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This is how I got herpes


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Hi, this is my first post and only my second time ever talking about my condition (is that even the right term?). So... I guess I just need to get it all out. Maybe it will help me feel more normal again. Anyways, here goes...


About two years ago I started a relationship with someone who I thought was amazing. He told me he had herpes from the start, and I thought that was very admirable of him. However, even though he was honest about that, he was very adamant about not using condoms. Long story short, I obviously contracted herpes. We had a child, and the man I believed was so amazing at first turned into a verbally abusive, controlling monster. There were days I wanted to run away, he told me no one else would ever want me now. He tore me down emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. It took me over a year to get up the courage to leave him for good.


When I finally left and took my son with me, he continued belittling me. It has now been 6 months since I moved out. Six long, lonely months living with this secret that I am afraid to even tell my family about.


About a month ago I started seeing someone new. I told myself not to. That I would only get hurt in the end, but despite the voice in my head I wanted so badly to feel normal again. I wanted to feel like I was free to date who I wanted without thinking that my condition would affect my life. So, i let myself continue to see him. We hit it off right from the start, and had amazing chemistry. He was respectful, attentive, and kind. About a week ago I told him I had herpes. We were sitting in my car, talking about a relationship and he asked if there was anything about me that he needed to know. I told him yes, actually, you should know that I have herpes. At first, he seemed to take it well. He still wanted to kiss me and we talked for a long time after I told him. The next day, however, I didn't hear from him. He sent me a text here and there over the next few days, but I could tell something was off. I finally asked him yesterday if what I had disclosed to him freaked him out and he said it did. He gave me the pity talk, you're an amazing person blah blah blah, but I don't think I can handle it. I died inside. Not only because HE rejected me, but just for the simple fact that it made me feel like a monster. He kept comparing herpes to HIV.


So... that was the first time i had ever told anyone. I never want to tell anyone ever again. I want to crawl in a hole and hide. I dont want to believe that my ex was right, that no one will ever want me again, but this is the most frustrating situation. I am a good person, i have morals and dont sleep around. I can count the number of partners i have ever had on one hand. I am a single mom. I am doing the best with what i have, and this one, tiny, insignificant aspect of my life is going to haunt me forever. At least, that is what it feels like right now. I keep telling myself that i did the right thing, and i know that i did, but it just hurts... does it get any easier? Will I ever feel like I can date again? Right now, I never want to open up to another person again. It's different when someone rejects you for something like your opinions, your lifestyle, or your personality. Those are thing you choose for yourself. But to be rejected because I have a virus? Because of something I can do Nothing about, because I made one mistake in my past? That is tormenting.

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Hello and Welcome. Glad you found us.


So here's the thing. Don't buy into ANYTHING your ex said .. you said yourself that he was a verbally abusive controlling monster ... and right now, he is still controlling you and until you get it out of your head that "noone will ever want you again". Remember, YOU took a risk with him .... and believe me, we have enough Success Stories on here to prove that not only can you find love with a H- (or H+!) person, but that you may well find that relationship to be deeper and more profound than anything you ever believed to be possible :) I suggest that you go and read all the Success Stories that you can ... so you can get inspired by the people who have gone before you on this journey.


As for the guy who "rejected" you... let me tell you ... Herpes is a GREAT Wingman ... and it sounds like you just dodged a bullet .... if this guy is comparing HSV to HIV he's showing his ignorance in it's full colors ... and that's something you don't need in your life. Sounds to me that he wasn't into YOU .. he just wanted to GET INTO you .... many men (well, women as well) jump into a relationship sexually first and then "get to know" the person, by which time things are complicated by what your common sense is telling you on one hand and what your hormones are doing on the other hand. And that makes many of us stay in unhealthy relationships for much longer than we should.... so take this as a blessing in disguise ...






And really, it doesn't matter *why* someone "rejects" you ... it just plain sucks. These links will help you to understand that what you are feeling is perfectly normal (and is only partly about Herpes ... because the "rejection response" is much, MUCH deeper than the surface stuff of what might have caused it :( )


http://supporttruthanddialog.com/rejection_its-all-about-perspective/ (my blog)

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/4699/first-real-disclosure-first-real-rejection Rejection as your teacher…..



