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My Herpes Story to date

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I apologize for the length, but I need to get this off my chest.


Two years ago this month I began getting increasingly painful urination, then flu-like symptoms, followed by a cold-sore on my lip (the panic really began settling in here), and then finally a couple small bumps on the tip of my penis. I went to various health care clinics trying/hoping to find out that this was just some weird infection - anything other than what I feared most. Unfortunately all the other tests came back negative, and the antibiotics didn't work. While I never got the swab test, I was 90% sure I knew (mainly because the unmistakable cold sore on my lip and the oral sex I had received about a week prior).


Like most people in my situation, I was devastated. I thought I was being careful by not having intercourse. I had a herpes scare a year before, with this same girl - a longtime friend and girl I had been seeing casually on and off when I was back home from college for a few years. But the year before we had intercourse, and it turned out to just be a bacterial infection with some marks from rough sex, not blisters of any kind. So this time around after we started hooking up after a night out, I figured, "ok, I'll just do oral, I don't want to deal with all that crap like last year." But despite the scare the year prior, I had never bothered researching the disease. I never learned about asymptomatic shedding, and how 40% or more of people my age had hsv-1 and it could spread easily through oral sex anytime! I still can't believe how stupid that was. I don't blame her. I'm sure she was just as naive about all this as I was - hell she still probably doesn't even know she has it as I couldn't bring myself to tell her and make her feel bad about all this. Mainly I was/am still so mad at myself; not only that I shouldn't have hooked up with her again when I knew full well I didn't want to date her AND give our prior history; but that I felt this same scare a year before and didn't bother to let it change my habits! I have let myself down in the biggest of ways!!


Well, now here I sit, two years removed; fresh off my first rejection in December from a girl I'd love to have dated, with the true, ugly realization of the impact that fateful decision is having on my life finally setting in. Now I'm stuck in depression and am allowing the virus to "win" the mental battle. What's crazy is I had the virus in perspective; for a year and a half I truly rarely thought about it. No outbreaks - in either location - regardless of what I ate, drank, did physically. Hell I even had a girl accept my condition a year ago (albeit she was fresh out of a long-term relationship and desperate for a rebound). Unfortunately I wasn't too into her myself so that relationships was short-lived and because of that, and her situation, I think I fail to see it as a true success - as ridiculous as I know that sounds. Now I ping-pong back and forth every day between "I'm gonna be fine, this isn't a big deal, just be patient" and "holy shit, how could I have done what I did to myself when I knew better! I'm so fucked, look at the great girl and fun relationship I just missed out on because of this bullshit - why would any girl ever want to take this chance?"


So, sorry for being a downer in here, I guess I'm just writing this all today to vent. I know nothing will change my situation and I'm going to keep trying to be ok with that. It's hard, especially when I now have a face (the girl who rejected me) to exemplify my loss. But like so many stories I read on this website or so many others, I do know success exists and happiness and that carefree feeling can resurface. So I'll keep on moving, one day at a time and try to keep a short memory of my rejection and potential future ones. Anyway, thanks for reading if you got this far and if anyone has any words of encouragement or success stories to post in response to this I'd love to read them, as those have really been the only things keeping my spirits from being in the gutter. Take care all!


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Hi Bobby,


Thank you for sharing your story. I bet it does feel good to get that off your chest. Sometimes the best place to start the road to normalcy is by venting. Just make sure that you don't stop there, and that's where a site like this can come in. Aside from information on the condition itself, there are plenty of people here who are in the same boat and... they are willing to help. First I have to ask. Have you had a type specific blood test performed? If not, go do that as soon as you can. There is a lot of misinformation about H and the old wisdom regarding it has proven to be almost entirely false.


First get armed with information. The Westover Heights clinic provides a great handbook (link under H on their main page), and they do update it when new information is available. There's also the free disclosure E-book here (usually in the right column on the page) which is also great resource.


Seeking out supportive and positive environments is an excellent move and in my experience there is none better than this site. I was a member of another site, but the majority of its members held on to grudges, expressed anger regularly, and often times posted simply to correct others on statistics instead of being truly supportive. While this condition can take a toll emotionally, psychologically, and physically it is not the end of the world. There are definitely worse things out there.


I can understand how you might want to be critical of yourself, but be careful that you aren't overly critical. We all make mistakes, no exceptions. Rejection can be a difficult thing to deal with, but being honest and maintaining your integrity is more important than pride. Remember they aren't rejecting you, they are rejecting H, and it's likely they don't have full understanding of the condition. I know it's taken me a long time to figure things out. Keeping it in perspective is something that is a constant work in progress. There will always be times when the negative thoughts start to creep in, but we can choose to push them back out.


