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My story

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Hi all,


My name is Jessi. I contracted herpes when I was 21 (that was 7 years ago). I had always had negative experiences with dating in general. When I was 21 I met this guy who told me he loved me. I had been waiting a long time to hear that, so I thought I was in love. The first time I was with him he took the condom off because he didn't like condoms. I tried to insist but I was powerless to him. I didn't know how to stand my ground. We dated for two weeks. He broke up with me to date other girls but I couldn't let him go. We continued to see each other for the next year or so. i knew he was with other girls but I didn't care, I really believed I was in love with him. It was a terrible time in my life and I really didn't like myself. He gave me Chlamydia and I was heartbroken, yet I still wanted to be with him. Three months later I was diagnosed with Herpes. When I told him he said he didn't have it. I was so angry, he was the only guy I was sleeping with and I knew he had given it to me. For several years I dealt with the pain of him lying to me. I took full responsibility for getting Herpes. I made the decision to have unprotected sex with a guy who I knew was sleeping with other girls. So I never blamed him, I blamed myself. In a way I still have love for him. He was a lost soul, and he changed my life.


I dealt with my diagnosis in silence, among my family and friends. After months of silence I told my sister and she was kind but scared. I started dating a younger guy. When I told him about having Herpes I couldn't help crying. He started crying too and that was beginning of our relationship. I was able to tell more people about my diagnosis but still I felt no one understood. Sometimes I would cry to my boyfriend wondering why he was with me. He continued to remind me that it did not define who I was. After this relationship ended. I was terrified.


I made a lot of mistakes in dating and realized that I needed to work on myself. It has been three years since that relationship ended. I started learning more about myself. My goal was to love myself. I started meditating, I went to a Native American prayer ceremony, and started challenging my fears. I now have a passion for wellness and a greater care for myself. I am not willing to just accept a guy because I have herpes and he might be the only one to accept me. I've learned to be independent and that it's okay to be single.


Last year I finally met people with herpes in the state I live in. Recently I did the Walk for H in Washington D.C., and I've made some amazing friends! I'm trying to get a support group started at the university I attend.One of my friends created a meetup for herpes and HPV and we have already gotten at least 15 people in our local group. She's been contacted by three times as many people in our community so there is hope. I am ready to accept Herpes, 7 years in and I making progress but I am still dealing with fear and anxiety. So I have joined this community in hopes of support, acceptance and to help anyone that I can.

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Wow! Thanks for sharing your story! I love how you shifted from being lost and vulnerable in an unhealthy relationship to this strong woman that is independent, passionate, and ready to love herself and move on. Also way to go in starting the support groups with your friend...sounds awesome! Keep it up! HUGS!


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Thank you for sharing your story, Jessi! It was great to connect with you live via Skype the other day. I look forward to supporting you however I can to get your support group started. It inspires me to see others moving into support and love. Because the more we continue to move forward into allowing others to heal and come out from the shadows, the more our hearts grow bigger and our process of healing continues, too. It's a beautiful cycle. I can't wait to meet you in person at the H Opp weekend in July! http://thehopp.com

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Jessi, it seems you have become quite knowledgeable about this! Good for you, it is inspiring to see you take the steps that you have. This is the first support group that I've joined, it has been an eye opener at reading how well informed people in this group are. Your story & personal growth reminds me of a song from many years ago, "I am woman". Here is the link for the lyrics: http://www.elyrics.net/read/h/helen-reddy-lyrics/i-am-woman-lyrics.html Of course this is probably way before your time, LOL.

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Thanks Renee I know I've heard the song but I will read the lyrics!!


It was nice to connect with you as well Adridal. I am also looking forward to July. I would greatly appreciate support with the Support Group Adrial.

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