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life with herpes gets better, right?

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I guess it all begins with my childhood. I don't blame any of this on my parents they taught me to make better decisions but I was a very sheltered child so when time came to make a decision temptation was screaming my name. In high school i only dated two people.....and then I lost my virginity to my best guy friend the summer before my senior year. After that I decided that I wasn't going to do it again until I found someone who really meant a lot to me. I experienced almost nothing in high school no real sex, no drinking, no parties just a couple boyfriends that lasted maybe a few months or so. So when I got to college on the other side of the country I didn't quite know how to act. I was getting so much more attention from guys than I had ever before. That might have something to do with the fact that I am a white female on an HBCU campus (historically black college/university). But what I'm getting at is that I got to college and pretty much did whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted. This only lasted a year tho, eventually I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself "what the hell are you doing?". I got my act together and gradually I was becoming the woman that I wanted to be. The girl with a boyfriend that she is faithful to. From then on if I was going to be intimate with someone then they would be the only person for me at that time. And that's how its been for two years I have been learning to keep to myself and commit to who and what is important to me. I hate what I let myself become and I have always in the back of my mind felt shame and doubt. I was silly to think that all those guys cared for me.....but I really did think that. I was so naive at that time.


And this is where it really starts. I was diagnosed about 3 weeks ago now. Here I am finally a senior in college and finally feeling better about myself and accepting that the past is the past and the future is so bright. I finished up my junior year about a month ago and almost immediately met a guy that I liked so so so much. He was so different from other guys because he actually wanted to know me. He would ask me questions all the time about my life, my goals, and my past. He hated my past but he accepted it as the past. None of the guys from my past wanted to know me the way he did. He made me feel like I was actually worth something....and I hadn't felt that way in a while. So yes we ended up having sex, and it felt so good to be with someone who seemed to actually care about my mind and not just my body.


We did it for 3 or 4 nights in a row, here's where the H comes into play. I started feeling sore down there like i had been rubbed raw or got a tear. And so I looked and I saw what looked like a tear but it hurt sooooo bad, I started having a fever, body aches, random sharp pains everywhere, my throat was sore and swollen. So I went to the doctor and told him about the cut in my vaginal area he did and exam and swabbed the area. He told me right then and there before the tests were even ran, that he was 99% sure that it was herpes. My world fell apart.... I called the guy that I had been with and he came to me right away and lay with me, he let me cry in his arms and he tried to comfort me. He promised me that no matter what the results were that he would be there for me and that we would get through it together. That simple promise gave me hope. Two days later I got my results back and of course they were positive. I told the guy and he got tested about 4 days later. His blood results were negative so I told him he needs to get tested again in a few months. A month before all of this happened I was tested for all the STDs and my herpes blood test came back negative. Since the test he was the only guy that I have been with. So either I had it all along and just didn't have enough antibodies in my blood to show up, or he has it and his antibodies aren't showing up because he has never had an outbreak. I don't want to sit around and wrack my brain as to who gave it to who....but it really would be nice to know.


After I got my diagnosis we got in a big fight because I found a flat iron and a dress in his room that did not belong to me. I was very serious with him and told him that he can't go around with other girls until he gets his results back. He just didn't understand. He never understood why I was so upset he said "its just a little blister every once in a while, we can deal with this". The fight we got in changed him. He got his negative results back and pretty much dipped out of my life. So now I'm here....dealing with this on my own.


I'm trying to find beauty in myself again....I feel so ugly but I know I'm not. Every time I go out I meet a new guy that wants to "get to know me".....but I have been trying to keep my distance from people I just cant stand the thought of someone getting too close and then running away when I disclose to them. I feel so lonely sleeping alone every night when in the past I could have someone next to me anytime i wanted. I look into the future and I don't know what I see anymore. I know what I want to see, but its just not there. I have a history of depression and its back in full effect. I'm loosing weight because I just don't want to eat. I have been drinking a lot and that helps but I know its not right because at the end of the night H is still on my mind. I try to be around people as much as possible to keep my mind off of it, but truthfully there's only one person I want to be around and hes just not there. I just want to feel happy and beautiful again. For the first time in a long time the future scares the hell out of me. It feels like this lonely state is never ending and my carefree life is gone. I don't want to be alone but I'm so scared of telling people and I know if I'm going to tell someone they have to be someone special. I know I shouldn't be sitting here feeling sorry for myself because my life has so much promise and I have so much time to live it. I just can't help the way I feel and I'm so new to everything. It gets better right? I wish I had the answers to the questions spinning in my head.