We need to take those negative thoughts and self-doubt and replace them with positive and supportive thoughts. H does not define who you are. You are still who you were before, and while it may be difficult to see at times, it can even make you a better person. For me H has forced me to take a better look at anyone I consider dating. I am no longer willing to put up with the garbage and games some women (yes I know some men do too) play while dating. It has made me more comfortable with letting a woman go after the first date or even cutting a first date short. It has forced me to listen to the voice inside that had been stifled for so long, the one that lets me know what's truly not for me. Yes happiness is out there for you, and just like before H it still takes some work, but I wouldn't go so far to say that it's any more work than before. Try with small things to improve your outlook. I went and joined a cycling club so I could be surrounded with people that like what I liked in an environment where that's all it was about. I also started expanding the classes I took at school, the first non-necessary class I took was Tai Chi.


Another exercise that has worked for me was to write all the words I associated with this condition when speaking about it, and find more positive or at least neutral words to replace them. This has perhaps had the biggest impact for me.


Taking positive deliberate actions like these may help you to find something you've lost, and allow you to get back to where you were before H. And any time you need support or just a sympathetic keyboard we're all here.


:) CBK



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Thank you for your thoughtful response CBK! It does help hearing that others have struggled, but also that they have found acceptance with themselves/others. I know I need to let my anger toward myself go. There's nothing I can do to go back to that night and change my actions. Plus you are also right about taking a better look at women I date. Up to this point, I've pretty much just asked "do I like this girl physically? Is she somewhat fun to hang out with?" and if so, I go for it, even knowing full well we don't have a great connection - I guess I just hope that would come later. There are plenty of reasons a long-term relationship with this last girl would have fell flat, but I've let myself get caught up in the fact that I missed out on the fun hook-up/companionship part of this relationship and that is really all that has caused all this depression. Deep down I do know that I WILL have success again when I find a girl who I have a better connection with. Because this condition truly is so minor. It's just a psychological battle to remind myself of this and keep myself from stumbling into that dark, negativity-filled cave where H is the worst thing out there and everything I am is ruined because of it.

Anyway, to answer your questions I have gotten the type-specific test - I have just hsv-1, but due to my physical symptoms I'm pretty sure it's both genital and oral. And believe me I've done my research on it. And that really does help, especially knowing how prevalent hsv-1 is and how previous exposure can almost completely make my infection a moot point. Anyway, thanks again for your support, and if you don't mind me asking, how has your dating life been since you found out? Like I said before, I find it helpful to hear other's experiences - especially if they're positive :)

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No problem Bobby, positive stories definitely help ease the issues that come with the condition. Finding inspiration when dealing something that carries the social stigma of H is very useful, because it can help to put it in perspective. We've all heard the horror stories, but they aren't the entire truth. What I think of is my experience working in retail stores. The customer who has a terrible experience is going to tell everyone they come in to contact with, while the one that has a good experience will not tell nearly as many people. We're human we like to complain. We are easier to spark into action through bad experiences than positive ones.


When I as younger I was willing to put up with a lot more BS than I am now. In fact now if I even get a hint of some sort of game being played while dating I send them packing. I deserve better, and so do you. Let H be the filter that it can be.


My dating experience recently, and I will admit to being more conservative than a lot of people out there, has been generally positive. I've been using a non-H dating site and the matches have been ok. Similar to being out in public people can, and do, say anything to attract interest. I find that with the communication tools with online dating I have an easier way to find inconsistencies. Lets face it, we're guys, do we remember everything we're told? uh, no. The online format keeps a record, both of the communication and what they put in their profile.


I've been on some dates, both good and bad. So far I've had only one disclosure and it went well. What I'm discovering is that H is providing me a filter before the disclosure. This is because I am now far more aware of behaviors that allow me to tell if this is a caring woman or just someone looking for a good time or just dating so they're not bored and they don't want to pay for their own entertainment (Yes I've run into a couple like that). I've told several women so far that I'm not into the dating carousel. I've also told others that I have been interested in that I'm not looking to jump right into a physical relationship, there are other things that have to be figured out first. While going through this communication I watch their responses. If I don't feel comfortable enough to disclose the dating ends, and I move on. If I am not comfortable about telling them about a skin condition what else would have caused us problems down the road? I've been taking it easy dating casually yes, but when I am interested I come right out and say it. Just because I do that does not mean that I must disclose in the same breath. Take it easy and have fun.


