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Dealing with Rejection/Hoping to Turn My Shame and Guilt into Resiliency and Growth

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I wax a wane between intense shame and guilt and acceptance and self love. This is an emotionally hard road to be on and my inner critic has been ramped up hard core over the past three weeks. I recently began dating again after 7 years (I was in a long term relationship before) and what happened was so painful. I'm so scared to date again for fear of rejection, fear of giving it to someone, and now feeling less attractive.


The resurface of this information was 3 weeks ago when guy I was dating sent me his test results showing negative herpes 2. (He said he wanted me to feel good since two days prior we were kissing, fingering, hand jobs with saliva, and laying naked). I looked at my recent blood test not showing Herpes on it and I shared with him previously my blood tests were clean (which they were) . I went back and looked and saw the email :( in 2014 by my gynecologist said that I had been "exposed to herpes 2" (Why didn't i register that i had it then or they say explicitly?) A doctor's follow up then (2014) just said to avoid being intimate if I had a cold sore. That was the follow up. (I'm kicking myself for not gaining more clarity then and forgetting about it since i've never had outbreaks). Around the same time I was also being screened for potential seizures due to fainting hence another reason i probably shut it down.


The disclosure: Was horrible and threw me into a self hatred and anxiety (texting him too much to try to be understood which he probably thought i was crazy) :( He asked if I knew before that night and I said yes/no. It was hard to explain that I suppressed this information for 4 years and got mixed information. He said some hurtful things because he felt I took away his choice to make up his mind, didn't share when discussing std's or when he shared about a friend who was interested in someone with herpes. It's true I don't know why it wasn't at forefront of my mind and I was not trying to be deceptive at all.


We talked over a week ago for "closure" which doesn't feel good enough. I don't think anything will sadly other than acceptance and forgiveness of myself for misinformation and my subconscious knowing this information (though completely unaware when we were naked and discussed std's honestly) :( He apologized for being shaming and said he wishes it hadn't ended that way and thinks it would have ended because he can't get past herpes. Plus he said we haven't known each other long enough and doesn't want to deal with shame/stigma I'm dealing with now if we weren't to work out. I think it's more than that. We probably aren't as compatible as I liked to believe and I really did like him (felt connection emotionally and sexually). He appreciates I told him now and didn't have sex with him. I wasn't trying to deceive him.


I sent him all my follow up emails/phone calls with doctors and even went to get re-tested to prove I'm not malicious. I still feel like shit. I re-play all the steps in my head leading up to us being naked and wish I was tested for herpes again on recent panel because it would have registered:(Maybe I would have saved he and myself from this pain. I really hope I didn't pass it to him) The trust was broken ugh. I'm a trustworthy person. If it was meant to be he would have been willing to work through it and slowed things down again more emotionally and its too late for that. It's not meant to be and maybe a blessing in disguise it ended now. I think Herpes was another way out. (I have minor ptsd from a former relationship that came up in a few interactions when I shut down and told him what came up. I have an amazing therapist and support network thankfully).


The recent blood result showed positive Herpes 2 and negative herpes 1. My new doctor says it means I have it and some doctors don't say because unless lesions it's hard to confirm for sure. This was my last text to him sharing this and apologizing for my ptsd and how he didn't do anything wrong. No response which is probably best. It saddens me and makes me want to close off to dating for fear of rejection and feeling less desirable (Herpes and trauma).


I'm trying to forgive myself and give myself love. It's so hard to do. Mantra "I'm doing the best I can and I'm deserving of love even with herpes and trauma." I know I will get through this in time and right now it feels really hard even by the hour. I'm learning more on ways to disclose going forward. The way I shared with him by face time/texts was not ideal and my story kept changing between (I knew and I didn't ) It's hard to explain which he probably found more fishy. I agree that people deserve to have consent and had i remembered I would have said something before we got naked really. I live and learn and will get through this in time. I'm also learning more about how to reduce transmission (condoms/anti-virals (how well do they work?) I don't have outward outbreaks. I also hope I can have sex again without condoms. I have a high sex drive and desire having sex. I hope this doesn't inhibit me.


Any support is appreciated as it feels very isolating, depressing, and anxiety producing.






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Don't be scared! First and foremost, if you need additional support feel free to contact me. My situation is somewhat similar to yours and I feel for you. I can tell you with time.. it heals all wounds. You will be able to date and have a normal life. It does has it days, when it sucks, and you don't want to pass the disease around. The only thing I can truly tell you that I wish someone could of told me.. is to not beat yourself up. You are your worst critic. Beating yourself isn't getting you nowhere. You have to accept it, and try to move on from it. Meaning try to love yourself the same, even though part of you isnt the same. Your worth is the same. Your current situation isnt your final destination. Maybe you should take this time and really focus on you despite the urges. Speak with your doctor about daily virals, change your diet, exercise more often. I found that taking daily vitamins, Vitamin C, lysine helos. And ALWAYS practice SAFE SEX. Be the change you want to see.


I hope this helps!

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Thank you so much GeminiiGoddess. I really don't want to be scared and I am. My body hasn't felt the best this last month due to stress/lack of sleep and I'm healing and growing through this whole process. Yes not beating myself up is very important which is really hard to do. It's hard to reckon with my subconscious knowing this information (herpes diagnosis) and me blocking it out of memory for 4 years due to not having sores. Ugh again.. comes back to self compassion, which is what you're speaking to. You're right my worth is the same. This makes me maybe more worthy as I can also truly empathize more deeply with others and dive into core pain that this activated. Yes i eat pretty healthy, exercise daily, and take some supplements. Planning to talk to doctor this week and can explore anti-virals for myself and future partner that i have sex with. Now that I'm aware for real of this I can be very forthcoming with potential sexual partners before it leads past kissing. Thanks for reaching out. 

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Of course, that's what I am here for. I understand what you're going through. I am actually going through the same thing. Part of me just kind of remember my situation (herpes diagnosis), but than I later realize that its who I am. It is part of me. I believe that I want to be the change I want to see in myself and others. I believe that it does get worse before it can get better. I know lack of sleep, stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise can induce outbreaks. I was recently diagnosed this year, and I was devastated. As a single mother and a young college student, I felt as if I was alone. That no one could ever love me the same because of this. But I had to get those thoughts out my mind because if you allow your mind to be poisoned, your entire outlook of life will be also. I'm glad my words helped you. If you would like to chat more, need someone to talk to, or just vent. You have a friend with me. I'll inbox you my number!!!! 

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Fortunately I don't think I've ever had an outbreak to my knowledge (If one day i do transmit it, is the likelihood that person won't have symptoms low too since i don't?)Yes, I am coming to terms with it being a part of me. It sucks how I was met with such rejection and anger from this guy eventhough i did not consciously know when I engaged in touching with this person and was forthcoming with him after. I would never put someones health in harms way. It was very insensitive and shaming, which i didn't deserve despite him being upset.  The cut off really hurt and does hurt somewhat still. The rejection sucks and sometimes it's just not a match. Yes, you're right I need to not wear this like it's the scarlet letter. It's a part of me and not all of me. Yes self care is so important. thanks for the support

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