


THIS caught my eye about your H- guy


(he has really odd issues about medicine and health in general)


THAT is a BIG ASSED red flag to me in general (the more someone leans towards hypochondria, the harder they will be to live with in general and you have to be very careful to not feed into THEIR fears and phobias) ... for anyone with Herpes, it's an element that will likely make them a poor prospect, for exactly the reasons you described. It's not that they *can't* get over it (I dated a guy with hypochondriac tendencies who totally freaked when I told him about H but did eventually calm down about it.) ... BUT, if something triggers them (ie, they get an ingrown hair, whatever) then their fear-flag goes up and EVERYTHING will seem like a potential OB... and lord help you if they actually get H out of sheer bad luck.


I advise folks that Herpes acts as a great Wingman for people (see link below) ... because it will show you exactly who the person really IS deep down inside a lot faster than general life stuff will. The fact that he wouldn't do oral on you (cause its near impossible pass GENITAL HSV2 to him via oral.. especially with dental dams) shows how extreme his psychosis about "germs" is. Long term, you probably dodged a bullet there friend :( In the future, just pay close attention to what the guy says about other "germy" subjects .... if he has to wash everything in sight, or he whines/worries about the smallest thing, he's very probably not a great candidate for you. ;) So again, you got another life lesson about what to look for when you are dating in a man.




http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3309/successful-herpes-disclosure-but-not-for-the-reasons-you-might-think (Herpes Wingman example Mazedaze818 )


Think on it this way. While we would ALL love to find Mr Right on our first date, we won't know who he is until we date a whole lot of Mr Wrongs. It's like, you can't be fearless unless you experience fear... because you won't know what fear feels like. I've finally figured out that every man I date is teaching me something ... mostly what I DON'T want in a man, but sometimes I've also gotten a glimpse at what I DO want too .... and while I have definitely had some really painful "lessons" along the way (and I'm beginning to think I'm a slow learner :p ), I really feel I am very close to figuring out what boundaries I need to set up and how *I* need to approach dating because, as Steve Harvey says ... "Women have stopped setting the bar high". I am definitely guilty of that! I strongly suggest that you Google "Steve Harvey Quotes" and go to Google Images ... he has a LOT of good info on men... and who better to tell us what they are thinking and what they will do, than a man!?


So *try* to see these men as your teachers... and yes, some of the lessons just plain sucked, but let each one build you into a strong, confident, self-assured woman ... the only other option is to become bitter, untrusting, and self-loathing. Don't let those men have that power over you. Take your power back. Do what you need to to process what you have been through. Learn to love and TRUST yourself first. Then get back in the dating scene. We have TONS of Success Stories on here with H- men and those that eventually break up rarely do because of anything at all to do with H. ;)





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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I haven't posted for a while since my first post way back when.


First off, thanks for the kind and detailed supportive comments.


I guess I've really tried to put the whole herpes thing out of my mind. I went through a period of being extremely busy with landing a job (~6 months' unemployment, in part due to a crushing bout of depression).


Lately though, it has really, really been plaguing me again. I really don't know why.


So, in some ways, my life has looked up. I relocated for a new job which is pretty killer -- a tenure-track faculty job. I like my job, I like my co-workers, I like my new location.


On the down side, I don't have any friends or family here. Pretty much I'm building from scratch.


I've been feeling lonely lately and it gets me to thinking about dating again, and then I just get depressed. What sucks even more is that I have a healthy sex drive. Unfortunately, I can't see getting into any one-night stand situation to relieve those urges, because I couldn't even see getting turned on. There has to be an emotional connection. Not to mention, after being raped, I just can't relax unless I feel very safe.


What keeps killing me is what my ex did. Basically, he said he was okay with me having herpes (I did everything by the book -- told him when our clothes were on in a calm conversation, gave him plenty of time to think, etc. etc.), and then after a few months of passionate sex, became very suspicious (after we made love, immediately asking me if I had an outbreak -- as if I would have intercourse if I even thought anything was remotely off! Mind you I was on suppressive therapy, he also was taking valtrex and we were religious with condoms.)


The thing is that my ex was better than so many guys I've encountered. Granted, sadly that is not saying much. He has a job, direction in life, doesn't cheat on, rape or beat women. (Thankfully I have not been beaten but I have either observed or experienced men who have no direction, who cheat etc.) My fear is that any decent man will feel the same way and ultimately do a switcheroo on me. (Hey those of you who have been rejected prior to intimacy -- that sucks, but let me tell you, better that than have somebody you think accepts you suddenly turn on you!)


Anyway, I'm really tired and this all is starting to probably not make sense, but yeah, I feel like crap. I feel like I need to make myself as perfect as possible to compensate for herpes, and that probably even that won't be enough. (Right now I feel fat and gross so yeah, got some work to do on the ol' body.) Sometimes I have wondered if life is worth living if I am just doomed to be a pariah because some f***er raped me. Sometimes I wonder if it is better to live just as if I did not know.


I wish I did not want love or companionship or sex. If anybody has any tips on how to turn those desires off (especially for sex) I'd appreciate it. I don't want to waste energy wanting things that either I won't be able to have for at least ~1.5 years (need to publish papers, establish platonic social network, strengthen myself). Heck, in truth, I don't think I will ever have a relationship again. After my ex, I'm just terrified. I can't face having somebody turn on me again.


Thanks for listening, folks.


P.S. I have been thinking of writing a letter to my ex expressing how much his behavior hurt me, and how it still affects me to this day. Thoughts on that?

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This is so far from being your fault. It's also not unusual for the victim to blame themselves. I'm so sorry you went through this, you don't deserve that and both those guys are jerks. Fuck them. He wasn't rejecting you, he was rejecting his paranoia on the situation. I think it's a good idea you take time off for yourself only and continue therapy.


I highly recommend joining meetup. Com to meet people. That is how I made friends where I live now.


I struggle w depression as well and just had recent wright gain this year and a lot and feel the same way. Pm me anytime if you wanna chat.


I think writing a letter would be a great way to get cksure and heal from this bad experience w him.

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