:) CBK


Edit: The other difference now is that I am not going to chase. Now certainly there is some fun in a playful back and forth, but when they do things that feel like a "test" or some other ridiculous joke I decide that's enough.

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Thanks for the story and advice CBK. I'm certainly going to have to change my approach in dating. Patience in waiting for the "right" girl is going to be tough, especially if that means turning away other prospects simply because I don't think they'd take my news well. But I'm sure in the end it'll be worth it.


I also really like your analogy of this stigma to customer service in retail. People all love to complain so I suppose that's why we hear so many more horror/pity-party stories than inspiration. To be honest, I never wrote on any herpes message board until this last rejection. When I found acceptance last year, I never even thought to come back and post about it - as selfish as that seems now. Anyway, thanks for the insight, and if anyone else reading this has any other stories/perspectives I'd love to hear those as well!

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Hey Bobby!!! Km so glad you found us : D. Ihave not H as long as you have I've only had it since September. Just as you contracted it threw oral Idid too.ihad just broken up with my ex anf Ihad just met this Guy and the first night he went down on me. The next day we were bf and Gf. Well a couple days went by and it was really painful down there and ithought ihad just chafed and it would go away. It just got worse nd worse and iended up going to the doctors and told her what happened and that ithink iwas chafed and that he had stumble when it happened. When she took a look she instantly told me it looked like H and had to swab me (which was so painful). Itold my my bf (now currently ex bf) what happened and that he had a cold sore and that's how igot it. He always denied that's it was him who gave it to me. Over the corset of a few months anytime Wed fight and break up he'd throw it in my face saying well atleazt you have something to remember me by whenever you get an Ob and that no ones going to want a herpes infested skank like me. But iended up breaking up with him a couple weeks ago. My ex that ihad left the dying before imet this Guy came back into my life and wanted to work thing out we HD been together for a year and a half before we broke up. Iwas so.scared to tell him what ihad contracted and afraid he wouldn't want me anymore and Ijust came out with it one night and cried to him telling him iwas sorry. Ithought he would think of me so different.....but he didn't he was really accepting of it and told me nothing was going to change about how he felt bout me. And iasked him what if you catch it and he said he loved me and plans to spend the rest of his life with me and he wouldn't care. Iwas at the start of an OB recently and we had unprotected sex and he ended up contracting it. Idied inside when iwent to the doctors with Jim and the doctor Said that's what it looked like. In the end I'm back with him and he purposes to me.


If ihadnt taken that step and gotten over my fear of rejection iwouldnt be as happy as Iam today. My giver always threw it in my face and that to me was so hurtful. You will find happiness and you will find someone who is accepting if it ipromise you that :). You have to let go of that fear. I'm going to break my anonymity I'm in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and one thing we learn in the rooms is not to run on fear. If you let fear control your life your going to be one miserable mother fucker. It takes baby steps sometime but you don't let fear run your life or else you'll get no where in life :). Ihope my story and my words brought so brightness to your situation.and helped. :) take care


Your H buddy,


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Thank you for sharing your story Tiff! I have seen that in the vast majority of cases, people who are willing to face the fear and put themselves out there seem to find someone at some point in time. I'm glad this all happened for you, and so quickly! I can't believe that your ex treated you like that after HE gave it to you! What a gigantic prick! Like I said above, I never told my giver what happened, because I truly believe this was an accident and she would have never intentionally meant to put me at risk as we had been friends for a long time. But had I told her about all this, I can't imagine she would have ever tried to throw it back in my face or thought bad about me because of this. I'm sure most rational people would themselves feel terrible about passing like this on. So I guess this virus helped you see how bad of a guy your ex was and pointed you back in the direction of the man you deserved! Good luck in your relationship with your fiance!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Bobby :)) ya he is a jerk but Ijust found out my ex has stage 2 intestinal cancer and they won't know till Monday if its spread or not. Iguess it's karma in my eyes but idont want him to die. But yes this skin condition has helped me learn to love myself and brought me back to the man I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with. Ithank God everyday. Iwas having an OB for a month straight the last month iwas with my ex and the day after or two days after ibroke up with him it went away and ihavnt gotten an OB since : D!!! And imight be pregnant too so life is good. Just remember its just a skin disease and your going to find someone and you have to step out of your comfort zone when you find someone and be honest and if they revetment you its OK!!!! There are so many fish in the sea you'll find your nemo. :)

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