I am 100% out, and it has only made my friendships stronger ... a couple others recently came out like myself on here and have had similar experiences as far as the reaction of their friends and families ... the thing is, you want to surround yourself with people who love/respect you unconditionally and Herpes will help you learn who you want to keep in your life and who might be better to keep on the fringes....Herpes Wingman to the rescue again!


What you are feeling is perfectly normal ... and ... this too shall pass. Think on this. What kind of example do you want to show to your child? Do you want him/her to face adversity and become stronger and more powerful? Because how you deal with this will set a foundation for your child. Don't let the father's abusive words control you ... stand up for you and your child to have someone who will come into your lives who will give you BOTH the love and support you both deserve ;)




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Stephner I'm so sorry you're dealing with rejection right now. All rejection sucks and herpes sucks extra because it makes you insecure. But remember your own words: it's a tiny, insignificant part of your life. Don't let it become more than that.


I have disclosed to two romantic interests and neither one of them saw it as a deal breaker. The first one was terrified of STDs and the second one knew almost nothing about herpes. I gave them all of the statistics up front (there is a handout on this website that can really help!) and that made it much easier to approach.


I don't know how you disclosed to your most recent guy, but when the time comes for you to do it again (and it will!) my best advice would be to be as educated about it as you can be, so that you don't allow him to buy into the stigma. Just the fact that he compared it to HIV and made you feel like a monster indicates that he 1) doesn't know anything about what HSV actually is, and 2) is not a very nice guy :(


I also want to share my opinion that being rejected for herpes (for me, at least) would be preferable to someone rejecting me based on my personality. I can't change my personality and I wouldn't want to. I'm happy with who I am. However, when I broke up with the first guy I disclosed to, I was heartbroken because I had spent all this time connecting with him and really opening up to him (and falling in love with him) and in the end he rejected *me*...not my herpes. He had dated me, and gotten to know me and have sex with me, and meet my friends and family, and *then* decided that, eh, I was a nice girl, but not worth the effort (yes, he said that).


Honestly, if he had just walked away when I told him about the herpes, my self confidence would have taken a hit, but I wouldn't have been devastated like I was when we finally did break up.


I know that you may not feel that way right now, but like WSCDancer pointed out, rejection is going to hurt no matter what the reason. And herpes is a great wingman. The two relationships that I've had since I got herpes were the two closest relationships I've ever had (and I was engaged before I got H). The one I'm in now is the relationship I always dreamed of having (it's still early on, though, so who knows what will happen, ha). This has been quite a year of self discovery for me, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I could have found this guy/been ready for him if I hadn't gone through this experience with H.


I hope that you keep your heart open and allow yourself to find someone who will look past this. (If you said told me this ten months ago, I wouldn't have believed you, but) there are plenty of people who will :)

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Thank you for the support. I really do appreciate it. It is good to know that I am not the only one who goes through this, but it kind of sucks because I don't know anyone personally who has had to deal with it. It makes me feel really alone and I just can't talk to anyone about it... at least, not now. I'm not ready for that. I just went trough the single most embarrassing and vulnerable moment of my life... I'm taking baby steps from here on out.

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I feel you, Stephner. I've had herpes for 6 years and still find myself emotionally pinballed by rejections... but not every time, and for increasingly less amount of time.


I'd say it gets easier, but that's not quite it. You become more informed, less frightened/embarrassed/ashamed (a crucial future step for you to work toward with those baby steps!), and more comfortable with your approach to disclosing. Repeatedly reading this advice column from Dan Savage might help you not beat yourself up so much, too: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=260


Your taste in partners will probably become more discerning -- you never realize how often people use herpes as a punchline until you have it, and hearing that can really change the way you think of someone.


I know you feel like crap right now, and that's okay. Get mad, cry about it, lick your wounds, etc. Maybe you need a few months to wrap your head around this and practice a little self-love/care before venturing out into the dating pool again. <3

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