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I can't tell you you won't be scared to tell people. I can't tell you it won't hurt if they reject you. that's life im afraid . having had herpes for 18 years has been frustrating. I contracted it when i was 22 and my second sexual partner in life who of course denied it. It was after my first wife and i separated. I let my 2nd ex wife know before were intimate. You see it is not a death sentence. You will learn a lot about yourself you will probably be healthier and more responsible and you will care more about your body. you will smirk whenever someone mentions they got gonorrhea during spring break. you will be rejected and if you are not honest before an encounter you will feel bad. If you give it to someone else you will get depressed. Your friends may talk about you behind your back if they know they may try to steal your mate with that info if they don't know yet. we all react to adversity differently but in this case the phrase "what does not kill you makes you stronger" could not be more true. I am middle aged now and have had more time to learn to live with Herpes. I have taken pills. tried to stay healthy. It has been a burden Also you won't believe it but it has been a blessing in disguise. Why? because it has made me a better person. It will get better. most importantly love yourself. Keep it real babe.

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Thank you Kymell for your response. I see people saying that getting H is a "blessing in disguise" all the time.....I guess I just don't get it yet because I am so new to this I just don't see anything good in this yet. But hopefully someday I can find some good in it. I recently disclosed to someone and I think I was rejected, I'm not really sure. I just know that its not a good feeling and I pray that it won't always be like that. I really appreciate your encouragement


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Have you read the free ebook I wrote on disclosure yet? http://eepurl.com/b4IPP When the disclosure comes from a place of self-acceptance, then there really is no deep rejection when someone doesn't want to be with you. Why? Because you aren't rejecting yourself. That's where the deep pain comes from. Before you get to the point of more self-acceptance outweighing the self-judgment, someone else's rejection/judgment will trigger the same response in you toward yourself! But after the balance shifts to more acceptance, you start to realize that rejections are really just moving you toward the right experiences and people for you. And it's hard to do it alone, which is why this forum, talking to people who love and accept you, coming to the Herpes Opportunity weekend workshop -- all these things help us to move to that point of self-acceptance.

This content 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. 

Helpful resources:

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Hi Paige. Right now your feelings are so real and they are telling you it's horrible, awful and it will never be good again. I have had my own struggles with depression and I can appreciate what it feels like to be in that dark state. Intellectually you know things will get better, but your feelings trump any sort of reason. For me, faith come in to play and also knowing that as real as those feelings are, this too shall pass and that your feelings are not the truth. Your feelings are a result of what you are telling yourself. If your voice in your head is about judgment then how can you feel love for yourself? You know you are a beautiful, intelligent, lovable, valuable person. One of my friends said the other day that she wished she could see herself as her friends see her. If your feelings are saying negative things, see yourself as your parents, your friends, God, a new lover would see you. And trust that this will pass and you find the silver lining in all this. What helped me was seeing myself as God would see me. He doesn't see me as "less than" because I have herpes. I am perfect because he loves me just the way I am. I don't need to be anything other than who I am. Just like I love my own son. I know he has flaws but I love him for who he is and I have come to realize I need to see myself that way as well. Once I can love and accept myself that way, then I can allow others to do the same.


You are reaching out to us, which is fabulous. Obviously you care enough about yourself to reach out. That is a fantastic first step. Keep reaching out, keep remembering your good qualities. Maybe try making a list of all the wonderful things about yourself. The things you like about yourself. The things people comment about when they compliment you. Also, what do you have to be grateful for in your life? When you start to focus what is right and what is wonderful in your life, it changes your focus and perspective. What you focus on you will notice and you will bring in to your life.


Relationships break up all the time. We would have break ups whether we had herpes or not but if we focus on that issue, we give it far more power than it deserves. You were trying to be responsible and do the right thing when it came to your diagnosis and you had every right to expect him to as well. He was taking a very irresponsible approach to herpes and you had every right to be upset. If he was that nonchalant with the health and safety of his partners, then maybe he wasn't a good fit for you, even though you obviously care for him.


