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Trying to deal 17 years later...

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So my story is that 17 years ago I found out I was pregnant and had herpes. I had been married for about 3 years at the time. The doctor actually accused me of cheating on my husband! I was devastated. I knew my husband had been unfaithful in the past and this diagnosis really brought it home. I did some research, felt dirty and disgusting and then resigned myself to accept my life as it was. I had a cheating husband and a young son. I felt like no one else would ever accept me with this disease.

As time passed, I had my daughter, rarely had outbreaks and for the most part forgot that I even had HSV2. About 5 years later the time came for me to divorce my husband, and though there were many huge issues in our marriage, I have to say that in the back of my mind I truly believed, that no man would ever accept me if he knew my secret.

I think that maybe for the past 10 years or so I have used the excuse that "I was raising my kids" as an excuse not to get close to anyone. I think this because now that I have someone I've been dating for awhile, I know I need to have the talk, and I'm terrified! We haven't had sex yet and I'm not good at talking about sex in the first place. I know I'm holding on to a lot of old stigma and that I'm not loving myself. Right now, I truly cannot understand how someone could not judge for having herpes or why they would want to be with me when they found out. The fear of rejection is overwhelming! This is the first time I have really starting looking in to how to talk about it. I haven't really tried to acknowledge it, deal with it, or seek support until now.

I started this search for him, but what I seem to be discovering is that I need to keep searching for me- until I can accept this part of me and love myself the way I would want someone else to love me.

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