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    Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity Support Forum! We are a supportive and positive group to help you discover and live your Opportunity. Together, we can shed the shame and embrace vulnerability and true connection. Because who you are is more important than what you have. Get your free e-book and handouts here: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

Just Introducing Myself


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I'm a 40 year old female, and I've had genital herpes for 14 years. I had a less than stellar childhood, which caused some self-worth issues growing up, along with other psychological scars that I won't go into. Looking back, I realize that these issues helped contribute to my poor judgment in men and my lack of boundaries, and I mistakenly confused sex with love.


I met a man when I was 26, and we truly cared for one another. I was able to set boundaries with this man, and didn't jump straight into bed with him. Soon after we had sex for the first time, I moved in with him. Within a couple of weeks of having sex, I developed what I believed was the world's worst yeast infection. The itching and the pain were maddening, and no treatment was helping. It was just after this that I "got the flu". For days, I was miserable. My entire body ached, I had a high fever, and I wanted to do nothing but sleep. (All the while, I had this God-awful yeast infection that resisted every kind of treatment I tried!)


This man wasn't someone to sleep around a lot, and he had recently separated from his then-wife, so I didn't even consider the possibility of an STD. That is, until I found some paperwork of hers. It was for a herpes culture, when she was pregnant with their first child. I put two and two together, and immediately confronted him. He claimed he didn't know, and I didn't fully believe him, but I had no way of proving that he was being less than truthful.


I was overwhelmed with grief. The shame was indescribable. I spent a good amount of time dealing with depression, anger, disappointment... the whole spectrum of negative emotions. It took me a LONG time to forgive him. At least a couple of years. We ended up getting married. In the back of mind, I believed I was stuck with him because of herpes. The first three years or so, I had at least one, often two outbreaks EACH MONTH. Of course, they weren't nearly as bad as the initial outbreak, but I was miserable nonetheless. And it was a constant reminder that I was "damaged goods", not worthy of love.


Nine years later, our marriage started to fall apart. (Due to reasons other than herpes.) The massive amount of stress, and the shame, led to me attempting suicide. After that, I started to focus on me. Over time, I shared with a few male friends my herpes status, and they were very accepting. (Even the one that was interested in being more than my friend.) I felt a renewed sense of hope. I finally worked up the courage to discuss divorce with my husband, and it all went rather smoothly.


Less than a month after my divorce, I met a man. A man that I knew was not good for me, but I became involved with him anyway. And I didn't disclose to him... I was no longer having outbreaks, and I actually started to lie to myself. I went into denial... BIG time. I rationalized with myself that I had not been "officially" diagnosed. (I told my doctor the symptoms, she said it was genital herpes and put me on suppressive meds, which stopped the outbreaks at that time.) Since I had not been "officially" diagnosed, and my ex husband claimed he was completely unaware, I didn't have it. Needless to say, during my TWO YEAR involvement with this man, I completely lost myself. I was living a lie, and it ate away at me until I couldn't do it anymore. I ended my "relationship" with him, and have since been in the process of "rediscovering" myself.


I know what it feels like to live in integrity, and I want that back. The shame I have had regarding my herpes status has torn me down. I was so grateful to have found this site. I don't know how I hadn't come across it sooner, because I have done a LOT of searches on all things herpes related. (The big one being how to heal the shame and live in integrity.)


I haven't had an outbreak in over a year, I don't take suppressive meds, as I am not particularly fond of taking prescription medications. I do take supplements, such as L-Lysine, Zinc, and Vitamin C, among others.


So there's my story. Lol I'm grateful for this site, and the ebook and handouts have given me some hope as well.


I wanted to add that I found out 4 or 5 months ago that my ex husband knew all along that he had herpes. He got it in high school. So then I went through the process of forgiving him again. It only took me a few days because I totally understand his fear of telling me. It also made me come to terms with the fact that I DO have it, and I had to deal with some emotions around that as well.

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Oh thank you for sharing all that, Lollyann! Denial can be such a tricky thing, eh? And I'm so glad you've come out the other side of that and are in a process of self-rediscovery! I am a big believer in trusting that whatever has happened in our lives, if we take that as rocketfuel for our growth, then we can transform our past into beauty and yes, Opportunity. Shame can be a powerful motivator. "Fucking up" in our lives can really teach us how important integrity and doing the right thing is. We not only know it on an intuitive and moral level, but it just *feels* better, too. Here's to you on your path of integrity. I'm happy to know you and I'm glad you're here ...

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