That said, you feel how you feel and your hurt and pain are real. He is not the only person who can offer you love and support so please, as you are doing here, reach out to people who can love and support you through this.


Hugs to you!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Paige,


This is all pretty new to me as well. But I see many parallels between your story and mine. So I thought I should let you know you are not alone. At the time I too felt deeply/spiritually connected with the man who ended up giving me herpes, and even deluded myself into thinking I loved him, because I really wanted to believe that what we seemed to have was real. The same day I was diagnosed, he said something along the lines of "pfft, herpes is just a couple of bumps every few years, so what". He didn't understand why I was so upset. Then later that night, I found messages he was sending to other girls telling him he "loved" and "desired" them, too. Ouch. Then he just disappeared from my life the next day. So I really do feel your pain. I am with you, and I really do hope that things get better. It helps having so many wonderful, strong people in this forum as proof that making peace with this virus is possible.


Much love, and blessings to you.



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  • 2 weeks later...

It's funny that he, in his infinite ignorance, gave you the best advice ever without even notice it.


he said "its just a little blister every once in a while"


And the day you understand that fact you will feel yourself liberated from a huge burden.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having H doesn't make you less of a person. It doesn't make you less lovable. It should not be a reason for people not to respect you. It is a virus. When I first got mine 2 years ago, I had the same things running through my mind. But I talked to my mom, who is very supporting, and she told me that it doesn't and should not change anything about you and how you and other people should see you. My doctor said the same thing. Sometimes, I still get sad (especially if it's the time of the month), but I think of what it really is. I recently realized that it is nothing but a virus. Just like the flu, colds, chicken pox, and all the other viruses in the world. Come to think of it, it is easier to give a cold to someone (just be sneezing) than to give H out. Someone who won't or can't accept you for having H tells more about them and not you (I read this from one of the posts). My closest friends know that I have H and they don't really care. They are still my friends. We don't even talk about it. My bestfriend even forgot that I have it. She says to take the meds when I get an OB. Surround yourself with people who will love and accept what happened..it will make the world a better place to live in :) hugs to you paige >:D<

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  • 1 month later...

Hi paige,im new to this site&on my own similar journey to yourself.i was diagnosed this february.i dont normally respond to posts in forums etc,i dont even have face book ha ha.i felt compelled to write a comment after reading your words.you seem like a very articulate thoughtfull girl.I had read a few of the "my stories",but something really struck me about yours,i can completely relate to your words,when i read the last paragraph it was as though they could have been my own words.im sure our lifes are so different,yet we share those feelings in common&i hope it helps you to know that your words have helped me on my own journey in some way.i live in the uk&im a 39 year old mother of one daughter who is 16 years of age.i have not told her about my diagnosis,i dont know if i ever will.i have told one friend&none of my family.my closest friend can be insensitive so i dont think i will tell her.my initial hurdle was enough to cope with at the time,just getting over the first outbreak,which was a terrible experience&some of the worst pain&upset i have ever known.i was in my pjs for at least2weeks&think i told everyone i had the flu or something.iv been busy with work and pushed it all to the back of my mind until recently.its been on my mind lately as iv thought about dating again,but have had all the same insecurities as yourself.its easy to jump in&out of bed with diffferent people,as iv done in the past sometimes,but things are so different now.i havent been near anyone since diagnosis&im going to be alot more thoughtfull about such matters.its really made me think,i never thought anything like this would happen to me.i feel im just getting my head round it all.i consider myself an attractive woman&get plenty of attention,but i have even wondered if i will ever be intimate again.maybe i would like a more meaningfull relationship,but feel so scared like yourself that if i met a nice person who is fond of me it could scare them off.the future may look daunting at the moment,but i am trying to be positive.iv booked myself an exotic holiday for november&im trying to be as positive as i can.one thing i know is things can only get better.im thinking of having a talk with my sister&telling her soon.i really wish you all the best for the future.this is my first time opening up about my own fears&thats thanks to you&your words.lots of love&good wishes xxx

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