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Made it through my first herpes outbreak

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Hi everyone, my name is Abby. I just turned 21 and I've just contracted herpes from an asymptomatic partner. I've had the most agonizing week of my first outbreak (my immune system is pretty poor anyway so it was pretty severe). I'm coming out the other side of it now, having learnt a great deal about the condition and its effects.


I suppose maybe the reality of having this for life hasn't really hit me yet, but I'm trying to be as positive as I can. I felt a little upset about the effect it may have in starting a relationship with someone in the future. I went to my parents for a cuddle and support, but they seem to be dealing with it worse than me. My mum says that she feels like I've been raped and am keeping the baby, or it feels like a diagnoses of HIV or cancer. My step dad has basically told me it is going to ruin my life, that I'll live a normal life, but it wont be easy by any stretch of the imagination (he contracted herpes when he was 19 years old and has lived with it). He tried to tell me how nasty and awful its going to be. I felt I had to defend myself to my own parents and tell them that I will lead an absolutely great life, that its not the end of the world and that I need their support not their negativity if I am to deal with this properly. It made me more determined to find an empowering meaning for this, and so I discovered h-opp which gave me such relief as I'm sick of all desperation and being told that my life is over.


How to I convince my parents to support me in the right way? At some point I'm going to need them to remind me that I'm worth more than my herpes, and right now I feel like if my parents think its such a big deal, how is a future boyfriend going to respond to it?


I also never really went through the resentment phase towards the guy I got it from. We both were tested at the clinic before doing anything, but they don't even test for herpes (which is what I'm really outraged about). He didn't have any symptoms so really I don't feel like it is his fault, but my parents are treating him like he's evil and the whole thing was intentional. They're so angry with him that they won't mention his name. I feel like its making the situation more seedy than it really was, (we made love and unfortunately I got herpes - I wasn't purposefully betrayed by some villain as far as I know).


Right now he's a better support than my parents, as he says I'm worth loving with herpes and I'm still desirable and sexy. Whereas my parents are making me feel like the fallen woman. How do I deal with them? I'm sick of being the only one in my family who is okay with my herpes.


Thanks for listening and being here xxx


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hi Positiy thinker,( first at all great name to choose :) )

i am sorry to hear that you parents think that way about you and you boyfriend, only 5-10 percent of all people with herpes show symtoms, so it is not his fault at all...how he can knew about it if there is no regular test for herpes.Your step father should be more educated about herppes if he have it himself and for sure its no good support at all if he tells you that your whole live will suck....sorry darling i dont think its ok.For sure you will have a hard time but your bf support you and your live will go .i hope you can deal with it better the your stepfather and maybe you can teach him to feel not nasty and awful...yes i sometimes do feel like that but thats not what we are :)

Believe is the strongest medicin ...i am sure you will be good.

Big hug Judith

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Hi im also 20 and had a similiar situation. I'm so sorry your parents reacted so badly..it's amazing to see how strong you are tho and that you're aware that you will still have an amazing life because it is absolutely true! The more people that have that attitude the less power we give to this silly virus. i have only told my mom who said to me over and over i hope its anything but herpes before my official diagnosis and she reacted similiarly. now she is still really uncomfortable talking about it but I try to educate people whenever I can (who knew you can get herpes WITH a condom??) i know its hard but don't get hungup on what your parents say, you know your self worth is in no way compromosed as do many people in our generation, it's really becoming seen as less of a shocking awful disease than it was in the past through education (slowly but surely). Lots of love to you I feel your pain but things will get better and so many people will support you through this <3

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Hey PositiveThinker (love the name!),


I think you're totally doing what you need to do to deal with your parents, which is educate and empower yourself with information about this. Unfortunately, the stigma around herpes seems to have affected your parents as well, combined with whatever guilt and shame they have from their own journey that you just so happened to trigger. Their inability to respond with love and support only speaks to the level of shame that they must have on some level...it's not yours, it's theirs. I can empathize with the disappointment and frustration that can come with parents not responding the way we need them to....but you can heal this without them ever shifting their opinions or beliefs about it. You have a supportive network of people here to be that positive outlook for you about your life and what you're capable of having, herpes and all. You sound like a very strong person and you've already reached out for support, which speaks to your courage. Keep seeking out those people who can be a positive support to you, and soon the lack of support from your parents will be easier to deal with.


Much love to you!!


Beckie :)

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Positive thinker,


Let me start off by saying I'm in awe at how amazingly you're handling the situation and I give you ENDLESS kudos for your whole attitude towards this and I think, for myself at least, I could take a lesson or 2 from you hah. I've had my diagnosis for almost 3 years now and I'm just barely getting to the state of acceptance that you're currently expressing. I've also not found the courage to tell either of my parents although, luckily, my big sister has been a great support.


I'm 22 and was diagnosed at 18. I had a really traumatizing painful first outbreak too (mostly cause it never even crossed my mind it could be herpes, I just assumed it was a yeast infection). I completely agree its awful that STD testings don't include herpes considering its the second most common one out there :(


But back to you! I agree with what others before me said in that its a shame your step father isn't more supportive but please listen to your partner in that you are still YOU and listen to yourself in that you are worth more than your herpes! That made me happy to hear you say, especially so early on in your journey with this. Always remember that. Just as the guy who passed the hsv into you isn't as evil as your parents are making him, I'm sure your parents aren't as awful for responding as they are than most would think. Although support from the get go would be far more beneficial to you, I'm hoping and thinking that this may just be their defense mechanism for thinking they failed to protect their child.


Continue to be open, aware, and POSITIVE as you already are! Your strength is inspiring to me, really :) <3

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's funny (for not saying it's terribly awful) how you mother compare a skin condition with a violation and then she is married to a guy with herpes (???????)


Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?


You are in your right to behave angrily at your parents, yeah you heard me. No one can put you down in such way. I know that they are venting their frustrations on you and their way to cope with your "suffer" is being so negative, but please...


Let me tell you one thing, and one thing only. No one, I repeat, No one can put you down. You are a strong, beautiful woman, you are an invincible warrior. Get that in your head.


Finally, do not expect your future partner to behave like your parents. There are some a-holes that could react in a nasty hurtful way, no doubt. But in general, boyfriends tend to feel less responsible for your past (duh) than your parents.


The problem with mom and pop is that even if you are 30 years old full independent working person, they feel responsible for your health and future. So when we go with the "bad" news they react with that mix of anger and guilt, so they backfire in unexpected ways.

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