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Living with the truth of what I have and accepting the parts of myself that I hate

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Hey all :)


So I just sent this to Adrial, but I figured that I could send it to everyone else to get all of your opinions as well. Thanks in advance for listening!


First off, My name is Alexandra. I'm 23- will be 24 soon, and I live in Canada working as a graphic designer/software programmer at a Robotic Welding Company. If I had to explain myself, the best way would be to say that I am a delicate old soul in a young girls body. I'm a gentle person, yet very outgoing. I make friends wherever I go. I like to think I have as pure of a heart as someone can have. I've always been a really happy person - lots of friends, close with my family. . I'm the kind of young girl who is a dandelion and a lioness all in one. I'm gentle, kind, compassionate, I would never ever intentionally hurt someone. But I am extremely protective of my own self and of others. I have seen death, I have been cheated on multiple times and witnessed some very tragic moments in my life and yet I still try to believe the world is this beautifully magnificent place full of wonder and majesty. I don't know if this makes any difference, but I am always complimented on my looks. I dress very classic- but men always try to approach me in a sexual manner. Somehow I have always given off that vibe even completely unintentionally. I'm from a good family with money- I have a very normal life. Work, hang with friends, relax. No drugs of any kind. And I am a pure romantic.


Okay, getting to the heart of the story. Deep breath for me.


Back in April 2014, I met a guy - a very dangerously manipulative person, who managed to completely consume any logical part of my brain. I knew he was trouble, there were hundreds of red flags on a daily basis and yet I chose not to follow them. He was that attractive hockey boy who exuded cockiness wherever he went, and I was intrigued. We were together for about 10 months off and on and never used a condom. By the end of this relationship, which I ended back in February of this year, I had discovered that he had been sleeping with well over 50 girls in the course of the year we were together. I went on his phone one day and discovered videos of him having sex with girls, hooking up with them, they'd be wearing my clothing or doing it in my bed. And of course I ended it. He also had another girlfriend on the side.


I got diagnosed in July (right after my birthday). I had heard that he had some form of an STD and that his "ex" who was actually his other gf also had it, and decided to get checked out. At this point I found out that he had slept with well over 200 girls as well. I have slept with 3. (The other 2 were protected). I ended up having my first and really only outbreak and that was that. I was HSV-2 positive, genital herpes. And while yes I screamed and cried and went through the motions, I stayed with him. Because at that time it was easier for me to stay with someone who had it too. And it made me forget I had it. Now the amount of hatred I have towards this person for hiding it from me, and only ever telling me he had it when I confronted him with my positive results, is unfathomable.


(Side note: besides my first initial outbreak, which sucked, I am asymptomatic. I was on Valtrex as a preventative, then went off because I wasn't sexual active. And am thinking of going back on it again as a daily suppressive depending how my situation turns out).


Now, comes to a new guy. We have been friends for about 6 months, and have gone on 3 "dates" this past month and gone out with friends a few times. He is 28, extremely polite, well-mannered, generous, kind, attractive, stable. He's a sturdy kind of man with a career and goals. He is extremely independent - A Taurus. But this is where things get complicated. I want a relationship- I want to get married, have children, create a life and family with someone. On our second date, he told me that he doesn't know if he wants to get married because of what he has seen and how society has ruined marriage. He mentions how everyone cheats, no one is loyal anymore, and he doesn't want to commit himself to someone just for them to leave him one day or cheat on him. (A fear, I'm sure everyone has). He also mentioned how he doesn't like new people in his life, he is happy on his own and content with his certain circle of friends; but claims I am a special case of letting someone in. He seems to have let his guard down with me. But yet, I don't know what exactly he wants from me. We talk every day, usually text all day from morning to night, no matter where each of us is or who we are with. I have grown extremely fond of him, something that is hard for me to do after my ex, and now I am scared (well, terrified is more like it). On our last date, he finally kissed me and it started progressing quite quickly. I managed to stop it before things went too far, but now that the barrier has been broken, conversations are heating up and panic is setting in. I've told 2 people before. One of which was a 33-year old and was okay with it, but we never had sex and eventually ended things for reasons other than the herpes. And the other never spoke to me again after politely thanking him for telling him.


What the hell am I supposed to do haha? Do I find out if he ever even wants or would consider a relationship with me first? Because for all I know he could say no, he just wants to casual and be friends-with-benefits or something. (Which isn't happening anyways because my emotions would get the best of me). And if he says yes, then I tell him that I have herpes and go from there? How do I even approach this? I've written down some ways to go about it but I have no idea what the "right" way is to do it. Is there even a right way? Is it too soon?


I feel as if he knows me as a person- aside from the herpes- well enough to make a decision if he could ever date me. He speaks the world of me and he looks at me very highly. And I genuinely care for this man. He always tells me to see the silver lining in things, that things can always be worse and that strength comes from going through terrible things in life and coming out alive. So, perhaps, maybe, he would see this the same way?


I have become so negative lately and it is life-sucking. I can't imagine an outcome where he would say yes. And if he somehow did, I feel like I am the kind of person who would feel awful if he ever got it. The way I see it; how can someone who is already terrified of a life-long commitment be willing to ever possibly contract a life-long disease. Do you see my dilemma?

I feel like I have on "herpes-coloured-glasses", where they tint everything now with this negative outlook. I was the girl before with no secrets, no surprises, nothing bad for anyone to ever run away from. People fell in love with me quickly and easily and saw me as the perfect girl, and now, I feel tainted. Like it doesn't matter how perfect I am - the minute I tell someone all their mind will see is HERPES in flashing neon lights. I need to get away from it.


I heard this quote from a movie; "Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something good will come of it." And I am trying SO hard to remember that. I am also trying to remember that love is not borne of only acceptance, and that no matter the outcome, I'll be okay. I don't want to be defined by the worst thing that's happened to me. And yet I feel like it's hard for me to love myself now and differentiate between what I am and who I have, and so I can't imagine someone else loving me or doing the same. I am like a living contradiction of optimism/pessimism all at once, it's very exhausting.


I am extremely open with my friends and family, but I feel like I need to speak with people who also have herpes because until you are in the herpes-shoes it's hard to really help someone.


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I don't know why I answer these posts other than I really want to help. I hope that I don't offend you-I mean well!


You said that you got into a relationship with someone you knew was trouble. I can understand the anger/hatred towards him to a point but I also think you're angry with yourself. You ignored the warning signs, found out he was a cheater, got an STD, and stayed with him knowing that you're worth more than that. So, I think you are beating yourself up about your choices. We all make bad choices. This is just my opinion, but if it seems to have a ring of truth to it, then start with forgiving yourself.


As for the new guy.. well, the "scared of a lifelong commitment", "don't like letting new people in", and "happy on his own" comments sound like warnings to me. You might be the one he lets in, you might not. You could disclose and see how he reacts before you even approach the relationship issue (because it seems as if commitment IS an issue)

Maybe you could just tell him you think that you guys should not continue a sexual relationship because you are aware he doesn't want to commit, and because of reasons you're not quite ready to discuss, you feel as if you need to protect your heart. That could open the door for the H conversation, and/or could end it before you need to disclose.


Something that is in the back of my mind in regards to your post is all the positive qualities you listed in the beginning. These thing should far overshadow having H. The right person will see all these things, and know that you are worth the risk. Try to remember that and focus on the good. I know it's hard, but I think you'll be just fine.

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