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Just tell everyone and get it over with. How do I keep this huge secret?

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I was diagnosed 5 days ago after trying to brave out the symptoms for 5 days prior to succumbing to the unbeleivable pain and sore lymph nodes and fever. So today I got my actual results. I had just broke up with my ex on the 15th, and I know he gave it to me because he had a "zit" and "chafing" which... Now I know... I'm a pretty solid 33 year old single mother. This has rocked me because it wasnt even a real relationship. It was my rebound from my divorce, even though I waited 2 years to rebound. Lot of good that did.


So, I finally opened up yesterday to two of my friends. I feel sooooo much better. I want to just tell everyone. Get it over with and not worry about the anxiety of the secret and people "finding out". He wants to keep it a secret.


Should I wait a few months and see if I still feel like just telling everyone?

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There’s many times I’ve felt like just going straight to Facebook and posting it for the world to see, especially because I got it from a (mildly) famous singer. That ended quite quickly after I discovered he was up & down with multiple women. Anyway, I have told several guy and girlfriends and it feels great to be able to talk about it and to feel truly transparent. Take your time, sorry to say welcome to the club, but it is what it is. We cannot change this and we must go on.

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The extent to which you are "open" is a decision that I think comes with reflection. My suggestion is to wait and tell people as it feels natural. I had my moment where I wanted to make a damn FB and Instagram post and say fuck it! But I also believe that there is something to be said for people getting to know you first before finding out that personal information, especially when it comes to romantic or sexual relationships.


Part of my decision to not shout it to the world was because I don't, at this moment, want my parents to know. My mom would worry about my well being and would want to "fix" things even though in this case...there isn't much she can do. Its just part of her personality and I don't feel its necessary for her to carry that burden.


Its those things you don't think about when you make a quick decision. I also took into consideration coworkers that really have no business knowing that stuff about me lol. In my case I have told all of my closest friends and then of course all of my potential sexual partners. I do believe disclosing to friends and partners starts to feel really good after awhile. Learning how to discuss it with confidence and without shame starts to boost your own feelings on it as well, at least it has in my case

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Thank you for your comments. Both my parent have been gone for a while. I guess yeah coworkers Im not sure about them knowning. I will give it a few months and see how I feel. I might be having a self destructive period with it. And..... I think the antivirials make it worse. Not that I'm going to stop them though.

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Different people deal with this differently.


I really like what @annalove had to say upthread.


My personal approach was to first tell a few people in "seeking support mode" plus a partner that was in my life at that time. The way I was processing it then was very different from how I processed it even a few months later. It was very emotional and colored by the stigma.


One that phase passed, I began opening up about it with friends as it came up naturally, and I began putting myself out there romantically again and disclosing to all prospective partners. I disclose early but do not put my status in my dating profile. That's just my own comfort level. Some people do list their status in their profiles and then there are people like Adrial and Ella Dawson who are even more public about it. In the case of Ella Dawson who has genital HSV1, I got the sense that she felt both empowered but later exhausted and burned out by the repercussions of being public to that degree.


If you are at all uncertain about how open or public you should be, I'd hold off for a bit until you're feeling more certain, assuming you at least have an existing support network you can rely on for now.

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I have no family. And I mean no parents aunts uncles sisters cousins ect. I just went to my pcp because between still getting new sores and work stress I needed something. I had broken up with him then we were supposed to be getting back together and I found out he was already with other women. Its a very emotional time. And my kid just got some blood work back with a minor problem. I told 3 close friends. They have been wonderful. He "technically" didnt know that his reoccurring problem was herpes. So he "technically" didnt lie.......


But I did think about future encounters.... Perhaps they would be ok with my hsv1 status but not want it to be so public. But I might just go back to being good single/celibate for a few years again, just as a personal growth stance, not because of hsv1.

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One other thing I will mention is that for me the one on one disclosure moment is really an opportunity to establish a new level of intimacy with someone. That is lost to some extent when you shout it from the roof tops by making a social media post.


With my close friends I have told, even if it was by text or telephone as opposed to face to face, it created an opportunity for us to become even closer. It makes you a real person with a plethora of emotions and struggles. Its easy to judge someone when you read their social media post and much easier to have empathy when you have to look them in the eye or respond to them directly.


Its a whole new level of intimacy when its a possible romantic or sexual partner. Even though a couple of the guys I have told have not been comfortable with it...every single one of them has recognized the courage and strength it took for me to be that open and vulnerable with them. There is immediate respect earned when you choose to be that honest with someone.


One last thing...I dont want you to write off sex or relationships. I thought for sure I would spend at least a full year celibate after i found out about my HSV. Turned into about 8 months of reflection and self work and when I was sexual again it was 100% with the right person. So I wouldn't close yourself off to it. Its ok to take time to reflect but if sex or a relationship is what you want HSV doesnt mean that isn't possible

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So far my husband and I are all who know. Since I haven't actually had a definitive diagnosis yet, I figure I'll wait for that before sharing. Once/if I get a definitive diagnosis I'll probably tell my mom and best friend and maybe additional people if it comes up in conversation. The way I see it, I don't shout from the rooftops that I have Graves disease or endometriosis. I don't tell everyone I've had two miscarriages or that my uterus is tilted. All my friends don't know how I like things in the bedroom with my husband or that I'm prone to yeast infections. Somethings I don't want to share and that's okay.

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